This Day in . . .
303rd Bomb Group (H) History
May 17, 1942
ETO 8th AF: Detachment, 8th AF, with the help of the VIII Bomber Command staff, issues a directive defining its mission, which is the organization, training and supplying of units advanced echelons of 8th AF to prepare for immediate operations upon arrival of tactical elements of the 8th. 50 US intelligence officers arrive in the UK for training by the Royal Air Force (RAF) Bomber Command.
May 17, 1943
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 37
Target: Keranan Submarine Pens, Lorient, France
Crews Dispatched: 21
Length of Mission: 5 hours, 10 minutes
Bomb Load: 5 x 1000 lb. G.P. bombs
Bombing Altitude: 26,300 ft
Ammo Fired: 32,572 rounds
View Mission Report
May 17, 1943
8th AF history extracted from Jack McKillop's USAAF Combat Chronology
8th AF: VIII Bomber Command Mission Number 58: 159 B-17's are dispatched to hit the port area and U-boat base at Lorient, France; 118 bomb the target at 1213-1217 hours local; we claim 47-8-29 Luftwaffe aircraft; we lose 6 B-17's, another is damaged beyond repair and 27 others are damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 8 WIA and 57 MIA. An additional 39 B-17's are dispatched to hit the docks and sub pens at Bordeaux, France; 34 bomb at 1238-1244 hours local; we claim 0-1-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; we lose 1 B-17 and another is damaged; casualties are 2 WIA and 11 MIA. In a third mission 11 B-26's of the 322nd Bombardment Group (Medium) are dispatched on a low-level mission to bomb power stations at Haarlem and Ijmuiden, The Netherlands; 1 B-26 aborts, the other 10 are all shot down before they reach the target; casualties are 58 MIA. This mission prompts the 8th AF to abandon low-level medium bomber attacks.