File MC 376/194, USF 11/5 - Correspondence and publications

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MC 376/194, USF 11/5

Title

Correspondence and publications

Date(s)

  • 1943-1997 (Creation)

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File

Extent and medium

97 papers

Context area

Name of creator

(1923-2006)

Biographical history

15 OCT 1923-29 SEP 2006. S/Sgt James Anslow was on Bill Moore's crew (position uncertain, possibly radio operator or gunner). The crew were forced to abandon their aircraft on the return from a mission to Berlin in 1944. Born in Massillon, Ohio, USA. He died in Houston, Texas.

Name of creator

(1917-)

Biographical history

Joe Diblin was born on July 20 1917 in Trenton, New Jersey. He was a pilot. In 2019 he was living in Pennsylvania.

Name of creator

(1925-2004)

Biographical history

"Paul J. Kuchinski was born in Charlestown, Massachusetts on 8 January 1925. He was an aerial gunner and flight engineer in the 791st Bomb Squadron. He died in Florida on July 19, 2004."

Name of creator

(fl 1941-1945)

Biographical history

Clem Plaskiewicz was a bombardier. He was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania on 18 November 1923.

Name of creator

(fl 1941-1945)

Biographical history

James J. Murphy was a co-pilot.

Name of creator

(fl 1941-1945)

Biographical history

Edward J. Ferrera was radio operator on the B-24 no. 881 which attempted to take off in thick fog for a mission and crashed on 29 December 1944.

Name of creator

(1943-1944)

Administrative history

Part of the United States Army Air Force 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force.
Constituted as the 492nd Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 September 1943 and activated on 1 October 1943. Moved to England in April 1944 and entered combat on 11 May 1944. Transferred, less personnel to Harrington in 1944 where it was assigned equipment, personnel and the carpetbagger mission of a discontinued provisional group. Carpetbagger missions comprised transporting propaganda, supplies and agents. The last carpetbagger mission was flown in April 1945. Returned to the United states between July and August 1945. Redesignated the 492nd Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in August 1945. Deactivated on 17 October 1945.
Outline:
The original 492nd Bombardment Group (Heavy) flew combat missions from North Pickenham airbase until 7 August 1944. It was activated at Clovis Army Air Base, New Mexico, 1 October 1943, and based at North Pickenham, 14 April 1944-12 August 1944, and flew 1513 sorties between 11 May 1944 and 7 August 1944.
The 801st Provisional Bombardment Group, established in May 1944, known as the 'Carpetbaggers', flew special operations from Harrington airbase, Northamptonshire. This Group took on the designation of 492nd Bomb Group after 13 August 1944.
Key missions and events:
The original 492nd Bomb Group entered combat on 11 May 1944, and throughout the month operated primarily against industrial targets in central Germany. The Group attacked airfields and V-weapons launching sites in France during the first week in June 1944. It bombed coastal defences in Normandy on 6 June 1944 (D-Day) and attacked bridges, railways, and other targets in France until the middle of the month. The Group then resumed bombardment of strategic targets in Germany and, except for supporting the infantry during the St Lo breakthrough, France, on 25 July 1944, it continued such operations until August 1944. The 492nd Bomb Group suffered heavier losses than any other B-24 group for a period of three months leading up to August 1944.
At this point in the Second World War, the Eighth Air Force (hereafter 8th Air Force) was ordered to disband a B-24 Group and the 492nd Bomb Group, having already suffered very heavy losses in combat, was broken-up and its personnel assigned to other units. From 15 August 1944, the 491st Bomb Group moved from Metfield to take over North Pickenham airbase.
The 492nd Bomb Group was then designated to assume the personnel, equipment, and the 'Carpetbagger' mission of the 801st Provisional Bomb Group at Harrington airfield, Northamptonshire. The 801st Group had been running secret operations for some time and this redesignation provided it with the working cover that it needed to continue.
The purpose of 'Operation Carpetbagger' was to fly low-level special operations, at night-time, to deliver supplies to resistance groups in enemy occupied countries (particularly in France, Italy and the Netherlands); to drop progaganda leaflets; to deliver personnel and agents to the field and occasionally to bring them back.
The Group ceased Carpetbagger missions on 16 September 1944 to haul fuel to advancing mechanized forces in France and Belgium (nicknamed 'Truckin' missions). It also intermittently attacked airfields, oil refineries, seaports, and other targets in France, the Low Countries, and Germany, until February 1945. Meanwhile, in October 1944, the Group began training for night bombardment operations against marshalling yards and goods depots in Germany, February-March 1945. It ceased these missions on 18 March 1945 to engage in Carpetbagger operations over Germany and German-occupied territory, using B-24, A-26, and British Mosquito aircraft to drop leaflets, demolition equipment, and agents. The Group flew its last Carpetbagger mission in April 1945 and then ferried personnel and equipment to and from the Continent until July 1945. The 492nd Bomb Group returned to the United States, July-August 1945, was redesignated the 492nd Bomb Group (Very Heavy) in August 1945 and was deactivated on 17 October 1945.
Bomb Squadrons:
406th Bomb Squadron: 1945.
856th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
857th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
858th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1944, 1944-1945.
859th 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 October 1943-1 April 1944.
North Pickenham, England (Army Air Force Station no. 143), 18 April 1944.
Harrington, England, 5 August 1944-8 July 1945.
Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, 14 August 1945.
Kirtland Field, New Mexico, 17 August 1945-17 October 1945.
Group Commanders:
Col Arthur Pierce, 19 October 1943.
Maj. Louis C. Adams, 17 December 1943.
Col Eugene H. Snavely, 16 January 1944.
Col Clifford Heflin, 13 August 1944.
Lt Col Robert W. Fish, 16 August 1944.
Col Hudson H. Upham, 17 December 1944.
Lt Col Jack M. Dickerson, c. 7 June 1945.
Lt Col Dalson E. Crawford, 30 August 1945-October 1945.
Major awards:
Distinguished Unit Citation for operations, performed at night despite adverse weather and vigorous opposition from enemy ground forces to Germany and German-occupied territory, 20 March 1945-25 April 1945. Received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for Carpetbagger missions over France, 1944.

