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323rd Bomb Group

Group

The 323rd Bombardment Group operated with B-26 Marauders, American medium bombers. They were the first Eighth Air Force Group to fly a medium level bombing mission with this aircraft on 16 July 1943. After flying a total of 33 missions with the Eighth, the Group were assigned to the Ninth Air Force, and they continued to fly strategic bombing missions over Europe throughout the war, staying at Earls Colne, Essex until 21 July 1944, at which point they moved to Beaulieu, England. The 323rd moved to an airfield adjacent to the village of Lessay, France on 26 August 1944 and then moved to an airfield near Chartes, France on 21 September 1944. On 13 October 1944, the 323rd moved to Laon/Athies Airfield from which the group flew missions in the Battle of the Bulge from December 23 -27, 1944 for which the Distinguished Unit Citation was conferred upon the group. On 9 February 1945, the gorup moved to Denain/Pouvy Airdrome where is was stationed until 15 May 1945.

Selected Bibliography of Publications, Media and Websites:

Moench, John O. Marauder Men: An Account of the Martin B-26 Marauder: An Examination and History of the Martin B-26 Marauder and Those Who Built, Supported, and Flew It in World War II: USAF-USN-RAF-SAAF-FFAF: Includes an in Depth Account of the 323rd Bombardment Group (M) of the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces in Europe. Longwood, FL: Malia Enterprises, 1999.

Harlan, Ross E. Strikes: 323rd Bomb Group in World War II. Oklahoma City, OK: Oklahoma Cavanal Publishers, 2005.

Pyle, Ernie. Brave Men. New York: H. Holt and, 1944.

Rehr, Louis S., and Carleton R. Rehr. Marauder: Memoir of a B-26 Pilot in Europe in World War II. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004.

70th Anniversary Tribute D-Day: 24 Hours That Saved the World. TIME, 2014.

Scutts, Jerry. B-26 Marauder Units of the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces. London: Osprey Aerospace, 1997.

Freeman, Roger Anthony., Trevor J. Allen, and Bernard Mallon. B-26 Marauder at War. New York: Scribner, 1978.

Moore, Carl H. Flying the B-26 Marauder over Europe: Memoir of a World War II Navigator. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2013.

Butcher, Harry C. My Three Years with Eisenhower: The Personal Diary of Captain Harry C. Butcher, USNR, Naval Aide to General Eisenhower, 1942 to 1945. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster, 1946.

Ambrose, Stephen E. D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

B-26 Marauder Historical Society Return of the Marauder Men. Turner Publishing Company.

Commanding officers
  • Herbert Thatcher

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer | 323rd Bomb Group
    Trained B-26 outfit at Hunter, then Tampa, then to England. Became Lt. General - last commanded ADC and retired in 68

  • Wilson Wood

    Military | Colonel | Pilot and Commanding Officer 323rd BG | 323rd Bomb Group
    Wilson Roe Wood was born May 29, 1918 in Chico, TX to Maude Elizabeth and Charles Proctor Wood. He was raised in Wise County on acres of farm/ranch land where he often saw planes overhead from bases in Ft. Worth and Wichita Falls, TX. He grew up...

Structure

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Missions

  • VIII Air Support Command 01

    16 July 1943
    This is the first mission flown by medium bombers (B-26) of the VIII Air Service Command. 16 B-26s from 323rd Bomb Group are despatched to make an attack at medium altitude on the railroad marshaling yards at Abbeville, France. 14 are effective on the...

  • VIII Air Support Command 02

    17 July 1943
    This second mission by 16 B-26s from 323BG is a diversion flown in the Cayeux area of France. There are no losses or claims.

  • VIII Air Support Command 3

    25 July 1943
    18 B-26s are despatched from 323BG to attack the coke ovens at Ghent, Belgium. 13 of this force are effective on the target. Ther are no losses or claims. The force was escorted by Spitfires of the RAF.

  • VIII Air Support Command 4

    26 July 1943
    18 B-26s from 323BG are despatched to attack the German airfield at St. Omer/Ft. Rouge, France but the target is obscured by clouds and the force attacks the German airfield Longuenesse at St.Omer instead. 15 of these aircraft are effective on the...

  • VIII Air Support Command 5

    27 July 1943
    18 B-26s from 323BG are despatched to attack the Tricqueville airfield in France. 17 are effective on the target. There are no losses or claims.

  • VIII Air Support Command 6

    28 July 1943
    18 B-26s from 323BG are despatched to bomb the cocke ovens as Zeebrugge, Holland. 17 are effective on the target. 3 are damaged. No losses of claims.

  • VIII Air Support Command 7

    28 July 1943
    18 B-26s from 323BG are despatched to bomb the Tricqueville airfield, but the mission is recalled when the bombers faile to rendevous with the fighter escort. There are no losses or claims.

  • VIII Air Support Command 10A & 10B

    30 July 1943
    This mission is comprised of two elements and was officially designated as missions 10A and 10B. The first element was 24 B-26s from 386BG to attack the German airfield at Woensdrecht, Holland. 1 B-26 Failed to Return (FTR)-6KIA 1POW and another...

