321º Grupo de Bombardeio: 1942-43

321º Grupo de Bombardeio: 1942-43

321st Bombardment Group, USAAF

História - Livros - Aeronave - Linha do tempo - Comandantes - Bases principais - Unidades de componentes - Atribuído a

História

O 321º Grupo de Bombardeio, USAAF, era um grupo B-25 que lutou no Norte da África, Sicília, Itália e sul da França, afundando o navio de guerra Estrasburgo durante essa campanha.

No outono de 1942, o 321º havia sido alocado para as forças que deveriam cruzar o Atlântico Sul para se juntar à Operação Tocha. O grupo deveria cruzar com 57 B-25s e deveria chegar em D + 60.

As aeronaves começaram a chegar à Flórida em meados de fevereiro de 1943, para cruzar o Atlântico via Ilha de Ascensão e Accra. O grupo alcançou a África Ocidental em fevereiro de 1943, subiu a costa até Marrakech e depois foi para o teatro de ação. O grupo ingressou na Décima Segunda Força Aérea e participou da campanha na Tunísia.

O grupo entrou em combate na segunda metade de março de 1943. Seus principais alvos para o resto da guerra seriam as ligações de transporte (estações de triagem, ferrovias, estradas, pontes, viadutos, navios e portos) ou concentrações de tropas inimigas ou posições de armas. Ele operaria contra alvos no Norte da África, França, Sicília, Itália, Bulgária, Iugoslávia e Grécia nos próximos dois anos.

O grupo recebeu duas citações de unidade distinta. O primeiro foi para um ataque a um campo de aviação alemão perto de Atenas em 8 de outubro de 1943, realizado em face do pesado fogo antiaéreo alemão e das defesas dos caças.

Entre março e maio de 1943, o grupo operou contra alvos no Norte da África. Em maio-junho, o grupo participou da campanha de bombardeio massivo que oprimiu os defensores das ilhas de Pantelleria e Lampedusa.

Em julho de 1943, o grupo apoiou a invasão da Sicília. Em setembro, participou dos combates em Salerno, ocorridos no momento em que o grupo começava a se mudar para a Itália.

Entre janeiro e junho de 1944, o grupo apoiou o avanço rumo a Roma. O grupo se tornou uma espécie de especialista em quebrar pontes, alvos estreitos difíceis.

Em agosto, o grupo apoiou a Operação Dragão, a invasão do sul da França. Em 18 de agosto, trinta e seis B-25s do grupo afundaram o encouraçado Estrasburgo, um cruzador e um submarino para evitar que os alemães usassem suas armas contra as forças que atacavam Toulon. O grupo recebeu seu segundo DUC para esta invasão.

Depois que os combates na França saíram do alcance dos bombardeiros médios, o grupo voltou à luta na Itália e operou contra alvos no norte da Itália de setembro de 1944 até o final da guerra.

O grupo foi desativado na Itália em 12 de setembro de 1945.


Galeria USAAF

Livros

Seguir

Aeronave

1942-45: norte-americano B-25 Mitchell

Linha do tempo

19 de junho de 1942Constituído como 321º Grupo de Bombardeio (Médio)
26 de junho de 1942ativado
Janeiro a março de 1943Para o Mediterrâneo e a Nona e então a Décima Segunda Força Aérea
12 de setembro de 1945Inativado

Comandantes (com data de nomeação)

Desconhecido: junho a agosto de 1942
Coronel William C Mills: 3 de agosto de 1942
ColRobert D Knapp: setembro de 1942
Tenente-coronel Charles T Olmsted: 5 de dezembro de 1943
Tenente Coronel Peter HRemington: 18 de março de 1944
Cel Richard HSmith: 26 de março de 1944
Tenente-coronel Charles FCassidy Jr: 28 de janeiro de 1945 - desconhecido.

Bases Principais

Barksdale Field, La: 26 de junho de 1942
Columbia AAB, SC: c. 1 de agosto de 1942
Walterboro, SC: setembro de 1942
DeRidderAAB, La: c. 1 de dezembro de 1942 a 21 de janeiro de 1943
Ain M'lila, Argélia: 12 de março de 1943
Souk-el-Arba, Tunísia: c. 1 Tun 1943
Soliman, Tunísia: 8 de agosto de 1943
Grottaglie, Itália: 3 de outubro de 1943
Amendola, Itália: c. 20 de novembro de 1943
Vincenzo Airfield, Itália: 14 de janeiro de 1944
Campo de aviação de Gaudo, Itália: fevereiro de 1944
Córsega: 23 de abril de 1944
Falconara. Itália: c.1 abril 1945
Pomigliano, Itália: c. Set-12 Set 1945

Unidades de componente

445º Esquadrão de Bombardeio: 1942-45; 1947-49
446º Esquadrão de Bombardeio: 1942-45; 1947-49
447º Esquadrão de Bombardeio: 1942-45; 1947-49
448º Esquadrão de Bombardeio: 1942-45; 1947-49

Atribuído a

1942-1943: IX Comando de Bombardeiros; Nona Força Aérea
1943: 47ª Asa de Bombardeio; XII Comando de Bombardeiro; Décima Segunda Força Aérea
1943-44: 57th Bombardment Wing; XII Comando Tático; Décima Segunda Força Aérea
1944: 57ª Asa de Bombardeio; XII Comando de Bombardeiro; Décima Segunda Força Aérea
1944-45: 57ª Asa de Bombardeio; Décima Segunda Força Aérea


Grupos de Bombardeio

Em 1942, os grupos 310, 321 e 340 foram treinados aqui na Base Aérea do Exército de Columbia para a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Todos participaram de 9 campanhas e cada um recebeu 2 Menções Distintas de Unidade.

Erguido em 1992 pela 577th Bomb Wing Association. (Número do marcador 32-21.)

Tópicos Este marcador histórico está listado nestas listas de tópicos: Guerra militar e de touros, Segunda Guerra Mundial. Um ano histórico significativo para esta entrada é 1942.

Localização. 33 & deg 56.873 & # 8242 N, 81 & deg 7.675 & # 8242 W. Marker está em West Columbia, Carolina do Sul, no condado de Lexington. O marcador está na Airport Blvd. Aeroporto Metropolitano de Columbia. Toque para ver o mapa. O marcador está nesta área dos correios: West Columbia SC 29170, Estados Unidos da América. Toque para obter instruções.

Outros marcadores próximos. Pelo menos 10 outros marcadores estão dentro de 4 milhas deste marcador, medidos em linha reta. 319º Grupo de Bombardeio (aqui, próximo a este marcador) Base Aérea do Exército de Columbia / The Doolittle Raiders (aqui, ao lado deste marcador) The Doolittle Raiders (aqui, ao lado deste marcador) Springdale (aprox. 1,3 milhas de distância) Camp Moore (aprox. . 4,5 milhas de distância) The Sycamore Tree (aprox. 4,9 milhas de distância) Congaree Fort (aprox. 3 milhas de distância) The Cherokee Path (aprox. 3,2 milhas de distância) Mt. Hebron United Methodist Church / Temperance Hall (aprox. 3 milhas de distância ) Emily Geiger (aproximadamente 6,1 km de distância). Toque para obter uma lista e um mapa de todos os marcadores em West Columbia.

. A 310th Space Wing (310 SW) é uma asa espacial da Reserva da Força Aérea dos Estados Unidos. (Enviado em 16 de agosto de 2009, por Brian Scott de Anderson, Carolina do Sul.)

2. 321ª Asa Expedicionária Aérea (Constituída como o 321º Grupo de Bombardeio). A 321ª Asa Expedicionária Aérea (321 AEW) é uma unidade provisória de Comando de Combate Aéreo da Força Aérea dos Estados Unidos. (Enviado em 16 de agosto de 2009, por Brian Scott de Anderson, Carolina do Sul.)

3. 340º Grupo de Treinamento de Voo (Constituído como o 340º Grupo de Bombardeio). Ativado em 1º de julho de 1997, o 340º Grupo de Treinamento de Voo na Base da Força Aérea Randolph, Texas, administra e executa o Comando de Educação e Treinamento Aéreo (AETC) e o Programa Piloto de Instrutor Associado do Comando da Reserva da Força Aérea (AFRC) e fornece Reserva de Guarda Ativa e IPs de reserva tradicionais para aumentar o quadro de pilotos em serviço ativo conduzindo o treinamento de pilotos. (Enviado em 16 de agosto de 2009, por Brian Scott de Anderson, Carolina do Sul.)

Comentário adicional.
1. Citação de Unidade Distinta
A Citação de Unidade Distinta foi estabelecida como resultado da Ordem Executiva nº 9.075, de 26 de fevereiro de 1942. A Ordem Executiva instruiu o Secretário da Guerra a emitir citações em nome do Presidente dos Estados Unidos para unidades do Exército por desempenho notável


Segunda Guerra Mundial [editar | editar fonte]

Emblema do 321º Grupo de Bombardeio

B-25 Mitchells do 321st Bomb Group na Itália, 1944

Constituído como 321º Grupo de Bombardeio (Médio) em 19 de junho de 1942 e ativado em 26 de junho em Barksdale Field, Louisiana. Os esquadrões operacionais do grupo foram os 445º, 446º, 447º e 448º Esquadrões de Bombardeio.

