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

March 25th    

March 25, 1942
ETO (AAFIB): Major Cecil P Lessig becomes the first AAF pilot to fly a mission over France in World War II. Flying a Spitfire VB with RAF 64 Squadron from Hornchurch, England, Lessig participates in a 36-aircraft fighter sweep that is recalled when 50 Luftwaffe fighters challenge them.

March 25, 1943
303rd BG: The Mobile Intelligence Unit gave a lecture on German uniforms. A mission to Rouen, France was scrubbed due to persistent rain.

March 25, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: 406th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), VIII Air Force Composite Command (attached to 328th Service Group), moves from Watton to Harrington, England with B-24s; the squadron began flying CARPETBAGGER missions in Jan 44.

March 25, 1945
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: 2 missions are flown. Mission 913: 1,009 bombers and 341 fighters are dispatched to hit seven oil plants and a tank factory in Germany; they claim 6-4-13 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 B-24s and 1 P-51 are lost: 1. 272 B-24s are sent to hti the Ehmen (59), Hitzacker (127) and Bucken (57) oil depots; they claim 2-4-9 aircraft; 4 B-24s are lost, 2 damaged beyond repair and 19 damaged; 16 airmen are KIA, 2 WIA and 39 MIA. Escorting are 223 P-47s and P-51s; they claim 4-0-3 aircraft in the air. 2. 737 B-17s are dispatched to hit oil plants but bad weather during the assembly and the increasing possibility of adverse conditions causes the mission to be cancelled; 3 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 9 airmen are KIA. 3. 47 of 48 P-51s escort Ninth AF B-26s. 4. 24 P-51s fly a fighter-bomber mission against the Schmalge ammunition dump; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA). 5. 11 P-51s fly a scouting mission claiming 0-0-1 aircraft in the air. 6. 16 P-15s escort 8 F-5s and 3 Spitfires on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany. Mission 914: 10 B-24s drop leaflets in Germany and the Netherlands during the night.

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

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