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

June 29th    

June 29, 1942
303rd BG: First USAAF crew to bomb occupied Europe - Molesworth based Capt Kegelman.

June 29, 1942
ETO 8th AF: Captain Charles C Kegelman [Commanding Officer, 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light)], flying on a mission with 12 RAF Bostons against Hazebrouck marshalling yard, France, becomes the first member of the 8th AF drop bombs on enemy-occupied Europe. The first pilot fatality of the 8th AF in the ETO is suffered when First Lieutenant Alfred W Giacomini of the 31st Fighter Group crashes a Spitfire while landing at Atcham, England.

June 29, 1943
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 47
Target: Aircraft Factory at Villacoublay, France
Crews Dispatched: 19
Length of Mission: 4 hours, 25 minutes
Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb H.E. M43 bombs
Bombing Altitude: 24,000 ft
Ammo Fired: 2,975 rounds
View Mission Report

June 29, 1943
8th AF: VIII Bomber Command Mission Number 70: 108 B-17's are dispatched against the air depot at Villacoublay, France and another 40 against the airfield at Tricqueville, France; neither groups hit the target due to heavy cloud cover and return to base; they claim 0-3-3 Luftwaffe aircraft; 14 B-17's are damaged. Another 84 B-17's are dispatched against the aeroengine works at Le Mans, France; 76 hit the target between 1959 and 2003 hours local. Both of the 2 YB-40's dispatched as escorts are forced to abort. The lack of success of the YB-40's in this and previous missions in Jun 43 convinces Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker, Commanding General 8th AF, that if the escort bomber is to succeed it must be able to carry bombs and must be endowed with the same flight performance as the B-l7. The 548th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 385th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at Great Ashfield, England from the US with B-17's. The squadron will fly its first mission on 17 Jul 43.

June 29, 1944
303rd BG (H) Combat Mission No. 194
Target: Erla Aircraft Components Factory, Heiterblick, Germany
Crews Dispatched: 36
Crews Lost: Lt. Roy, 8 KIA, 1 POW
Length of Mission: 7 hours, 55 minutes
Bomb Load: 10 x 500 lb G.P. M43 bombs
Bombing Altitudes: Group A - 25,000 ft; Group B - 24,000 ft
View Mission Report

June 29, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: Mission 447: 1,150 bombers and 779 fighters are dispatched to hit targets in Germany and the Netherlands; 15 bombers and 3 fighters are lost; cloud cover causes 400+ aircraft to abort the mission: 1. Of 179 B-17s, 81 bomb the synthetic oil plant at Bohlen and 61 strike an aircraft components factory at Wittenberg; 4 B-17s are lost and 111 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 5 WIA and 30 MIA. 2. Of 380 B-17s, 41 hit Leipzig/Heiterblick, 30 hit Leipzig/Taucha Airfield, 19 hit Leipzig, 18 hit Wittenberg, 15 hit Limbach, 14 hit Quackenbruck and 2 hit targets of opportunity; 2 B-17s are lost, 1 is damaged beyond repair and 76 damaged; 2 airmen are WIA and 21 MIA. 3. Of 591 B-24s, 81 hit Magdeburg, 74 hit Oschersleben, 54 hit Bernburg, 47 hit Aschersleben, 46 hit Burg Airfield, 42 hit an aviation plant at Fallersleben, 35 hit targets of opportunity, 26 hit Stendal Airfield, 9 hit Gardelegen Airfield, 8 hit Oebisfelde/Kaltendorf, 8 hit Zerbst Airfield, and 4 hit Leopoldshall marshalling yard; 9 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 204 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 12 WIA and 92 MIA. The missions above are escorted by 203 P-38s, 216 P-47 and 352 P-51s of the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces; they claim 34-0-9 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 16-0-8 on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA). 4 of 8 P-38s fly a fighter-bomber mission against shipping at Ijmuiden, the Netherlands without loss.

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

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