Sub-fonds - 93rd Bomb Group (Hardwick)

Identity area

Reference code

Title

93rd Bomb Group (Hardwick)

Date(s)

  • 1940-2008 (Creation)

Level of description

Sub-fonds

Extent and medium

9 boxes; 1 photographic box; 5 audio recordings

Context area

Name of creator

(1942-1952)

Administrative history

Part of the United States Army Air Force 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force.
Constituted as the 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 January 1942. Moved to England between August and September 1942. Temporarily based at RAF Alconbury, 7 September 1942, before moving to the airfield at Hardwick, Norfolk, from 6 December 1942, where it remained until 19 May 1945. Sent a detachment to North Africa, December 1942, which returned to England in February-March 1943. Sent a detachment to the Mediterranean theatre, June-July 1943, which returned to England in August 1943. The detachment was sent back to the Mediterranean again in September 1943 and returned in October 1943. The Group returned to the United States between May and June 1945.
Outline:
Constituted as the 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 January 1942 (hereafter referred to as the 93rd Bomb Group), from core personnel transferred from the 44th Bomb Group, and activated on 1 March 1942. The Group prepared for combat with B-24s and carried out anti-submarine operations over the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, May-July 1942. It moved to England, August-September 1942, and was assigned to the Eighth Air Force (hereafter 8th Air Force), based at Hardwick, Norfolk (Army Air Force Station no. 104). The Group entered combat on 9 October 1942 and a detachment of three bomb squadrons was sent to North Africa, December 1942-February 1943. The Group ceased combat operations in April 1945 and returned to the United States, May-June 1945. It was redesignated 93rd Bomb Group (Very Heavy) in July 1945, assigned to Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946 and trained with B-29 aircraft. The Group was redesignated again as the 93rd Bomb Group (Medium) in May 1948 and converted to flying B-50 aircraft in 1949. It was deactivated on 16 June 1952.
Key missions:
The Group entered combat on 9 October 1942 by attacking steel and engineering works at Lille, France. Until December 1942, it operated primarily against submarine pens in the Bay of Biscay. A large detachment was sent to North Africa in December 1942. The detachment returned to England, February-March 1943 and, until the end of June, the Group bombed engine repair works, harbours, power plants, and other targets in France, the Low Countries, and Germany. A detachment returned to the Mediterranean theater of war, June-July 1943, to support the invasion of Sicily and to participate in the low-level attack on German oil installations at Ploesti, Romania, 1 August 1943. Having followed another element of the formation along the wrong course to Ploesti, the 93rd Bomb Group hit targets that had been assigned to other groups, but it carried out its bombing of the vital oil installations despite heavy losses and was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for the operation. Lt Col Addison E. Baker, Group Commander, and Maj. John L. Jerstad, a former member of the Group who had volunteered for the Ploesti mission, were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. Refusing to make a forced landing in their damaged B-24, these men, as pilot and co-pilot of the lead aeroplane, directed the Group to bomb the oil facilities before they crashed in the target area. After the detachment returned to England in August 1943, the Group flew only two missions before the detachment was sent back to the Mediterranean to support the Fifth Army at Salerno, during the invasion of Italy, in September 1943. The detachment rejoined the Group in October 1943, and until April 1945 the 93rd concentrated on the bombardment of strategic targets such as marshalling yards, aircraft factories, oil refineries, chemical plants, and cities in Germany. In addition, it bombed gun emplacements, choke points, and bridges near Cherbourg during the Normandy invasion, June 1944; attacked troop concentrations in northern France during the St Lo breakthrough, July 1944; transported food, fuel, water, and other supplies to the Allies advancing across France, August-September 1944; dropped supplies to airborne troops in the Netherlands, 18 September 1944; struck enemy transport and other targets during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945, and flew two missions on 24 March 1945, during the airborne assault across the Rhine, dropping supplies to troops near Wesel, Germany, and bombing a night-fighter base at Stormede, Germany.
Bomb Squadrons:
328th Bomb Squadron: 1942-1952.
329th Bomb Squadron: 1942-1952.
330th Bomb Squadron: 1942-1952.
409th Bomb Squadron: 1942-1946.
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:
Barksdale Field, Louisiana, 1 March 1942.
Fort Myers, Florida, 15 May 1942-2 August 1942.
Alconbury, England, 7 September 1942.
Hardwick, England (AAF 104), 6 December 1942-19 May 1945.
Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, June 1945.
Pratt Army Air Field, Kansas, 24 July 1945
Clovis Army Air Field, New Mexico, 13 December 1945.
Castle Field, California, 21 June 1946-16 June 1952.
Group Commanders:
1st Lt Robert M. Tate, 1 March 1942.
Col Edward Timberlake Jun., 26 March 1942.
Lt Col Addison E. Baker, 17 May 1943.
Col Leland G. Fiegel, 9 August 1943.
Lt Col Harvey P. Barnard Jun., 27 September 1944.
Col William R. Robertson Jun., 5 December 1944.
Lt Col Therman D. Brown, 6 April 1945.
Maj. Jacob A. Herrmann, 29 July 1945.
Lt Col William W. Amorous, 6 August 1945.
Col Henry W. Dorr, c. 5 October 1945-unknown.
Lt Col Kenneth Grunewald, 1946.
Maj. Arthur R. Pidgeon, 1946.
Maj. Loyd D. Griffin, 1946.
CWO Steve Stanowich, 1946.
Capt. Joe W Moore Jun., October 1946.
Capt. Allen Milnes, 1946-unknown.
Lt Col John C. Thrift, August 1947.
Major awards:
Distinguished Unit Citation for missions in North Africa, 17 December 1942-20 February 1943.
Distinguished Unit Citation for the mission to Ploesti, Romania, 1 August 1943.
Other information:
The Group was nicknamed 'Ted's Travelling Circus' (after their commander Colonel Edward 'Ted' Timberlake) by Sgt Carroll 'Cal' Stewart who, when writing an article about the North Africa campaign for 'Yank' magazine, was restricted from publishing the identity of the group.
The 'Circus Club' membership card was given to 93rd Group members just prior to leaving England in 1945.

