Sub-fonds - 466th Bomb Group (Attlebridge)

Recorded memoir of William Lemkowitz Recorded memoir of Calvin Arnett Recorded memoir of Harold Kren, part 1 of 2 (side A of cassette) Recorded memoir of Harold Kren, part 2 of 2 (side B of cassette) Recorded memoir of James H. Lorenz, part 1 of 2 (side A of cassette) Recorded memoir of James H. Lorenz, part 2 of 2 (side B of cassette) Typescript list of aircraft dispositions Photocopy of a list of aircraft salvaged by Field Engineering Photocopy of a list of aircraft names, serial numbers, and descriptions of aeroplane nose art Alport, Gerald Baczik, Warren Brighty, Edwin Formation sheets for missions, some with pilot's information sheets Instruction manuals and publications Jones, Everett

Identity area

Reference code

Title

466th Bomb Group (Attlebridge)

Date(s)

  • 1943-1997 (Creation)

Level of description

Sub-fonds

Extent and medium

4 boxes; 1 photographic box; 6 audio recordings

Context area

Name of creator

(1943-1945)

Administrative history

Part of the United States Army Air Force 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force.
Constituted as 466th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 19 May 1943. Activated on 1 August 1943. Moved to England, February 1944-March 1944, and assigned to 8th Air Force. Based at Attlebridge (AAF Station 120), 7 March 1944-6 July 1945. Entered combat on 22 March 1944. Flew last combat mission on 25 April 1945. Returned to the United States in July 1945. Redesignated 466th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in August 1945. Trained with B-29s. Inactivated on 17 October 1945. Commanders were: Maj Beverly E Steadman, 23 August 1943; Maj Walter A Smith Jr, 29 August 1943; Col Walter G Bryte Jr, 2 September 1943; Col Arthur Pierce, 17 December 1943; Col Luther J Fairbanks, 1 August 1944; Col William H Cleveland, 1 November 1944-1945.
Outline:
Constituted as the 466th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943 and activated on 1 August 1943 (hereafter the 466th Bomb Group). The Group moved to England between February and March 1944 and its ground echelon departed from New York on the 'Queen Mary' troop ship on March 1944. The air echelon, with 62 aircraft, flew the southern route, losing one crew over the South Atlantic Ocean. The Group was assigned to the Eighth Air Force (hereafter 8th Air Force), and based at Attlebridge, Norfolk (Army Air Force Station no. 120), 7 March 1944-6 July 1945. The Group flew 231 combat missions with 5,693 sorties, dropping nearly 13,000 tons of bombs. In September 1944, the 466th was one of three groups in the 96th Combat Bomb Wing which was taken off combat operations to haul low octane fuel to Clastres, Lille, and St. Dizier, France. The total losses for the 466th Bomb Group, from 22 March 1944 to 25 April 1945, were 333 killed in action, 171 taken prisoner of war, eight evaded capture and 27 internees. The 'Black Cat' (serial no. 42-95592), assigned to this Bomb Group, was the last B-24 lost in combat, on 21 April 1945. The Group returned to the United States in July 1945 and was redesignated the 466th Bomb Group (Very Heavy) in August 1945, following which it trained with B-29 aircraft. The Group was deactivated on 17 October 1945.
Based at Attlebridge, Norfolk, 7 March 1944-6 July 1945.
Key missions and incidents:
The Group entered combat on 22 March 1944 by participating in a daylight mission to Berlin, Germany (for which they received official commendation from Gen. James H. Doolittle for combat achievement). It was the longest initial assault ever flown by any unit in the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) and one of the heaviest bombardments of Berlin on record. On 25 July 1944, the 466th Bomb Group led the entire 8th Air Force to German fortifications around St Lo, France, to help the Allied ground invasion. The Group operated primarily as a strategic bombardment organization, attacking targets including marshalling yards at Liege, Belgium; an airfield at St Trond (Sint-Truiden), Belgium; a repair and assembly plant at Reims, France; an airdrome at Chartres, France; factories at Brunswick, Germany; oil refineries at Bohlen, Germany; aircraft plants at Kempten, Germany; mineral works at Hamburg, Germany; marshalling yards at Saarbrucken, Germany; a synthetic oil plant at Misburg, Germany; a fuel depot at Dulmen, Germany, and aeroengine works at Eisenach, Germany. Other operations included attacking pillboxes along the coast of Normandy on D-Day (6 June 1944), and afterwards striking targets behind the beachhead; bombing enemy positions at St Lo, France, during the Allied breakthrough in July 1944; hauling oil and fuel to Allied forces advancing across France in September 1944 (nicknamed 'Truckin' missions); hitting German communications and transportation during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945, and bombing the airfield at Nordhorn, Germany, in support of the airborne assault across the Rhine on 24 March 1945. The Group flew its last combat mission on 25 April 1945, striking a transformer station at Traunstein, Germany.
