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463rd Bomb Group

Group

The 463rd BG entered combat on March 30, 1944. The target was the airdrome at Imoski, Yugoslavia. Thirty-nine planes dropped 117 tons of bombs from 20,000 feet. Although slight flak was encountered, all planes returned safely. The group flew a total of 156 missions in 1944 primarily against targets in Italy, Germany, Austria, Romania, Yugoslavia and Greece.

The Group’s first Unit Citation was awarded after the May 18, 1944 mission to bomb the oil refineries at Ploesti, Romania. Exceedingly bad weather and poor visibility caused the Air Force to send out a recall signal which was received by all bombs groups participating in the raid except the 463rd. As a result, the formation of 35 planes from the 463rd made the run on Ploesti alone. Taking advantage of the situation approximately 150 of Goering’s Yellow Nose fighters attacked. In the ensuing battle, six of the Group’s planes were lost to flak and fighters. The gunners of the 463rd claimed seventeen definites and thirty-two probables. In the nick of time, a large force of P-38s appeared and drove off the Luftwaffe saving the formation from even more losses.

During mid-1944, the 463rd BG aircraft attacked lines of communication in the campaign to liberate Rome. Then in August 1944 it participated in the invasion of southern France by striking many targets, including bridges and gun positions.

March 1945 marked the beginning of the group’s second year in combat. Fittingly, it was also the month in which the 463rd was awarded its second Unit Citation for its role in the March 24 raid on the Daimler-Benz tank works in Berlin. The 5th Wing of the 15th AAF led by thirty-one planes from the 463rd BG, flew the longest (1,800 miles roundtrip) escorted heavy bombardment mission in the history of the European Theatre of Operations. En route to the target, the formation encountered intense opposition from anti-aircraft batteries as well as cannon and rocket fire from fifteen enemy jet-propelled fighters. Despite the confusion caused by this unexpected barrage and the resulting loss of aircraft, the group reformed and continued to the target for what was reported as an exceptionally successful bombing run.

The 26th of April 1945 was the 222nd, and final, combat mission flown by the 463rd BG. Final statistics for the Group’s operations were:

Total Sorties 6,966

Combat Hours 45,764

Bomb Tonnage Dropped 16,868

Enemy Planes Destroyed 80

Probably Destroyed 44

Damaged 8

463rd Planes Lost In Combat 106

Awards for the 463rd not only the two Unit Citations described above but also 22 Silver Stars; 313 DFC’s; 303 Purple Hearts; 2,196 Air Medals; 4 Legion of Merits; 6 Soldier’s Medals; and 42 Bronze Stars.

Commanding officers
  • Frank Kurtz

    Military | Colonel | Group Commander - Pilot | 463rd Bomb Group
    Kurtz was born in Davenport, Iowa, the third child of Dora Lee (née Fenton) and Frank Allen Kurtz, Sr., an insurance salesman.[2][3][4] Kurtz became interested in flying at age 16, and in 1935 flew an open cockpit plane, setting a speed record flight...

Structure

Part of
  • 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...

  • 15th Air Force
Encompassing
  • 772nd Bomb Squadron

    772nd Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Established in mid-1943 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron; assigned to Second Air Force for training. Attached in late 1943 and early 1944 to Air University Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics. Deployed to Mediterranean Theater...

  • 773rd Bomb Squadron

    773rd Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Established in mid-1943 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron; assigned to Second Air Force for training. Attached in late 1943 and early 1944 to Air University Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics. Deployed to Mediterranean Theater...

  • 774th Bomb Squadron

    774th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Established in mid-1943 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron; assigned to Second Air Force for training. Attached in late 1943 and early 1944 to Air University Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics. Deployed to Mediterranean Theater...

  • 775th Bomb Squadron

    775th Bomb Squadron

    Squadron
    Established in mid-1943 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron; assigned to Second Air Force for training. Attached in late 1943 and early 1944 to Air University Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics. Deployed to Mediterranean Theater...

Previously was
Not yet known
Became
Not yet known

Stations

Station Location Date
Based Celone Airfield 9 March 1944 – 25 September 1945

Connections

People

  • Nicholas Adelmann

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Ball-Turret Gunner | 463rd Bomb Group
    Nicholas James Adelmann was a Farmer. His 2C classification as a farmer made him exempt from being drafted, but he wanted to serve his country anyway. He was hit by FLAK in the abdomen on his 10th mission, in which he was hospitalized for 2-3 weeks....

