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447th Bomb Group

Group

The 447th Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses on strategic bombardment missions out of Rattlesden, Suffolk. With their first mission coming on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1943, their main focus was hitting sites that would weaken enemy forces connected with a planned ground invasion of France the following summer. This meant they were attacking
ports, missile sites, airfields and marshalling yards in France, Belgium, and Germany. In June 1944 itself, the Group supported the invasion of Normandy by bombing airfields and other targets near the beachhead. One of the Group's B-17s, named "Milk Wagon", set the record for the number of missions with no turn-backs for a B-17 in the 3rd Air Division with 129 missions.

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Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England in Nov 1943 and assigned to Eighth AF. Entered combat in Dec 1943 and operated chiefly as a strategic bombardment organization.
From Dec 1943 to May 1944, helped to prepare for the invasion of the Continent by attacking submarine pens, naval installations, and cities in Germany; ports and missile sites in France; and airfields and marshalling yards in France, Belgium, and Germany. During Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944, took part in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against the German aircraft industry.

Supported the invasion of Normandy in Jun 1944 by bombing airfields and other targets near the beachhead. Aided the breakthrough at St Lo in Jul and the effort to take Brest in Sep. Pounded enemy positions to assist the airborne invasion of Holland in Sep. Also dropped supplies to Free French forces during the summer of 1944. Turned to strategic targets in Germany in Oct 1944, placing emphasis on sources of oil production until mid-Dec.

2nd Lt Robert E Femoyer, navigator, won the Medal of Honor for action on 2 Nov 1944: while on a mission over Germany, his B-17 was damaged by flak and Femoyer was severely wounded by shell fragments; determined to navigate the plane out of danger and save the crew, he refused a sedative and, for more than two hours, directed the navigation of the bomber so effectively that it returned to base without further damage; Femoyer died shortly after being removed from the plane.

During the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945, the group assaulted marshalling yards, railroad bridges, and communications centers in the combat zone. Then resumed operations against targets in Germany, attacking oil, transportation, communications, and other objectives until the war ended. During this period, also supported the airborne assault across the Rhine (Mar 1945). Returned to the US in Aug 1945. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945.

Commanders:
Lt Col Robert D McDonald, 10 May 1943
Col Hunter Harris Jr, 23 May 1943
Col William Wrigglesworth, 25 Sep 1944
Lt Col Louis G Thorup, 31 Mar 1945;

Air Force Combat Units of World War II, Maurer, Maurer: USAF, 1986

Source: Eighth Air Force Operations History http://www.8thafhs.com/get_one_acgroup.php?
acgroup_id=8

Commanding officers
  • Hunter Harris

    Military | Colonel | 447th Bomb Group

  • Louis Thorup

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot ; Squadron Commander, Group Commander | 447th Bomb Group
    First Squadron Commanding Officer for the 333rd BS of 94th BG from 19 November to June 1943. ...

  • Wilfred Beaver

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | 447th Bomb Group

  • William Wrigglesworth

    Military | Colonel | 447th Bomb Group

Structure

Part of
Encompassing
Previously was
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Became
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Missions

  • 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 ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 169

    30 December 1943
    The port area and oil refineries at Ludwigshaven, Germany are the target for this massive attack of 710 heavy bombers. The despatch includes 12 PFF-equipped B-17s from 482BG, 11 of these are effective on the mission, 3 are damaged, and the bomber...

  • VIII Bomber Command 171

    31 December 1943
    This mission is the last heavy bomber operation of 1943. 1943 had been a very "tough" year for the 8th Air Force in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). 23365 B-17s had been despatched on missions and 881 had Failed to Return (FTR) for a loss...

  • 8th Air Force 174

    4 January 1944
    The port area of Kiel, Germany and the railroad marshalling yards at Munster, Germany are the Primary targets of this Mission which is organised as two elements: one going to Kiel and the other to Munster. Roger A. Freeman begins to designate aircraft...

