This Day in . . .
303rd Bomb Group (H) History
May 14, 1942
ETO 8th AF: Major General Ira C Eaker is designated commander of Detachment, HQ 8th AF in addition to his duties as Commanding General VIII Bomber Command. Brigadier General Frank O'D Hunter assumes command of VIII Interceptor Command. 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), VIII Bomber Command, arrives at Grafton Underwood, England without aircraft.
May 14, 1943
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 35
Target: Germania Werft A.G., Kiel, Germany
(Submarine Pens & Yard)
Crews Dispatched: 27
Crews Lost: Capt. R.C. Bales & crew,
Capt. D.F. Stockton, Lt. R.F. Woodley
Crew Members Wounded: 4
Length of Mission: 6 hours, 25 minutes
Bomb Load: 10 x 500 H.E. M43 bombs
Bombing Altitudes: 25,900 ft (Main Gp.), 29,700 ft (Squad.)
Ammo Fired: 76,730 rounds
Enemy Aircraft Claims: 13 Destroyed, 4 Probables, 12 Damaged
Lt Mark Mathis, brother of MOH Awardee Lt Jack W. Mathis, was KIA.
The only instance where two 303rd BG brothers were KIA.
View Mission Report
May 14, 1943
8th AF: VIII Bomber Command Mission Number 56: A maximum force is put in the air as part of a combined offensive against the Wehrmacht. 154 B-17's, 21 B-24's and 12 B-26's are dispatched against 4 targets. The principal attack is against submarine yards and naval installations at Kiel, Germany; 136 B-17's and 21 B-24's are dispatched with 126 B-17's and 17 B-24's hitting the target at 1200-1203 hours local. We claim 62-24-27 Luftwaffe aircraft; we lose 5 B-24's and 3 B-17's with 1 B-24 damaged beyond repair and 9 B-24's and 27 B-17's damaged. Casualties are 3 KIA, 17 WIA and 81 MIA. 42 B-17's are dispatched against the former Ford and General Motors plants at Antwerp, Belgium; 38 hit the target at 1320 hours local; we claim 5-1-4 Luftwaffe aircraft; we lose 1 and 15 others and damaged; casualties are 3 WIA and 10 MIA; in the third raid, 39 B-17's are dispatched against Courtrai Airfield, France; 34 hit the target; we claim 0-0-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; we lose 2 B-17's and 10 others are damaged; casualties are 20 MIA. In the 4th raid, 12 B-26's are dispatched against the Velsen power station at Ijmuiden, The Netherlands; 11 hit the target at 1100 hours; 1 B-26 is damaged beyond repair when it crashes upon returning to base and 9 others are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA and 7 MIA. This is first time more than 200 US bombers are dispatched. The attack at Ijmuiden is made at low level by the 322nd Bombardment Group (Medium), the first US medium bomber group to become operational in the UK. The Antwerp mission is escorted by 118 P-47's; they claim 4-6-11 Luftwaffe aircraft; we lose 3 P-47's and 1 is damaged; casualties are 3 MIA. A detachment of the 416th Night Fighter Squadron, VIII Fighter Command is sent to Bristol, England for training with the RAF. The 417th Night Fighter Squadron, VIII Fighter Command transfers from Ayr, Scotland to Cranfield, England. The squadron is training on Beaufighters with the RAF and has detachments at Ayr, Uxbridge, Coltishall and Bristol, England.
May 14, 1943
The US 8th Air Force attacks Kiel with 125 aircraft.
May 14, 1944
8th AF history extracted from Jack McKillop's USAAF Combat Chronology
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: 435th Fighter Squadron, 479th Fighter Group, arrives at Wattisham, England from the US with P-38Js; first mission is 26 May.