On 4 March 1945, while flying through dense cloud, a B-17 group flew through the 446th Bomb Group's 28-aircraft formation, scattering it. Evasive action was taken to avoid collisions and, despite a call from the leader to abandon the mission, nine aircraft decided to bomb a target of opportunity. There was uncertainty about whether it was Freiburg, Germany, or Basel, Switzerland. The rolling stock they struck in the marshaling yard contained ammunition which exploded. Their target was in Switzerland, and the United States Government paid $70 million in reparations.
Bomb Squadrons:
784th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
785th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
786th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
787th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
Attached Units:
For a full list of attached units, see John Hane, 'Second Air Division Memorial: In memory of all those Americans who, flying from these bases and posts, gave their lives defending freedom, 1941-45' (Author, 1963). A reference copy is available in the Norfolk Record Office searchroom.
Stations:
Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, 1 August 1943.
Kearns, Utah, 31 August 1943.
Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, 24 November 1943.
Topeka Army Air Field, Kansas, 5-13 February 1944.
Attlebridge, England (Army Air Force Station no. 120), 7 March 1944-6 July 1945.
Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, 15 July 1945.
Pueblo Army Air Force Base, Colorado, 25 July 1945.
Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, 15 August-17 October 1945.
Group Commanders:
Maj. Beverly E. Steadman, 23 August 1943.
Maj. Walter A. Smith Jun., 29 August 1943.
Col Walter G. Bryte Jun.., 2 September 1943.
Col Arthur Pierce, 17 December 1943.
Col Luther J. Fairbanks, 1 August 1944.
Col William H. Cleveland, 1 November 1944-1945.
Nicknames:
In a contest, it was suggested by Gerald Diffenbach that the Group be called the 'Flying Deck,’ with each squadron named alter a different card suit. The 784th, or Red Squadron, was the Clubs; the 785th, or Gold Squadron, was the Diamonds; the 786th, or Blue Squadron, was the Hearts, and the 787th, or White Squadron, the Spades.
Major awards:
The Group received a citation from Headquarters, 2nd Bombardment Division Office of the Commanding General, 12 August 1944, for distinguished and outstanding performance, 22 March 1944-9 August 1944. The Group attacked 41 targets in Germany and 59 targets in occupied Continental Europe and its gunners were credited with destroying over 25 enemy aircraft.
The Group's lead pilot, navigator, and bombardier were awarded the Croix de Guerre for their airmanship in bombing German fortifications around St Lo, France, to help the Allied ground invasion, 25 July 1944.
Other events:
On 18 August 1944 (the first anniversary of the Group) one hundred and fifty 40-gallon barrels of English beer were obtained by Special Services as a present to the enlisted men from the officers. An estimated 1,000 British women and girls were invited to the party. A flight of B-24 Liberators, including a lead ship from the 466th Bomb Group, collected Maj. Glenn Miller and the entire band of the American Expeditionary Force from the RAF Airfield at Twinwood Farm, near Bedford, and flew them to the 355th Fighter Group base at Steeple Morden near Royston, Cambridgeshire, where the orchestra gave a concert for the 355th and 91st Bomb Group from the nearby bomber base at Bassingbourn. This concert was a 100th mission party for officers and enlisted personnel and was attended by 10,000 from this base and others in the area. The band was accommodated overnight at Attlebridge.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This section contains records relating to the personnel and activities of the 466th Bomb Group, its associated Bomb Squadrons and ground crew of the airbase at Attlebridge. It contains both original records and copies including official orders, crew lists, mission lists, mission diaries, memoirs, published articles, maps and news cuttings. Also contains correspondence, photographs and memorabilia.