  • 8th Air Force 178

    7 January 1944
    The industrial areas of Ludwigshaven, Germany are the primary target for this mission. The formation has three elements. The bomber gunners of the entire force claim 30-6-17 of attacking German aircraft. ...

  • 8th Air Force 182

    11 January 1944
    Three aviation industry targets in Germany are bombed. The bomber force consists of 291 B-17s despatched from 1st Bomb Division in two elements, one element of 177 B-17s is despatched to Oschersleben, Germany as the primary target, the other 1BD...

  • 8th Air Force 183

    14 January 1944
    This mission is a combined effort of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Bomb Divisions to attack V-Weapon sites near the French coast near Pas-de-Calaise. Some targets of opportunity were also bombed. A total of 20 out of 21 V-Weapon sites are hit with varying results. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 191

    24 January 1944
    The primary target of this mission was the Zukunft power station at Eschweilier, Germany. The mision was composed of 563 bombers three elements from 1BD, 2BD and 3BD. The despatch from 2BD was recalled doe to weather before it could take off. Mission...

  • 8th Air Force 198

    29 January 1944
    The primary target for this mission was the railroad marshalling yards and industrial areas of Frankfurt, Germany. A combined force of 863 heavy bombers were despatched in three elements to make the attack. The combined bomber gunner claims on enemy...

  • 8th Air Force 200

    30 January 1944
    This mission has the aviation industry at Brunswick, Germany as the primary target. The mission is composed of a combined force pf 777 heavy bomber aircraft despatched in three elements: 1st Bomb Division; 2nd Bomb Division and 3rd Bomb Division. The...

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Stations

Station Location Date
Based Rattlesden 30 November 1943 – 2 August 1945

Connections

People

  • Clarence Aaberg

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 447th Bomb Group
    Clarence Aaberg was Killed on Mission (KOM) on 25 Feb 1944 while flying as the pilot of B-17G-15-DL 42-37855 "Rosemary III" flown by 2nd Lt Clarence A Aaberg, on his third mission, and his crew of 711st BS, lost #3 engine went out 10 minutes after...

  • Sam Abate

    Military | 447th Bomb Group

  • Anthony Abbatiello

    Military | 447th Bomb Group

  • Robert Abbott

    Military | First Lieutenant | 447th Bomb Group

  • Henry Abelmann

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 447th Bomb Group
    Shot down by flak and crashed near Abbeville,FR after crew baled out on a mission to Ardouval and Marquenville on 13 Feb 1944 in B-17G #42-31157. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • James Abernathy

    Military | Captain | 447th Bomb Group

  • Wilson Abraham

    Military | 447th Bomb Group

  • Jerome Abrams

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 447th Bomb Group
    Shot down 31 December 1943 in B-17 #4231125. Prisoner of War (POW). PH/ POW

  • Willis Abramson

    Military | 447th Bomb Group

  • Theodore Abrouski

    Military | 447th Bomb Group

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Aircraft

  • 42-102395

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 27/2/44; Gr Island 15/3/44; Grenier 2/4/44; Assigned 711BS/447BG Rattlesden 8/4/44; Missing in Action Brux 12/5/44 with Tom Mandrell, Co-pilot: Bill Popovich, Navigator: Don McDougall, Bombardier: Okley Wheeler{Wounded in Action},...

  • 42-102421

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 2/3/44; Gr Island 16/3/44; Presque Is 2/4/44; Assigned 709BS/447BG [CQ-M] Rattlesden 6/4/44; Missing in Action Berlin 29/4/44 with Chas Dowler, Co-pilot: Vern Arnold, Navigator: Fred Kleps, Bombardier: George Kramer, Flight engineer...

  • 42-102441

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 3/3/44; Gr Island 13/3/44; Dow Fd 7/4/44; Assigned 711BS/447BG Rattlesden 8/4/44; Missing in Action Merseburg 7/10/44 with Bob Harwood, Jim Kelley, Karl Wendell, Russell Tolle, Sam Manipella, Dick Roberts, Ron Fleming (7 Prisoner of...

