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458th Bombardment Group (Heavy)

Aircraft:B-24
Group Emblem:
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Wing:96th Combat Bombardment Wing
Division:2nd Bombardment Division
Airfield(s)
Squadrons:752nd Bombardment Squadron
753rd Bombardment Squadron
754th Bombardment Squadron
755th Bombardment Squadron
Tail Marking:
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Details:Prepared for combat with B-24's. Moved to England, Jan-Feb 1944, and assigned to Eighth AF.

Flew diversionary missions on 24 and 25 Feb 1944 to draw enemy fighters from German targets being attacked by other AAF bombers. Began bombardment on 2 Mar 1944, and afterward operated primarily against strategic objectives in Germany. Hit such targets as the industrial area of Saarbrucken, oil refineries at Hamburg, an airfield at Brunswick, aircraft factories at Oschersleben, a fuel depot at Dulmen, a canal at Minden, aircraft works at Brandenburg, marshalling yards at Hamm, and an aircraft engine plant at Magdeburg. Carried out some interdictory and support operations in addition to the strategic missions.

Helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by striking gun batteries, V-weapon sites, and airfields in France; hit coastal defenses in support of the assault on 6 Jun 1944; afterward, bombed bridges and highways to prevent the movement of enemy materiel to the beachhead. Attacked enemy troops to aid the Allied breakthrough at St Lo in Jul. Ceased bombardment during Sep 1944 to haul gasoline to airfields in France. Struck transportation lines during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Attacked enemy airfields to assist the Allied assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945.

Flew last combat mission on 25 Apr 1945. Returned to the US, Jun-Jul 1945. Redesignated 458th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in Aug 1945. Trained with B-29's. Inactivated on 17 Oct 1945.

    Commanders:
  • Lt Col Robert F Hardy, 28 Jul 1943
  • Col James H Isbell, 16 Dec 1943;

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

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