File MC 371/908/43-64, USF PH 23/1 - Part two: 44th Bomb Group, 93rd Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Group and 392nd Bomb Group

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Reference code

MC 371/908/43-64, USF PH 23/1

Title

Part two: 44th Bomb Group, 93rd Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Group and 392nd Bomb Group

Date(s)

  • c 1943-1944 (Creation)

Level of description

File

Extent and medium

33 photographs

Context area

Name of creator

(1941-1945)

Administrative history

Part of the United States Army Air Force 2nd Air Division, 8th Air Force.
Constituted as the 44th Bombardment Group (Heavy) 20 November 1940 and activated on 15 January 1941. Moved to England August-October 1942. Sent detatchments to North Africa in late June and September 1943. Flew its final mission on 25th April 1945. Returned to the United States in June 1945.
Redesignated the 44th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy ) in August 1945. Deactivated on 12 July 1946. Activated again on 1 July 1947 but not manned during 1947-1948. Inactivated on 6 September 1948. Redesignated 44th Bombardment Group (Medium) and activated on 2 January 1951. Inactivated on 16 July 1952.
Based at Shipdham, Norfolk, October 1942-c 15 June 1945.
Outline:
The 44th Bombardment Group (hereafter referred to as the 44th Bomb Group), nicknamed 'The Flying Eightballs', was activated on 15 January 1941 at MacDill Field, Florida, by the transfer of officers and enlisted men from the 29th Bomb Group. It trained with B-24s, became an operational training unit in February 1942, and also served on anti-submarine duty. In July 1942, the Group began intensive preparations for combat. It moved to England, August 1942-October 1942, for service with the Eighth Air Force (hereafter 8th Air Force) and was based at Shipdham Norfolk (Army Air Force Station no. 115).
The Group was the first United States Army Air Force (hereafter USAAF) group to be equipped with B-24 Liberators and flew its first combat mission on 7 November 1942. This was the first of 344 missions flown, with more than 8,400 individual combat sorties flown by 44th Bomb Group crews, resulting in the loss of about 850 crewmen. The 44th Bomb Group operated from England for longer than any other B-24 group. It also flew Pathfinder missions, which utilised radar-equipped aircraft to precede B-24 formations and indicate targets obscured by weather.
The Group flew its last combat mission on 25 April 1945 and returned to the United States in June 1945. It was redesignated as the 44th Bomb Group (Very Heavy) in August 1945 and trained with B-29 aeroplanes. It was assigned to Strategic Air Command on 21 March 1946 and deactivated on 12 July 1946. The Group was reactivated on 1 July 1947 and assigned to Strategic Air Command. During 1947 and 1948, it was not a manned unit and it was deactivated on 6 September 1948. It was redesignated again as the 44th Bomb Group (Medium) and activated on 2 January 1951, assigned to Strategic Air Command, equipped with B-29s and deactivated on 16 June 1952.
Key missions:
Operations consisted primarily of assaults against strategic targets in France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Romania, Austria, Poland, and Sicily. The Group targetted submarine installations, industrial establishments, airfields, harbours, shipyards, and other objectives in France and Germany, between November 1942-June 1943.
The Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for an extremely hazardous mission against naval installations at Kiel on 14 May 1943: with its B-24s carrying incendiaries to be dropped after three B-17 groups had released high explosive bombs, the 44th Bomb Group flew in the wake of the main formation, making them vulnerable because they had no protection from the fire power of the main force. This vulnerability increased when the Group had to open its own formation for the attack, but they blanketed the target with incendiaries despite the concentrated flak and continuous interceptor attacks encountered.
Late in June 1943, a large detachment moved to North Africa to help facilitate the invasion of Sicily by bombing airfields and marshalling yards in Italy. The detachment also participated in the famous low-level raid on the Ploesti oil fields, Romania, on 1 August 1943. The Group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its part in this mission. Its commander, Col Leon Johnson, was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading his men into smoke, flame, enemy fighters and anti-aircraft fire over the target, which was fierce since the enemy had already been alerted when the target was bombed in error by another group. Before returning to England at the end of August, the detachment bombed an aircraft factory in Austria and supported ground forces in Sicily.
In September 1943, the 44th Bomb Group struck airfields in the Netherlands and France and convoys in the North Sea. Also in September, a detachment was sent to North Africa to support the Salerno operations. This detachment returned to England in October and, from November 1943 to April 1945, the entire Group carried out operations against targets in western Europe, concentrating on airfields, oil installations, and marshalling yards.
The Group took part in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against the German aircraft industry during the 'Big Week', 20 February 1944-25 February 1944, and also flew some support and diversion missions. It struck airfields, railroads, and V-weapon sites in preparation for the Normandy invasion and supported the invasion, in June 1944, by attacking strong points in the beachhead area and transportation targets behind the front lines. In July 1944, the Group aided the Caen offensive and the St Lo breakthrough in France. It also dropped food, ammunition, and other supplies to troops engaged in the airborne attack on Holland, in September 1944, and helped to check the enemy offensive during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945, by striking bridges, tunnels, choke points, rail and road junctions, and communications in the battle area. The Group attacked airfields and transportation in support of the advance into Germany, and flew a resupply mission during the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945.
Bomb Squadrons:
66th Bomb Squadron: 1941-1946; 1947-1948; 1951-1952.
67th Bomb Squadron: 1941-1946; 1947-1948; 1951-1952.
68th Bomb Squadron: 1941-1946; 1947-1948; 1951-1952.
404th Bomb Squadron: 1942.
506th 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:
MacDill Field, Florida, 15 January 1941.
Barksdale Field, Louisiana, February 1942.
Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma, July 1942-c. 28 August 1942.
Shipham, England (AAF Station no.115), October 1942-c. 15 June 1945.
Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, c. 27 June 1945.
Great Bend Army Air Field, Kansas, 25 July 1945.
Smoky Hill Army Air Field, Kansas, 14 December 1945-12 July 1946.
Andrews Field, Maryland, 1 July 1947-6 September 1948.
Group Commanders:
Lt Col Melvin B. Asp, c. 15 January 1941.
Lt Col Hugo P. Rush, May 1941.
Col Frank H. Robinson, 1 April 1942-4 January 1943.
Col Leon W. Johnson, 4 January 1943-2 September 1943.
Lt Col James T. Posey, 3 September 1943-3 December 1943.
Col Frederick R. Dent, 4 December 1943-29 March 1944.
Col John H. Gibson, 29 March 1944-15 August 1944.
Col Eugene H. Snavely, 15 August 1944-13 April 1945.
Col Vernon C. Smith, 13 April 1945-1 June 1945.
Major awards:
Distinguished Unit Citation: Kiel, Germany, 14 May 1943.
Distinguished Unit Citation: Ploesti, Romania, 1 August 1943.

