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306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers

Group

Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat, Oct 1942-Apr 1945, they flew 342 missions of 9,614 sorties from that station dropping 22,575 tons of bombs. The Group lost 171 aircraft MIA. Operations primarily against strategic targets, striking locomotive works at Lille, railroad yards at Rouen, submarine pens at Bordeaux, shipbuilding yards at Vegesack, ball-bearing works at Schweinfurt, oil plants at Merseburg, marshalling yards at Stuttgart, a foundry at Hannover, a chemical plant at Ludwigshafen, aircraft factories at Leipzig, and other objectives on the Continent. Took part in the first penetration into Germany by heavy bombers of Eighth AF on 27 Jan 1943 by attacking U-boat yards at Wilhelmshaven. Without fighter escort and in the face of powerful opposition, the 306th completed an assault against aircraft factories in central Germany on 11 Jan 1944, being awarded a DUC for the mission. Received another DUC for action during Big Week, the intensive campaign against the German aircraft industry, 2-25 Feb 1944: although hazardous weather forced supporting elements to abandon the mission, the group effectively bombarded an aircraft assembly plant at Bernberg on 22 Feb. Often supported ground forces and attacked interdictory targets in addition to its strategic operations. Helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by striking airfields and marshalling yards in France, Belgium, and Germany; backed the assault on 6 Jun 1944 by raiding railroad bridges and coastal guns. Assisted ground forces during the St Lo breakthrough in Jul. Covered the airborne invasion of Holland in Sep. Helped stop the advance of German armies in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945, by attacking airfields and marshalling yards. Bombed enemy positions in support of the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Remained in the theater after V-E Day as part of United States Air Forces in Europe, and engaged in special photographic mapping duty in western Europe and North Africa. Inactivated in Germany on 25 Dec 1946.

Squadrons:
367th: 1942-1946; 1947-1952.
368th: 1942-1946; 1947-1952.
368th: 1942-1946; 1947-1952.
423d: 1942-1946.

Stations:
Gowen Field, Idaho, 1 Mar 1942
Wendover Field, Utah, c. 6 Apr-1 Aug 1942
Thurleigh, England, Sep 1942
Giebelstadt, Germany, Dec 1945
Istres, France, Feb 1946
Furstenfeldbruck, Germany, 16 Aug 1946
Lechfeld, Germany, 13 Sep-25 Dec 1946.
Andrews Field, Md, 1 Jul 1947
MacDill AFB, Fla, Aug 1948-16 Jun 1952.

Commanders:
Col Charles B Overacker Jr, c. 16 Mar 1942
Col Frank A Armstrong Jr, 3 Jan 1943
Col Claude E Putnam, 17 Feb 1943
Col George L Robinson, c. 20 Jun 1943
Col James S Sutton, Sep 1944
Col Hudson H Upham, c. 16 Apr 1945

Campaigns:
Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.

Decorations:
Distinguished Unit Citations: Germany, 11 Jan 1944; Germany, 22 Feb 1944.

Insigne:
Shield: Per fess enhanced dancette azure and or, in base the Indian idiogram for the jaws of a rattlesnake gules. Motto: Abundance Of Strength. (Approved 6 Jan 1943.)

CLAIMS TO FAME
Oldest operational Bomb Group in the Eighth Air Force.
Stationed in England and at a single base longer than any other Group.
First 8th Air Force Bomb Group to complete 300 missions.
First 9th Air Force to bomb Germany 27-Jan-1943 Wilhelmshaven.
First airman in VIII Bomber Command to complete a tour; TSgt M. Roscovich 5-Apr-43.
367th Bomb Squadron suffered heaviest losses in VIII BD between Oct 42 and Aug 43.
Princess Elizabeth named B-17F 41-102547 "Rose of York" at Thurleigh
Medal of Honor to Sgt Maynard H. Smith 1-May-1943.

Commanding officers
  • Charles Overacker

    Military | Colonel | Pilot; Commanding Officer | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Commanding Officer from 18 March 1942 to 4 Janaury 1943. He led the 1st mission to Lille 09 October 1942. Then lead the group to Brest 07 November 1942 and to St. Nazaire 09 November 1942. He was relieved as CO and assigned to the 8th AF 04 Janaury...

  • Claude Putnam

    Military | Brigadier General | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He was group Operations Officer from 18 January 1943 to 17 February 1943; ...

  • Frank Armstrong

    Military | Lieutenant General | Commanding Officer; Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Commanded 97th BG from 31 July 1942 to 27 September 1942. ...

  • George Robinson

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer; Pilot | 303rd Bomb Group
    He began his military career 28 Apr 1931 when he enlisted as a private in the Air Corps. He became an aviation cadet 25 Jun 1936 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. with pilot's wings 30 Jun 1937 at Kelly Field, TX. From that point he progressed steadily...

