File MC 376/381, USF 23/1 - Duffield, Denis

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Reference code

MC 376/381, USF 23/1

Title

Duffield, Denis

Date(s)

  • c 1942-1984 (Creation)

Level of description

File

Extent and medium

17 papers

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.

Name of creator

(1942-1945)

Administrative history

Part of the United States Army Air Force 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force.
Constituted as the 389th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 December 1942. Activated 24 December 1942 at Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona. Physically formed 1 February 1943 at Biggs Airbase, Texas and moved to England June-July 1943. Temporarily operated from Tunisia September-October 1943 and then returned to England. Last combat mission flown in April 1945. Returned to the United States between May and June 1945. Deactivated at Charleston Airfield, South Carolina on 13 September 1945.
Based at Hethel, Norfolk, 11 June 1943-30 May 1945.
Outline:
Constituted as the 389th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 December 1942 (hereafter 389th Bomb Group)and activated on 24 December 1942. The 389th Bomb Group was the third B-24 heavy bomber unit assigned to the Eighth Air Force (hereafter 8th Air Force). It was based at Hethel, Norfolk (Army Air Force Station no. 114), from 1943 to 1945. The Group flew 317 combat missions between July 1943-April 1945, mostly from Hethel. However, its first missions were flown from a temporary base near Benghazi, Libya, and additional missions were flown out of another temporary base, near Massicault, Tunis. The 564th Bomb Squadron was designated a Pathfinder Squadron in the Spring of 1944, providing Pathfinder crews and aircraft for the 2nd Bomb Division Groups. Casualties of the 389th Bomb Group, and its attached units, included 715 killed in action and in the line of duty, 447 prisoners of war, 110 internees and 58 who were shot down, evaded capture, and returned to England. Nearly 900 Purple Hearts were awarded. The Group was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for its role in bombing the oilfields at Ploesti, Romania, 1 August 1943. It flew its last combat mission late in April 1945 and returned to the United States, May 1945-June 1945. It was deactivated on 13 September 1945.
Key missions:
A detachment from the Group was sent to Libya, where it began operations on 9 July 1943. The detachment flew missions to Crete, Sicily, Italy, Austria, and oil fields at Ploesti, Romania, 1 August 1943. For his action during the Ploesti mission, 2nd Lt Lloyd H. Hughes, of this Group, was awarded the Medal of Honor. He refused to turn back although fuel was streaming from his flak-damaged aeroplane and flew at low altitude over the blazing target area, bombing the objective. The aeroplane crashed before Hughes could make the forced landing that he attempted after the bomb run. The detachment returned to England in August and the Group flew several missions against airfields in France and the Netherlands. Operating temporarily from Tunisia, September-October 1943, the 389th supported Allied operations at Salerno and hit targets in Corsica, Italy, and Austria. The Group resumed operations from England in October 1943 and, until April 1945, concentrated primarily on strategic objectives in France, the Low Countries, and Germany. Targets in Germany included shipbuilding yards at Vegesack, the industrial areas of Berlin, oil facilities at Merseburg, factories at Munster, railway yards at Sangerhausen, and V-weapon sites at Pas de Calais, France. The Group participated in the intensive air campaign against the German aircraft industry during the 'Big Week', 20 February 1944-25 February 1944. It also flew support and diversion missions on several occasions, bombing gun batteries and airfields in support of the Normandy invasion, in June 1944, striking enemy positions to aid the breakthrough at St Lo, France, in July 1944, hitting storage depots and communications centres during the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944-January 1945), and dropping food, ammunition, fuel, and other supplies to troops participating in the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945.
Bomb Squadrons:
564th Bomb Squadron: 1942-1945.
565th Bomb Squadron: 1942-1945.
566th Bomb Squadron: 1942-1945.
567th Bomb Squadron: 1942-1945.
Attached Units:
Attached units included the 18th Weather Squadron and the 463rd Sub Depot Class I. 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, 24 December 1942.
Biggs Field, Texas, 1 February 1943.
Lowry Field, Colorado, 19 April 1943-8 June 1943.
Hethel, England (AAF Station no. 114), 11 June 1943-30 May 1945.
Charleston AAFld, South Carolina, 12 June-13 September 1945.
Group Commanders:
Col David B. Lancaster, 24 December 1942.
Col Jack W. Wood, 16 May 1943.
Col Milton W. Arnold, 30 December 1943.
Col Robert B. Miller, 29 March 1944.
Col Ramsay D. Potts Jr, 17 August 1944.
Col John B. Herboth Jr, 4 December 1944.
Lt Col Jack G. Merrell, 14 April 1945-unknown.
Major awards:
Distinguished Unit Citation: Ploesti, Romania, 1 August 1943.
Other information:
There is no official emblem or nickname for the 389th Bomb Group, but they have been referred to as the 'Green Dragons' (reputedly after the public house of the same name in Wymondham, Norfolk) and 'The Sky Scorpions' (referring to their time stationed in North Africa).
Membership cards for the '300 Club' were awarded to personnel in service with the 389th Bomb Group when it flew its 300th mission and 'Lucky Bastard Club' certificates were unofficially awarded to Group members following the successful completion of a tour of 30 missions.

