This Day in . . .
303rd Bomb Group (H) History
November 9, 1942
ETO 8th AF: Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz, Commanding General 8th AF, in a memo to Lieutenant General Dwight D Eisenhower, agrees that any increase in air commitments to N Africa must necessarily be made at the expense of US forces in the UK as US forces in other theaters are considered irreducible. Mission 18: 31 of 33 B-17s and 12 of 14 B-24s attack the U-boat base at Saint Nazaire, France from reduced altitude; only 1 of the 12 B-24s bombing from 17,500 to 18,300 feet (5,334 to 5,578 m) suffer AA damage, but 31 B-17s at 7,500 to 10,000 feet (2,286 to 3,048 m) lose 3 of aircraft and have 22 damaged by AA fire, 1 airman KIA, 11 WIA and 32 MIA; this ends the experiment with low-level attacks of heavy bombers, against submarine bases.
November 9, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 270
Target: Tactical Support of Ground Troops at Metz (Area), Germany
Bomb Load: 6 x 1,000 lb S.A.P. M59 bombs
Crews Dispatched: 39
Crews Lost: Lt. R.W. Davis, 9 KIA; Lt. S.E. Pursel, 8 KIA
Length of Mission: 6 hours, 15 minutes
View Mission Report
November 9, 1944
8th AF history extracted from Jack McKillop's USAAF Combat Chronology
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: 2 missions are flown. Mission 707: 1,309 bombers and 738 fighters are dispatched to hit front line strongpoints and tactical targets in the Metz and Thionville, France areas; 4 bombers and 5 fighters are lost: 1. 460 B-17s are dispatched to hit transportation targets at Thionville (47); 276 hit the secondary, the marshalling yard at Saarbrucken; targets of opportunity are Saarlautern (34) and other (3); 4 B-17s are lost, 4 damaged beyond repair and 96 damaged; 8 airmen are KIA, 6 WIA and 27 MIA. Escort is provided by 187 of 192 P-51s without loss. 2. 437 B-17s are dispatched to hit transportation targets at Metz (345); 41 hit the secondary, the marshalling yard at Saarbrucken; 28 hit Koblenz; 3 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 13 damaged; 19 airment are KIA. Escort is provided by 176 of 184 P-51s without loss. 3. 402 B-24s are dispatched to hit transportation targets at Metz (385); 15 hit the secondary, the marshalling yard at Saarbrucken; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 5 damaged. Escort is provided by 113 of 119 P-51s; 3 P-51s are damaged beyond repair. 4. 10 of 10 B-17s fly a screening force mission. 5. 139 P-47s and P-51s fly fighter-bomber missions in the Frankfurt-Lannheim area of Germany; 1 P-47 and 4 P-51s are lost; 4 pilots are MIA. 6. 30 of 32 P-51s fly a scouting forces mission. Mission 708: 5 B-17s and 12 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night. The 27th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 7th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) (attached to VIII Air Force Service Command), moves from Mount Farm, England to Denain/Prouvy, France with F-5s.