  • Hudson Upham

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer; Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Commanding Officer of the 492nd BG from 17 December 1944 to April 1945. ...

  • James Sutton

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer; Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    CO of the 92nd BG from 27 March 1942 to 01 May 1943; ...

Structure

Part of
Encompassing
Previously was
Not yet known
Became
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Missions

  • 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,...

  • VIII Bomber Command 17

    8 November 1942
    Two Primary (P) targets are the objects of this mission: the German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France and the Atclier d'Hellemmes locomotive works at Lille, France. 91BG despatches 15 B-17s to Abbeville and 301BG and 306BG despatch a combined...

  • VIII Bomber Command 18

    9 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the target of this mission conducted by a combined force of 33 B-17s from 91BG and 306BG together with a combined force of 14 B-24s from 44BG and 93BG. The B-24 formation bombs from altitudes between 17,500 ft...

  • VIII Bomber Command 19

    14 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens of La Pallice, France are the Primary(P) target for a combined bomber force of 21 B-17s from 91BG (14) and 306BG (7); 93BG also joins the raid with 13 B-24s. However, La Pallice is completely clouded over, so instead, the bombers attack...

  • VIII Bomber Command 19

    14 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens of La Pallice, France are the Primary(P) target for a combined bomber force of 21 B-17s from 91BG (14) and 306BG (7); 93BG also joins the raid with 13 B-24s. However, La Pallice is completely clouded over, so instead, the bombers attack...

  • VIII Bomber Command 20

    17 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 49 B-17s despatched from 91BG (20), 303BG (16) and 306BG (13). Another element of 14 B-24s despatched from 93BG also joins the bombing force on St. Nazaire. The...

  • VIII Bomber Command 21

    18 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient and La Pallice, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission. However, those at St. Nazaire, France are attacked by 21 B-17s of 303BG when they are mistaken for those of Lorient. The force attacking Lorient is composed...

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Stations

Station Location Date
Based Thurleigh 7 September 1942 – 15 December 1945

Connections

People

  • Chester Aarts

    Military | Corporal | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Chester Aarts served with the 368th Bomb Squadron of the 306th Bomb Group, which was based at Thurleigh, England.

  • Irwin Aaseby

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Irwin Aaseby served as a gunner with the 306th Bomb Group from Thurleigh. He was shot down on 28 July 1943 in B-17 #42-29779 'Bab's Best', bailed out and was taken as a Prisoner of War (POW). He was held at Stalag 17B Braunau Gneikendorf, near Krems,...

  • Gaetano Abbattiello

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner, Radio Operator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 24 May 1944 in B-17 #4232113. Killed in Action (KIA). PH

  • Samuel Abdelnour

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He flew on Raymond Braun crew. Reported to group on 17 Jul 1944. Shot down on 09 December 1944 mission to Stuttgart flying with Robert Brown on B-17 # 41-23809. POW at Stalag Luft 1 Barth-Vogelsang Prussia 54-12. AM 3OLC,

  • John Acker

    Military | Co-Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He flew on Clyde Cosper crew. Reported to group on 11 Sept 1943. He was shot down on his first mission. Shot down 8 October 1943 in B-17 #4229985 'Barrel House Bessie. ' POW at Stalag 7A Moosburg Bavaria 48-12 (Work Camps 3324-46 Krumbachstrasse POW

  • Milton Adam

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He completed 29 missions from 14 June 1944 to 27 Sept 1944. AM 3OLC, DFC,

  • Albert Adams

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    On 6 Mar 1944 on a mission to Erkner, Berlin, B-17F #42-31025 left formation over the target due to the mechanical failure of the #4 engine and on the return was attacked fighters knocking out another engine but was able to return and land at a base...

  • Charles Adams

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Right Waist Gunner, Waist Gunner | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 14 October 1943 in B-17 #4237720. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Julian Adams

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Gunnery School in Yuma, AZ; radio maintenance in various areas, radio operator. Air Medal, ET ribbon, Victory ribbon, Army of Occupation Medal, EAME, Good Conduct

  • Richard Adams

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Shot down 8 November 1942 in B-17F-10-BO 41-24472 while serving as Pilot. Evaded. He reported to the American Consulate Gibraltar 21 April 1943 and returned to England on 23-Apr-43.

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Aircraft

  • 41-24417 Dixie Demo II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 92BG Bangor 14/7/42; 97BG 24/8/42; dam 21/10/42; BAD 24/10/42; 369BS/306BG [WW-M] Thurleigh /10/42; ditched North Sea, off Cromer, Nfk., 26/7/43 with Alphonse Maresh, Co-pilot: Bob Hoyt, Navigator: Jim Brown, Bombardier: Art Isaac, Flight...

  • 41-24461

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW- ] Westover 22/8/42; Thurleigh 2/10/42; no details other than Salvaged NBD 27/2/43.

