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301st Bomb Group

Group

Activated 3-February-1942 at Geiger Field, Washington and equipped with B-17s. On 27-May-1942 the ground unit moved to Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, and the aircraft went to Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base), California for intensive flight training until the middle of June, 1942 when they moved to Alamogordo. In early July 1942, the ground unit moved to Richmond, Virginia on on 19-Jul-1942 to Fort Dix, New Jersey in preparation for overseas movement. The air unit went to Brained Field, Connecticut then on to Westover Field, Massachusetts. The air unit began transferring to the United Kingdom on 23-July-1942 flying the northern ferry route to Prestwick, UK.

The 301st Bomb Group flew 8 missions of 104 sorties, dropped 186 tons of bombs and had 1 aircraft MIA between 5-Sep-42 and 8-Nov-42 during their tenure in the UK. The Group was assigned to the Twelfth Air Force and on 20-23 November 1942 they moved to North Africa to take up a role in the Mediterranean theater.

A year later the Group joined the Fifteenth Air Force, flying bombing missions over southern Germany from Italian bases. The Group also supported the ground invasion of southern France as part of Operation Dragoon, which commenced on 15 August 1944.

Commanding officers
  • Ronald Walker

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer | 301st Bomb Group
    Commanding Officer, 301st Bombardment Group, 3-February-1942 to 2-September-1942

Structure

Part of
  • 15th Air Force

    15th Air Force

    Command
    The Fifteenth Air Force was one of two Strategic Air forces in Europe, along with the Eighth Air Force. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command
  • 1st Combat Bomb Wing
  • 5th Combat Bomb Wing

    5th Combat Bomb Wing

    Wing
    The 5th Air Division (5th AD) originated on 19 October 1940 at McChord Field, Washington. Its initial mission was air defense of the northwest United States with three bombardment groups (12th, 17th and 39th) flying early B-17 Flying Fortresses (B-17C...

Encompassing
Previously was
Not yet known
Became
Not yet known

Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 9

    5 September 1942
    15BS despatches 12 DB-7 A-20 bombers to attack the port area of Le Harve, France. 1st mission for 15BS under 8th AF control; 97BG & 301BG attack the railroad marshalling yards at Rouen/ Sotteville, France.

  • VIII Bomber Command 10

    6 September 1942
    15BS despatches 12 DB-7 A-20 Boston IIIs to attack the German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France; 92BG & 97BG together despatach 51 B-17s to bomb the Avion Portez aircraft factory ar Meaulte, France; 301BG despatches 13 B-17s to attack German...

  • VIII Bomber Command 10

    6 September 1942
    15BS despatches 12 DB-7 A-20 Boston IIIs to attack the German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France; 92BG & 97BG together despatach 51 B-17s to bomb the Avion Portez aircraft factory ar Meaulte, France; 301BG despatches 13 B-17s to attack German...

  • VIII Bomber Command 11

    7 September 1942
    97BG despatches 15 B-17s to bomb the shipyards at Rotterdam, Holland; 301BG despatches 14 B-17s to bomb targets of opportunity (O) in and around Utrecht, Holland.

  • VIII Bomber Command 12

    26 September 1942
    97BG and 301BG together despatch 45 B-17s to bomb the German airfields of Maupertus near Cherbourg and Porjeau at Morlaix, France. 301BG is recalled because the fighter escort of p-38s from 1FG is recalled. The 97BG aborts the mission over the Bay of...

  • VIII Bomber Command 13

    2 October 1942
    97BG and 301BG together despatch 43 B-17s to bomb the Avion Portez aircraft factory ar Meaulte, France; 97BG also despatches 6 B-17s to attack the German airfield Longuenesse at St. Omer, France which is intended as a diversion to the main attack at...

  • VIII Bomber Command 14

    9 October 1942
    Bombers are dispatched to bomb the steel and engineering works of the Compagnie de Fives at Lille, France and the locomotive and freight car works of Ateliers d'Hellemmes at Lille which are the Primary (P) targets. Other targets are Courtrai Airfield,...

