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Bomber assembly areas showing splasher beacons and base locations in East Anglia.
Constituted as the 1st Bombardment Division on 30 August 1943 the unit was formally activated at Brampton Grange, Huntingdon on 13 September 1943. It was redesignated 1st Air Division in December 1944. It had a total of forty-eight heavy bomber squadrons flying B-17s, with four squadrons in each bombardment group; groups were based at Bassingbourn, Ridgewell, Nuthamstead, Podington, Chelveston, Thurleigh, Molesworth, Kimbolten, Grafton Underwood, Polebrook, Deenethorpe and Glatton.
|1st Combat Wing||40th Combat Wing||41st Combat Wing||94th Combat Wing|
|91st Bomb Group
|92nd Bomb Group
|303rd Bomb Group
|351st Bomb Group
|381st Bomb Group
|306th Bomb Group
|379th Bomb Group
|401st Bomb Group
398th Bomb Group
|305th Bomb Group
|384th Bomb Group
|44th Bomb Group Shipham||93rd Bomb Group Hardwich||389th Bomb Group Hethel||392nd Bomb Group Wendling|
|445th Bomb Group Tibenham||446th Bomb Group Bungay||
448th Bomb Group
|453rd Bomb Group Old Buckenham|
|458th Bomb Group Horsham St. Faith||466th Bomb Group Attlebridge||467th Bomb Group Glatton||489th Bomb Group
|491st Bomb Group Metfield||492nd / 801St Bomb Group North Pickenham||
|34th BG (Converted to B-17s, 3rd Div 93rd Combat Wing)|
|45th Combat Wing||13th Combat Wing||4th Combat Wing||93rd Combat Wing|
|96th Bomb Group
|95th Bomb Group
|94th Bomb Group
Bury St. Edmonds
|385th Bomb Group
| 388th Bomb Group
|100th Bomb Group
| 447th Bomb Group
| 34th Bomb Group
| 452nd Bomb Group
| 390th Bomb Group
| 486th Bomb Group
Aircraft ID Code
487th Bomb Group
| 493rd Bomb Group
There were numerous designations of the fighter units during the war. Originally it was the 8th Fighter Command, then it was later reorganized and each bomber division was assigned specific fighter squadrons to them. However, operationally they could be assigned anywhere as an escort. In additional, RAF fighters, the 9th Tactical Air Force fighters, would be assigned escort missions to the bombers whenever needed.
|4th Fighter Group||357th Fighter Group||365th Fighter Group|
"Our two countries, parted long ago by war, were brought together again by war in a unity and under-standing such as we had never known."
"Through long years of endeavor and endurance we shared all things, and though we lost so much we found a lasting friendship. We shall never forget those gallant American soldiers, sailors and airmen who fought with us, some in our own ranks, count-less others from our shores."
"To those who did not return the best memorial is the fellowship of our
two countries, which by their valour they created and by their sacrifice they
— WINSTON CHURCHILL
The 486th and 487th, former B-24 groups from the 92nd Combat Wing, joined the 94th and 447th to form the 4th Combat Wing after converting to B-17's In mid-1944. The 34th, 490th, and 493rd also converted to B-17's in mid-1944 to form the 93rd Combat Wing. They were joined by the B-17 385th in early 1945.
The 482nd Bomb Group flew some missions In both B-17's and B-24's, but was essentially a training and experimental bombing unit at Alconbury.
Group markings came from the newsletter of the 398th BG.
Eventually I will convert these into color.
The "Hard Luck Group" in the 8th Air Force was the 492nd BG. The 492nd flew 67 missions and lost 55 Liberators.
On June 20, 1944 it lost 14 B-24s on that day alone!
In August, 1944 the 492nd was disbanded due to excessive losses.
This came from rick Centore whose dad was on one of the B-24s lost on June 20. His dad spent the rest of the war as a POW.
One of the problems of lossing so many a/c at one time is that the replacement pilots have no experience thus they cannot fly formations as tight as required when flying into Germany and thus makes it even easier for them to be shot down by enemy fighters.
CarpetBaggers aka 801 & 492 BG, was The American unit that flew spies - both British & U.S.A. OSS agents - using B-26s, B-17s, B-24s, Lysanders plus others, into and out of Europe. They took on the designation of 492nd Bomb Group after August 13 of 1944 when the daylight bombing version of 492 BG was disbanded.
Burtonwood - The massive repair depot created to support aircraft.
The medium bombers all started out as part of the 8th Bomber Command, then after reorganization in September / October 1943 all the mediums were transferred into the 9th.
Pvt Benjamin Leroy Vaughan's site about B-26s lists all the serial numbers of them.