Sub-fonds - 392nd Bomb Group (Wendling)

Identity area

Reference code

Title

392nd Bomb Group (Wendling)

Date(s)

  • 1941-2000 (Creation)

Level of description

Sub-fonds

Extent and medium

11 boxes; 1 photographic box; 8 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.
Comprised the 576th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1949. 577th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1949. 578th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1949 and the 579th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1949
Outline:
Constituted as the 392nd Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 15 January 1943 (hereafter the 392nd Bomb Group) and activated on 26 January 1943. The Group, nicknamed the Crusaders, moved to England, July-August 1943, was assigned to Eighth Air Force (hereafter 8th Air Force) and based at Wendling, Norfolk, July 1943-15 June 1945. The Group flew its first mission on 9 September 1943 and its last mission on 25 April 1945. In total the Group flew 285 combat missions, suffering 1,552 casualties, including 835 killed in action, or killed in the line of duty, and the loss of 184 aircraft. It returned to the United States in June 1945 and was deactivated on 13 September 1945. The Group was redesignated as the 392nd Bomb Group (Very Heavy) and allotted to the reserve. It was activated on 30 July 1947, redesignated the 392nd Bomb Group (Light) in June 1949 and deactivated on 10 November 1949.
Based at Wendling, Norfolk, July 1943-15 June 1945.
Key missions:
The Group attacked targets in Germany including an oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen, a marshalling yard at Osnabruck, a railway viaduct at Bielefeld, steel plants at Brunswick, a tank factory at Kassel, and gas works at Berlin. It also took part in the intensive campaign of heavy bombing of the German aircraft industry during the 'Big Week', 20-25 February 1944. Sometimes the Group supported ground forces and it also carried out diversion missions. It bombed airfields and V-weapon sites in France prior to the Normandy invasion, June 1944, and struck coastal defences on D-Day. The Group hit German positions to assist ground forces at St Lo, France, during the breakthrough in July 1944, and bombed railways, bridges, and highways to cut off German supply lines during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945. It dropped supplies to Allied troops during the air attack on Holland (Netherlands) in September 1944 and during the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945. After flying its last combat mission on 25 April 1945, the Group carried food to the Dutch.
Bomb Squadrons:
576th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1949.
577th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1949.
578th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1949.
579th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1949.
Attached Units:
The 1217th Quartermaster Service Group was an attached unit and there were also American Red Cross stationed at Wendling. 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:
Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, 26 January 1943.
Biggs Field, Texas, 1 March 1943.
Alamogordo Army Air Force Base, New Mexico, 18 April-18 July 1943.
Wendling, Norfolk (Army Air Fofce Station no. 118), July 1943-15 June 1945.
Charleston Army Airfield, South Carolina, 25 June-13 September 1945.
Barksdale Field, Louisiana, 30 July 1947-10 November 1949.
Group Commanders:
Col Irvine A. Rendle, 26 January 1943.
Col Lorin L. Johnson, 21 June 1944.
Lt Col Lawrence G. Gilbert, 27 May 1945 onwards.
Major awards:
The Group was awarded a Distinguised Unit Citation for bombing an aircraft and component parts factory at Gotha Germany, 24 February 1944, as part of the 'Big Week' campaign.

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 392nd Bomb Group, its associated Bomb Squadrons and ground crew of the airbase at Wendling. 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.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

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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Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

For other photgraphs relating to the 392nd Bomb Group in this archive, see MC 371/908/43 and 60, MC 371/911 and MC 376/305-307. For photographs of aeroplane nose art from various Bomb Groups, including some 392nd Bomb Group aircraft, see MC 376/352. For photographs of the dedication of the B-24 'Pallas Athene', see MC 371/817.
For movement orders and crew lists including 392nd Bomb Group personnel, see MC 371/243, MC 371/404, MC 371/444, MC 371/353 and MC 376/29.
The 2nd Air Division Memorial Library holdings include:
1) Microfilm from Maxwell Airforce Base: for the 392nd Bomb Group, see BO445-447; for the 576th, 577th, 578th and 579th Bomb Squadrons of the 392nd Bomb Group, see AO644.
2) Video tapes relating to the 392nd Bomb Group are located in the video collection.
3) Periodicals: '392nd Bomb Group Memorial Association News', vol. 1 (February 1986 onwards).

Related descriptions

Publication note

Select Bibliography:
Published Unit Histories: Ian Hawkins, Bill Braddock and Marge Braddock, 'The 392nd Bomb Group: Twentieth Century Crusaders (Paducah, Kentucky, Turner Publishing Company, 1997); Robert Vickers, 'The Liberators From Wendling' (Sunflower University Press, 1977); Robert Vickers, 'Wendling's Crusaders 'The Men And Their Missions' Remembrance Of The Missing' (Sunflower University Press, 1998).
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: for a copy of Myron Keilman, '392nd War Stories', (Author, 1987), see MC 371/219; John Matt, 'Crew Dog' (Waterford Books, 1992): copy not available at the Norfolk Record Office.
Websites giving further information about the 392nd Bomb Group and on which this administrative history of the Group is based [accessed 4 August 2010]:
392nd Bomb Group: <www.b24.net/>.
8th Air Force in World War II presented by the Military History Group and Antique Militaria Network: <www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/392bg.htm>.
Eighth Air Force Historical Society: <www.8thafhs.org/bomber/392bg.htm>.
The Heritage League of the 2nd Air Division <http://heritageleague.org/groups/392bg.htm>.
Second Air Division Memorial Library: <www.2ndair.org.uk/Second_Air_Division/>.
Second Generation B-24 Research: <http://www.b24.net/aircrew/wnames.html>.
United States Air Force World War II Military Heritage Database: <www.8thairforce.com/>.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

CALM RefNo

MC0371/4

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Description control area

Description identifier

c20692e3-0a97-47a6-842e-b69faddae919

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Rules and/or conventions used

Status

Catalogued

Level of detail

Dates of creation revision deletion

Created 26/07/2005 by Droip. Modified 03/01/2019 by Catherine.Collins.

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