  • 42-102471

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/3/44; Kearney 6/4/44; Dow Fd 14/4/44; Assigned 710BS/447BG [IJ-B] Rattlesden 22/4/44; Missing in Action Chemnitz 11/9/44 with Leroy Hyder (KIA-chute failed, crashed through factory roof); Co-pilot: Harry Wood, Navigator: Jim...

  • 42-102479

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/3/44; Gr Island 29/3/44; Dow Fd 7/4/44; Assigned 708BS/447BG [CQ- ] Rattlesden 8/4/44; Missing in Action Berlin 29/4/44 with Edgar Farrell, Co-pilot: John Benedict, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Bill Peters, Radio Operator:...

  • 42-102494

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 8/3/44; Kearney 5/4/44; Dow Fd 19/4/44; Assigned 708BS/447BG [CQ- ] Rattlesden 20/4/44; Missing in Action Berlin 24/5/44 with Ralph Simon, Co-pilot: Ed Tully, Navigator: Joe Teixeira, Bombardier: Ralph Pittman, Flight engineer/top...

  • 42-102604 Mac's High Hats

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18/3/44; Hunter 13/4/44; Presque Is 19/5/44; Assigned 710BS/447BG Rattlesden 22/4/44; force landed continent 10/1/45; Salvaged 11/1/45.

  • 42-102632 Due Back

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 19/3/44; Hunter 1/4/44; Dow Fd 18/4/44; Assigned 708BS/447BG [CQ-B] Rattlesden 22/4/44; Missing in Action Ausum A/Fd, Ger 27/8/44 with Hugh Bowers, Co-pilot: Jim Doster, Navigator: George Pasvanis, Bombardier: Leonard Moore, Flight...

  • 42-102638

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 20/3/44; Kearney 5/4/44; Grenier 14/4/44; Assigned 711BS/447BG Rattlesden 20/4/44; Missing in Action Osnabruck 13/5/44 with Ray McClintock, Navigator: Stan Gillman, Bombardier: Walt Trotter, Radio Operator: Ben Little, Ball turret...

  • 42-102651

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 23/3/44; Hunter 16/4/44; Grenier 30/4/44; Assigned 710BS/447BG Rattlesden 3/5/44; Missing in Action Munich 11/7/44 with Herb Altman, Co-pilot: Leebert McFarland, Navigator: Frank Hocking, Bombardier: Jim Davidson, Flight engineer/top...

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Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
05 September 2018 01:44:22 jhuck Changes to commanding officers associations
Sources

John G Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner

Source: History of the 447th Bomb Group by Doyle Shields, p. 320

Date Contributor Update
04 September 2018 20:16:33 jhuck Changes to commanding officers associations
Sources

Entry by John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner
Source: Eighth Air Force Operations History http://www.8thafhs.com/get_one_acgroup.php?
acgroup_id=8

Date Contributor Update
04 September 2018 20:10:45 jhuck Changes to description
Sources

Entry by John G. Huck, nephew of Edward Blattner
Source: Eighth Air Force Operations History http://www.8thafhs.com/get_one_acgroup.php?
acgroup_id=8

Date Contributor Update
25 May 2018 17:17:20 LUCKY PARTNERS Changes to description
Sources

lp

Date Contributor Update
28 March 2017 19:49:07 RHT447 Changes to motto
Sources

http://www.447bg.com/

Note: Fiat justitia ruat cælum is a Latin legal phrase, meaning "Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

Date Contributor Update
04 June 2015 20:33:05 466thHistorian Changes to mission associations
Sources

Chris Brassfield

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 15:20:20 rossingtonj Changes to mission associations
Sources

Type added.

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 15:20:09 rossingtonj Changes to mission associations
Sources

Type added.

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 15:19:58 rossingtonj Changes to type and mission associations
Sources

Type added.

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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