News>HELL'S ANGELS Day - Friday 13 May - What's It All About?
The tri-base community celebrates on May 13 the 68th anniversary of the day B-17 Flying Fortress Hell's Angels from Molesworth was the first bomber to do 25 missions in World War II. ID Card holders are welcome to attend at 10 am in Hangar 84, and a wreath laying at Cambridge American Cemetery at 2 p.m. (Photo Courtesy 303rd Bomb Group)
TSgt. Eddie Deerfield (2nd from left front row) returns to RAF Molesworth 13 May for HELL'S ANGELS DAY. Deerfield flew as radioman on B-17 Flying Fortress IZA VAILABLE in 1943 (Photo courtesy of 303rd Bomb Group)
B-17 Flying Fortress HELL'S ANGELS from Molesworth was the 1st bomber to do 25 missions in WWII 13 May 1943 - not MEMPHIS BELLE which got the movie! RAF Molesworth Celebrated HELL'S ANGELS DAY on 13 May 2011 (Photo Courtesy 303rd Bomb Group)
by Peter G. Park, Commander's Action Group
JIOCEUR Analytic Center
5/4/2011 - RAF Alconbury & RAF Molewsworth, England -- THE STORY: 68 years ago - 13 May 1943 B-17F Flying Fortress Bomber HELL'S ANGELS from the 303rd Bomb Group (Heavy) at Molesworth was the first U.S. 8th Air Force bomber to complete 25 combat missions over Nazi occupied Europe.
Another 8th Air Force bomber, MEMPHIS BELLE, finished 25 missions several days later - but it got the movie, the trip back to the U.S. and the fame. HELL'S ANGELS kept flying until at 48 missions it too went back to the U.S. for a war bond selling tour.
THE 88 YEAR OLD 303rd BG VET RETURNS: Then TSgt Eddie Deerfield returns to his old base on 13 May 2011. TSgt Deerfield completed 30 missions as a radioman on a B-17 called IZA VAILABLE. Eddie survived a ditching in the English Channel on his 6th mission; jumped from a flaming B-17 on his 14th mission; Crash landed on his 20th, and was wounded by flak on his last and 30th mission. Later LTC Deerfield later did a career in the Army as a psychological warfare officer and another career with the U.S. Information Agency overseas.
This may be one of your last chances to meet one of the originals of the 303rd Bomb Group - and a member of the greatest generation.
TRIBASE EVENTS ON FRIDAY 13 MAY:
1000: Presentation: "What it was like at Molesworth during World War II" with now retired LTC Deerfield Where: Hangar 84 RAF Molesworth
1400: Wreath laying ceremony. Where: Cambridge American Cemetery
Both events above are open to all ID card holders, family, and friends