Name of creator

(1943-1946)

Administrative history

Part of the United States Army Air Force 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force.
Outline:
Constituted as the 448th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 6 April 1943 and activated on 1 May 1943 (hereafter the 448th Bomb Group). The Group prepared for duty overseas with B-24s, moved to Seething, England, November 1943-December 1943, and was assigned to the Eighth Air Force (8th Air Force). It entered combat on 22 December 1943 and was active until April 1945. The Group returned to the United States in July 1945 and was redesignated the 448th Bomb Group (Very Heavy) in August 1945. It was equipped with B-19s and assigned to Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946. On 4 August 1946, it was deactivated and allotted to the reserve. The Group was re-activated on 19 April 1947, redesignated as the 448th Bomb Group (Light) in June 1949, ordered to active duty on 17 March 1951, and deactivated on 21 March 1951. It was redesignated again as the 448th Fighter-Bomber Group, allotted to the reserve and re-activated on 18 May 1955.
Key missions:
The Group served primarily as a strategic bombardment organization, hitting targets in Germany including aircraft factories at Gotha, ball-bearing plants in Berlin, an airfield at Hanau, U-boat facilities at Kiel, a chemical plant at Ludwigshafen, aircraft engine plants at Rostock, marshalling yards at Cologne, and a 'buzz bomb' assembly plant at Fallersleben and synthetic oil refineries at Politz (now in Poland). It took part in the intensive campaign of heavy bombing against the German aircraft industry during the 'Big Week', 20 February 1944-25 February 1944. In addition to strategic operations, the Group flew diversion and support missions. It bombed V-weapon sites, airfields, and transport facilities prior to the Normandy invasion in June 1944, and on D-Day (6 June 1944) attacked coastal defences and choke points. The Group struck enemy positions to assist the Allied offensive at Caen and the breakthrough at St Lo, France, in July 1944. It also dropped supplies to airborne troops near Nijmegen during the airborne attack on Holland (Netherlands) in September and bombed transport and communications centres during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945. The Group dropped supplies to troops at Wesel, Germany, during the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945. It flew its last combat mission on 25 April 1945, attacking a marshalling yard at Salzburg, Austria, and returned to the United States in July 1945.
Bomb Squadrons:
41st Bomb Squadron: 1947-1949.
711th Bomb Squadron: 1949-1951; 1955.
712th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1946; 1947-1951.
713th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1946; 1947-1951; 1955-.
714th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1946; 1947-1951.
715th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1946.
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:
Gowen Field, Idaho, 1 May 1943.
Wendover Field, Utah, c. 3 July 1943.
Sioux City Army Air Force Base, Iowa, c. September-November 1943.
Seething, England (Army Air Force Station no. 146), December 1943-July 1945.
Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, c. 15 July 1945.
McCook Army Air Field, Nebraska, c. 8 September 1945.
Fort Worth Army Air Field, Texas, c. December 1945-4 August 1946.
Commanders:
Col James M. Thompson, c. 25 May 1943.
Col Gerry L. Mason, 3 April 1944.
Col Charles B. Westover, 14 November 1944.
Lt Col Lester F. Miller, 27 May 1945-unknown.
Col John G. Ericksen, September 1945-4 August 1946.

