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

January 11th    

January 11, 1943
8th AF: Two Spitfire Mk Vs from the 4th Fighter Group fly ship protection patrols.

January 11, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 98
Target: (1) A.G.O. Flugzeugwerke, A.G., Visual bombing
(2) FW-190 Assembly & Component Plant
Both at Oschersleben, Germany
Crews Dispatched: 40
Crews Lost: 11
Crew Members Lost: 2 crewmen were also killed
Length of Mission: 7 hours, 15 minutes
Bomb Load: 500 lb G.P. bombs
Bombing Altitude: 20,000 ft
Ammo Fired: 52,670 rounds
The 303rd BG(H) and 1stBombardment Division were awarded the
Distinguished Unit Citation.
View Mission Report

January 11, 1944
303rd BG: Chaff was dropped for the first time by the 303rd BG on the Oschersleben mission. Chaff consisted of metallic strips dropped via a chute in the radio compartment. It was meant to confuse the German radar that controlled the anti-aircraft guns.

January 11, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 182. Three aviation industry targets in Germany are hit; fierce opposition estimated at 500 Luftwaffe fighters is encountered and 60 bombers and 5 fighters are lost. 1. 177 B-17's are dispatched to Oschersleben; 139 hit the primary and 20 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 174-32-63 Luftwaffe aircraft; 34 B-17's are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 83 damaged; casualties are 9 KIA, 11 WIA and 349 MIA. 2. 114 B-17's are dispatched to Halberstadt; 52 hit the primary and 55 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 35-11-19 Luftwaffe aircraft; 8 B-17's are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 42 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 18 WIA and 81 MIA. 177 P-47's and 44 Ninth Air Force P-51's escort; they claim 29-11-14 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-47's are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 4 P-47's and 1 P-51 are damaged; casualties are 2 KIA and 2 MIA. Major James H Howard, a P-51 pilot of the 354th Fighter Group, shot down an Me 110 and then found himself the lone escort for a B-17 group being attacked by 30 Luftwaffe aircraft. For the next 30 minutes, he kept turning into the enemy fighters and firing until only one gun was firing; by this time, he was credited with 2-1-2 Luftwaffe aircraft and saved the B-17's. Major Howard was awarded the Medal of Honor. 3. 234 B-17's and 138 B-24's are dispatched to Brunswick; 47 B-17's hit the primary, 114 hit Osnabruck, 25 hit Bielefeld, 22 hit Peine, 10 hit Herford and 1 hit Nienburg; no B-24's hit the primary, 58 hit Meppen, 1 hits Lingen and 7 hit other targets; they claim 19-17-16 Luftwaffe aircraft; 16 B-17's and 2 B-24's are lost, 1 each damaged beyond repair and 47 B-17's and 7 B-24's damaged; casualties are 5 WIA and 176 MIA. This mission is escorted by 49 P-38's and 322 P-47's; they claim 2-1-2 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-38 and 2 P-47's are lost and 1 P-47 is damaged; casualties are 1 MIA. Among the PFF aircraft are 4 B-24's, this being the first time B-24's are used in this capacity. HQ 96th Combat Bombardment Wing (Heavy) is activated at Horsham St Faith, England.

January 11, 1944
660 heavy bombers of the US 8th Air Force carry out attacks against industrial targets at Braunschweig, Magdeburg and Ascherleben.

January 11, 1945
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 790: 2 B-17s and 4 of 6 B-24s drop leaflets in Belgium during the night.

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

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