August 17-24, 1943

Regensburg-North Africa Shuttle Mission

The famous Regensburg - North Africa shuttle mission began on August 17, 1943. It was actually a two-pronged attack. One bomber group attacked Schweinfurt and returned to England, while a second bomber group attacked Regensburg at about the same time and flew on to North Africa instead of returning to England immediately. The original plan was to have the Regensburg attack group leave first and divert the Nazi fighters away from the Schweinfurt attack. However the bomber groups were late in leaving England due to bad weather and the fighters that were waiting to escort them eventually ran low on fuel and had to return to their bases. The Germans noticed this Allied fighter activity and suspected an impending attack. When the bomber groups finally arrived they were met by heavy German fighter activity, with the Schweinfurt attack group meeting the most resistance. The Regensburg attack group was able to successfully attack their target and then fooled the Germans by flying on to Africa rather than doubling back through Germany to return to England.

After spending a week in North Africa, the bomber group returned to England on August 24, bombing Bordeaux, France on the way back.