Name of creator

(1943-1945)

Administrative history

Part of the United States Army Air Force 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force.
Constituted as the 453rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 May 1943 and activated on 1 June 1943. Moved to England December 1943-January 1944. Entered combat on 5 February 1944 and flew its final combat mission in April 1945. Returned to the United States in May 1945 and was deactivated 12 September 1945.
Based at Old Buckenham, Norfolk, 23 December 1943-9 May 1945.
Outline:
Constituted as 453rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 May 1943 and activated on 1 June 1943 (hereafter the 453rd Bomb Group). The Group trained with B-24s, moved to Old Buckenham, England, December 1943-January 1944, and was assigned to Eighth Air Force (hereafter 8th Air Force). It began combat on 5 February 1944 and flew its last combat mission in April 1945. The Group returned to the United States in May 1945 and was deactivated on 12 September 1945.
Key missions:
The Group began combat on 5 February 1944, with an attack against an airfield at Tours, France. Throughout combat, it served mainly as a strategic bombardment unit. Targets in Germany included a fuel depot at Dulmen, marshalling yards at Paderborn, aircraft assembly plants at Gotha, railway centres at Hamm, an ordnance depot at Glinde, oil refineries at Gelsenkirchen, chemical works at Leverkusen, an airfield at Neumunster, a canal at Minden, and a railway viaduct at Altenbeken. The Group also took part in the concentrated attack against the German aircraft industry during the 'Big Week', 20 February 1944-25 February 1944. The Group bombed V-weapon sites, airfields, and gun batteries in France prior to the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. On 6 June 1944 (D-Day), it hit shore installations between Le Havre and Cherbourg, France, and other enemy positions further inland. The Group was also engaged in support and diversion missions, aiding the advance of ground forces by attacking enemy troops in support of the Allied breakthrough at St Lo, France, in July 1944, and bombed German communications during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945. The Group also transported cargo: it hauled fuel, blankets, and rations to France in September 1944 and also dropped ammunition and medical supplies near Wesel, during the airborne assault across the Rhine, in March 1945.
Bomb Squadrons:
732nd Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
733nd Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
734th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
735th 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:
Wendover Field, Utah, 1 June 1943.
Pocatello Army Airfield, Idaho, 29 July 1943.
March Field, California, 30 September-2 December 1943.
Old Buckenham, England (Army Air Force Station no. 144), 23 December 1943-9 May 1945.
New Castle Army Air Field, Delaware, 25 May 1945.
Fort Dix Army Air Force Base, New Jersey, 18 June-12 September 1945.
Commanders:
Col Joseph A Miller, 29 June 1943.
Col Ramsay D Potts Jun., 19 March 1944.
Col Lawrence M Thomas, 7 July 1944.
Lt Col Edward F Hubbard, 25 January 1945-unknown.
Other notes:
American actor Walter Matthau served as a radio-gunner with the 453rd Bomb Group at Old Buckenham.
The American film actor James Maitland 'Jimmy' Stewart (1908-1997) served as the 453rd Bomb Group's Operations Officer at Old Buckenham from March 1944. He was previously the Group Operations Officer for the 703rd Squadron, 445th Bomb Group, at Tibenham.
On Christmas Eve, 24 December 1944, the 453rd Bomb Group held a Christmas party for over 1,250 British children, many of whom had been orphaned in the London Blitz. At the party, it was decided to make and deliver toys to the children of Paris, and the Group was given special permission to take them to the American Red Cross Club, Rainbow Corner, Paris. The crew chosen for this special mission were all French-speaking, T/Sgt Reuben Brockway was dressed as Santa Claus and the B-24 chosen for the delivery was brightly decorated. As part of the mission, the B-24 previously nicknamed 'Shoo Shoo Baby', but never officially painted with its name, was named 'Liberty Run' by Judith McDavid, an 11 year old orphan of the Blitz. The B-24 'Liberty Run' also had Santa Claus painted on it as nose art. Later in the war, 'Liberty Run' was shot down over Germany.