  • Gerald Alford

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | 463rd Bomb Group

  • Francis Allen

    Military | Sergeant | 463rd Bomb Group
    POW at Stalag Luft 4

  • George Alletsee

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 463rd Bomb Group

  • Charles Bowen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 463rd Bomb Group

  • George Bradley

    Military | Sergeant | 463rd Bomb Group
    POW at Stalag Luft 4

  • Robert Clemens

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 463rd Bomb Group

  • Joseph Dooley

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | 463rd Bomb Group

  • Merle Farley

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | 463rd Bomb Group

  • Irving Feldmesser

    Military | First Lieutenant | 463rd Bomb Group

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Aircraft

  • 42-102916

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/4/44; Hunter 29/4/44; Grenier 11/5/44; Assigned 774BS/463BG Celone 17/5/44; Missing in Action Munich 8/7/44 with Alf Bodine, Co-pilot: Bob Bogard, Navigator: Vernon Hill, Bombardier: Ebe Atkins, Radio Operator: Sal Cestaro, Ball...

  • 42-30786

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 30/7/43; Written off 22/11/43. ...

  • 42-31684 Joker

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 6/12/43; Kearney 24/12/43; Memphis 2/1/44; Drew Fd 4/1/44; Morrison 8/1/44; Assigned 774BS/463BG Celone 9/3/44; Missing in Action Blechhammer 7/7/44 with Don Doran, Co-pilot: Maurice Davis, Navigator: Pat Gaughan, Bombardier: Jim...

  • 42-31823

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 25/12/43; Tulsa 9/1/44; Maxwell 14/1/44; Lakeland 16/1/44; Morrison 14/2/44; Assigned 772BS/463BG Celone 15/2/44; Transferred 341BS/97BG Amendola 3/44 ...

  • 42-31844 The Swoose

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 25/12/43; Gt Falls 27/12/43; Denver 30/12/43; Lakeland 20/1/44; Assigned 772BS/463BG Celone 28/3/44; Salvaged 16/5/45. THE SWOOSE 1944 MODEL. IT FLYS?.

  • 42-31861 Ragged but Right

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 28/12/43; Columbus 16/1/44; Lakeland 18/1/44; Morrison 18/2/44; Assigned 773BS/463BG Celone 20/2/44; flak damage Blechhammer, Ger. 13/9/44; Ditched into the Adriatic Sea and lost.

  • 42-38143

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 26/12/43; Savannah 17/1/44; Assigned 775BS/463BG Celone 9/3/44; loaned to 49BS/2BG Amendola, Missing in Action 19/3/44 with 97BG on familiarisation mission with Keith Chambers, Co-pilot: Melvin Wagner, Navigator: Harry Wolquitt[463BG...

  • 42-97719 Goddess

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 6/2/44; 1SAG Langley 1/4/44; Morrison 7/5/44; Assigned (PFF) 49BS/2BG Amendola 8/5/44; transferred 774BS/463BG Celone; battle damaged Valence, Fr 15/8/44 with Seymour Florsheim; two engines shot out, another damaged, equipment...

  • 42-97737

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 10/2/44; 1SAG Langley 4/4/44; Morrison 26/4/44; Assigned (PFF) 49BS/2BG Amendola 8/5/44; 774BS/463BG Celone 5/44; Missing in Action Linz 29/11/44 with Pilot: Jerre Atchinson, Co-pilot: Clarry Pratt, Bombardier: Stephen Kennedy, Radio...

  • 44-6261 Never Satisfied

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Hunter 17/6/44; Grenier 26/6/44; Assigned 773BS/463BG Celone 12/7/44; Missing in Action Vienna 13/10/44 with Gale Patterson, Co-pilot: Rudolph Kiss, Navigator: Earl Waricher, Bombardier: Earle Barber, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Joe...

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Citations

Distinguished Unit Citation - 18 May 1944 - Ploesti, Romania
Distinguished Unit Citation - 24 March 1945 - Berlin, Germany

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
15 November 2016 03:00:07 466thHistorian Changes to commanding officers associations
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Kurtz

Date Contributor Update
14 November 2016 01:49:24 466thHistorian Changes to motto
Sources

463rd BG website

Date Contributor Update
13 November 2016 02:08:18 466thHistorian Changes to stations
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celone/San_Nicola_d%27Arpi_Airfield

Date Contributor Update
13 November 2016 01:55:40 466thHistorian Created entry with type, category, name, nicknames, citations, description, air forces, aircraft types, unit encompassing associations, stations and media associations
Sources

http://www.463rd.org/history.htm

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