By Ivo De Jong
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Extra resources for Mission 85: The U.S. Eighth Air Force's Battle over Holland, August 19, 1943
Main targets then were submarine pens in France and airfields close to the coastline. Most of these missions were flown with fighter escort available to the raiders. Losses to flak and enemy fighters were acceptable to American standards. The second phase started with the attack on Wilhelmshaven on January 27, 1943. This was the first American attack on a target in Germany itself, and the Eighth Air Force now gradually expanded the range of its operations. This was not only because of the fact that the staff of the Eighth Air Force felt they were already strong enough to do so, but more because of the fact that the concept of the daylight bombing of Germany had to be proven in order to get more planes and replacement crews.
War was a deadly business, both for us in the air and for the people on the ground. Although we always tried our utmost to obtain pinpoint accuracy, it was inevitable that our bombs missed sometimes. However, as the war progressed, the Germans became acutely aware that the Eighth Air Force had earned its postwar name of “Mighty Eighth,” as their ability to wage war declined as a result of our bombing effectiveness. The proud 303rd Bombardment Group was one of the pioneer groups and played a vital role throughout the American air war in Europe.
Two of the B-26 gunners, Sgt. John K. Burns and Sgt. Adam W. Glen, returned wounded. /JG 26 shot down two Typhoons of 182 Squadron. PETER CRUMP VIA DONALD L. CALDWELL Flight Off. Andrzej Prochnicki of 316 (Polish) Squadron posing next to Spitfire AB508 at Northolt in May 1943. Prochnicki was killed in action on August 19. AB508 was flown on that same mission by Warrant Off. S. Wojcik. It was lost three days later when it was shot down by FW 190s near Rouen, France. /JG 26. He was shot down and killed in action during combat with Spitfires over northern France.