O grupo treinou para missões no exterior com bombardeiros médios norte-americanos B-25 Mitchell em várias bases de treinamento da Terceira Força Aérea no sudeste. Foi atribuído e implantado no teatro Mediterrâneo em janeiro de 1943, chegando à Argélia em março. O 321º foi designado para a 12ª Força Aérea.

No Norte da África, a 321st se engajou principalmente em operações de apoio e interditórias, bombardeios de triagem, ferrovias, rodovias, pontes, viadutos, concentração de tropas, posicionamento de armas, transporte marítimo, portos e outros objetivos no Norte da África. Alvos posteriores mudaram para o sul da França, Sicília, Itália, Bulgária, Iugoslávia e Grécia.

A 321ª também se envolveu em missões de guerra psicológica, lançando folhetos de propaganda atrás das linhas inimigas. Participou das operações aliadas contra as forças do Eixo no Norte da África durante março-maio ​​de 1943, a redução de Pantelleria e Lampedusain junho, a invasão da Sicília em julho, o desembarque em Salerno em setembro, o avanço aliado em direção a Roma durante janeiro-junho de 1944 , a invasão do sul da França em agosto de 1944 e as operações aliadas no norte da Itália de setembro de 1944 a abril de 1945.

O grupo recebeu dois DUCs: por completar um ataque a um dromo aéreo perto de Atenas, em 8 de outubro de 1943, apesar de intensos ataques e ataques de numerosos interceptadores inimigos e por bombardear um navio de guerra, um cruzador e um submarino no porto de Toulon em 18 de agosto 1944 para ajudar na invasão aliada do sul da França.

O 321º Grupo de Bombardeio foi desativado perto de Pomigliano d'Arco, Itália, em 12 de setembro de 1945. Mais tarde, foi brevemente ativado como parte da Reserva da Força Aérea no Aeroporto de Mansfield, Ohio como o 321º Grupo de Bombardeio (Luz) (junho de 1947 - junho de 1949) e equipado com Invasores A-26 / B-26, então inativados.

Grupo Estratégico de Mísseis [editar | editar fonte]

Em março de 1993, a Comissão de Realinhamento e Fechamento de Base (BRAC) selecionou a 321ª Asa de Mísseis Estratégicos para inativação. A ala foi rebaixada ao status de grupo em 1994, e o 321º Grupo de Mísseis era com uma missão dupla: operar, manter e proteger as forças ICBM prontas para combate para a Autoridade de Comando Nacional e transferir com segurança e segurança suas responsabilidades de alerta para a 341ª Ala de Mísseis na Base Aérea de Malmstrom, Montana.

O 321º Grupo de Mísseis foi desativado em 1995.

Grupo Expedicionário Aéreo [editar | editar fonte]

Convertido para o status provisório e ativado como 321º Grupo Expedicionário Aéreo em 2001.


321º Grupo de Bombardeio: 1942-43 - História

A entrada dos Estados Unidos na Segunda Guerra Mundial começou oficialmente com uma declaração de guerra do presidente Roosevelt imediatamente após o ataque a Pearl Harbor em 7 de dezembro de 1941. Max havia se alistado no Exército dos Estados Unidos em 12 de outubro de 1941 em Los Angeles, aos 22 anos, e em pouco tempo ele se viu em um navio de tropas com destino ao Havaí. (Não sabemos onde Max recebeu seu treinamento básico antes de embarcar para o Havaí.) Este não foi um cruzeiro prazeroso para as ilhas: as tropas estavam amontoadas nos conveses como sardinhas e não era incomum que os homens tivessem que dormir em turnos, não para mencionar as longas filas de comida e latrina, e o desconforto geral tão comum na vida militar.

O primeiro ano de Max foi gasto em uma bateria antiaérea no final de uma pista do aeroporto de Hilo. Sem o fim da guerra à vista, Max percebeu que deveria haver algo melhor para ocupar seu tempo e talentos e então solicitou uma transferência para o Air Corps. Reconhecendo seu potencial, autoridades superiores aprovaram a transferência e em janeiro de 1943 ele estava aprendendo a pilotar aviões. Mal sabia ele o que o esperava como piloto no Teatro Europeu.

Segunda página da carta de Max no Havaí para Tim e Reinette

Em novembro de 1943, na Base Aérea do Exército de Yuma, no Arizona, Max ganhou as tão cobiçadas Pilot Wings e suas barras de 2º Tenente. Com o treinamento deste piloto básico atrás dele, ele foi enviado a Sacramento para aprender a pilotar o B-25. O bombardeiro médio B-25 foi um dos aviões mais famosos da América na Segunda Guerra Mundial. A North American Aviation em Inglewood, Califórnia, tinha o contrato para construir o protótipo. Várias modificações foram feitas na aeronave ao longo da guerra, com designações de B-25A a B-25J, e mais de 9.800 foram produzidos. O B-25B (Mitchell I) foi o tipo usado pelo General Doolittle para o Raid de Tóquio em 18 de abril de 1942. Posteriormente, o B-25 passou a operar em todas as áreas de combate sendo pilotadas por holandeses, britânicos, chineses, russos e australianos em além de nossas próprias forças americanas.

Tempo livre na Carolina do Norte

Em julho de '44, ele dominou a aeronave e foi designado para seu próprio avião e uma tripulação e recebeu ordens para voar para o Norte da África. A tripulação de um B-25 era composta por um piloto, co-piloto, navegador-bombardeiro, operador de rádio e um, dois, ou em algumas modificações, três artilheiros.

Uma visita a Bakersfield durante o treinamento

Enquanto com as aeronaves de hoje, cruzar o Atlântico é comum, durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial era uma viagem de 8.000 milhas. Max o descreveu como uma & quota de aventura excelente! & Quot O ponto de partida dos EUA foi Morrison Field, West Palm Beach, Flórida. Toda a implantação no Norte da África levou cerca de 15 dias, incluindo paradas ao longo do caminho. Essas paradas incluíram o Campo de Boriquen, San Juan, o Campo de Puerto Rico Atkinson, Georgetown, Guiné Britânica através da foz do Amazonas até o Campo de Val de Cas, Belém, Brasil e daí para o Campo de Parnamarim, Natal, Brasil. Este foi o ponto de partida para cruzar o Atlântico Sul até Wideawake Field, Ilha de Ascensão. O voo de 1428 milhas de Natal até a Ilha de Ascensão foi o trecho que mais preocupou devido ao consumo de combustível para a distância e relatos de submarinos alemães atirando em aviões e bloqueando os faróis da ilha.

Max passou muitas horas nesta posição

Da Ilha de Ascensão eles voaram para Roberts Field em Monróvia, Libéria até a costa oeste da África Ocidental para Rufisque Field, em Dakar, África Ocidental Francesa, em seguida, através do Saara para Marrakech, Marrocos Francês para Oujda, Marrocos Francês e finalmente para Oran, Francês Marrocos.

Do norte da África, Max foi enviado para a Ilha da Córsega e designado para o 445º Esquadrão, parte do 321º Grupo de Bombardeio, que fazia parte da 57ª Ala de Bombardeio da 12ª Força Aérea. O 321st foi baseado perto de Solenzara, cerca de um terço do caminho até a costa leste da ilha. As missões realizadas em 1945 eram geralmente compostas de 18 a 20 aeronaves e envolviam o "rebentamento de pontes", uma forma muito bem-sucedida de deter reforços inimigos e evitar uma retirada ordenada. Em muitas dessas missões, o Grupo estava usando B-25Js recém-chegados. Este modelo do B-25 estava armado com doze metralhadoras calibre .50: duas na cauda, ​​duas na cintura, duas no nariz, duas na torre superior e quatro em pacotes de armas de disparo para frente localizados perto de cada raiz de asa .

Max descreveu seu trabalho como interditar e fechar as linhas de abastecimento alemãs para sua operação no norte da Itália. Os objetivos principais eram as pontes ferroviárias no Passo do Brenner e as pontes fluviais e rodoviárias no Vale do Pó, no norte da Itália. & Quot O Grupo alcançou mais de 90 por cento na precisão de bombardeio em 96 ataques consecutivos contra alguns dos alvos de comunicação mais fortemente defendidos em Itália do norte. Como disse Max, & quotthe fogo antiaéreo alemão foi feroz. & Quot.

Ao final da guerra na Europa, Max havia voado em 68 missões de combate, muitas das quais Max era o líder da missão. A política de rotação original para todas as tripulações de B-25 na 12ª Força Aérea era a conclusão de 50 missões, mas isso foi posteriormente aumentado para 60 a 65 missões, e Max até ficou além disso. Nessa época, Max havia sido promovido a Capitão, em abril de 1945. Ele havia recebido a Medalha Aérea com nove Oak Leaf Clusters, o Distinguished Unit Badge, a European Theatre Ribbon com uma Battle Star e, mais notavelmente, o Distinguished Flying Cruzar.

