This Day in . . .
303rd Bomb Group (H) History

June 15th    

June 15, 1942
ETO 8th AF: Major General Carl Spaatz, Commanding General 8th AF, arrives in the UK. The VIII Bomber Command takes a significant step toward development of the organization for control of combat operations by establishing the 1st Bombardment Wing (Provisional) at Brampton Grange, England.

June 15, 1943
8th AF: Additional modifications of YB-40 escort bombers are completed in the United Kingdom. It is now hoped that these B-17's converted to heavily armored aircraft with great firepower will solve the problem of long-range escort for bombers HQ 94th Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers from Earls Colne, England to Bury St Edmunds, England. HQ 95th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and its 334th, 335th, 336th and 412th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) transfer with B-17's from Framlingham, England to Horham, England. The 329th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) transfers with B-24's from Bungay, England to Hardwick, England. The 565th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 389th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at Hethel, England from the US with B-24's.

June 15, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 181
Target: Bridge at La Possonniere, France
Crews Dispatched: 36
Length of Mission: 6 hours, 15 minutes
Bomb Load: 2 x 2,000 lb G.P. bombs
Bombing Altitude: 16,000 ft
View Mission Report

June 15, 1944
303rd BG: LtCol Lewis E. Lyle, 303rd BG Deputy Commander, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary heroism while serving as a B-17 pilot from 17 November 1942 to 15 June 1944.

June 15, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 414: 1,361 bombers are dispatched in 8 forces to bomb an oil refinery Germany and numerous tactical targets in France, including 9 airfields, an aircraft plant, a CROSSBOW (V-weapon) sites, 11 bridges, a marshalling yard, and various scattered targets; 2 B-17s are lost: 1. Of 747 B-17s dispatched, 172 hit the Hannover/Misburg oil refinery, 16 hit Wilster, 16 hit Wesermunde, 2 hit the Hannover area and 1 hits Helgoland Island, Germany; in France, 144 hit Bordeaux/Merignac Airfield, 71 hit Nantes railroad bridge N, 71 hit La Poissonniere rail viaduct, 70 hit Angouleme marshalling yard, 59 hit Beauvoir V-weapon site, 46 hit Nantes railroad bridge S, 12 hit Gael Airfield and 10 hit a viaduct N of Nantes; 2 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 267 damaged; 7 airmen are WIA and 18 MIA. 2. Of 614 B-24s dispatched to France, 89 hit Le Port Boulet railroad bridge, 61 hit Evreux/Fauville Airfield, 59 hit Tours-la-Frillerie, 54 hit Tours-La Rice railroad bridge, 46 hit Guyancourt Airfield, 45 hit Etampes/Modesir Airfield, 44 hit Cinq Mars bridge, 27 hit St Cyr, 21 hit Buc Airfield, 12 hit Tours-La Riche highway bridge, 12 hit Le Mans Airfield, 12 hit Orleans/Saran Airfield and 8 hit targets of opportunity; 12 B-24s use Azon missiles against Etaples railroad bridge and 7 others use the missiles against the Pecrone railroad bridge. Fighter operations are: 1. 96 P-38s, 202 P-47s and 211 P-51s escort the bombers and claim 5-0-5 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-38s and 1 P-51 are lost with the pilots MIA. 2. 36 of 48 P-47s bomb Etaples, France; 1 P-47s is lost (pilot is MIA). 3. 177 of 185 P-38s fly a fighter sweep in front of the bomber forces without loss.

June 15, 1945
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: B-24 units beginning a movement from England to the US: HQ 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 66th, 68th and 506th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) from Shipham; HQ 392nd Bombardment Group (Heavy) from Wendling; 328th, 329th, 330th and 409th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), from Hardwick.

8th AF history extracted from Jack McKillop's USAAF Combat Chronology

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