  • VIII Bomber Command 14

    9 October 1942
    Bombers are dispatched to bomb the steel and engineering works of the Compagnie de Fives at Lille, France and the locomotive and freight car works of Ateliers d'Hellemmes at Lille which are the Primary (P) targets. Other targets are Courtrai Airfield,...

  • VIII Bomber Command 15

    21 October 1942
    German U-Boat pens are Lorient, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission along with the German airfield at Cherbourg, France. 93BG despatches 24-B-24s to Lorient, but cloud cover prevents them from bombing. The main attack force to Lorient...

  • VIII Bomber Command 16

    7 November 1942
    A combined bomber force of 56 B-17s are despatched by 91BG, 301BG and 306BG to bomb the U-Boat pens at Brest, France. This is the first mission flown by 91st Bomb Group. This element is joined by 12 B-24s from 93BG. To aide the attacking bomber force,...

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Stations

Station Location Date
Established Geiger Field 3 February 1942
Based Chelveston 9 August 1942 – 8 December 1942
Based Podington 18 August 1942 – 2 September 1942
Based Saint-Donat Airfield 6 March 1943 – 6 August 1943
Based Oudna Airfield 6 August 1943 – 7 December 1943
Based Lucera Airfield 1 February 1944 – July 1945

Connections

People

  • Norman Adler

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned 32BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Lechfeld 12-Sep-44 flak, crashed Karwendelhaus; Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 8622. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Charles Allen

    Military | 301st Bomb Group

  • Loy Allen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 301st Bomb Group

  • Spotswood Allen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned 32BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Lechfeld 12-Sep-44 flak, crashed Karwendelhaus; Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 8622. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Robert Ault

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned 32BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Wiener Neudorf 26-Jul-44 hit by enemy aircraft, crashed Perin; Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 7141. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Ernest Beber

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | 301st Bomb Group

  • Forest Bertsch

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 301st Bomb Group
    While serving as a Waist Gunner on B-17F 41-24362 the aircraft was ditched into the English Channel 9 October 1942. Rescued Returned to Duty (RTD) First successful ditching of a B-17 in the ETO.

  • Frederick Bidelspach

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 301st Bomb Group
    Served as Co:Pilot of B-17F 41-24362 ditched in Channel 9 October 1942. Rescued and Returned to Duty (RTD) First successful ditching of a B-17 in the ETO.

  • F Billings

    Military | First Lieutenant | passenger | 301st Bomb Group
    October 3, 1942 Hitler's Hearse landing gear would not retract. All but pilot and copilot had to bale out before attempted landing at Newmarket airfield. AC# B-17F-5-BO 41-24398. All crew returned.

  • Clement Bird

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 301st Bomb Group
    Hitler's Hearse' on October 3, 1942 faced problem when landing as landing gear would not retract. All but pilot and copilot had to bale out before attempted landing at Newmarket airfield. AC# B-17F-5-BO 41-24398. All crew returned.

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Aircraft

  • 41-24352 Holey Joe

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 352BS/301BG Chelveston 7/42; Tafaraoui 24/11/42; crash landed Mateur 9/5/43 40m with George Peabody; flak damage 6/11/43; Returned to the USA 22/10/43; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Walnut Ridge 31/10/45....

  • 41-24359

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 301BG Westover 8/9/42; instead of assignment to 12AF, Italy transferred to Chelveston 16/9/42; 813BS/305BG Grafton Underwood/Chelveston 25/11/42, sent to pathfinder base RAF Wyton of installation of Oboe Mk I radar equipment; 325BS/92BG [NV-F]...

  • 41-24360 'Hells Kitchen'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned RAF [FA675] but transferred 419BS/301BG Westover 7/42; Podington 6/8/42; Tafaraoui 24/11/42; 101m; Returned to ZI flown home by Lt Col Skip Stoddard Oct 43 ...

  • 41-24362

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned RAF [FA677] but transferred 419BS/301BG Westover 6-Aug-42; Podington 6-Aug-42; ditched Channel just off Margate, on return from Lille 9-Oct-42 aircraft flew 3 missions. Crew rescued, the first such 8AF sea rescue. No MACR issued. 10RTD. ...