Name of creator

(1943-1945)

Administrative history

Part of the United States Army Air Force 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force.
Comprised the 752nd Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945. 753rd Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945. 754th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945 and the 755th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945
Outline:
Constituted as the 458th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943 and activated on 1 July 1943 (hereafter 458th Bomb Group). Moved to Horsham St Faith, England, between January and February 1944, and was assigned to the Eighth Air Force (hereafter 8th Air Force). Flew final combat mission on 25 April 1945 and returned to the United States between June and July 1945. The Group was redesignated as the 458th Bomb Group (Very Heavy) in August 1945 and trained with B-29s before being deactivated on 17 October 1945.
Based at Horsham St Faiths, Norfolk, January 1944-14 June 1945.
Key missions:
The Group flew diversionary missions on 24 February 1944 and 25 February 1944, during the 'Big Week', to draw enemy fighters away from German targets being attacked by other Army Air Force bombers. It began bombardment missions on 2 March 1944, and operated primarily against strategic objectives in Germany. The Group's targets in Germany included the industrial area of Saarbrucken, oil refineries at Hamburg, an airfield at Brunswick, aircraft factories at Oschersleben, a fuel depot at Dulmen, a canal at Minden, aircraft works at Brandenburg, marshalling yards at Hamm, and an aircraft engine plant at Magdeburg. In addition to strategic missions, the Group also carried out some diversion and support operations. The Group helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by striking gun batteries, V-weapon sites, and airfields in France; hit coastal defences on D-Day, 6 June 1944, and afterwards bombed bridges and highways to prevent German troops advancing towards the beachhead. It also attacked enemy troops to aid the Allied breakthrough at St Lo, France, in July 1944. The Group ceased bombardment during September 1944 to haul fuel to airfields in France (known as 'Truckin' missions). It then struck transportation lines during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945, and attacked enemy airfields to assist the Allied assault across the Rhine in March 1945. The Group flew its last combat mission on 25 April 1945 and returned to the United States between June and July 1945.
Ten crews from this Group (the only crews in the United States Army Air Force (hereafter USAAF)) were trained to use 'Azon Bombs' (short for Azimuth only bombs). These were an early form of smart bomb. In May 1944, the crews were assigned to this experimental project to deliver cargoes of controllable bombs to selected targets ahead of the D-Day operation. The bombs consisted of a unit with a radio receiver fitted to a standard 1000 pound bomb which replaced ordinary fins. After release, the bombardier could correct azimuth errors using a radio transmitter. The project was discontinued in September 1944.
Aircraft crashes:
The Heigham Street air crash occurred on 24 November 1944, when the B-24 'Lady Jane' (aircraft no. 42-95133) struck the tower of St Philip's church, Heigham, on return from a practice mission and crashed in the corporation yard, off Barker Street, two miles from Horsham St Faith's runway no. 35. All nine crew on board were killed in the crash: Ralph Dooley (pilot), Arthur Akin (stand-in co-pilot), Paul Gorman (navigator), John Jones (engineer and top-turret operator), Paul Wadsworth (radio operator), Oscar Nelson and Don Quirk (waist-gunners), John Philips (nose-gunner) and Ralph Von Bergen (tail-gunner).
Another crash occurred on 14 January 1945 when the B-24 'Lassie Come Home', piloted by Lt Diehl, crashed into a house at Spynke Road, Mile Cross, Norwich, due to battle damage. The aircraft landed in a nearby garden, killing most of the crew and two local children.
On 13 February 1945, B-24 'It's a Dog's Life', an aeroplane from the 753rd Bomb Squadron, 458th Bomb Group, flown by Lt Lawrence Shannon (serial no. 44-40281) crashed after suffering engine failure on a training flight. It crashed on the corner of Church Street and Spixworth Road, Old Catton, injuring one civilian lady and killing the crew: Lawrence L. Shannon (pilot); Allen K. Jewett (co-pilot); Leslie J. Gruner (navigator); Robert L. Ward (engineer) William L. Webber (radio operator) and Frederick M. Caudell, Gene P. Hamilton, Grant D. Ordiway and Charles E. Given Jnr. (gunners).
Bomb Squadrons:
752nd Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
753nd Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
754th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
755th 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:
Wendover Field, Utah, 1 July 1943.
Gowen Field, Idaho, 28 July 1943.
Kearns, Utah, 11 September 1943.
Wendover Field, Utah, 15 September 1943.
Tonopah Army Air Field, Nevada, 31 October-29 December 1943.
Horsham St Faith, England (Army Air Force Station no. 123), January 1944-14 June 1945.
Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, 12 July 1945.
Walker Army Air Field, Kansas, 25 July 1945.
March Field, California, 21 August 1945-17 October 1945.
Commanders:
Lt Col Robert F. Hardy, 28 July 1943.
Col James H. Isbell, 16 December 1943.
Col Allen F. Herzberg, 10 March 1945.
Capt. Patrick Hays, 13 August 1945.
Maj. Bernard Carlos, 17 August 1945.
Maj. V. R. Woodward, 22 August 1945.
Lt Col Wilmer C. Hardesty, 3 September 1945-17 October 1945.

