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

September 12th    

September 12, 1942
303rd BG: The 303rd BG (H) initial Ground Echelon arrived at Molesworth, England.

September 12, 1942
ETO 8th AF: HQ VIII Air Force Composite Command arrives in Ireland and is temporarily stationed at Long Kesh, County Down. Following units arrive in England from the US: HQ 3rd Bombardment Wing at Elveden Hall; HQ 4th Bombardment Wing at Camp Lynn but soon loses its personnel to the XII Bomber Command and is not manned again until Jan 43; HQ 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) at Kimbolton; HQ 303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 358th, 359th, 360th and 427th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) at Molesworth with B-17s (first mission 17 Nov); HQ 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 366th and 422nd Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy) at Grafton Underwood with B-17s (first mission 17 Nov); 66th and 68th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) at Cheddington with B-24s (first mission is 7 Nov). In England, HQ 4th Fighter Group and 334th, 335th and 336th Fighter Squadrons are activated at Bushey Hall with Spitfires to be manned by US pilots who formerly flew with the RAF Eagle Squadrons; and the 27th Fighter Squadron, 1st Fighter Group, moves from High Ercall to Colerne with P-38s (first mission is 2 Oct).

September 12, 1943
303rd BG: A party was held for the Group officers marking the one year anniversary of the arrival of the ground echelon at Molesworth.

September 12, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 241
Target: Synthetic Oil Plant at Brux, Czechoslovakia
Crews Dispatched: 26
Crews Lost: Lt. Clemensen, 4 KIA, 5 POW; Lt. Mehlhoff, 9 POW
Crew Members Lost or Wounded: Sgt. M.R. Bruce KIA,
Lt. R.H. Parrilla WIA/DOW, Lt. K.H. Freeman, WIA
Length of Mission: 8 hours, 50 minutes
Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb G.P. M43 bombs
Bombing Altitudes: 28,300 & 27,800 ft
Ammo Fired:16,195 rounds
View Mission Report

September 12, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Two missions are flown. Mission 626: For the second day, 888 bombers and 662 fighters are dispatched on a major assault on the German oil industry; they are intercepted by 400-450 Luftwaffe fighters; AAF claims 81-16-20 aircraft in the air; 35 bombers and 12 fighters are lost: 1. 299 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil refineries at Brux (79) and Ruhland (59); targets of opportunity are Lauta (48), Plauen (30), Etterwinden (12), Karlsbad (11), Kitzingen (11) and others (21); PFF methods are used for all targets; they claim 14-9-7 aircraft; 19 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 94 damaged; 6 airmen are KIA, 11 WIA and 171 MIA. Escort is provided by 238 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 29-2-4 aircraft in the air and 21-0-16 on the ground; 10 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 2 damaged beyond repair. 2. 348 B-17s are dispatched to hit Magdeburg/Rothensee (144), Magdeburg/Friedrichstadt (73) and Bohlen (35); targets of opportunity are Fulda (46), Molbis (11) and other (8); they bomb visually; they claim 13-5-5 aircraft; 12 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 161 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 9 WIA and 109 MIA. Escort is provided by 236 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 25-0-4 aircraft in the air and 5-0-15 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA). 3. 241 B-24s are dispatched to hit Hemmingstedt (66), Kiel (58) and Misburg (34); targets of opportunity are Laharte (38), marshalling yard at Northeim (12), Hannover (11), Hemmingstedt (3) and other (3); PFF was used for bombing; 4 B-24s are lost and 49 damaged; 3 airmen are KIA, 1 WIA and 37 MIA. Escort is provided by 105 P-38s, P-47s and P-51s without loss. Mission 627: 7 of 7 B-17s drop leaflet in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night. 36 B-24s and C-47s are dispatched on CARPETBAGGER missions during the night.

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

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