  • 41-24463

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 423BS/306BG Westover 16/8/42; took off from Gander (Newfoundland) en route Thurleigh 5-Sep-42 exploded over Atlantic an hour out. (10 KIS) no trace, ditched off Greenland. Missing Air Crew Report 16344. ...

  • 41-24465 Montana Power

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 368BS/306BG [BO- ] Westover 17/8/42; Thurleigh 16/10/42; Missing in Action to the ERLA works in Antwerp 5 April 1943 with Pilot Robert W. Seelos (POW). Co-pilot: Alexander Kramarinko (Evaded - POW); Navigator: William W. Saunders (POW); Ball...

  • 41-24467

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Ogden 21/7/42; force landed Hill Fd, Ut 19/8/42 with Ralph Dissaro; damaged at Cheyenne airport with Warren Dean 7/9/42 when brakes failed and it struck a passenger DC-3 owned by Utd Air Lines, rep; Assigned 422BS/305BG Presque Is 19/10/42;...

  • 41-24469

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 367BS/306BG Westover 16-Aug-42; Thurleigh 2-Oct-42; on return from St Nazaire 3-Jan-43 landed RAF St Eval, Cornwall. Next day on t/o for Thurleigh, Bed. in poor weather crashed into the Celtic Sea near RAF St. Eval 7-Jan-43. 10KIS No MACR...

  • 41-24470 Sons of Fury

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24470, assigned 369BS/306BG [WW- ] Westover 22-Aug-42; damaged in taxi accident Westover Fd 26-Aug-42; Thurleigh 2-Oct-42; Missing in Action St Nazaire 3-Jan-43. Severely hit by enemy aircraft, ditched into the English Channel off Brest...

  • 41-24471 Four of a Kind

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 369BS/306BG [WW- ] Westover 17-Aug-42; Thurleigh 2-Oct-42; Missing in Action 13-Jan-43 on a mission to bomb the railroad factories of Ateliers D'Hellemmes at Lille, France. Aircraft was sliced in two and the crew members were trapped in the...

  • 41-24472

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24472 was assigned 369BS/306BG Westover 19-August-1942; Thurleigh 2-October-1942. The aircraft was shot down 8-Nov-42 by enemy fighters and AA fire while on a mission to bomb the Actlier d' Hellemmes locomotive factory at Lille, France. The...

  • 41-24474 Floozy

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned to 306BG/367BS at Westover 17-Aug-42; Thurleigh 17-Sep-42. Damaged by anti-aircraft fire over St. Nazaire, France while on a mission to bomb the U-Boat pens at La Pallice, France. The aircraft was then attacked by German FW-190 fighters over...

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Citations

Distinguished Unit Citations, Part of the 1st Bomb Division, following the bombing raid over Oschersleben on 11 January 1944
Distinguished Unit Citation For persisting through hazardous weather to bomb an aircraft assembly plant at Bernburg on 22 February 1944, during Big Week, a time of intense strikes against Germany's aircraft industry.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
23 January 2016 01:47:32 kduggin Changes to description and mission associations
Sources

306th BG Historical Association

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 20:00:01 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 19:58:49 wchoff Changes to mission associations and media associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 19:54:34 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 19:54:16 wchoff Changes to mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2015 17:46:47 wchoff Changes to description and mission associations
Sources

Wayne Tolmachoff

Date Contributor Update
14 November 2014 19:29:39 Lee8thbuff Changes to description and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 14-Nov-2014. Minor edit to description.

Date Contributor Update
12 November 2014 18:28:13 Lee8thbuff Changes to name and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Nov-42. Nickname to title.

Date Contributor Update
12 November 2014 17:37:58 Lee8thbuff Changes to type and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 12-Nov-2014: Type & Type Category associated.

Date Contributor Update
10 November 2014 21:43:53 Lee8thbuff Changes to citations, description and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Nov-2014. Citations http://www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/306bg.HTM

Date Contributor Update
10 November 2014 21:39:57 Lee8thbuff Changes to description, commanding officers associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Nov-2014: Commanding Officers, edit to Description .http://www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/306bg.HTM

Date Contributor Update
10 November 2014 19:33:07 Lee8thbuff Changes to nicknames, motto, insignia, aircraft types, mission associations and stations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 10-Nov-2014: Basic details added http://www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/306bg.HTM

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:45 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Paul Andrews, Project Bits and Pieces, 8th Air Force Roll of Honor database / 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). / Units in the UK from ETOUSA Station List, as transcribed by Lt. Col. Philip Grinton (US Army, Retired) and extracted by IWM; air division data from L.D. Underwood, based on the 8th Air Force Strength Report of 6th August 1944, as published in 'The 8th Air Force Yearbook' by Lt. Col. John H Woolnough (1980)

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