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Conditions governing reproduction

The Norfolk Record Office requires the permission of the 2nd Air Division Memorial Trust Librarian before we can supply copies of any documents in this archive, copyright permitting. Please contact the 2nd Air Division Memorial Trust Librarian: e-mail 2admemorial.lib@norfolk.gov.uk; telephone, +44 (0) 01603 774747 and postal address, The 2nd Air Division (USAAF) Memorial Library, The Forum, Millennium Plain, Norwich, Norfolk, NR2 1AW, England.
If you are interested in copies of sound recordings in this archive, copying restrictions may apply. Please contact Norfolk Sound Archive staff for details: e-mail norfrec@norfolk.gov.uk; telephone, + 44 (0) 01603 222599 and postal address, Norfolk Record Office, The Archive Centre, Martineau Lane, Norwich, NR1 2DQ.

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For other photographs relating to the 466th Bomb Group in this archive, see MC 371/908/1, 3, 65, 70-71.
For photographs of 466th Bomb Group aircraft, see also MC 376/179.
For photographs of Bomb Group patches, see MC 371/826.
For movement orders, see MC 376/39, MC 371/404, MC 371/353 and MC 376/39.
For crew lists, see MC 376/29.
The 2nd Air Division Memorial Library holdings include:
1) Microfilm from Maxwell Airforce Base: for the 466th Bomb Group, see BO617-620; for the 784th, 785th, 786th and 787th Bomg Squadrons of the 466th BG, see AO660.
2) Periodicals: 'Attlebridge Notes', vol 1. no 1. (Aug 197-). The collection is incomplete.
3) Video tapes relating to the 466th Bomb Group are located in the video collection.

Related descriptions

Publication note

Select Bibliography:
Published Unit Histories: For a copy of Barkev Hovsepian, 'The Story of the 466th Bombardment Group' (unknown place, 1993), see MC 376/262. Earl Wassom and Chris Brassfield, 'Attlebridge Arsenal: The Men and Aircraft of the 446th BG' (Nashville, Tennessee, Turner Publishing Company, 2005). For a copy of John H. Woolnough, 'Attlebridge Diaries: The History of the 466th Bomb Group' (8th Air Force News, 1979), see MC 371/461. John H. Woolnough, 'Attlebridge Diaries: The History of the 466th Bomb Group' 2nd edition, edited by Earl Wassom (466th Bomb Group Association, 1995).
Unless otherwise stated, the Norfolk Record Office holds reference copies of these publications and there are also copies in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library's collection, available through the Norfolk Library Service.
Published Memoirs: Thomas Childers, 'Wings Of Morning' (Addison Wesley, 1995); Harry A. Dolph, 'The Evader: an American Airman's Eight Months with the Dutch Underground' (Eakin Press, 1991). The Norfolk Record Office does not hold copies of these publications but there are copies in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library's collection, available through the Norfolk Library Service.
Websites giving further information about the 466th Bomb Group and on which this administrative history of the Group is based [accessed 4 August 2010]:
Army Air Corps Library and Museum: <www.466bg.com/>.
Eighth Air Force Historical Society: <www.8thafhs.org/bomber/466bg.htm>.
8th Air Force in World War II presented by the Military History Group and Antique Militaria Network: <www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/466bg.htm>.
The Heritage League of the 2nd Air Division http://heritageleague.org/groups/466bg.htm.
2nd Air Division Memorial Library: <www.2ndair.org.uk/Second_Air_Division/>.
United States Air Force World War II Military Heritage Database: <www.8thairforce.com/>.

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