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96th Bombardment Group (Heavy)

Aircraft:B-17
Group Emblem:
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Wing:45th Combat Bombardment Wing
Division:3rd Bombardment Division
Airfield(s)
Squadrons:337th Bombardment Squadron
338th Bombardment Squadron
339th Bombardment Squadron
413th Bombardment Squadron
Tail Marking:
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Details:Trained with B-17\'s and also served as an operational training unit. Moved to England, Apr-May 1943, for duty with Eighth AF. Entered combat in May 1943 and functioned primarily as a strategic bombardment organization throughout the war. Attacked shipyards, harbors, railroad yards, airdromes, oil refineries, aircraft factories, and other industrial targets in Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Norway, Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia.

Received a DUC for withstanding severe assault by enemy fighters to bomb the vital aircraft factories at Regensburg on 17 Aug 1943. Received another DUC for leading the 45th Wing a great distance through heavy clouds and intense antiaircraft fire to raid important aircraft component factories in Poland on 9 Apr 1944. Other significant targets included airdromes in Bordeaux and Augsburg; marshalling yards in Kiel, Hamm, Brunswick, and Gdynia; aircraft factories in Chemnitz, Hannover, and Diosgyor; oil refineries in Merseburg and Brux; and chemical works in Weisbaden, Ludwigshafen, and Neunkirchen.

In addition to strategic operations, missions included bombing coastal defenses, railway bridges, gun emplacements, and field batteries in the battle area prior to and during the invasion of Normandy in Jun 1944; attacking enemy positions in support of the breakthrough at St Lo in Jul 1944; aiding the campaign in France in Aug by striking roads and road junctions, and by dropping supplies to the Maquis; and attacking, during the early months of 1945, the communications supplying German armies on the western front.

After V-E Day, flew food to Holland and hauled redeployed personnel to French Morocco, Ireland, France, and Germany. Returned to the US in Dec. Inactivated on 21 Dec 1945.

    Commanders:
  • Col Archie J Old Jr, 6 Aug 1942
  • Col James L Travis, c. 6 Sep 1943
  • Col Robert W Warren, Jun 1944
  • Lt Col Robert Nolan, c. 27 May 1945

Air Force Combat Units of World War II, Maurer, Maurer: USAF, 1986

Accident Reports:Number of Non-Combat-Related Accident reports for this group: