72nd Anniversary: First USAAC – RAF Combat Mission July 4th, 1942

Honoring the 72nd Anniversary of the First USAAC — RAF Combat Mission


“First Mission” by Nixon Galloway

In May of 1942, the men of the 15th Bombardment Squadron Light comprised the vanguard of the USAAC’s friendly invasion of the United Kingdom. Today, these men remain gloriously modest yet justifiably proud of their achievements as the first USAAC combat ready squadron to fly and fight in the WW2 European Theater. Using DB-7 Boston III (modified Douglas A-20 Havoc) aircraft, borrowed from RAF 226 Squadron, the men of the 15th are best known for their participation in the daring, hedge hopping, cross channel bombing attack on four Nazi occupied airdromes in Holland on 4 July 1942 — an attack identified as “Mission One” in Eighth Air Force history.

Captain Kegelman’s Z for Zebra

Truly a Squadron of Firsts:


First USAAC crew to bomb occupied Europe
First Eighth Air Force combat mission
First US unit to fly with the RAF in combat
First DSC awarded to an Eighth Air Force airman
First long distance flight record of the Douglas A-20
First USAAC prisoner of war, Marshall Draper, in German hands
First USAAC airmen posting as MIA
First combat proven bomber squadron to battle Rommel’s vaunted Afrika Korps in North Africa


A special project was commissioned to honor these men:

52nd Anniversary First USAAC/RAF Combat Mission July 4th, 1942 Commemorative Flown Cover 15th Bomb Squadron (Light)


Certificate of Authenticity 24 Signatures Nixon Galloway Remarque

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