Sub-fonds - 445th Bomb Group (Tibenham)

Identity area

Reference code

Title

445th Bomb Group (Tibenham)

Date(s)

  • 1942-1995 (Creation)

Level of description

Sub-fonds

Extent and medium

4 boxes; 1 photographic box; 3 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 15th Bomb Squadron: 1947-1949. 700th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945, 1947-1949; 1952-. 701st Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945, 1947-1949; 1952-. 702 nd Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945, 1947-1949; 1952- and 703rd Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1948
Outline:
Constituted as the 445th Bombardment Group (Heavy) (hereafter the 445th Bomb Group) 20 March 1943. Activated 1 April 1943. Moved to England between October and December 1943. It became operational in combat on 13 December 1943 and was based at Tibenham, Norfolk, 4 November 1943-28 May 1945. The Group flew its final combat mission on 25 April 1945 (after 280 missions and 6,323 sorties) returning to the United States between May and June 1945. It was deactivated on 6 September 1945, redesignated as the 445th Bomb Group (Very Heavy) and allocated to the reserves. It was activated again on 12 July 1947 and deactivated on 27 July 1949. The Group was further redesignated as the 445th Fighter-Bomber Group, allocated to the reserves, and activated on 8 July 1952.
Based at Tibenham, Norfolk, 4 November 1943-28 May 1945.
Key missions:
The Group operated primarily as a strategic bombardment organization until the war ended, striking targets in Germany including industries in Osnabruck, synthetic oil plants in Lutzendorf, chemical works in Ludwigshafen, marshalling yards at Hamm, an airfield at Munich, an ammunition plant at Duneberg, underground oil storage facilities at Ehmen, and factories at Munster. It participated in the Allied campaign against the German aircraft industry during the 'Big Week', 20 February 1944-25 February 1944, and also occasionally flew diversion and support missions. It helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by bombing airfields, V-weapon sites, and other targets; attacking shore installations on D-Day, 6 June 1944. During missions targeting industrial sites at Kassel, Germany, 27 September 1944, the 445th Bomb Group was attacked by a large group of German fighters and suffered the largest loss of aircraft by a single 8th Air Force bomb group on a particular mission during the Second World War. The Group supported ground forces at St Lo, France, by striking enemy defences in July 1944 and bombed German communications during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945. Early on 24 March 1945, it dropped food, medical supplies and ammunition to troops that landed near Wesel, Germany, during the airborne assault across the Rhine. In the afternoon, the Group also flew a bombing mission to the same area, hitting a landing ground at Stormede, Germany. On occasion, the Group dropped propaganda leaflets and hauled fuel to France (nicknamed 'Truckin' missions).
On 27 September 1944, crews from the 389th, 445th and 453rd Bomb Groups took part in one of a long series of bombing missions targeting Kassell in central Germany. Only four out of the 35 B-24s, which set off on the mission that day, made it back to Tibenham airbase. Following a suspected navigational error, the lead aeroplane was unable to correct its path to the right, as it would have run into the stream of bombers coming up from the rear, and decided to continue on and bomb the city of Gottingen, about 50 miles away, instead. The bombers lost their fighter escort, but still managed to drop their bombs at Gottingen. After this drop, as they made to turn, they were attacked from the rear by between 100 and 150 German fighters.
Bomb Squadrons:
15th Bomb Squadron: 1947-1949.
700th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1949; 1952-.
701st Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1949; 1952-.
702st Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1949; 1952-.
703st Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945; 1947-1948.
Stations:
Gowen Field, Idaho, 1 April 1943;
Wendover Field, Utah, 8 June 1943
Sioux City Army Air Force Base, Iowa, 8 July-20 October 1943
Tibenham, England (Army Air Force Station no. 124), 4 November 1943-28 May 1945
Fortt Dix Army Air Force Base, New Jersey, 9 June-12 September 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.
Group Commanders:
Col Robert H. Terrill, 1 April 1943.
Col William W. Jones, 25 July 1944-12 September 1945.
Major awards:
Distinguished Unit Citation, awarded for attacking an aircraft assembly plant at Gotha, Germany, 24 February 1944.
Croix de Guerre with Palm, awarded by the French government, for operations in the European Theatre of War from December 1943 to February 1945.
Other information:
The American film actor James Maitland 'Jimmy' Stewart (1908-1997) was based at Tibenham. He was assigned to the 445th Bomb Group, as Operations Officer of the 703rd Squadron, and later served as its Commanding Officer. In March 1944, he transferred as group Operations Officer to the 453rd Bomb Group at Old Buckenham.

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 445th Bomb Group, its associated Bomb Squadrons and ground crew of the airbase at Tibenham. 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

Accruals

System of arrangement

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.

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

For other photgraphs in this archive relating to the 445th Bomb Group, see MC 371/908/45, 46B, 55.
For movement orders relating to the 445th Bomb Group, see MC 376/39, MC 376/29, MC 371/243 MC 376/39 and MC 376/258.
For drawings of 445th Bomb Group aircraft, see MC 376/52.
For a copy of Irving Koltun's mission record, which includes six combat missions with the 445th Bomb Group, see MC 376/231.
For photographs of bomb group patches, see MC 371/826. For bomb group patches, see MC 371/840.
The 2nd Air Division Memorial Library holdings include:
1) Microfilm from Maxwell Airforce Base: for the 445th Bomb Group, see BO556-557; for the 700th, 701st, 702nd and 703rd Bomb Squadrons of the 445th Bomb Group, see AO654.
2) Video tapes relating to the 445th Bomb Group are located in the video collection.

Related descriptions

Publication note

Select Bibliography:
Published Unit Histories: Rudolph J. Birsic, 'History of the 445th Bombardment Group (H)' (Glendale, California, Griffin-Patterson, 1948); Rudolph J. Birsic, 'Supplement to the History of the 445th Bombardment Group (H)' (unknown place of publication, 1950) including roster; Robert H. Terrill, '445th BG History' (unknown place and date of publication; Anonymous, '700, 701, 702, 703 Squadron Histories' (unknown place and date of publication). For a history by the Kassell Mission Memorial Association, 'The Kassel Mission Reports: Highest Group Loss in 8th Air Force History', 1989, see MC 376/323.
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 W. Wright Lee, 'Not As Briefed' (Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1995), see MC 376/131; a copy of John Harold Robinson, 'A Reason To Live' (Castle, 1988) is available through the Norfolk Library Service.
Websites giving further information about the 445th Bomb Group and on which this administrative history of the Group is based [accessed 4 August 2010]:
445th Bomb Group homepage: <http://445bg.org/>.
8th Air Force in World War II presented by the Military History Group and Antique Militaria Network: <www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/445bg.htm>.
Eighth Air Force Historical Society: <www.8thafhs.org/bomber/445bg.htm>.
The Heritage League of the 2nd Air Division <http://heritageleague.org/groups/445bg.htm>.
Kassel Mission Historical Society: <http://kasselmission.com/>.
Second Air Division Memorial Library: <www.2ndair.org.uk/Second_Air_Division/>.
United States Air Force World War II Military Heritage Database: <www.8thairforce.com/>.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

CALM RefNo

MC0371/5

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Genre access points

Description control area

Description identifier

76b1d7a2-3671-47be-b725-7355c60e7366

Institution identifier

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.

Sources

Accession area

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places