A Distinta Cruz Voadora foi concedida a ele por realizações extraordinárias no ataque a uma ponte em Galliate, Itália (Galliate fica a oeste de Milão). Em face do intenso fogo antiaéreo, ele manteve seu avião em curso, permitindo assim que seu bombardeiro liberasse suas bombas com exatidão e precisão em um alvo inimigo vital.

Os requisitos para receber esta medalha são os seguintes: & quotA Distinguished Flying Cross é concedida a qualquer pessoa que, enquanto servindo em qualquer cargo nas Forças Armadas dos Estados Unidos, se distingue por heroísmo ou realização extraordinária ao participar de vôo aéreo. A realização do ato de heroísmo deve ser evidenciada pela ação voluntária acima e além da chamada do dever. A conquista extraordinária deve ter resultado em uma realização tão excepcional e notável que separasse claramente o indivíduo de seus camaradas ou de outras pessoas em circunstâncias semelhantes. Os prêmios serão concedidos apenas para reconhecer atos únicos de heroísmo ou conquistas extraordinárias e não serão concedidos em reconhecimento de atividades operacionais sustentadas contra um inimigo armado. & Quot

Parece que está de acordo com a forma como percebemos Max, que ao escrever sua autobiografia para a história da família, ele deixou de mencionar nenhum desses prêmios! Um número incontável de veteranos de combate levou suas experiências e emoções resultantes com eles para seus túmulos. Ao voltar para casa, Max se questionou nas muitas horas de solidão e sombra da crescente figueira branca de Lowery.

(Nota do editor: as informações neste relato sobre o histórico militar de Max Poteete foram obtidas de várias fontes: sua própria autobiografia escrita para o livro de história da família em 1992, cartas e fotografias do depósito de memorabilia de Reinette, conversas com os irmãos de Max e de dois livros de Fred Lawrence, Untold & amp Unsung.. The Unknown and Mediterranean Mitchells. Os editores assumem a responsabilidade por quaisquer erros encontrados aqui, e as correções serão apreciadas.-WDL & amp JLL, 2 de junho de 2006)

(Registros selecionados de Outline History, 445th Bomb Sqdn, Solenzara Airfield, Corsica conforme documentado em Untold & amp Unsung.. The Unknown editado por Frederick H. Lawrence)

22 de fevereiro - - Missão de Grupo # 744 Esquadrão Missão # 476
O tenente Poteete liderou 9 navios enviados para atacar as pontes de desvio da ferrovia Lavis, Itália. Bombas de 1000 libras e 500 libras foram lançadas de 11.500 pés para 13.000 pés. Foi fornecida cobertura de área. Flak era pesado, moderado e preciso, direcionado principalmente ao elemento joio. No total, 8 navios foram furados, mas nenhum foi perdido. Um Focke Wulf 190 e um M109 foram vistos na área, mas a escolta P-47 os expulsou.
RESULTADO: O peso principal das bombas caiu sobre o dique a oeste do alvo, mas as fotos mostram uma pequena concentração de bombas na ponte norte.

22 de fevereiro - - (Relatório mensal)
O esquadrão ajudou a atacar as pontes de desvio da ferrovia Lavis, Itália e a precisão do bombardeio em grupo foi estimada em 89,5%. Sgt. O navio 534 de Berman completou hoje sua 100ª missão de combate. Salsichas frescas eram um deleite raro para o jantar. Um bom suprimento, que chegava pouco antes do jantar, tornava-os ainda mais saborosos. Uma garota da Córsega deu uma palestra para os homens alistados no clube à noite. Ela falou sobre sua ilha natal, seus costumes e tradições e depois respondeu que o pessoal do esquadrão interessado lhe respondeu. Eles estavam principalmente interessados ​​em aprender sua comparação com os soldados alemães e americanos. Suas respostas foram recebidas favoravelmente.

23 de fevereiro - - Missão de Grupo # 746 Esquadrão Missão # 478
O tenente Poteete liderou 9 navios deste esquadrão em uma formação de 18 navios enviados para atacar a ponte ferroviária Campo norte, Itália. Bombas de 1000 libras foram lançadas de 12.000 para 13.000 pés. P-47s voaram como escolta. O linho era pesado, moderado a intenso e preciso, concentrando-se no segundo vôo formado por navios do 445º Esquadrão. O tenente bombardeiro Harvel foi morto neste ataque. Cinco navios foram furados.
RESULTADO: Um padrão curto e oeste da ponte. Outros se concentraram na extremidade norte e na abordagem. Boa cobertura relatada.

23 de fevereiro - - (Relatório Mensal)
A ponte ferroviária Campo Norte foi atacada e atingida com 100% de precisão de bombardeio. Rum-runner 535 estava de volta de Catania após sua mudança de motor lá e foi retardado em seu retorno. Tenente Curry, Bucham e W.H. Jackson foi promovido a 1º Tenente hoje. Na missão de hoje, o 2º Tenente Lonnie Harvel foi morto pela arma de fogo. Ele era um bombardeiro e foi mortalmente ferido quando um grande estilhaço rasgou o nariz de seu navio e o atingiu na cabeça. O capitão Robson voou em sua 70ª missão hoje e desistiu. Foi difícil terminar. Rações luxuosas foram distribuídas pela primeira vez em muito tempo.

1 de abril - - Grupo da Missão 823 Esquadrão Missão 519
O capitão Webb e o tenente Poteete lideraram 24 aviões, 18 do 445º, no ataque à ponte norte de Mântua R.R., o alvo alternativo. 1000 # bombas lançadas de 10.500 / 11.000 pés. Alguns aviões retornaram devido à baixa visibilidade. O Flak era pesado, escasso e impreciso na corrida em posições alternativas das conhecidas.
RESULTADOS: Boa concentração na área alvo. Bridge acreditou ter atingido.

10 de abril - - Missão Grupo 844 Esquadrão Missão 526
O capitão Poteete liderou 19 445º aviões em um ataque de 36 A / C contra posições de canhão (metade sul) em Long-strine. 500 # caiu de 10 / 11.000 pés. Sem flak.
RESULTADOS: Excelente concentração em todos os pontos de mira. Sem bombas selvagens.

18 de abril - - Grupo Mission 869 Squadron Mission 544
O capitão Poteete liderou 18 aviões, nove do 445º, em um ataque à ponte ferroviária de San Ambrogio. 1000 # bombas lançadas de 12.500 / 13.000 pés. Sem Flak.
RESULTADOS: Bombas geralmente na ponte da área alvo que se acredita ter sido atingida.

20 de abril - - Grupo Mission 875 Squadron Mission 548
O capitão Poteete liderou 18 navios, nove do 445º, em um ataque à ponte ferroviária Poggio Rosco, alvo alternativo. 1000 # bombas lançadas de 12.500 / 13.000 pés. Sem flak.


Estrutura

5ª Ala de Bomba

ASA
A 5ª Divisão Aérea (5ª DC) originou-se em 19 de outubro de 1940 em McChord Field, Washington. Sua missão inicial era a defesa aérea do noroeste dos Estados Unidos com três grupos de bombardeio (12º, 17º e 39º) voando nas primeiras fortalezas voadoras B-17 (B-17C.

772º esquadrão de bombas

Esquadrão
Estabelecido em meados de 1943 como um esquadrão de bombardeio pesado da Fortaleza Voadora B-17 designado para treinamento da Segunda Força Aérea. Foi anexado no final de 1943 e no início de 1944 à Escola de Táticas Aplicadas da Força Aérea do Exército da Universidade Aérea. Implantado para o Teatro Mediterrâneo.

773º Esquadrão de Bombardeios

Esquadrão
Estabelecido em meados de 1943 como um esquadrão de bombardeio pesado da Fortaleza Voadora B-17 designado para treinamento da Segunda Força Aérea. Foi anexado no final de 1943 e no início de 1944 à Escola de Táticas Aplicadas da Força Aérea do Exército da Universidade Aérea. Implantado para o Teatro Mediterrâneo.

774º Esquadrão de Bombardeios

Esquadrão
Estabelecido em meados de 1943 como um esquadrão de bombardeio pesado da Fortaleza Voadora B-17 designado para treinamento da Segunda Força Aérea. Foi anexado no final de 1943 e no início de 1944 à Escola de Táticas Aplicadas da Força Aérea do Exército da Universidade Aérea. Implantado para o Teatro Mediterrâneo.

775º Esquadrão de Bombardeios

Esquadrão
Estabelecido em meados de 1943 como um esquadrão de bombardeio pesado da Fortaleza Voadora B-17 designado para treinamento da Segunda Força Aérea. Foi anexado no final de 1943 e no início de 1944 à Escola de Táticas Aplicadas da Força Aérea do Exército da Universidade Aérea. Implantado para o Teatro Mediterrâneo.