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 93rd Bomb Group, its associated Bomb Squadrons and ground crew of the airbase at Hardwick. It contains both original records and copies including official orders, crew lists, mission lists, mission diaries, memoirs, published articles and news cuttings. Also contains correspondence, photographs, squadron patches 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

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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 photographs of the 93rd Bomb Group in this archive, see MC 371/908/47A-B, 48.
For photographs of inspection and award ceremonies relating to the 93rd Bomb Group, see MC 37/344.
For photographs of bomb group patches see MC 371/826.
For bomb group patches, see MC 371/840.
For movement orders relating to the 93rd Bomb Group, see MC 371/353, MC 371/336 and MC 371/444.
For other records relating to the Ploesti mission and crews in North Africa, see MC 376/338.
The 2nd Air Division Memorial Library holdings include:
1) Microfilm from Maxwell Airforce Base: for the 93rd Bomb Group, see BO183-185; for the 328th, 329th and 330th Bomb Squadrons of the 93rd Bomb Group, see AO582; for the 409th Bomb Squadron of the 93rd Bomb Group, see AO609.
2) Video tapes relating to the 44th Bomb Group are located in the video collection.
3) Periodicals: 'Ball Of Fire Quarterly Express,' vol. 1, no. 1 (Summer 1993, onwards).

Related descriptions

Publication note

Select Bibliography:
Published Unit Histories: History of the 93rd Bomb Group (Newsfoto, 1946); Cal Stewart, 'Ted's Travelling Circus' (Lincoln, Nebraska, Sunworld, 1996).
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: Luther Cox, 'Always Fighting The Enemy' (Baltimore, Gateway Press, 1990); Ray Ward, 'Those Brave Crews' (Oregon, Maverick, 1989). These published memoirs are not available at the Norfolk Record Office but copies are available through the Norfolk Library Service.
Websites giving further information about the 93rd Bomb Group and on which this administrative history of the Group is based [accessed 4 August 2010]:
93rd Bomb Group, official homepage,: <www.93rdbombardmentgroup.com/>.
8th Air Force in World War II presented by the Military History Group and Antique Militaria Network <www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/93bg.HTM>.
Eighth Air Force Historical Society <www.8thafhs.org/bomber/93bg.htm>.
Second Air Division Memorial Library: <www.2ndair.org.uk/Second_Air_Division/>.
The Heritage League of the 2nd Air Division <http://heritageleague.org/groups/93bg.htm>.
United States Air Force World War II Military Heritage Database: <www.8thairforce.com/>.

Notes area

Alternative identifier(s)

CALM RefNo

MC0371/2

Access points

Subject access points

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Description control area

Description identifier

d4170a7e-b1db-490a-a800-46aecceb4dc1

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.

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