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492nd Bomb Group Carpetbaggers

Group

The 492nd Bomb Group, after flying similar missions to other heavy bomb groups until the late summer of 1944, took up 'Carpetbagger' missions, transporting agents, supplies and propaganda leaflets to southern France. The Group was taking on the role of the 801st Bomb Group (Provisional), which it superseded. In September 1944, the Group was also involved in supplying ground forces with petrol as they moved across France and into Belgium. In a very varied war service, the Group also conducted night bombardments in February and March 1945. The Group then resumed 'Carpetbagger' missions, this time over Germany, winning a Distinguished Unit Citation for their courageous efforts.

US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

Transferred, less personnel and equipment, to another station in England on 5 Aug 1944 and assumed personnel, equipment, and the CARPETBAGGER mission of a provisional group that was discontinued.

Operated chiefly over southern France with B24's and C-47's engaging in CARPETBAGGER operations, that is, transporting agents, supplies, and propaganda leaflets to patriots. Ceased these missions on 16 Sep 1944 to haul gasoline to advancing mechanized forces in France and Belgium. Intermittently attacked airfields, oil refineries, seaports, and other targets in France, the Low Countries, and Germany until Feb 1945. Meanwhile, in Oct 1944, began training for night bombardment operations; concentrated on night bombing of marshalling yards and goods depots in Germany, Feb-Mar 1945. Ceased these missions on 18 Mar 1945 to engage in CARPETBAGGER operations over Germany and German-occupied territory, using B-24, A-26, and British Mosquito aircraft to drop leaflets, demolition equipment, and agents. Received a DUC for these operations, performed at night despite adverse weather and vigorous opposition from enemy ground forces, 20 Mar- 25 Apr 1945. Also cited by the French government for similar operations over France in 1944. Flew its last CARPETBAGGER mission in Apr 1945 and then ferried personnel and equipment to and from the Continent until Jul. Returned to the US, Jul-Aug 1945

Commanding officers
  • Clifford Heflin

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer, Pilot | 801st Bomb Group
    CMDR of the 'Carpetbaggers' the first AF Special Forces Unit Dist. Serv. Medal/Legion of Merit, DFC; Air Medal w/Oak Leaf Clusters

  • Hudson Upham

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer; Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Commanding Officer of the 492nd BG from 17 December 1944 to April 1945. ...

  • Jack Dickerson

    Military | Pilot | 490th Bomb Group

  • Robert Fish

    Military | Colonel | 1091-Pilot | 492nd Bomb Group Carpetbaggers
    Commanding Officer of 492nd BG. This group was more widely known as the 'Carpetbaggers.' The mission of this group was to air drop supplies and agents in German occupied areas of Europe during WW II. Its concomitant mission was to land C-47 aircraft in...

Structure

Part of
Encompassing
Previously was
  • 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)

    492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)

    Group
    The 492nd Bomb Group were assigned to the 8th Air Force in April 1944. They flew 60 missions over occupied Europe from 11 May 1944 until 7 August 1944. ...

  • 801st Bomb Group

    801st Bomb Group

    Group
    The 801st Bomb Group was established as part of the Eighth Air Force in late March 1944 to carry out 'Carpetbagger' missions. These were night missions over France and other parts of occupied Europes to support resistance forces by dropping in agents,...

Became
Not yet known

Stations

Station Location Date
Based Harrington 13 August 1944 – 7 July 1945

Connections

People

  • James Abell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 467th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed at Lostau in B-24 42-50481. (Transferred 467th BG)

  • Jack Dickerson

    Military | Pilot | 490th Bomb Group

  • Robert Fish

    Military | Colonel | 1091-Pilot | 492nd Bomb Group Carpetbaggers
    Commanding Officer of 492nd BG. This group was more widely known as the 'Carpetbaggers.' The mission of this group was to air drop supplies and agents in German occupied areas of Europe during WW II. Its concomitant mission was to land C-47 aircraft in...

  • Clifford Heflin

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer, Pilot | 801st Bomb Group
    CMDR of the 'Carpetbaggers' the first AF Special Forces Unit Dist. Serv. Medal/Legion of Merit, DFC; Air Medal w/Oak Leaf Clusters

  • Roger Keedwell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)
    Roger Keedwell was Bombardier on B-17 42-39811, shot down on a night leaflet operation to France, 5-6 July 1944. Crashed near Overschie, a suburb of Rotterdam, The Netherlands. Missing Air Crew Report – MACR 6988. Bailed out, but his parachute failed...

  • Hudson Upham

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer; Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Commanding Officer of the 492nd BG from 17 December 1944 to April 1945. ...

Aircraft

  • 41-29555 Katrinka

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 34BG 4BS, 34BG, 8AF USAAF (missions: 23-May - 6-Jun-44). Transferred to 863BS, 493BG, 8AF USAAF. Later painted black and assigned as a night bomber to 857BS, 492BG, 8AF USAAF. Crashed in Belgium after the crew bailed out on a mission to...

  • 42-63980 'Missouri Mauler' - 'Playmate'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 567BS, 389BG, 8AF USAAF. ...

Citations

Distinguished Unit Citation: Germany and German-occupied territory, 20 Mar-25 Apr 1945. French Croix de Guerre with Palm.

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 September 2019 10:06:00 Emily Created entry with type, category, name, nicknames, us air force combat units of world war ii description, citations, description, air forces, aircraft types, unit part of associations, unit previously was association, commanding officers associations and stations
Sources

Air Force Combat Units of WWII

Roger Freeman, The Mighty Eighth

Harrington Museum

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