321º Grupo de Bombardeio: 1942-43 - História

321º Grupo de Mísseis

Grand Forks AFB, Dakota do Norte, a sexta e última ala do Minuteman (Asa VI), tornou-se totalmente operacional em dezembro de 1966

Lineage - 321º Grupo de Bombas (Médio) ativado em 19 de junho de 1942. Inativado em 12 de setembro de 1945. Ativado na Reserva da Força Aérea de junho de 1947 a junho de 1949. Redesignado como Asa de Bomba 321º (Médio) e desativado em outubro de 1961. Em 1º de novembro de 1963, redesignado e ativada como a 321ª Asa de Mísseis Estratégicos (SMW). A 321ª ala de mísseis redesignada em 1 de setembro de 1991, o 321º Grupo de Mísseis em 1994, quando o Chefe do Estado-Maior da Força Aérea determinou que haveria apenas uma ala em cada base e outras unidades significativas seriam grupos, portanto, a ala da bomba em Grand Forks manteve o título de ala. A 321ª MG foi fechada em 2 de julho de 1998. A 321ª foi designada como um Grupo e Asa de Expansão Aérea desde então como uma unidade provisória no Oriente Médio desde que foi fechada como uma unidade de mísseis.

Esquadrões de Operações

446º Esquadrão de Mísseis Estratégicos (SMS) ativado em 1º de dezembro de 1961, tornou-se o 446º Esquadrão de Mísseis (MS) em 1º de setembro de 1991.

447º SMS ativado em 1 de março de 1962, tornou-se 447º MS em 1 de setembro de 1991.

448º SMS ativado em 1 de maio de 1962, bcam 448º MS em 1 de setembro de 1991.

Cada um dos esquadrões tinha originalmente 50 mísseis Minuteman II LGM30F com o sistema terrestre Sylvania e era chamado de Minuteman II, com o apelido & # 8220Deuce. & # 8221 O 564º SMS, o 20º e último esquadrão Minuteman, em Malmstrom, tinha a mesma configuração como Grand Forks. Este sistema tinha uma configuração de centro de controle de lançamento (LCC) completamente diferente, muito maior do que os LCCs nas primeiras cinco asas. Em vez de usar um sistema de cabo redundante para interconectar os 50 mísseis em um esquadrão, o sistema Sylvania usou um sistema de rádio de média frequência com grandes antenas enterradas em cada LCC e LF. Entre dezembro de 1971 e março de 1973, os três esquadrões foram convertidos para os mísseis Minuteman III LGM-30G. Quando o 321º MG fechou, os mísseis Minuteman III substituíram os mísseis Minuteman II no 341º MW.

Um LCG, Oscar-Zero, perto de Cooperstown, ND, foi entregue ao estado de Dakota do Norte e agora é operado como Sítio Histórico Estadual Ronald Reagan, junto com um dos LFs.


321º Grupo de Bombardeio: 1942-43 - História

Um dos papéis mais importantes nas campanhas teatrais do Mediterrâneo foi desempenhado na guerra aérea no século 57. Bomb Wing, um comando composto pelo bombardeiro médio B-25 Mitchell. Alguns dos quais começaram sua história de combate logo nos primeiros desembarques no Norte da África em novembro de 1942. Desde então, os B-25 têm participado de todas as grandes campanhas da Tunísia até o ataque final.

Clique abaixo para mais fotos do 488º.

Andrew Lucas - Tail Gunner (direita), 340º. Grupo de Bombardeio, 488º. Esquadrão de Bombardeio
Mais de 60.000 missões de B-25 foram levadas a ataques nas oito campanhas que eles apoiaram. A 310ª, a 321ª e a 340ª. Grupos sob o 57º. Bomb Wing foi responsável por 52.098 dessas surtidas em 2.774 missões e lançou 71.934 toneladas de bombas em uma grande variedade de alvos. Durante este tempo, o Mitchell voou 165.573 horas de vôo de combate.

S / Sgt. Brendon J. Murphy, ROM Gunner

321st. Grupo de Bombardeio, 445º. Esquadrão de Bombardeio

A história dos grupos de bombas sob o 57º. Bomb Wing lê na ordem das campanhas do Mediterrâneo. Após os desembarques no norte da África, veio a batalha de Kasserine Pass, uma contra-ofensiva alemã, cujo fracasso se tornou o ponto de virada da guerra. Com o apoio dos desembarques norte-africanos, os B-25 voaram para atacar as concentrações do Eixo e os campos de aviação na Tunísia, bem como realizar varreduras marítimas contra navios inimigos. Depois da Tunísia, os Mitchell se concentraram nas pequenas e fortemente fortificadas ilhas de Pantelleria e Lampedusa, que ameaçavam qualquer avanço futuro em direção à Europa vindo do sul. A campanha aérea contra essas duas ilhas resultou na primeira rendição de tropa exclusivamente de ataque aéreo sem o auxílio de tropas terrestres.


Os ataques foram então estendidos da África para o continente da Itália, Córsega e Sardenha. Em junho de 1943, os B-25 assumiram o papel que desempenhariam nos dois anos seguintes, a destruição das comunicações inimigas. Os Mitchell estavam no primeiro bombardeio médio da Itália e em julho voaram nos primeiros ataques na área de Roma. Isso aconteceu apenas nove dias após a invasão da Sicília, que foi fortemente apoiada pelos B-25. Em agosto, os primeiros ataques foram feitos com o B-25G usando o canhão de 75 mm no nariz.

Capitão Benjamin Marino, M.D.

(Esta foto é a Waterboro Medics original do 488º, tirada durante novembro de 1942 - Fila superior Jones, Jones, Capitão Benjamin Marino, McGrew, Marida. Fila inferior Robinson, Manning, Dillon e Graham.)

Setembro de 1943 trouxe Salerno e a batalha dura e constante após os desembarques iniciais. As operações eram dirigidas contra as comunicações a uma curta distância das linhas inimigas, cortando suas avenidas de apoio ali, bem como na área de Nápoles. No início de outubro, os Mitchell estavam operando a partir de novas bases na Itália e começaram seus ataques concentrados contra alvos nos Bálcãs, resultando na destruição da Luftwaffe. Os B-25 também fizeram o primeiro ataque da guerra à Bulgária a partir daqui.


Então veio a reorganização das Forças Aéreas no Mediterrâneo. Os B-25 começaram as operações sob o comando da força britânica de bombardeiros táticos, mas mais tarde assumiram seu lugar permanente sob o comando do 57º. Bomb Wing, que se tornou um quartel-general operacional em janeiro de 1944, Brig. Gen .. (então coronel) Robert D. Knapp tornou-se o general comandante.

340º. Grupo de Bombardeio, 488º. Esquadrão de Bombardeio

Vargas, Coviello, Pierce, Howard e Sanvetti

O mesmo mês viu a invasão de Anzio e o apoio infinito dado do ar. Então veio o esforço implacável para isolar a frente de batalha do Cassino pelo bombardeio das comunicações alemãs no centro da Itália todos os dias que o tempo permitisse. Os B-25 foram os primeiros a voar no ataque total ao Cassino. Para conduzir melhor a campanha de comunicação, toda a 57ª. As unidades de asas estavam na Córsega, muito atrás das linhas alemãs, em abril. A partir daqui, eles alcançaram o outro lado do mar para cortar constantemente as ligações ferroviárias e rodoviárias inimigas durante a captura dos aliados em Roma.

340º. Grupo de Bombardeio, 487º. Esquadrão de Bombardeio

Isso foi seguido rapidamente pela destruição de todas as pontes sobre o rio Pó, que rendeu dividendos nove meses depois. A Córsega como base provou ser valiosa na invasão do sul da França. Os Mitchell fizeram alguns dos trabalhos mais notáveis ​​da guerra contra pontes e posições de armas. Ataques à Iugoslávia e até à Áustria foram realizados a partir dessas bases. Em novembro, veio o maior empreendimento de bombardeiros médio já aceito e com incrível sucesso. Foi a Batalha de Brenner, contra a vital linha ferroviária entre a Alemanha e a frente de batalha italiana. No dia 26 de janeiro, a linha foi cortada ou bloqueada em pelo menos 18 localidades, 15 das quais haviam sido criadas até a 57ª. Bomb Wing.

321st. Grupo de Bombardeio, 446º. Esquadrão de Bombardeio
Salomon, Tunísia, julho de 1943

Da esquerda para direita
Thomas Sawyer - artilheiro de torre, Lloyd A. Porter - copiloto, Eugene S. Browning - piloto
Stanley C. Swenson - Radio Gunner, Miles P. Mattingly - Turret Gunner, Ingwal J. Hermanson - Bombadier

Pouco antes da corrida final na Itália, o 57º. O Bomb Wing mudou-se rapidamente para o norte da Itália e quando o Dia D chegou, encontrou-os se preparando para colocar o maior esforço já conhecido por parte dos bombardeiros médios. Em abril 4.638 surtidas foram realizadas em apoio próximo ao 8º britânico e ao 5º americano. Tropas do exército com ataques a concentrações de tropas inimigas, suprimentos, áreas de defesa e comunicações. De fato, foi apropriado quando os B-25 realizaram suas missões finais - a de lançar panfletos sobre o inimigo, anunciando a rendição incondicional dos exércitos alemães na Itália.

