8th USAAF Mission #63: Attack on Bremen & Kiel (June 13, 1943)

June 13th, 1943 is a Sunday morning – Whit Sunday. Two days ago, the 8th USAAF had flown a mission against the city and port of Wilhelmshaven in nothern Germany. This morning, the targets of the men in their B-17s are the U-Boat Yards in Bremen and Kiel. And they are met by the pilots of the Luftwaffe…

As the story is too long for a blog post of any kind, please download the Mission Overview in PDF (10 MB).

Note: this document is “final” as of now but I am already aware of additional information to come in so there will be updates in the near future…

Allied Units in Action

The Allied Units in action include the 1st and 4th Bombardment Wing with their associated groups: the 91st, 92nd, 303rd, 305th, 306th, 351st and 379th Bombardment Group of the 4th Wing are put to action against Bremen – the 94th, 95th and 96th Bombardment Group are going towards Kiel. All in all, the 8th USAAF is sending a total of 151 B-17s to Bremen and 76 to Kiel – at the end of the day, 26 will not return…

German Units in Action

The Luftwaffe is scrambling their Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Focke Wulf 190 – the JG 1, JG 11, JG 26, JG 54 and Jasta Helgoland are seeing action – supported by aircraft of the NJG 3 and EKdo 25. They will loose seven aircraft in the battle, two pilots will not return.

USAAF Aircraft & Crew Members

The following B-17F aircraft of the 8th USAAF are discussed in this Mission Overview:

  • From the 94th BG: 42-3063 “Ole Tobe”, 42-3187 “Buckshot”, 42-29708 “Shackeroo!”, 42-29715 “Klo Kay”, 42-29822 “Visiting Fireman”, 42-29940, 42-29949 “Sick Call”, 42-29957 “Helno Gallen II”, and 42-30113 “Wolfpack”
  • From the 95th BG: 42-3206, 42-3286, 42-29675, 42-29680, 42-29702 “Rat Killer”, 42-29737 “Louise”, 42-29763, 42-29827, 42-30118, and 42-30164
  • From the 96th BG: 42-29748 “Paradise Lost”, 42-29756 “Big Chief II”, and 42-3107 “Miss Cariage”
  • From the 305th BG: 42-5125 “Boomtown Jr.”
  • From the 306th BG: 42-5218 “Skywolf”
  • From the 351st BG: 42-5814 and 42-5815 “Stardust”

Luftwaffe Aircraft and Pilots

The following Luftwaffe Pilots are discussed in this Mission Overview:

  • Jasta Helogland: Ewald Herhold
  • JG 26: Alfred Niese, Melchior Kestel, Walter Holl, Günther Steinberg, Hans Erbskorn
  • JG 54: Siegfried Schnell, Horst Sack, Albert Elte, Rudi Wohlfahrt, Hans Herrmann, Walter Brock
  • JG 11: Willibald Kilian, Franz Ritschel, Wolfgang Gloerfeld, Günther Range, Walter Heisel, Gerhard Sommer, Herrmann Hintzen
  • JG 1: Willi Herzog, Rudolf Hübel, Bernhard Kunze, Rolf Strohal
  • EKdo 25: Eduard Tratt
  • NJG 3: Wilhelm Schmale, Willi Elstermann

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20 Responses to 8th USAAF Mission #63: Attack on Bremen & Kiel (June 13, 1943)

  1. azapf says:

    Updates have been received from the 95th and 96th Bombardment Group, the Mission Overview has been updated accordingly.

  2. azapf says:

    Updates have been made to the Section of the 95th BG – I also added a Copyright, Distribution Note and Disclaimer to the end of the document…

  3. azapf says:

    With respect to 42-5125, Sgt. Nolan is listed as Ball Turret Gunner but information provided suggests that this information is incorrect and that he more likely was flying as one of the Waist Gunners (as he is reported to have done on the June 11 Mission to Wilhelmshaven.

  4. Jan McGlaun Caves says:


    My father, who is celebrating his 94th birthday Jan. 5th, was the Bombardier on the Shackeroo 94th Bomb Group, 333rd Squadron that went down in the North Sea in the June 13, 1943 mission to Kiel. I have attempted to download your Mission Overview without success.
    Dequindre McGlaun received a Purple Heart for that mission. He would be very interested in the information you have compiled. Could you possibly send it to my email address or to him by US Mail? I can provide his address. The 70th Anniversary of that mission is coming up. He plans to share his story with various groups next year.

    • azapf says:

      Dear Jan, you should have received an eMail by now – if not, please let me know.