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.

Name of creator

(1943-1945)

Administrative history

Part of the United States Army Air Force 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force.
Comprised the 788th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1944, 1944-1946. 789th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1946. 790th Bomb Squadron 1943-1946 and the 791st Bomb Squadron 1943-1946.
Outline:
The Group was constituted as the 467th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943 and activated on 1 August 1943 (hereafter the 467th Bomb Group). It prepared for combat with B-24s, moved to England between February and March 1944, and was assigned to the Eighth Air Force (hereafter the 8th Air Force). The Group began combat operations on 10 April 1944, with an attack on an airfield at Bourges, France. The Group flew its last combat mission on 25 April, returning to the United States between June and July 1945. It was redesignated the 467th Bomb Group (Very Heavy) in August 1945, assigned to Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946, trained with B-17 and B-29 aircraft, and was deactivated on 4 August 1946.
Key missions:
The Group served primarily as a strategic bombardment organization, attacking targets in Germany including the harbor at Kiel, chemical plants at Bonn, textile factories at Stuttgart, power plants at Hamm, steel works at Osnabruck, and the aircraft industry at Brunswick. In addition to strategic operations, it was sometimes engaged in support and diversion missions. It bombed shore installations and bridges near Cherbourg, France, on D-Day, 6 June 1944, and struck enemy troop and supply concentrations near Montreuil on 25 July 1944 to assist the Allied drive across France. The Group hauled fuel to France in September for mechanized forces and attacked German communications and fortifications during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945. It also hit enemy transportation to assist the Allied assault across the Rhine in March 1945.
Bomb Squadrons:
788th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1944, 1944-1946.
789th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1946.
790th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1946.
791st Bomb Squadron: 1943-1946.
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:
Wendover Field, Utah, 1 August 1943
Mountain Home Army Air Field, Idaho, 8 September 1943
Kearns, Utah, c. 17 October 1943
Wendover Field, Utah, 1 November 1943-12 February 1944
Rackheath, England (Army Air Force Station no. 145), 11 March 1944-12 June 1945
Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, c. 15 July 1945
Fairmont Army Air Field, Nebraska, 25 July 1945
Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, 25 August 1945
Harvard Army Air Field, Nebraska, 8 September 1945
Clovis Army Air Field, New Mexico, December 1945-4 August 1946.
Group Commanders:
Capt. Garnet B. Palmer, 9 September 1943.
Col Frederic E. Glantzberg, 17 September 1943.
Col Albert H. Shower, 25 October 1943-1945.
Maj. Frank E. McCarthy, September 1945.
Col Audrin R. Walker, 16 September 1945.
Lt Col William W. Amorous, March 1946.
Lt Col Kenneth S. Steele, April 1946.
Col Thomas Gent Jun., 21 June 1946-August 1946.
Other information:
The 'Witchcraft' was a B-24 in the 790th Bomb Squadron, 467th Bomb Group. It was famous for completing 130 combat missions, which was an 8th Air Force record. It flew in the 467th Bomb Group's first mission, on 10 April 1944, and on its final mission, 25 April 1945.
On the night of 22 April 1944, a German ME-410 aircraft bombed Rackheath airbase on what became popularly known as the 'Night of the Intruders'. Pvt. Daniel Miney, of the 1229 Quarter Masters Company, was killed while cycling on Rackheath airbase during the attack. Miney is the only member of ground crew in the 2nd Air Division classified as killed in action and noted on the 2nd Air Division's Roll of Honor.
On the same night, seven crewmen from the 467th Bomb Group were killed when their B-24 was shot down by a German ME-410 fighter and crashed near Barsham, Suffolk. There is a memorial plaque in the village of Barsham in honour of the crew: 1st Lt Stalie C. Reid (pilot); 2nd Lt Warren W. Mason (co-pilot); 2nd Lt James G. Ferguson (navigator); 2nd Lt Louis A. Alier (bombardier); T/Sgt Sylvio L. Dery (engineer); Sgt Edward W. Hoke (ball-gunner) and T/Sgt Walter W. Kovalenko (radio operator). Three other gunners bailed-out safely.