321st. Grupo de Bombardeio, 445º. Esquadrão de Bombardeio

Posição L-R:
Tenente Fred Garrison NAV
Tenente Harold & quotTurk & quot Lorton PILOT
S / sgt desconhecido RAD / WAIST GUNNER
Cpt. Bob Bonus PILOT
L-R ajoelhado:
S / sgt desconhecido TURRET GUN
S / sgt desconhecido TAILGUN
Tenente Henry McEnroe BOMBARDIER

O bombardeiro médio B-25 & quotMitchell & quot


A partir de 1940, quase 10.000 B-25 entraram em serviço do Exército e da Força Aérea, e cerca de 2.000 mais foram para o serviço do Corpo de Fuzileiros Navais britânico, soviético, brasileiro e dos EUA.
Apropriadamente, um dos melhores bombardeiros que já voou recebeu o nome de Brig. General Billy Mitchell, o defensor destemido do poder aéreo.
O bombardeiro chamou a atenção do público pela primeira vez em abril de 1942, quando 16 B-25 modificados foram lançados do porta-aviões Enterprise, voaram cerca de 700 milhas para o Japão e atacaram Tóquio e quatro outras cidades, suas fábricas, estaleiros, refinarias e fábricas de munições.

Um pássaro resistente!

B-25s voltando de uma missão.

O ataque do tenente-coronel Jimmy Doolittle a Tóquio, uma vitória psicológica dos americanos, enfureceu os japoneses, que retaliaram matando cerca de um quarto de milhão de soldados e civis chineses.
O B-25 também serviu como matador de navios, primeiro em patrulhas anti-submarino e depois contra navios de superfície. Em 1943, eles quase aniquilaram o comboio japonês na Batalha do Mar de Bismarck - demonstrando a teoria de dominação aérea dos mares de Billy Mitchell. Conseqüentemente, os japoneses nunca mais colocaram um comboio onde pudesse ser ameaçado pelo poder aéreo americano.
Because of the B-25's flying qualities it served a variety of non combat functions, including as a transport during and after World War II. Billy's Bomber or the Sweetheart of the Services ended its Air Force service in 1959 as a pilot trainer.


321st Bombardment Group: 1942-43 - History

1st Lt. Leighton "Danny" Charville

in the 445th Bombardment Squadron

This website is dedicated to my Grandfather, Leighton "Danny" Charville and all of the men of the 445th Bombardment Squadron of the 12th USAAF, 57th Bomb Wing, 321st Bombardment Group.

445th Bombardment Squadron Insignia

Danny Charville was a clerk for the Wheeling-Lake Erie Railroad in Northwest Ohio when he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps as an enlisted man in August 1941. He became an air cadet in November 1942 and received his wings at Mariana, Florida in August 1943. On December 14, 1943 2nd Lt. Charville departed for the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in a B-25 via the Southern Route. 2nd Lt. Charville arrived in Northern Africa around January 5, 1944, and flew his first mission on January 7, 1944 with the 445th Bombardment Squadron out of Amendola, Italy.

Leighton Charville, or Pop-pop as he was known to all of his grandchildren, passed away in 1977 without telling his family much about his time defending our Country during WWII. My Great-Uncle Chip Heyl spearheaded my family's research about Lt. Charville's military service. Uncle Chip visited the National Archives and combed through boxes of 50-plus year old records and found Operations and Mission Reports for many of his 33 missions.

In March 2007, I went to the National Archives and copied Operations and Mission Reports for some of the 321st Bomb Group's missions. The Mission Reports contain general information about the mission, including type of bombs dropped, results, enemy air and ground observations, weather observations, etc. The Operation Reports contain the aircraft number, and the names of the crewmen flying in their respective positions for the mission. I also copied other items when available such as hand written notes showing the makeup of the formation and bomb strike photos. I am in the process of making these available on the following page.

Lt. Charville brought the following photos back from his training and combat days.

Ssgt. John "Phil" Wilson had saved the following photo of the bombing of a bridge at Orvieto. Lt. Charville suffered a serious flak wound that broke his leg on a mission to this target on April 12, 1944. Ssgt. Bill Hickey, who was the gunner on this mission, said that even though he was wounded Lt. Charville landed the plane back at Gaudo Airfield by himself. Upon landing, the medics cut Lt. Charville's pants off and they strapped a metal brace on his leg. Lt. Charville was then sent to a hospital in Naples to recover.

After a month and a half in Naples, Lt. Charville was sent back home to recuperate at Crile General Hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. It was here that Lt. Charville received the Air Medal for a mission flown in support of American Troops at the Anzio beachhead on February 19th, 1944. The Pilot on that mission, 2nd Lt. Arthur J. Tarmicheal's log book stated that their plane recieved major damage, due to heavy flak.

Lt. Charville receives the Air Medal. Click on picture above for additional pictures.

The following page provides information on one of the well know planes of the 445th Bomb Squadron, a B-25C named "Oh-7".

The following photos are from Kenneth Terhune, Senior Supply Sergeant for the 445th.

S/Sgt. Warren Wimmer, who was a 446th Radio Mechanic, brought home a large collection of photos from his service.

Here is a list of many of the men who were in the 445th, which was in a publication called the "321st Headlines" which was mailed after the war to many of the men who served in the 321st BG. I also have lists for the 446th, 447th and 448th if you are interested, please contact me.

The following photo is of the original 445th Flying Officers in Columbia S.C. Click on the photo to see an enlarged view, and known identities.

The following is a list of the 445th B-25s by USAAF numbers.

This is a mission list for the 33 missions that Danny took part in.

The following pictures were captured by Bombardier George Deane during his 50 missions with the 447th Bomb Squadron from October 1943 to May 1944.

If you have any questions and would like to contact me, my name is David Charville, and my email address is [email protected]

Below are some other web sites on the 57th Bomb Wing.

If you are doing research on a Veteran who was in a B-25 Group in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in WWII, I strongly suggest that you post a message to the 57th Bomb Wing Listserve. There are many 57th Bomb Wing Veterans and other knowledgable people who may be able to answer your questions.

If you are looking for information on an airman who was shot down or killed in action during a mission, it may be helpful to look up the Missing Air Crew Report (MACR). This is a report that records the facts of the last known circumstances regarding missing air crews. You can look up information on MACR's on the following website.

The Yankee Air Force in Ypsilanti, Michigan has an awesome B-25D that flew 8 combat missions with the 340th Bomb Group, 389th Bomb Squadron in Italy in April and May 1944. It had the noseart of "Ellen E. & Son" and now carries the noseart of the "Yankee Warrior". Please see the YAF web site at:

My Great Uncle Chip Heyl also did research on another WWII Veteran, and wrote a book called Crossen Combat Chronicles. o Crossen Combat Chronicles focuses on Captain John R. Crossen, and his advancement to Lieutenant Colonel and the position of 135th Field Artillery Battalion Commander.


321st Bombardment Group: 1942-43 - History


History of the 323rd Bombardment Group in World War II
print > pdf

Roscoe S. Clark
Public Information Officer

The history of the White Tailed" B-26 Marauder Group began at MacDill Field, Florida, when on September 11, 1942, the parent group, the 21st Bomb Croup, gave birth to its offspring the 323rd Bomb Group (M) AAF. The personnel originally assured to the Group were at varied lot: flying personnel from all three flying Training Commands, ground personnel from various reception centers, from air bases at Jackson, Mississippi, and Columbia, South Carolina, and many ground Officers direct from various Officer Candidate Schools. Despite the inexperience of personnel and the definite lack of equipment, tools, and training facilities, the Group under the leadership of Lt. Col. Herbert E. Thatcher, plunged immediately into, the task of preparing for combat in the short space of three months.

The 323rd had capable leadership from the first with Lt. Col. Thatcher, as Croup Commanding Officer, Major Picking, Group Air Executive and Lt. William R: Fitzgerald as Group Adjutant. The men selected to lead the Squadrons were Capt. Richard Travis, Capt. Wilson R. Wood, Capt. William W. Brier and Capt. George O. Commenator.

MacDill Field in the summer and fall of 1942 was one of the busiest, if not the busiest, airfield in the whole United States. It was an old well established Air Field and had trained B-17 crews prior to the coining of the B-26s. Due to the lack of experienced instructors and many other factors in learning to fly new combat airplanes, the crash rate was alarmingly high at that time and occasioned many skeptical comments as to the worth of the B-26 as a combat airplane. It is to the credit of those first grim and determined pilots that pioneered in the operations of the "Wingless Wonder" that the first skeptical criticisms were later proved unfounded when the 323rd and its fellow B-26 groups made their outstanding combat records.

