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452nd Bombardment Group (Heavy)

Aircraft:B-17
Group Emblem:
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Wing:45th Combat Bombardment Wing
Division:3rd Bombardment Division
Airfield(s)
Squadrons:728th Bombardment Squadron
729th Bombardment Squadron
730th Bombardment Squadron
731st Bombardment Squadron
Tail Marking:
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Details:Trained with B-17's. Moved to England, Dec 1943-Jan 1944, and assigned to Eighth AF.

Entered combat on 5 Feb 1944 with an attack against aircraft assembly plants at Brunswick. Throughout combat, engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets, including marshalling yards at Frankfurt, aircraft assembly plants at Regensburg, aircraft component works at Kassel, the ball-bearing industry at Schweinfurt, a synthetic rubber plant at Hannover, and oil installations at Bohlen.

1st Lt Donald Gott and 2d Lt William E Metzger Jr were each awarded the Medal of Honor for remaining with their aircraft (crippled during a mission over Germany on 9 Nov 1944) in an attempt to save a wounded crew member who was unable to bail out; the men were killed when the B-17 exploded in midair.

In addition to strategic missions, the 452d supported ground forces and carried out interdictory operations. Helped prepare for the invasion of Normandy by hitting airfields, V-weapon sites, bridges, and other objectives in France; struck coastal defenses on D-Day, 6 Jun 1944. Bombed enemy positions in support of the breakthrough at St Lo in Jul and the offensive against Brest in Aug and Sep. Later in Sep, assisted the airborne attack on Holland. Hit enemy communications in and near the combat zone during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Bombed an airfield in support of the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945.

Received a DUC for action on 7 Apr 1945 when, despite vigorous fighter attacks and heavy flak, it accurately bombed a jet-fighter base at Kaltenkirchen. Flew last combat mission of World War 11 on 21 Apr, striking marshalling yards at Ingolstadt. Returned to the US in Aug. Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945.

    Commanders:
  • Lt Col Herbert O Wangeman, c. 15 Jun 1943
  • Lt Col Robert B Satterwhite, 8 Feb 1944
  • Lt Col Marvin F Stalder, 28 Feb 1944
  • Col Thetus C Odom, 30 Mar 1944
  • Col Archibald Y Smith, c. 24 Jul 1944
  • Col William D Eckert, c. 1 Aug 1944
  • Lt Col Charles W Sherburne, 13 Sep 1944
  • Col Burnham L Batson, c. 25 Sep 1944;

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

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