  • VIII Air Support Command 11E

    31 July 1943
    This is VIII ASC mission 11E. 24 B-26s from 387BG are despatched to fly a diversion for the other B-26s attacking airfields in VIII ASC mission 11. No losses or claims.

  • VIII Air Support Command 11A

    31 July 1943
    This is element A of VIII ASC Mission #11. 21 B-26s from 323BG are despatched to bomb the German airfield at Merville, France. 20 of these aircraft are effective on the target. There are no losses or claims but 2 aircraft are damaged.

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Stations

Station Location Date
Based Earls Colne 21 May 1943 – 14 June 1943
Based Beaulieu 27 July 1944
Based Lessay 26 August 1944
Based Chartes Airdrome 21 September 1944
Based Laon/Athies 13 October 1944
Based Gablingen Airfield 15 May 1945
Based 16 July 1945
Based Chartes Airdrome October 1945

Connections

People

  • Robert Adams

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 323rd Bomb Group
    Robert H. Adams flew many missions with the 323rd Bomb Group. Promoted to Captain he was Pilot of B-26 Serial 42-107588 on the 14 January 1945 mission to bomb the bridge at Steinebrück, Saint-Vith, Belgium. ...

  • Leo Amet

    Military | Staff Sergeant | 323rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on B-26 mission to Euskirchen Supply Depot

  • Robert Anderson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 323rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). B-26C #41-34957 lost an engine due to oil cooler failure and forced to ditch near Iceland.

  • Warren Anderson

    Military | Captain | Bombardier | 323rd Bomb Group
    Captain Warren Anderson was Bombardier on B-26 Serial 42-107588 hit by Flak on the 14 January 1945 mission to bomb the bridge at Steinebrück, Saint-Vith, Belgium. In the Missing Air Crew Report - MACR 11926, Captain Anderson mentions he was immediately...

  • William Anderson

    Military | Captain | 323rd Bomb Group

  • Angelo Aquaro

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 323rd Bomb Group
    Flew combat missions in the B-26 Marauder with the 455th BS, 323rd BG, then 344th BG, Ninth Air Force. ...

  • William Archer

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Engineer/Gunner | 323rd Bomb Group
    Died of Injuries (DOI) B-26C 41-34709 323BG/453BS while serving as Engineer.Gunner. The crashed near Great Barton, Suffolk due to poor weather and engine failure at low altitude on 11 Sep 1943 while on return from mission to Deaumont-Le-Roger. Sergeant...

  • Jack Arnold

    Military | Bombardier B-26 Marauder | 323rd Bomb Group
    See Brave Men, The Flying Wedge, by Ernie Pyle. See also, informaiton on William Collins.

  • Joseph Ashburn

    Military | Staff Sergeant | 323rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). On B-26 mission to Dunkirk RR/GB. Mid-air collision due to flak. DFC, AM w/9Oak Leaf Cluster, PH

  • Raymond Bacon

    Military | Staff Sergeant | 323rd Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). On B-26 mission to Dunkirk RR/GB. Mid-air collision due to flak.

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Aircraft

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Citations

Distinguished Unit Citation December 23 - 27, 1944

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
25 August 2016 22:04:22 JMF Changes to description
Sources

JMF

Date Contributor Update
14 May 2016 20:39:11 323rdBGHistorian Changes to motto
Sources

323rd BG Archives - Roy R. Bozych 323rd BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 22:10:16 JMF Changes to description and mission associations
Sources

JMF

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 22:08:03 JMF Changes to description and mission associations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 22:04:05 JMF Changes to motto, aircraft types and mission associations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 22:01:28 JMF Changes to description and mission associations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 21:56:15 JMF Changes to description and mission associations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 21:49:12 JMF Changes to description and mission associations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 21:44:46 JMF Changes to description and mission associations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 21:36:44 JMF Changes to description and mission associations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 21:29:45 JMF Changes to description and mission associations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 21:25:21 JMF Changes to description and mission associations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 21:21:35 JMF Changes to description and mission associations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
06 May 2016 21:14:18 JMF Changes to description and mission associations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
16 April 2016 22:34:10 JMF Changes to citations, commanding officers associations, mission associations and stations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
16 April 2016 22:31:21 JMF Changes to mission associations and stations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
16 April 2016 22:28:29 JMF Changes to description, mission associations and stations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
20 March 2016 06:26:44 JMF Changes to description, mission associations and stations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
20 March 2016 06:23:55 JMF Changes to description, mission associations and stations
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JMF

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 15:32:52 rossingtonj Changes to type and mission associations
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Type added.

Date Contributor Update
07 January 2015 12:30:48 rossingtonj Changes to nicknames, motto, insignia, commanding officers associations, mission associations and stations
Sources

323rd Bomb Group Association Website, "323rd BG History": http://www.323bg454bs.org/history.html

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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