As the pilots became more proficient in flying the plane and more of them were checked-out as first pilots the formation of combat crews was begun. Then those crews started their training as members of combat teams. Bombing practice was obtained at the bombing ranges along the Gulf Coast a few miles west of Tampa. Mullet Key was the most widely used. On October 25, 1942 the 323rd was told it was now on its own and would be moving in a few days to another base to continue its combat training. The new base was to be Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. The move was completed on the 2nd of November 1942. The Group was now on its own, no one to watch over it.

If any man has served at Myrtle Beach he does not need a description of the base or its surrounding territory. The field was situated about two miles south of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a thriving resort town in the summer but a quiet village in the winter. Most men in the Group state that the winter of 1942-43 was the coldest, dampest, most miserable winter they ever spent in their lives.

Though the weather was never favorable for flying, the training continued throughout the rain and cold. The combat crews were going to ground school while not engaged in flying. There were some fatal accidents at Myrtle Beach but the losses were extremely small considering the number of hours flown and the handicaps that had to be overcome in the flying program.

After a period of several weeks of sweating out" the train movement to the Staging Area, the Group realized that, as sometimes happens in the Air force, the move was to be delayed for an indefinite period. There were two main reasons why the move overseas was delayed. One was because the 323rd was an experimental group, the first to test the practicability of using single control B-26's. A slow-up of production due to modifications on the plane was the other factor. After numerous rumors the overseas movement was definitely begun. The first part of March 1943, the 453rd Flight Echelon entrained for Ft. Wayne, Indiana, for a short stay to nick up the new airplanes of the Squadron and to start on the long journey overseas. The other squadrons left for Ft. Wayne at intervals of one week, and by April 7th all of them were on their way. The Ground Echelon regained at Myrtle Beach until Easter Sunday, April 25, 1943 when two troop trains left for Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and eventually overseas.

The trip across, for the Ground Echelon, was a ride on the "Queen Elizabeth". The trip was the first ocean voyage for practically all the personnel, and consequently, extremely interesting. However the enjoyment of the trip was marred by the fact that the normal passenger load of the ship had been multiplied many times and everyone had to line up for any and all functions of the day. Chow was served twice a day because of the enormous numbers of men aboard and then it was necessary to stand in line, sometimes for hours, to get into the mess hall. All sleeping quarters were crowded and it was necessary for enlisted men to use the regular bunks in shifts. Each man would be allowed use of a bunk for 24 hours, then would have to relinquish it to another man and go up to sleep on the-floor of the enclosed deck. After 24 hours on the deck, a man would then be entitled to go below and occupy a bunk for 24 hours. One advantage of being on a big ship was that fewer men were seasick than would have teen the case otherwise.

Except for the first day out o New York and the last day in the Western Approaches to the United Kingdom, when aircraft flew overhead, the "Queen Elizabeth went unescorted across the great Atlantic. Submarine detection devices and the sharp altering of the course every few minutes made the vessel safe from submarine attack. The "Queen" docked at the small fishing village of Goureck (Gourock) in Scotland. Then came the long train ride to the Groups first home in England, the village of Horham in Sussex. The field was an old R.A.F. base located a short distance from the village. The first of the Air Echelon arrived at Horham a short time after the Ground Echelon arrived. The Air Echelon of the 453rd 454th, and the 455th Squadrons flew the Southern route across the Atlantic. The Air Echelon of the 456th flew the Northern route across. Immediately after the Air Echelon landed in Horham the 323rd moved to Earls Colne, another small village in England.

The training program both ground and air, was carried on relentlessly from the moment the move was made to Earls Colne.

The all-important practice of medium level operations was carried on without delay. Though it was new to the crews and difficult to learn on such short notice, they soon became proficient at the new type of work. It became increasingly evident that the 323rd would become the first "Marauder Group to go into action at medium altitude. For its work in pioneering the B-26 medium altitude operation and showing the world that the B-26 was an efficient and formidable foe for the enemy, the 323rd took justifiable pride.

The question among all of the personnel on the base during the latter part of June was when the "Big Day was to be, for which the Group had trained so long and so hard. Finally on the 4th of July a foretaste of actual operations was given to the Group when it was sent on a diversionary raid over the English Channel. On the 16th of July, after only 2 months practice on the new bombing technique, the 323rd made the first medium altitude attack against an enemy target. The enemy installation singled out for this first blow was the important marshalling yards at Abbeville, France. Two missions were briefed and scrubbed before the group went on -its second mission on the 25th of July - a highly successful one to the Coke Ovens at Ghent.

Numerous raids were made during the remaining days of July, most of them against enemy airdromes in France in an endeavor to hinder and cripple the work of the German Air Force. Among the airfields attacked were St. Omer, Ft. Rouge, Tricqueville, Woensdrecht, Marville, and Poix. A total of 21 missions were briefed and set in August but only eight of them were flown. Again the targets were airfields and marshalling yards and targets of the special construction sites. Little was known about the special construction sites that were bombed but every crew member has his own idea about what they there. It was believed that they were built in connection with the German secret Weapon. It was not known definitely for several months that they were actually the sites being set up by the Germans from which to launch their first terror weapon, the V-1 Bomb or robot plane.

September was a comparatively big month for operations at that time, as 15 missions were successfully flown during that third month of operations. The planes continued to encounter both flak and fighters - 64 planes were damaged and two were lost in combat. By October the foggy, rainy and cloudy English weather had begun to hamper seriously the work of the Group. During the last three months of 1943 only 22 missions were successfully flown against the enemy. Thirteen of these targets were airfields and the nine were against the Special Construction Targets.

On the 13th of November 1943, the Group C.O. left to assume command of the 99th Combat Wing. Lt. Col. Wilson R. Wood, formerly C.O. of the 45th became the new Group Commander.

There were numerous enemy air raids during the first few months at Earls Colne. Many times the German Bombers could be heard overhead and the flak fire against them could be both seen and heard. It was not until the night of December 10, 1943 that the field was hit by the enemy. One string of bombs was dropped and the damage was slight.

That first Christmas overseas was a normal working day, though special Church services were held and the customary turkey and dressing was served.

The six months of operation in this first year of combat were highly successful, as the statistics will show. The Group ran sixty nine missions and two thousand and eleven sorties. In January 1944 the bad weather limited the Group to eight missions, all of them against the Special Construction Targets. On one of these missions the Group met 50 FW-190's and ME-109 s. During the encounter four enemy planes were destroyed and one damaged.

One event of February 1944 which was of special interest to combat crews was that some of them completed their fiftieth mission the first man to reach his mark was Lt. Red Phillips, a navigator in the 455th Squadron. This was a particularly busy month for enemy air raids. The siren screamed fourteen times during the cold winter months of the month. Operations for the month consisted of eighteen raids. The weather continued to be bad but missions were run .everyday that planes could venture off the ground. The Group lost three airplanes and crews in combat this month, but destroyed seven enemy planes in the air.

During March 1944 the Group took advantage of the improved weather sent many missions against enemy targets in Western Europe. After the month of March, the objectives of the Group changed radically. The campaign against the marshalling yards was started off on the 8th of April by a thirty-nine ship attack on the Hasselt Marshalling Yard. For one week during April the Group was taken off combat operations and given a week to devote to refresher training in formation flying. May could be classified as the bridge bombing month since it was during this month that the White Tailed Marauders concentrated their powerful blows against those important pre-invasion targets. A total of eight bridges were blasted in an endeavor to seal off Western France from the rest of Europe. How well this purpose was accomplished could be seen later in the confused efforts of the enemy to send supplies and reinforcements to his forces in
France when practically all the bridges on the lower Seine were knocked down.

June brought some of the most momentous days of the 323rd, as it was during this time that the Allies' grand assault on Hitler's vaunted Western Europe was staged. This long awaited event not only brought a new sense of determination and a great upswing in morale for the Group, but it also brought new problems and increased responsibilities. The bombing of the pre-invasion targets of bridges and coastal installations continued for the first few days of June, and during all this time the men knew that the day was not far away. The Group hummed with activity as all personnel were in the throes of hurried planning and preparations for the big day. With the necessity for added secrecy during pre-briefing, of lead crews and preparation for the regular briefing, the Intelligence section maintained an Officer guard on duty twenty-four hours a day, to doubly insure that no unauthorized persons gained access to the top secret information. Engineering was busy with the rush job of painting the Zebra like stripes on all the planes. The other sections of the group were likewise busy with their last minute preparations for D-Day.

The excited babbling of the crewmen betrayed their eagerness for the start of the all important invasion mission, when they gatherer in the crew room for the 0200 briefing on the morning of June 6, 1944.

The Group, using fifty-four planes, rather than the usual thirty-six, took off at 0415 and assembled in the early morning darkness. After the long trip over the ship infested Channel to the Cherbourg Peninsula the three boxes of the Group blasted their separate targets. The bombs were away at 0617, just a few short minutes before the first wave of assault troops dashed onto the enemy shore. No planes were lost and only slight enemy opposition, in the form of light to heavy flak was encountered. The results of the bombing were classed as fair to good.

For the next few days after D-Day the raids of the Group were concentrated against road junctions, bridges and marshalling yards in an effort to separate still further the immediate battle area from the rest of France. The threat of the German secret weapon, the pilot-less aircraft or flying bomb, became a reality when the night of June 16-17 1944 the air raid signal was given numerous times. Many alerts were sounded during the remainder of the month as the enemy intensified his attacks with the new weapon. During the last days of June the attack against the enemy consisted of more attacks against the launching sites of the flying bomb. Also during this time a new type bombing was practiced. This was night bombing accomplished by bombing it trail, visual, on flares dropped by PFF (Pathfinder) aircraft. This new program was designed to make the Group a potent bombing force after dark and thus enable the Bomber Command to do 'round the clock bombing.

After the particularly busy and exciting days of June, July was more or less a let-down to the Group as no missions were flown during the first seventeen days of the month. This lapse in activity was due to the continuing bad weather, which the English described as the worst in fifty years.

After more than thirteen months at Earls Colne the Group moved to a new location, Beaulieu Aerodrome in the county of Hands in Southern England. This was the first move in the Groups jaunt from England to the Continent. This move was made on July the 18-21 by rail, air and motor transport.

Life at Beaulieu was not much different from that at the old base, though the base and its surrounding territory was different. The terrain for miles around was very flat and there were very few trees on the base. The weather continued so bad for the first part of July that a mission could not be flown until the 18th of the month. On that day the Group took its part in the 9th Bomber Command attack on the Demouville Defended area, just east of Caen. Attacks were carried out against other bridges and fuel dumps but the most important attack for the month was the mission to the St. Lo Defended Area. The importance of this attack was seen later when the St. Lo breakthrough was recognized as the turning point of the Normandy campaign.

August was a month long to be remembered in the history of the Group. It was during this month that the long expected and long awaited move France was made. During the first week of the month a message was received warning the Group to prepare for an overseas movement. From that time on the base was alive with rumors and suppositions as to the destination of the outfit. It was not until the 15th that the final order was received. The new home was to be Number A-20, an air strip two miles NE of the little French Village of Lessay. The advanced Echelon left for France on August the 18th. The Group was entirely moved by the 31st of August. The move was made by train and boat with the exception of the planes which were flown to the new home. The outstanding combat news for the month of August was the fact that the Group exhibited its all-around bombing excellence. On the night of the 6th and 7th it successfully completed its first night mission. On this and several succeeding nights the technique of bombing in trail on target indicator flares was used in blasting different enemy installations.

The now home in France was a landing strip and was only partially completed. It had steel mat runways and hardstands. The field was situated in the midst of the area over which the Americans and Germans had fought so hard before the breakthrough to the west coast of the Cherbourg Peninsula. Though the field had been de-mined as thoroughly as possible, there were still some mines at various places and a few accidents resulted, one of them fatal. The disadvantage of living under field conditions had been discussed for months, but even the gloomiest predictions had not taken into account the scourge of bees and flies that made it practically impossible to eat a meal.

Giving further proof of its efficiency and ability the Group flew a mission off its steel mat runway less than 24 hours after the planes arrived at the new base. It was a part of the first American Bomber effort from French soil. The strong points and forts at Brest occupied the attention of the Group for a period of eight days. These raids were made in conjunction with other B-26 groups and heavy bomb groups.

With the American onslaught breaking so fast through France and Belgium it became necessary to shift the emphasis of the groups bombing support of our ground forces to the bombing of objectives along and behind the Siegfried Line in Germany. With the targets along the Siegfried Line getting further out of range each day, it became necessary to move to a closer base. The Group moved between the 14th and 21st of September to a large Airfield, once the pride of the French civil airlines, located at Chartres. At this home the successful raids of Allied Bombers had left a dismal picture of destruction. Booby traps and mines were plentiful, and the grave-yards" of wrecked aircraft was a constant peril to curiosity seekers. The bad weather continued with scarcely a let-up during the Groups sojourn at Chartres. Because of this only six of the twenty-six briefed targets could be flown. During these missions the stiffening of German resistance was evident from the increasing intensity and accuracy of the flak encountered. As the relentless drive of the American and Allied Ground Forces swept forward it was necessary for the Group to move again in order to be within range of its targets. This time the move was made to Northern France. The move began on the 13th of October and ended on the 15th.

Shortly after arrival at Laon a system of passes to Paris was started. Combat crews were allowed 3 day passes and ground crews 18 hour passes. This afforded the men some respite from the work and dreariness and enabled them to see more of France. Liberty runs were made to Reims. The winter at Laon was a tough and dreary one, to be always remembered for its snow, rain, mud and cold North Winds. These, combined with growing homesickness after many months in the E.T.O., poor housing and inadequate rations at times, caused morale of the men to reach a new all-time low. With such severe winter weather it became necessary to maintain alert crews at all tunes to insure that the runways and taxiways were kept free of snow, sleet and ice so that the planes could take off and land. For the rest of the month of October there were only two missions run. Excellent results were obtained.

The weather continued to be bad during November, but the Group was able to run five very successful visual missions and some PFF missions. Thanksgiving passed unnoticed except for the usual turkey and trimmings at the evening meal.

December at Laon was a very interesting month, to say the least. For a month usually characterized by Christmas festivities and gaiety, this one was quite different. It was composed mostly of hard work due to the great German counter attack which was such a rude blow to the complacency built up in the American army after the great successes of the previous summer and fall. The month s aerial activities were primarily in support of ground action. Those were mainly the 8th Army Group's offensive in the Saar region and the attempts of the 21st and 12th Army groups to stem the German drive in the Ardennes salient. While not in close support of our troops, the mission served to knockout bridges and defended villages vital to the enemy s plan of battle. Some successful missions were run during the first part of the month but extensive activities were prevented by the seemingly permanent bad weather.

When Christmas was just around the corner, the great offensive of the Germans came in all its fury. Enemy air activity became prevalent and local danger became probable. Nearby airfields were strafed and paratroopers and enemy agents were dropped in many near by places. Acts of sabotage and violence against American troops on the roads were reported daily. Double airplane guard, area guards, and armed messengers were employed.

The news blackout imposed by the Army commanders prevented the rank and file from keeping up with the latest development in the Battle of the Bulge, but it was realized throughout the whole base that the situation was critical. The Group was alerted for many possible eventuality, and everyone was warned to be ready to move on six hours notice. This would have necessitated burning much of the supplies and equipment.

Christmas passed almost unnoticed except for the huge meals of turkey and accompanying edibles. Here and there a brightly lighted tree reflected the creative initiative of a soldier who refused to let the Holy Holiday pass unsung. On the 23rd of December, in an attempt to deny to the enemy the use of supplies moving up by rail, the railroad bridge at Eller was bombed. Nearly every Group lost same planes and one of the groups, the 397th, lost 10 planes. The 323rd lost two planes to the extremely accurate and intense flak.

For its outstanding bombing on December 24 to 27 of the supply and transportation facilities used in reinforcing the great German counter-offensive the Group was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation. Starting on Christmas Eve with a full scale attack against a railroad bride at Trier, Germany, the 323rd bombed enemy installations six times in four days. All of these missions were accomplished with excellent and' superior results despite the seemingly insurmountable odds of adverse weather conditions and the intense enemy anti-aircraft fire. It was necessary for ground crewmen to go without sleep for many, many hours in order to load and service the planes for their vital work. Without a doubt the work of the 323rd played a vital part in breaking the back of the Great German Counter-offensive since it contributed so effectively during Christmas week to disrupting the enemy's transportation and supply facilities.

The New Year of 1945 was literally brought in with a bang. The usual annual midnight festivities had scarcely died away when an FW-190 came screaming across the field with his guns blazing. Anti-aircraft batteries opened up on the nuisance raider and were given credit for having destroyed him when he crashed a few miles west of the base. No casualties were caused - the worst damage was that some caught cold while crouching in their icy slit trenches.

Two blizzards during the month left little doubt that it was really winter. Snow drifted high up the sides of the tents and bitter cold penetrated the canvas day and night. Squads of men were kept busy clearing the runway and taxi strips so the Group could maintain the constant alert for take off. The existence of the threatening enemy bulge on the Ardennes front continued to influence the type of targets. The Germans had established the city of St. Vith as the hub of the recaptured area. Because of this it was the target on the first day of the year, when 31 planes loaded with 1000 pound bombs braved the intense flak fire to blast the city again. On one mission during the month one plane was lost and twenty-five ships had category A flak damage and three men were wounded. Late in the month of January the 323rd moved again. This time to strip A-83, located about four kilometers south of the city of Valenciennes. The 455th and 456th Squadrons were located in the Eastern outskirts of the village of Herin, to the northwest of the main highway from Valenciennes to Douai. This area was about a mile from the main field and was formerly a prison camp. The 453rd and 454th squadrons were not so fortunate, but their tent areas were soon made comfortable. During this move the Group Commander, Col. Wood returned to the United States and Lt. Col. Rollin Winningham from the 397th Group took command.