Name of creator

(1943-1945)

Administrative history

Part of the United States Army Air Force 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force.
Constituted as the 491st Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 September 1943. Activated on 1 October 1943. On 1 January 1944 the group, less the air echelon, was transferred without personnel and equipment to England, where personnel were assigned later. The air echelon joined the group in England in May 1944. Served in combat with 8th Air Force until the end of April 1945. Began operations early in June 1944. Returned to the United States in July 1945. Inactivated on 8 September 1945.
Based at North Pickenham, Norfolk, February 1944; Metfield, Suffolk, March 1944 ;and North Pickenham, Norfolk, 15 August 1944-June 1945.
Outline:
The 491st Bombardment Group was activated on 1 October 1943 at Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona (hereafter the 491st Bomb Group). On 1 January 1944, the Group, less the air echelon, was transferred without personnel and equipment to England, where personnel were assigned later. Many of its ground personnel came from four 2nd Air Division bomb groups already in England. The air crews trained in the United States at Biggs Field, Texas and at Pueblo, Colorado, before moving overseas on 21 April 1944. The air crews flew their B-24 Liberators to England via the southern route, which included stops in Florida, Brazil, and Morocco. The 491st Bomb Group was assigned to the 95th Combat Wing at Halesworth and stationed at Metfield, Suffolk (Army Air Force Station no. 366) from 25 April 1944-15 August 1944. On 15 August 1944, the 95th Combat Wing was broken up and the 491st Bomb Group was moved to North Pickenham airfield, Norfolk. They flew their first mission on 2 June 1944, against an airfield near Bretigney, France, and their last mission on 25 April 1945. During their period of service, they flew 187 missions, 5005 sorties and lost 47 aircraft in action. Redeployment to the United States began in June 1945. The B-24 Liberators were flown home, 17 June 1945-19 June 1945, and the ground crews left England for New York City on the ship the 'Queen Mary' on 6 July 1945. The 491st Bomb Group was then based at McChord Field until it was deactivated on 8 September 1945.
Key missions and events:
The Group began combat operations early in June 1944 and attacked airfields, bridges, and coastal defences both preceding and during the invasion of Normandy. It then concentrated its attacks on strategic objectives in Germany, striking communication points, oil refineries, storage depots, industrial areas, shipyards, and other targets in Berlin, Hamburg, Kassel, Cologne, Gelsenkirchen, Bielefeld, Hannover, and Magdeburg. On one occasion, the Group attacked the headquarters of the German General Staff at Zossen, Germany. During a mission against the oil refineries at Misburg, Germany, on 26 November 1944, the Group was attacked by large numbers of enemy fighters which destroyed almost half of its aeroplanes; the remainder successfully bombed the target and the Group was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation. Although engaged primarily in strategic bombardment, the Group also supported ground forces at St Lo, France, in July 1944; assaulted V-weapon sites and communications lines in France during the summer of 1944; dropped supplies to ground troops on 18 September 1944, during the airborne attack in Holland (Netherlands); bombed German supply lines and fortifications during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945; supported Allied forces in the airborne drop across the Rhine in March 1945; and interdicted enemy communications during the Allied drive across Germany in April 1945.
On 15 July 1944, the bomb dump at Metfield blew up, detonating over 1000 tons of bombs and explosives, killing five men, wrecking five B-24 bombers and severely damaging several more.
Bomb Squadrons:
852nd Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
853nd Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
854th Bomb Squadron: 1943-1945.
855th Bomb Squadrons: 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:
Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, 1 October 1943.
El Paso, Texas, 11 November 1943.
England, 1 January 1944.
North Pickenham, England, February 1944.
Metfield, England (Army Air Force Station no. 366), March 1944.
North Pickenham, England (Army Air Force Station no. 143), 15 August 1944-June 1945.
McChord Field, Washington, 17 July 1945-8 September 1945.
Group Commanders:
Col Dwight O. Monteith, 10 October 1943.
Maj. Jack G. Merrell, 20 December 1943.
Col Wilson H. Banks, 5 January 1944.
Maj. Alex E. Burleigh, 19 January 1944.
Lt Col Jack G. Merrell, 29 January 1944.
Lt Col Carl T. Goldenburg, 12 February 1944.
Col F.H. Miller, 26 June 1944.
Col Allen W. Reed, c. 20 October 1944-1945.
Major awards:
Distinguished Unit Citation: Misburg, Germany, 26 November 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.

