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Location: /Squadron Patches/Army Air Force Squadrons/AAF units #'d 300-399

WWII Patch, AAF, 358BS 303BG 8AF #2

WWII Patch, AAF, 358BS 303BG 8AF #2

Product Information
WWII US Army Air Force Squadron Patch #2
US AAF
   358BS, 303BG, 8 AF
USAAF   358th Bomb SQ, 303rd BG, 8AFF
358th Bombardment Squadron, 303rd Bombardment Group, Eighth AF
Probably a Walt Disney Design
5 1/8 inches
Bomb Bombing Bomber Bombardment squadron.


History
Established in mid 1942 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomb group; trained under Second Air Force in Idaho. Deployed to Southern California flying antisubmarine patrols over the Pacific coast. Completed training in southwest June-August 1942; deploying to European Theater of Operations (ETO) as one of the initial heavy bomber squadrons assigned to VIII Bomber Command in England, September 1942.

Engaged in long-ranger strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany, September 1942-May 1945. The 427th was one of the most highly decorated squadrons in the Eighth Air Force, attacking enemy military and industrial targets as part of the United States' air offensive against Nazi Germany. After the German Capitulation in May, 1945 was reassigned to Air Transport Command. Reassigned to Casablanca, French Morocco, the squadron used it's B-17 bombers as transports, ferrying military personnel from locations in France to Morocco, then south to Dakar in French West Africa or to the Azores for further transportation by other units. Inactivated in place in Morocco in late July 1945.
  Activated in the postwar Strategic Air Command in 1947 at Andrews Field, Maryland with B-29 Superfortress bombers. Inactivated in 1949 due to budget restrictions. Reactivated in 1951 as a B-47 Stratojet medium bomber squadron; aircraft not received until April 1953 when squadron received first production block of B-47Es. Conducted routine deployments and training during the 1950s and early 1960s. Inactivated in 1964 with the phaseout of the B-47.

Lineage
    * Constituted 358th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
    Activated on 3 February 1942
    Inactivated on 25 July 1945


Assignments

    * 303d Bombardment Group, 3 February 1942-25 July 1945; 1 July 1947-6 September 1948; 4 September 1951
    * 303d Bombardment Wing, 16 June 1952- 15 June 1964


Stations
    * Pendleton Field, Oregon, 3 February 1942
    * Gowen Field, Idaho, March 13, 1942
       Operated from Muroc Army Airfield, California, May 28 – c. June 14, 1942)
    * Alamogordo Army Airfield, New Mexico, June 18, 1942
    * Biggs Field, Texas, August 7–22, 1942
    * RAF Molesworth (AAF-107), England, September 12, 1942
    * Casablanca Airfield, French Morocco, c. May 31 – July 25, 1945
    * Andrews Field, Maryland, 1 July 1947-6 September 1948


Aircraft

    * B-17 Flying Fortress, 1942–1945
    * B-29 Superfortress, 1951–1953


Medal of Honor
Forrest L. Vosler, (July 29, 1923- February 17, 1992) a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress radio operator, was the second enlisted airman to ever receive a Medal of Honor.

Biography
On a mission to Bremen, Germany, radio operator Technical Sergeant Forrest Vosler was hit twice by 20 mm shrapnel after taking the place of one of the gunners. Despite his injuries, he managed to tend to the wounded tail gunner, repair the damaged radio equipment and send off distress signals before the aircraft ditched into the sea. Sergeant Vosler was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the mission.

Sergeant Vosler was assigned to the 358th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group, based at RAF Molesworth, England. At about 8:30 a.m. on December 20, 1943, Sergeant Vosler left on his fourth combat mission. His plane, on its 28th combat flight, was a B-17F named the "Jersey Bounce Jr.," S/N 42-29664. The plane and crew reached the target area of Bremen, Germany, just before noon. The bombers encountered concentrated, accurate and intense flak over Axis territory. In addition to the anti-aircraft fire, about 125 German fighters repeatedly attacked the formation. This was a costly mission for the 8th Air Force, a total of 27 bombers were lost including the Jersey Bouncer Jr. after it ditched in the English Channel.
 Medal of Honor citation
VOSLER, FORREST L. (Air Mission) Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Corps. 358th Bomber Squadron, 303d Bomber Group. Place and date. Over Bremen, Germany, December 20, 1943. Entered service at: Rochester, New York. Born: July 29, 1923, Lyndonville, New York. G.O. No.: 73, September 6, 1944.
Citation:

    For conspicuous gallantry in action against the enemy above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a radio operator-air gunner on a heavy bombardment aircraft in a mission over Bremen, Germany, on 20 December 1943. After bombing the target, the aircraft in which T/Sgt. Vosler was serving was severely damaged by antiaircraft fire, forced out of formation, and immediately subjected to repeated vicious attacks by enemy fighters. Early in the engagement a 20-mm. cannon shell exploded in the radio compartment, painfully wounding T/Sgt. Vosler in the legs and thighs. At about the same time a direct hit on the tail of the ship seriously wounded the tail gunner and rendered the tail guns inoperative. Realizing the great need for firepower in protecting the vulnerable tail of the ship, T/Sgt. Vosler, with grim determination, kept up a steady stream of deadly fire. Shortly thereafter another 20-mm. enemy shell exploded, wounding T/Sgt. Vosler in the chest and about the face. Pieces of metal lodged in both eyes, impairing his vision to such an extent that he could only distinguish blurred shapes. Displaying remarkable tenacity and courage, he kept firing his guns and declined to take first-aid treatment. The radio equipment had been rendered inoperative during the battle, and when the pilot announced that he would have to ditch, although unable to see and working entirely by touch, T/Sgt. Vosler finally got the set operating and sent out distress signals despite several lapses into unconsciousness. When the ship ditched, T/Sgt. Vosler managed to get out on the wing by himself and hold the wounded tail gunner from slipping off until the other crewmembers could help them into the dinghy. T/Sgt. Vosler's actions on this occasion were an inspiration to all serving with him. The extraordinary courage, coolness, and skill he displayed in the face of great odds, when handicapped by injuries that would have incapacitated the average crewmember, were outstanding.

Price: $120.00


Product Code: PatchAAF.0358.358BS.303BG.v2
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