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

(1943-1945)

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.

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.

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.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

43) 392nd Bomb Group: fragmentation bombs being loaded, 6 June 1944.
44) 44th Bomb Group: Pete Henry, 68th Bomb Squadron, March/April 1943 (2 photographs).
45) 445th Bomb Group: aircraft, base scene (2 photographs).
46) 448th Bomb Group: aircraft 'Vadie Ray' (2 photographs).
47) 445th Bomb Group aircraft.
48) 93rd Bomb Group aircraft 'Shoot Luke' being loaded with bombs for its 28th mission, April 1943.
49) 93rd Bomb Group aircraft over Bourges.
50) 389th Bomb Group (567th Bomb Squadron) B-24D.
51) 389th Bomb Group aircraft.
52) 44th Bomb Group aircraft 'Buzzin Bear'.
53) 93rd Bomb Group aircraft.
54) 44th Bomb Group: aircraft including 'Henry' (2 photographs).
55) 44th Bomb Group briefing room or theatre.
56) 44th Bomb Group aircraft over Kiel, Germany, 14 May 1943.
57) 445th Bomb Group 'Chow Call'.
58) 448th Bomb Group aircraft 'Vadie Ray'.
59) 448th Bomb Group personnel (3 photographs).
60) 448th Bomb Group crew no. 64 receiving Air Medal, February 1944.
61) 448th Bomb Group aircraft 'Ronnie', cashier's office, presentation (3 photographs).
62) 392nd Bomb Group, 579th Bomb Squadron, combat crew officers, 11 October 1943, and aircraft (3 photographs).
63) 389th Bomb Group aircraft.
64) 389th Bomb Group personnel (including Jack Cox and Russ D. Hayes).

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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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c6f159b8-9ecf-416e-bb11-f46d86fe7224

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Created 15/08/2005 by Droip. Modified 03/12/2018 by Droab.

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