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

September 18th    

September 18, 1942
8th AF: VIII Ground Air Support Command at Membury, England is redesignated VIII Air Support Command.

September 18, 1943
8th AF: VIII Air Support Command Missions 61 and 62: 3 installations in France are targeted: 1. 25 of 72 B-26's hit the Beauvais/Tille Airfield; 12 B-26's are damaged. 2. 18 B-26's dispatched to the Rouen marshalling yard and 72 B-26's dispatched to the Beaumont le Roger Airfield are recalled because of failure to rendezvous with fighter escort and bad weather, respectively. The 328th, 329th, 330th and 409th Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Hardwick, England begin operating from Oudna, Tunisia with B-24's.

September 18, 1944
303rd BG: B-17G 42-102496 Special Delivery (359BS) was destroyed when it crash-landed on a local flight. B-17G 42-97853 Lucky Linda (360BS) was also destroyed in a landing accident.

September 18, 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS 8th AF: 3 missions are flown. 1. Mission 639: 248 of 252 B-24s drop supplies to the First Allied Airborne Army in the Netherlands; intense flak downs 7 B-24s, 6 are damaged beyond repair and 154 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 26 WIA and 61 MIA. 500+ P-38s, P-47s and P-51s escort the B-24s, escort C-47s of the First Allied Airborne Army as the second troop echelon is dropped in the Netherlands to participate in heavy fighting around the Arnhem area; 2 fighter groups strafe rail and highway traffic and 50+ fighters bomb flak positions; 100+ Luftwaffe fighters attack; AAF claims 29-0-1 aircraft in the air; 20 fighters are lost, 9 damaged beyond repair and 46 damaged; 1 pilot is KIA and 20 MIA. 2. Mission 640: In the last Operations FRANTIC mission, 107 of 110 B-17s drop 1,248 containers of supplies to Polish forces in Warsaw; 1 B-17 is lost and 7 damaged. Escort is provided by 137 of 150 P-51s (64 P-51s continue to the USSR), they claim 4-0-0 aircraft in the air and 3-0-6 on the ground; 2 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA). 3. Mission 641: 8 of 8 B-17s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night.

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

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