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|Wing:||1st Combat Bombardment Wing|
|Division:||1st Bombardment Division|
|Squadrons:||812th Bombardment Squadron|
813th Bombardment Squadron
814th Bombardment Squadron
|Details:||Provided a pathfinder force of radar-equipped aircraft to precede bomber formations and indicate targets obscured by weather.
Flew its first mission on 27 Sep 1943, leading bombers of 1st and 3rd Bombardment Divisions to attack the port at Emden. Operated chiefly as a pathfinder organization until Mar 1944, detaching its B-17 and B-24 aircraft, with crews, to other stations in England to lead Eighth AF elements on specific missions to the Continent. Led attacks on factories at Gotha, Brunswick, Schweinfurt, and other industrial centers during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944. Also served as the pathfinder force for bombers attacking airfields, submarine installations, cities, marshalling yards, and other targets, primarily in Germany.
Received a DUC for a mission on 11 Jan 1944 when it led organizations of Eighth AF into central Germany to attack aircraft industries; although weather conditions prevented effective fighter protection against severe attack by enemy aircraft, the group not only bombed the assigned targets, but also destroyed a number of enemy planes.
Removed from combat status in Mar 1944 and after that operated a school for pathfinder crews with the objective of training a pathfinder squadron for each Eighth AF bombardment group; made radarscope photographs of France, the Low Countries, and Germany for use in training and briefing combat crews; and tested radar and other navigational equipment. Often bombed such targets as bridges, fuel depots, power plants, and railroad stations while on experimental flights; flew a pathfinder mission to assist the bombardment of coastal defenses in Normandy on 6 Jun 1944 and later that day led attacks on traffic centers behind the beachhead; sometimes dropped propaganda leaflets.
Redesignated 482nd Bombardment Group (Heavy) in Nov 1944. Continued its training and experimental work until V-E Day. Moved to the US, May-Jun 1945. Inactivated on 1 Sep 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:|