      • Jan McGlaun Caves says:


        I did not receive an email from you, however, a friend did download your Mission Overview for me. I have made a copy for my Dad. As time permits we will dig into it. My Dad, Dequindre McGlaun, went down with the”Shackeroo” in the North Sea and was rescued. I have his account, the Columbus, Ga (Dequindre McGlaun’s home paper) and Columbus North Dakota ( Arvid Dahl’s home paper) newspaper articles and the letter Arvid Dahl( Navigator on Shackeroo and Shackeroo II) sent his family regarding the experience. My Dad corrected me in saying Arvid died in a plane crash in England in 1943, not 1944. “Wolfpack” was the B-17 on which he served as Bombardier before becoming the lead bombardier with Howard Kirk in Shackeroo and Shackeroo II. He flew with Bill Dauth, pilot of Wolfpack from Pueblo, CO. to Presque Isle Maine, then across the Atlantic to England. His first 6 missions were with Bill Dauth in Wolfpack. Wolfpack went down in Mission #63. The crew were taken as POW’s as you record. My Dad completed his 25 missions in Shackeroo II on14 January 1944. Your expanded account of this mission is extremely interesting and historical as we approach the 70th Anniversary of the 13 June 1943 mission. Thank you for your expanded research on the Kiel Mission.

        • Riley Clubb says:

          Hi Jan, my grandfather was William Baker Ferguson, the navigator on board “Wolf Pack” in this raid over Kiel. I have just discovered his old letters and photos and only yesterday found the letter from the army about being on board the “Wolf Pack”. If you have time, I would like to connect either email, Skype or phone. clubbrb@gmail. Thank you very much!

  5. Matthew Kay says:

    Firstly, I thought that the way that you portrayed “Mission 63” was exactly what I have been looking for. My Uncle(SSgt Bert Lee Cenac), was the Ball Turret Gunner on B-17F, 42-3107, “Miss Carriage” that was lost over Kiel on 13 June 1943. I have been researching the history of this aircraft, unit and crew for a more complete understanding of the events before, during and after Mission 63. I have some questions to ask of you and wanted to introduce myself first and see if we can set up a line of discussion if it agrees with you. I can also provide you with the complete crew list for that plane and mission as I notice that it’s section contained only three names. Plesae contact me and let me know. Matthew

    • azapf1972 says:


      I sent you an eMail to the recorded address and hope this has gotten to you.


    • Nils Hempel says:


      I research and investigate since 20 years the crash sites of allied and german aircrafts in Schleswig-Holstein / Germany.
      In my archive I have a lot informations and documents of this time, so I can tell you here, that the B-17 #42-3107 crash west of Kiel at 9:52AM
      Please contact me, I will send you the informations I have. If you have some documents and / or photos of the crew / aircraft, I could need them for my archive and investigation.

      Best regards from the Baltic Sea

      • Matthew Kay says:

        Good Evening Nils, I would be happy to engage in correspondence with you concerning the B-17, 42-3107 that crashed near Dorphof 13 June 1943. Andreas was more than kind enough to share his knowledge with me in order to piece together the story of my uncle’s aircraft and it’s loss. I do have a scarce few photos and I would be happy to share with you. If you will let me know what you already have, it will be easier to provide you with what you do not have.

  6. Rod Cleveland says:

    Thank you for your research on this mission. I stumbled on it as I was looking for information on my uncle. He was Paul G. Hunt who was Kia on the Helno GallenII as indicated in your research. I never knew him but had some rumors of his fAte from family members. This certainly closes the book. Let me know if you have any updates on Paul.
    Rod Cleveland

    • Dan Pulliam says:

      Just an acknowledgment to the author and to Rod Cleveland. Paul Gibson Hunt is my Uncle as well, actually Great Uncle. I am thrilled having found this information as it helps paint the picture of a family and American Hero. Dan Pulliam, Kansas City.

  7. Daniel Leifson says:

    Hello, I am the great nephew of William E McKell, pilot of the B17f Big Chief II, S/N: 42-29756, shot down June 13th 1943. I am wondering if anyone has any information on the crew names who were onboard with him and specifically photos of that aircraft. Can someone please help me out with info on where to look?
    Thanks SO Much!


    • Matthew Kay says:

      Rod, I spoke with T/Sgt Walter Ram who was the radio operator on HelnoGal II when it was shot down. He is 92 and sharp as a tack and will speak freely with you. Contact me and we’ll chat more. Maybe he could give you more to go on if you speak with him.

      • Dan Pulliam says:

        Matthew, Is T/Sgt Walter Ram still with us? I would love to speak to him as well regarding Paul Gibson Hunt. Dan Pulliam, Kansas City.

    • Matthew Kay says:

      Dan, our uncle’s aircraft were two of three from the 96th BG lost on 13 June 1943. I have a small amount of research on your uncle’s ship and would be happy to share with you. E-mail me. skay_sw1@comcast.net

  8. Sam Beckworth says:

    I have been researching the 6June 1943 mission for details about 42 9737 “louise” which crashed landed off the coast on the return with two engines shot out. All crew survived and became POWs. Louise was a 412 SQ. B17 and the Navigator was a fried . His name is John G. Korman. I worked with John in the late 1960’s and he introduced me to one of the surving crew members in 1970. John told me some of his experience on this mission , but after some 50 years it has not survied well. This mission story will be included in a veterns story document I am writting.
    Your information has helped fill in details have been searching for.
    Thanks , Sam beckworth

  9. John Coleman says:

    Hi Andreas,

    I’m researching one of the pilots mentioned in your paper. Would it be possible to talk with you about some of the quotes in your story? I’m trying to locate the source document the quotes came from.

    Thank you!

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