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401st Bomb Group

Group

The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following summer. The Group won two Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, awarded to the whole of the 1st Bomb Division, was for an unescorted raid on aircraft factories at Oschersleben on 11 January 1944. The second was awarded to the Group for a raid on Leipzig on 20 February 1944.

For more information about the group, visit http://www.remember-our-heroes.nl/

Commanding officers
  • Harold Bowman

    Military | Brigadier General | Commanding Officer | 401st Bomb Group
    Commanding Officer of 401st BG from June 1943 to 5 December 1944. ...

  • William Seawell

    Military | Brigadier General | Commanding Officer | 401st Bomb Group
    Commanding Officer of 401st BG from 5 December 1944 to 30 May 1945. Flew 30 missions. He later served as Commandant of the cadets at USAF Academy in Colorado and then as President and Chairman of Pan Amercian World Airways. ...

Structure

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Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 138

    26 November 1943
    The industrial areas of Bremen, Germany are the target for this massive mission (largest to date) of 505 B-17s which included 14 B-17 Pathfinders from 482BG spread among the B-17 formations - 13 of these completed the mission and 7 were damaged. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 143

    30 November 1943
    This mission is directed at a single target - the industrial areas of Solingen, Germany. The mission consists of three elements. The first element is a force of 221 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (24); 92BG (20); 303BG (20); 305BG (16...

  • VIII Bomber Command 145

    1 December 1943
    This mission was directed at the industrial areas of Leverkusen and Solingen, Germany. The mission is composed of two elements. The first element is a combined force of 221 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (27); 92BG (18); 303BG (17);...

  • VIII Bomber Command 149

    5 December 1943
    This mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a combined force of 216 B-17 from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (10); 92BG (19); 303BG (20); 305BG (20); 306BG (21); 351BG (35); 379BG (21); 381BG (30); 384BG (20); and 301BG (20)...

  • VIII Bomber Command 151

    11 December 1943
    This mission is a massive raid of 583 heavy bombers on the industrial areas of Emden, Germany. The first element is a combined force of 242 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG (24); 92BG (18); 303BG (20); 305BG (21); 306BG (20); 351BG (40)...

  • VIII Bomber Command 154

    13 December 1943
    The port areas at Bremen and Kiel, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. This is the first mission where more than 600 aircraft are despatched. This mission is comprised of 8 elements. The first element consists 182 B-17s from: 91BG (31);...

  • VIII Bomber Command 156

    16 December 1943
    This is a massive mission of 631 heavy bombers directed at the port area of Bremen, Germany. The force of 631 included 1 PFF-equipped B-17s from 482BG dispersed among the attacking formations. The mission is composed of three elements. The first...

  • VIII Bomber Command 159

    20 December 1943
    The port area of Bremen is the target for 546 heavy bombers. The total includes 12 PFF-equipped B-17s from 482BG. All 12 of these are effective on the target and 11 are damaged. The bomber gunners of this element claim 1-1-0 (this total included with...

  • VIII Bomber Command 161

    22 December 1943
    This mission is composed of two forces directed at two separate targets, the communication centers at Osnabruck and Munster, Germany. The force attacking at Osnabruck is composed of two elements. The first element is composed of 227 B-17s (2 are PFF...

  • VIII Bomber Command 164

    24 December 1943
    This mission is directed at V-Weapon sites in the Pas-de-Calaise area of France. The attacks are made between 1330-1510hrs. The mission is composed of three elements. The first element is a force of 277 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division that included: 91BG ...

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Stations

Station Location Date
Established Ephrata AAF 1 April 1943
Based Ephrata AAF 1 April 1943 – 27 May 1943
Based Great Falls AAF 1 July 1943 – 18 October 1943
Based Deenethorpe 3 November 1943 – 20 June 1945

Connections

People

  • Felix Abel

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Airplane Mechanic | 401st Bomb Group
    'I was a Airplane Mechanic on the B-17 "Hells Angels Out of Chute 13" with the 401st Bomb Group + 612th Squadron. We were really proud of it because I finished 118 missions without an [illegible]. It was shot up on the last mission of the war in...

  • Marshall Abraham

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 401st Bomb Group
    Shot down 8 May 1944 in B-17 #4230855 'Ol' Massa'. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Marvin Abraham

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 401st Bomb Group
    Had the pleasure of personally delivering his bomb to Germany. He is a navigator but when the "Oshkosh Bomb" was dropped he operated the toggle. He was later KIA.

