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454th Bomb Group


The group was constituted as 454th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 May 1943 and activated on 1 June at Davis-Monthan Field, near Tucson, Arizona. Training began immediately on Consolidated B-24 Liberators[2] and the ground cadre was sent on 3 July to Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics at Orlando AAB, Florida. On 15 July, planes were sent from Davis-Monthan to join them at Pinecastle AAF, Florida for practical field training.[citation needed]

From their bases in Florida, the ground echelon was transferred on 28 July 1943 to McCook AAF, Nebraska and, on 1 August, the air echelon joined them. This was the first operational unit to use the newly constructed McCook airfield.[citation needed] On 28 September the Group was reassigned to Charleston AAB, South Carolina

North American B-24J Liberator 42-78489 over a target. This aircraft was later lost on 20 March 1945
On 2 December 1943 the aircrews and some key ground personnel were sent to Mitchel Field, New York in preparation for deployment overseas. These personnel were subsequently transferred to Morrison Field, Florida and flew the southern route to North Africa. After additional training in Tunisia, the air echelon joined the ground echelon, which had previously departed from Camp Patrick Henry by Liberty Ship, at San Giovanni Airfield, west of Cerignola, Italy, and was assigned to Fifteenth Air Force.[citation needed] Although the group flew some interdiction and support missions, it engaged primarily in long range strikes against oil refineries. aircraft and munitions factories and industrial areas, harbors, and airfields.[2]

Flying from Italy, the group flew 243 missions on over 150 primary targets in Italy, Yugoslavia, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Rumania, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and Poland. During this time, 13,389.19 tons of bombs were dropped during 7,091 sorties on enemy marshalling yards, oil refineries, bridges, installations, airdromes, rail lines, etc.[3]

The 454th participated in the drive to Rome, the invasion of Southern France, and the defeat of Axis forces in northern Italy. The 454th was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for similar action on the high priority Messerschmitt Aircraft Factory at Bad Voslau, Austria on 12 April 1944.[2][citation needed] It earned a second DUC for "outstanding performance of duty in armed conflict with the enemy" as a result of their mission against the Hermann Goering Steel Works in Linz, Austria on 25 July 1944.[2]

After the German Capitulation in May 1945, the 454th redeployed to the United States on 8 July. Many personnel were demobilized upon arrival at the port of debarkation; a small cadre of key personnel was formed and the group was then established at Sioux Falls Army Air Field South Dakota in July and the unit was redesignated the 454th Bombardment Group, Very Heavy in July [2] and was equipped with B-29 Superfortresses and programmed for deployment to the Pacific Theater.

The Japanese Capitulation in August made the group redundant to Air Force requirements and the unit was inactivated on 17 October 1945.[2]


Part of
  • 15th Air Force

    15th Air Force

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

  • 736th Bomb Squadron

    736th Bomb Squadron

    Established in mid-1943 as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb squadron; trained under Second Air Force. Deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in January 1944, being assigned to Fifteenth Air Force in Southern Italy. ...

  • 737th Bomb Squadron

    737th Bomb Squadron

    The squadron was first activated at Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico in mid-1943 as the 737th Bombardment Squadron, one of the four Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment squadrons assigned to the 454th Bombardment Group.[1] The unit...

  • 738th Bomb Squadron

    738th Bomb Squadron

    Established in mid-1943 as a B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment group; trained under Second Air Force. Deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO), being assigned to Southern Italy at San Giovanni Airfield under Fifteenth Air Force. ...

  • 739th Bomb Squadron

    739th Bomb Squadron

    The squadron was first activated in June 1943 at Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico as the 739th Bombardment Squadron, one of the original four squadrons of the 454th Bombardment Group.[3] The 454th was a Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy...

Previously was
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Station Location Date
Based San Giovanni January 1944 – July 1945



  • Jacob Abernathy

    Military | Sergeant | 454th Bomb Group
    738th Bomb Squadron, 454th Bomb Group, Heavy. Died 14 Sep 1944.

  • Clayton Bereman

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 454th Bomb Group

  • Donald Clarke

    Military | 454th Bomb Group

  • Howard Crissman

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail gunner | 454th Bomb Group
    Shot down on 27 December 1944 on a mission to Bruck, Austria aboard B-24 Liberator (Serial number 44-41165) nicknamed "Thundermist". The aircraft fell from formation and crashed after being hit by Flak. Crissman and his crew were all captured and take...

  • James Gunn

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 454th Bomb Group
    James Gunn served as a pilot US Army Air Forces and later with the US Air Force. On 17 August 1944 his B-24 was shot down while on a mission to bomb the Ploesti, Romania oil fields. He became a prisoner of the Romanians, who were allied with the...

  • Allen Hay

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 454th Bomb Group
    Member of Aubrey Edwards Jr’s crew. Assigned B-24 42-52193 which they named Bubble Trouble. ...

  • Stanley McChristian

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 454th Bomb Group
    B-24 Co-Pilot on the Kisylia crew flew 25 missions

  • Arthur Scott

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 454th Bomb Group
    KIA. Taken prisoner and jailed. Two days after capture he was led to a shooting range and killed. The Nazi party officials responsible were tried at Dachau in March 1947 and received death and life sentences which were however commuted. None of them...

  • Anton Skufca

    Military | Technical Sergeant | radio operator | 454th Bomb Group
    Killed in action on March 19, 1944 on mission #12 to Steyr-Daimlier Puch aircraft factory. One of six KIAs on his crew.



Distinguished Unit Citation - 12 April 1944 - Bad Voslau, Austria
Distinguished Unit Citation - 25 July 1944 - Linz, Austria


Date Contributor Update
07 November 2016 00:05:14 466thHistorian Changes to stations

Date Contributor Update
06 November 2016 23:55:25 466thHistorian Created entry with type, category, name, citations, description, air forces, aircraft types, unit encompassing associations and media associations