  • 41-24397 Phyllis

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 352BS/301BG Westover 8/7/42; Chelveston 9/8/42; detailed mission to Meaulte, Fr 2/10/42; crash landed RAF Gatwick 2/10/42 with 1Lt. Charles W. Paine, Jr. Co-pilot: 1Lt Robert H. Long, Navigator: 2Lt John A. Thomson, Bombardier: 2Lt Stanley A....

  • 41-24406 'All American'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 92BG Bangor 13/7/42; transferred 414BS/97BG Polebrook 6/42; Maison Blanche, Alg. 13/11/42; Tafaraoui, Alg. 22/11/42; Biskra, Alg. 25/12/42; on Tunis mission was rammed by Me109G 1/2/43 almost slicing rear fuselage and tailplane off; made it...

  • 41-24418 'Mickey Finn' 'Special Delivery II'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 352BS/301BG Westover 12/7/42; Chelveston 9/8/42; flew group's first mission 5/9/42; Tafaraoui 26/11/42; as MICKEY FINN 11m; transferred 32BS and renamed SPECIAL DELIVERY II total 79m; Returned to the USA Rapid City 398BG (training) 10/11/43;...

  • 42-30310

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 14/5/43; Smoky Hill 29/5/43; Morrison 9/6/43; Assigned 419BS/301BG St Donat 12/6/43; Oudna 6/8/43; Cerignola 7/12/43; Lucera 1/2/44; Missing in Action 31m Regensburg 25/2/44 with Chester Koch, Loy Allen, Ralph Nyren, Paul Parent, (...

  • 42-30314 Beautiful Baby

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 13/5/43; Smoky HIll 30/5/43; Morrison 8/6/43; Assigned 353BS/301BG St Donat 16/6/43; Oudna 6/8/43; Missing in Action 10m Istres le Tube 17/8/43 with Bill Cunningham, Howard, Michael, Miller, Barnett, Smith, (6KIA/ Prisoner of War);...

  • 42-30346

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 19/5/43; Smoky Hill 31/5/43; Dyersburg 27/6/43; Gr Isle 22/7/43; Presque Is 31/7/43; Assigned 419BS/301BG St Donat 3/7/43; Oudna 6/8/43; Cerignola 7/12/43; Lucera 1/2/44; 15m Salvaged 31/3/44.

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Citations

Distinguished Unit Citations: Tunisia, 6 Apr 1943; Germany, 25 Feb 1944.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2016 16:03:14 466thHistorian Changes to unit encompassing associations
Sources

http://www.armyaircorpsmuseum.org/301st_Bombardment_Group.cfm

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2016 16:01:07 466thHistorian Changes to stations
Sources

http://www.forgottenairfields.com/italy/apulia/foggia/lucera-s566.html

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2016 15:50:24 466thHistorian Changes to stations
Sources

http://www.armyaircorpsmuseum.org/301st_Bombardment_Group.cfm

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2016 15:41:38 466thHistorian Changes to motto, insignia, citations and stations
Sources

http://www.armyaircorpsmuseum.org/301st_Bombardment_Group.cfm

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2016 04:56:41 ram957 Changes to mission associations
Sources

MACR

Date Contributor Update
26 April 2016 04:54:03 ram957 Changes to mission associations and media associations
Sources

MACR

Date Contributor Update
25 November 2014 18:14:48 Lee8thbuff Changes to type, description, unit encompassing associations, mission associations and stations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 25-Nov-2014. Added early history per http://www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/301bg.HTM.

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2014 18:12:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to air forces, aircraft types and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Nov-2014. http://www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/301bg.HTM

Date Contributor Update
07 November 2014 18:09:08 Lee8thbuff Changes to commanding officers associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 7-Nov-2014: Added CO. http://www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/301bg.HTM

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:44 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / The Mighty Eighth. A History of the Units, Men and Machines of the US 8th Air Force.' by Roger A. Freeman (1989). 'Air Force Combat Units of World War II' compiled by the Department of the US Air Force, edited by Maurice Maurer (1983).

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