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|Wing:||40th Combat Bombardment Wing|
|Division:||1st Bombardment Division|
|Squadrons:||325th Bombardment Squadron|
326th Bombardment Squadron
327th Bombardment Squadron
407th Bombardment Squadron
|Details:||Trained with B-17\'s and performed antisubmarine duty. Moved to England, Jul-Aug 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF. Flew a few combat missions in Sep and Oct 1942, then trained replacement crews. Began bombardment of strategic objectives in May 1943 and engaged primarily in such operations throughout the war. Targets from May 1943 to Feb 1944 included shipyards at Kiel, ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt, submarine installations at Wilhelmshaven, a tire plant at Hannover, airfields near Paris, an aircraft factory at Nantes, and a magnesium mine and reducing plant in Norway.
Flight Officer John C Morgan, co-pilot, received the Medal of Honor for action aboard a B-17 during a mission over Europe, 26 Jul 1943: when the aircraft was attacked by enemy fighters, the pilot suffered a brain injury which left him in a crazed condition; for two hours Morgan flew in formation with one hand at the controls and the other holding off the struggling pilot who was attempting to fly the plane; finally another crew member was able to relieve the situation and the B-17 made a safe landing at its base.
Although handicapped by weather conditions, enemy fire, and insufficient fighter protection, the group bombed aircraft factories in central Germany on 11 Jan 1944 and received a DUC for the mission. Took part in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against the German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944. After that, attacked V-weapon sites in France; airfields in France, Germany, and the Low Countries; and industrial targets in France, Germany, and Belgium, making concentrated strikes on oil and transportation facilities after Oct 1944. In addition to strategic missions, performed some interdictory and support operations. Assisted the Normandy invasion in Jun 1944 by hitting gun emplacements, junctions, and marshalling yards in the beachhead area. Supported ground forces at St Lo during the breakthrough in Jul 1944. Bombed gun positions and bridges to aid the airborne assault on Holland in Sep 1944. Participated in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945, by attacking bridges and marshalling yards in and near the battle area. Bombed airfields near the landing zone to cover the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945.
Moved to France in Jun 1945 and transported troops from Marseilles to Casablanca for return to the US. Inactivated in France on 28 Feb 1946.
Air Force Combat Units of World War II, Maurer, Maurer: USAF, 1986
|Accident Reports:||Number of Non-Combat-Related Accident reports for this group:|