Archival history

Donated to the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library by Denis Duffield.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Received by the Norfolk Record Office on 14 January 1998 (ACC 1997/174).

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Photograph collection, marked 'album four' containing laser copies of a crew photograph (crew no. 12, 788th Bomb Squadron, 467th Bomb Group), Lt Ernest J. Haar's crew with the B-24 'Umbriago'. Other identifiable aircraft shown (focusing on nose art) are: 44th Bomb Group: 'Shack Rabbit'; 93rd Bomb Group: 'Victory Belle', 'Joisey Bounce' and 'Tarfu II'; 446th Bomb Group: 'Oklahoma Gal'; 448th Bomb Group: 'Reddy Teddy'; 453rd Bomb Group: 'Shack Rabbit' and 'Corky'; 458th Bomb Group: 'Lassie Come Home' and 'The Shack'; 466th Bomb Group: 'Lady Lightning', 'Hot Box', 'Slick Chick', 'Available Jones' and 'Pistol Packin Mama'; 467th Bomb Group: 'Devil's Hostess', 'Tangerine', 'The Thunder Mug', 'Tail Wind', 'Homeward Bound', 'Shoo Shoo Baby', 'Palace Meat Market' and 'Belle of the East'; 491st Bomb Group: 'Little Beaver', 'Green Hornet', 'Johnny Come Lately' and 'Flying Jackass'. Also includes laser copies of photographs of Lt Col Charles Halbert (492nd Bomb Group) and the B-24 'Diamond Lil', 1984.

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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'. Some of the item has not been published in full online because of sensitivity and/or copyright reasons. Details of what has not been published online are given on the 'Digital Archive' website.

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5368a6c3-f1ec-4ae2-9534-ebc5c908ce8a

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Catalogued

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Created 16/08/2005 by Droip. Modified 20/09/2019 by Drohv.

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