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Received by the Norfolk Record Office on 7 February 1997 and 11 February 1997.

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1) Photocopy of a letter from Tommy Dungar to Phillip G. Day as printed in 'Poop From Group', 1 March 1994, describing the Rackheath Christmas party, 1944, and air crashes, including the 29 December 1944 mission and a German land mine landing at Felminham, 16 September 1943 (2 papers).
2) Photocopy of an article by Joe Diblin, 'Controlled Crash: Back in the Pilot's Seat', recalling an airshow and bringing in the B-24 'All American' for a landing, 1996 (4 papers).
3) Photocopy of a letter to John Woolnough, editor of the '8th Air Force News', providing wartime memories by Doyle Courington (undated, 4 papers).
4) Letters from James Anslow to Phillip G. Day, 11 October 1988, and Gilbert Millar, 27 June 1988, giving information about escape and evasion.
5) Photocopy of a published account (publication details unknown) by J.C. Ramsdell and Merle Hess about a mission to Berlin, Germany, on the B-24 'Everythin's Jake', which was hit by flak, 18 March 1945 (2 papers).
6) Information on the B-24 'Witchcraft' by Perry Watts (4 papers).
7) Poem by Paul J. Kuchinski, 'Thoughts of an Aerial Gunner/Flight Engineer During WWII' (4 papers).
8) Allen Welters, 'Another Slice of Hamm: From the Ground Up' an account of 'The Night of the Intruders' (22 April 1944) from a ground crew's perspective (3 papers).
9) '789th Squadron Engineering Personnel Performance': typed information on ground crews (1 paper).
10) Kenneth H. Driscoll, 'Memories of an 8th Air Force B-24 Pilot', a short wartime memoir, 27 April 1992 (15 papers).
11) Article by Kenneth H. Driscoll, 'Did You Know That the 8th Air Force Had Two 492nd Bomb Groups and Two 788th Squadrons?', November 1992 (6 papers).
12) Malory J. Norwood, 'A Circle of Friends', an account of his friendship with the Jones family of Stanninghall, 1983 (12 papers).
13) Frederick R. Porter's memories of learning to play cricket (3 papers).
14) Adam Soccio, 'The Story of the 467th', a memoir (4 papers).
15) Letter from Edward W. King to Losse T. Piland giving his memories of the B-24 'Massilon Tiger', 2 September 1990 (7 papers).
16) Letter to Andy Wilkinson from Clem Plaskiewicz giving his memories of a crash, 29 December 1944 (4 papers).
17) Letter from Victor T. Bakan to Andy Wilkinson regarding a crash, 29 December 1944, 12 January 1997 (1 paper).
18) Article by James J. Murphy, 'Miracles Thicker Than Fog on Flight of No. 10607' in Senior Spectrum Weekly (1 January 1992) about the crash on 29 December 1944 (2 papers).
19) Frederick R. Porter, 'Random Memories of a 901', memoir (7 papers).
20) Typed memories of the 29 December 1944 crash by Edward J. Ferrara (2 papers).
Tommy Dungar was living with his grandparents near Rackheath during the Second World War.

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Rights are reserved. For any reproduction, other than for private, non-commercial research, permission must be sought from the American Library (email americanlibrary@norfolk.gov.uk).

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This item has been digitised and can be consulted online by following the link below. If the link fails, go to https://digitalarchive.2ndair.org.uk/ and search for the item using its 'Reference code'.

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CALM RefNo

MC0371/11/22/2

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8438897e-63a6-438c-8c1a-0d85abc92ddc

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Catalogued

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Created 23/08/2005 by droip. Modified 03/12/2018 by Catherine.Collins.

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