  • William Abraham

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 401st Bomb Group

  • Robert Abresch

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 401st Bomb Group
    Shot down 11 September 1944 in B-17 #4231091 'Maggie. ' Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Joseph Acker

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Left Waist Gunner | 401st Bomb Group

  • Reuben Acosta

    Military | Sergeant | 401st Bomb Group

  • George Adams

    Military | Captain | Group Physical Training Officer | 401st Bomb Group

  • John Adams

    Military | Sergeant | 401st Bomb Group

  • Leroy Adams

    Military | Master Sergeant | 401st Bomb Group

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Aircraft

  • 41-24606 Werewolf

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F-27-BO 41-24606 "Werewolf" was assigned 358BG/303BG [VK-H] Kellog Field, Battle Creek, Michigan on 14-Sep-42; Arrived at Molesworth, UK 16-Oct-42. ...

  • 42-102393 DIANA QUEEN OF THE CHASE

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 27/2/44; Hunter 22/3/44; Grenier 2/4/44; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-R] Deenethorpe 16/4/44; 111m, Returned to the USA Bradley 8/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 12/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal...

  • 42-102394 Down N' Go

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 27/2/44; Kearney 15/3/44; Dow Fd 4/4/44; Assigned 614BS/401BG [IW-C] Deenethorpe 16/4/44; Missing in Action Merseburg 24/8/44 with Parker Finney, Co-pilot: Virgil Price, Navigator: Dale Scott, tog-Brown Bralley, Waist gunner: Burton...

  • 42-102580

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/3/44; Gr Island 1/4/44; Dow Fd 8/4/44; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-Q] Deenethorpe 3/5/45; Missing in Action Dessau 28/5/44 with Bill Protz, Ball turret gunner: Frank Bartak, Waist gunner: Alby Reinhardt, Waist gunner: Glenn Cliff...

  • 42-102581

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 16/3/44; Kearney 1/4/44; Grenier 14/4/44; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-L] Deenethorpe 29/4/44; Missing in Action Dessau 28/5/44 with Paul Scharff, Co-pilot: Chas Eckert, Bombardier: Bob Hoover, Waist gunner: Roscoe Tomlinson (4 Killed in...

  • 42-102647 'BTO in the ETO'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23/3/44; Hunter 9//4/44; Dow Fd 29/4/44; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-G] Deenethorpe 24/5/44; Missing in Action Dessau 28/5/44 with Fred Windham, Navigator: Carl Floto, Bombardier: Angelo Melito, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bob...

  • 42-102917

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/4/44; Kearney 5/2/44; Grenier 21/5/44; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-E] Deenethorpe 30/5/44; Missing in Action Dessau 20/7/44 with Jack Frederick, John Kirkbride, John Szungyi, Ray Nagle, Ken Fritts, Emerson Roberts, Walt Jenkins,...

  • 42-107009 Lady Jane

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 25/1/44; Kearney 16/2/44; Grenier 10/3/44; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-F] Deenethorpe; on return from mission 12 May 1944 with Lt J.C. Sharp, Waist gunner: Alfred A. Tomkinson (KIA- flak hit - died in in base hospital). ...

  • 42-107039 Ice Cold Katy

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 3/2/44; Grenier 27/2/44; Assigned 612BS/401BG [SC-M] Deenethorpe 23/3/44; Returned to the USA Bradley 7/6/45; 4168 Base Unit, South Plains, Texas 13/6/45; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA) Kingman 28/11/45...

  • 42-107043 "Fitch's Bandwagon"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 4/2/44; Grenier 2/3/44; Assigned 613BS/401BG [IN-B] Deenethorpe 23/3/44; problem on t/o for Pas de Calais 3/6/44 with Larry Fitchett, Co-pilot: Bruce Campbell, Navigator: Larrt Pfeiffer, Bombardier: Louis Sanchez, Flight engineer/top...

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Citations

Distinguished Unit Citation (Division)
Distinguished Unit Citation (Group)

European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon
Air Offensive, Europe
Normandy
Northern France
Rhineland
Ardennes
Central Europe

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
25 July 2017 22:07:19 Win Bryson Changes to motto
Sources

Unit History: Pictorial Record of the 401st Bomb Group [BlueBook] Edited and compiled under supervision of Capt. Gordon R. Closeway, 401BG Public Relations Officer. pub. (orig.) 1946, Newsfoto Publishing Co., San Angelo, Texas. 300+pp; ill., 7-1/2"w x 10-1/2"h x 1-1/2"t, oversize hard cover, upholstered, History of the 401BG - formation through operations, from 8th USAAF Station 128, Deenethorpe, U.K., and return to U.S. in 1945.

Date Contributor Update
01 October 2014 23:24:43 Paul Bellamy Changes to mission associations and stations
Sources

401BG History (401BG Association)

Date Contributor Update
01 October 2014 23:08:47 Paul Bellamy Changes to nicknames and mission associations
Sources

401BG records (401BG Association)

Date Contributor Update
01 October 2014 23:07:42 Paul Bellamy Changes to type, citations, aircraft types, unit encompassing associations, commanding officers associations, mission associations and stations
Sources

401BG History (401BG Association)
1st Air Division records (1AD HQ Historical Society)

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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