The handicaps of changing the base of operations and the usual adverse February weather proved to be surmountable ones. The 19 missions that were run carried the "White Tailed Marauders" over enemy strongholds to disrupt transportation, paralyze aircraft production and shatter bulging marshalling yards. The enemy in his last gasp for survival took a heavier toll in aircraft lost and damaged and in wounded personnel than in previous months. Eight planes were lost in combat, with 33 men being carried as missing in action, and 11 others wounded. Since most of the missions for the month were Pathfinder missions it was impossible to assess the amount of damage done on the various raids.

Shortly after the sun set on the 21st of February, it was evident that operation Clarion was scheduled to be run the following day. Hours of hectic briefing activity followed to make ready for the biggest and most vital air operation since D-Day. Clarion" was to be a coordinated aerial offensive of all flyable aircraft in the ETO against hundreds of junctions, bridges, and marshalling yards. The targets for the 323rd were all in the area east of Ham and affected railroads feeding that important marshalling center. March, 1945, saw the weather lift and as if to say, That's all we've been waiting for , the 323rd proceeded to run 43 successful missions during the month, by far the Greatest amount of bombing done in any one month of the Group's history. The Great air offensive continued through April with the whole effort concentrated at blasting a path before the slugging ground forces. The raids for this last month of operations consisted of raids on marshalling yards, oil storage dumps, an airfield and ordnance depots.

Again the range of the B-26 was strained to the breaking point by the great distance it was necessary to fly into Germany in order to reach the targets. The rapid advance of our armored forces and infantry had by the end of April overrun such a great portion of Germany that very few targets were left. As the German lines fell back and the battle became further and further away it became evident that the struggle could not continue for long. Not only were all targets out of range, but with the Allied troops making such rapid advances it became dangerous to bomb anywhere for fear of hitting them.

The entire Group had known for days that the long awaited V-E Day was not far off. With the leak in security that allowed the advanced notice, the Actual V-E Day came more or less as an anti-climax to that first announcement. The joy in every GI s heart was not betrayed so emotionally as was the joy of the French.

Thus ends the combat history of the 323rd, whose accomplishments in blasting the enemy extended from the rockbound coast of the Brest peninsula to the snow covered Alps, and from the Pas de Calais rocket bomb region to the Rhineland industrial area and Northern Holland. The outstanding combat record, which required countless acts of supreme courage and sacrifice and long dreary hours of back breaking labor, will stand for all time as a tribute to the working and fighting ability of the many men who served in the 323rd.

The 323rd Bomb Croup, 453rd Bomb Squadron, 454th Bomb Squadron, 455th Bomb Squadron and the 456th Bomb Squadron, for their combat record in the ETO here awarded the following awards

Six Battle Participation Credits As Follows:

Air Offensive Europe - 4 July 1942 - 5 June 1944
Normandy - 6 June 1944 - 24 July 1944
Northern France - 25 July 1944 - 11 September 1944
Ardennes Alsace - 16 December 1944 - 25 January 1945
Central Europe - 22 March 1945 - 11 May 1945
Rhineland - 15 September 1944 - 21 March 1945

Distinguished Unit Citation
Trier Germany 24-27 December 1944

V-E Day was over but the Squadrons of the 323rd Bomb Group had a varied history before they were deactivated and the men returned to the United States.

The first of May brought the 453rd Squadron news that rather stunned the whole Squadron. The Squadron was to be attached to the Ninth Air Service Command and was being sent to Germany to disarm German Air Force Installations. The Squadron, since its activation had been a combat outfit and the ground men had always been very proud of the flying man and their planes. During the next few days more information was received on the type of work to be done. The men began to realize the importance of the job to be done and they were all eager to get started.

Late in the month of May the 453rd moved to an airfield four rules north of Augsburg Germany, and on the 25th of the month completed disarming their first target. It was a ballon factory at Augsburg.

The continued disarmament of German Air Force installations was the main official subject during the month of June but the chief concern of the men seemed to be whether they had 85 points. On the 11th of June all of the combat men of the 453rd were transferred and now the squadron was strictly a ground outfit.

The month of July was a period of continued activities on the Disarmament of German Air Force Installations. The 453rd continued it's disarmament program during the month of August in the Munich area. V-J Day was met with a feeling of quiet joy. There was very little celebrating, but all personnel rejoiced. The next feeling was when do we go home"?

On the 11th of September the advance echelon of the 56th Air Disarmament Squadron arrived to take over the area, and the physical plant of the 453rd. This transfer was completed on the morning of the 12th and all the personnel remaining was transferred to group headquarters. On the 13th of September the unit was reduced in strength to one officer and one enlisted ran. Thus ends the history of the 453rd Bomb Squadron in Europe.

After V-E Day in Europe there is no official or unofficial history available about the 454th Bomb Squadron. It is assumed that their duties from V-E Day until the deactivation of the Squadron closely paralleled the 453rd Bomb Squadron.

The 455th Bomb Squadron became a ground outfit early in May of 1945 and soon moved to Germany where its assignment paralleled to the 453rd, the disarming of the German Air Force. This program of disarmament continued on through the summer until early fall when the squadron was deactivated, in Europe.

The 456th Bomb Squadron followed the pattern of the other three Squadrons and became a ground outfit, moved to Germany and spent the summer of 1945 disarming the German Air Force and was de-activated in the early fall.


Descrição

Like the 3rd and 38th Bomb Group projects, our research on the 43rd Bomb Group developed so much material that we either had to edit out hundreds of pages of text and photos from the book, or split it into two volumes. We’ve opted for the latter, in order to present a comprehensive and truly definitive history of the 43rd during WWII.

Activated less than a year before Pearl Harbor the 43rd was created in the rush to quickly build up American air power as the country’s involvement in another global war loomed. It soon moved to Bangor, Maine where it grew into a full-sized bomb group. Only a single prototype of America’s mightiest heavy bomber at that time, the B-17, nicknamed the Flying Fortress, was available to the unit at Bangor and that aircraft was soon destroyed in a crash. In February 1942, only weeks after the beginning of the war with Japan, the 43rd’s ground echelon prematurely deployed overseas aboard the greatest ocean liner of the time, the Rainha maria, in an epic, unescorted voyage across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans that skirted Africa and the southern perimeter of Asia to Australia.

However, it was not until mid-year that the air echelon began deploying to the Southwest Pacific Theater as B-17s became available and crews trained on the aircraft could be assigned. Initially flying missions out of Australia in B-17Es and Fs, the air echelon of the 43rd trained with and eventually absorbed the battered remnants of the 19th Bomb Group, which had been worn out as a combat unit during the early fighting in the Philippines at the end of 1941 and during the first ten months of 1942 over the Netherlands East Indies and Rabaul. When the tired veterans from the 19th returned to the States in late-1942 to recuperate and rebuild the unit, many of its remaining planes and less-experienced personnel were turned over to the 43rd to continue the fight. A cadre of experienced 19th Bomb Group pilots remained behind to help fill out the leadership positions within the unit.

The 43rd began full-scale operations under its own headquarters in mid-November 1942 from bases in northern Australia and later, Port Moresby, New Guinea, conducting missions in the northern Solomons, Papua New Guinea and against Japanese island bases on New Britain and New Ireland, winning a Distinguished Unit Citation for its participation in the Papuan Campaign. For the next year, the 43rd was one of the two heavy bombardment groups in MacArthur’s Fifth Air Force, that carried the war to the Japanese at Salamaua, Lae, Wewak and Rabaul.

During this period, on a special mapping mission in the Solomons on June 16, 1943, the crew of a B-17 piloted by Capt. Jay Zeamer was awarded two Medals of Honor, and the rest Distinguished Service Crosses, becoming the most decorated aircraft flight crew in U.S. history. This is the only book to contain the full and complete story of the mission using all available sources. After participating in the watershed Battle of the Bismarck Sea, for which the unit was also awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation, the Group began gradually re-equipping with the B-24 Liberator after the decision was made to discontinue support for two heavy bomber types in the theater, thereafter diverting all B-17 aircraft resources to Europe.

Ken’s Men Against the Empire: The B-17 Era tells an amazing and important story of the early air war in the Pacific, created from all available surviving unit records integrated with the stories, records and accounts of hundreds of veterans who served with the nascent unit. The narrative is supplemented by hundreds of photographs, five comprehensive appendices, three spectacular color paintings and 24 detailed color profiles by aviation artist Jack Fellows. As Volume 4 of the Eagles over the Pacific book series, the story of the B-24 Era will continue in Volume II.


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