Army Air Forces in Europe

world war II

303rd Bomber Group

8th Air Force 303rd BG

Hell's Angels

Squadrons of the 303rd BG

358th Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
359th Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
360th Bombardment Squadron -Heavy
427th Bombardment Squadron - Heavy

Assigned 8th AAF: 10 Sep 1942

Wing/Command Assignment

VIII BC, 1 BW 10 Sep 1942
VIII BC, 1 BW, 102 PCBW Feb 1943
VIII BC, 1 BW, 103 PCBW May 1943
VIII BC, 1 BD, 41 CBW 13 Sep 1943
1 BD, 40 CBW 8 Jan 1944
1 AD, 40 CBW 1 Jan 1945

Combat Aircraft:



MOLESWORTH 12 September 1942 to 11 Jun 1945

Group COs

Col. James H. Wallace 13 Jul 1942 to 12 Feb 1943
Col. Charles E. Marion 13 Feb 1943 to 19 Jul 1943
Col. Kermit D. Stevens 19 Jul 1943 to 1 Sep 1944
Col. William C. Raper 29 Oct 1944 to 19 Apr 1945
Lt. Col William C. Sipes 19 Apr 1945 to 11 Jun 1945

First Mission: 17 Nov 1942
Last Mission: 25 Apr 1945
Missions: 364
Total Sorties: 10,721
Total Bomb Tonnage: 24,918 Tons
Aircraft MIA: 165

Major Awards:

Distinguished Unit Citations:
11 Jan 1944 (All 1 BD groups)
Medal of Honors:
Lt. Jack W. Mathis 18 Mar 1943
T/Sgt Forrest L. Vosler 20 Dec 1943

Claims to Fame

"Hell's Angels" first B-17 in 8AF to complete 25 missions (Jun 1943)
"Knock Out Dropper" first B-17 in 8AF to complete 50, and 75 missions
First 8AF BG to complete 300 missions from the United Kingdom
Flew more missions than any other 8AF Group
Only one other group delivered a greater bomb tonnage

Early History:

Activated 3 February 1942 at Pendleton Field Oregan. Assembled at Gowen Field Idaho on the 11th of February 1942, where it trained until 12 June 1942. Advance training at Alamogordo Field NM, until 7 August 1942, when the Group moved to Biggs Field, Texas, to be readied for overseas duty. The ground unit moved to Fort Dix, NJ on 24 August 1942. They sailed on they Queen Mary on the 5th of September 1942, and arrived at Greenock on the 10th of September 1942. The aircraft flew to Kellogg Field, Michigan then to Dow Field, Maine to start its flight to England.

Subsequent History:

Scheduled to transport US troops from Europe to North Africa. The group moved to Casablanca at the end of May 1945 to join the North Africa Division, Air Transport Command. The group participation was not required and the group was inactivated on the 25th July 1945 at Casablanca. the aircraft were flown back to the US. The unit was reactivated in 1951 as a Strategic Air Command B-29 unit and later as the 303rd Bomb Wing and flew B-47s until inactivated in the early 1960s

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