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458th Bomb Group

Group

The 458th Bomb Group (H) entered combat with the 8th Air Force in February 1944. Based at Horsham St. Faith in England, the combat crews participated in the decisive Campaigns 'Big Week', 'Big B', D-Day and the assault on Germany's oil industry waged by the USAAF up to VE-Day. The group also tested the operational use of 'Azon' radio-controlled bombs. The 458th flew a total of 240 missions, during which over 13,000 tons of ordnance was dropped, and was achieved at the cost of sixty-five crews MIA or involved in operational accidents. In the fall of 1944 the Group ceased bombing missions during to haul petrol to airfields in France as the Allies supply lines could not keep up with the rate at which the armies were moving eastwards.

Structure

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Missions

  • 8th Air Force 244

    2 March 1944
    The primary targets for this mission are: the railroad marshalling yards at Frankfurt, Germany; and the German air depot ar Chartres, France. The mission is composed of two entierly separate forces. 327 B-17s from 1st Air Division joined by 154 B-24s...

  • 8th Air Force 248

    5 March 1944
    The German airfields at Mont-de-Marsan, Cayeux and Bordeaux/Merginac, France were the primary targets for this mission. Weather and clouds frustrate bombing attempts and formations bomb other secondary targets and targets of last resort. Mission...

  • 8th Air Force 248

    5 March 1944
    The German airfields at Mont-de-Marsan, Cayeux and Bordeaux/Merginac, France were the primary targets for this mission. Weather and clouds frustrate bombing attempts and formations bomb other secondary targets and targets of last resort. Mission...

  • 8th Air Force 250

    6 March 1944
    The industrial areas of Berlin and Genshagen, Germany are the primary targets for this mission. A combined force of 730 heavy bombers are despatched from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions. The despatch from 3rd Air Division bombs Targets of Opportunity in...

  • 8th Air Force 252

    8 March 1944
    The VKF ballbearing factory at Berlin/Erkner is the primary target for 623 heavy bombers despatched by all three Air Divisions. Fighter opposition and anti-aircraft fire are intense. There aer so many formation attacking that some divert to other...

  • 8th Air Force 253

    9 March 1944
    Berlin is once again targeted by this mission as a secondary target. Primary target not listed in source data. All 3 Air Divisions despatch aircraft. There is very little fighter opposition. Mission Summary follows: ...

  • 8th Air Force 262

    16 March 1944
    The two primary targets for this mission are: the industrial areas of Augsburg, Germany and Friedrichshafen, Germany. A combined force of 720 heavy bombers are despatched from 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Divisions. The bomber gunners of the combined despatch...

  • 8th Air Force 270

    21 March 1944
    The V-Weapon site at Watten, France is the target for this mission. A combined force of 65 B-24s from: 44BG; 93BG; 392BG; and 458BG are despatched. 7 aircraft are damaged. There are no other losses, casualties or claims.

  • 8th Air Force 273

    22 March 1944
    The German aviation industries at Oraneinburg and Basdorf were the intended primary target for this mission but dense cloud cover prevented the attack on these targets. The secondary target of Berlin, Germany and surrounding Targets of Opportunity (TOs...

  • 8th Air Force 275

    23 March 1944
    The industrial areas of Brunswick, Munster, Osnabruck, and Achmer, Germany as well as the airfield at Handorf, Germany become the targets for a force of 768 heavy bombers despatched by all three Air Divisions. The bomber gunner claims on German...

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Stations

Station Location Date
Based Horsham St Faith 29 January 1944 – 3 June 1945

Connections

People

  • George Ablsen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 458th Bomb Group

  • George Ablsen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 458th Bomb Group

  • Leonard Abranowitz

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 458th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) crashed near Lechfeld on 9 Apr 45 in B-24 'Final Approach' #4252457

  • Wilbert Abshire

    Military | Staff Sergeant | 458th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). AC 42-95183 'Briney Marlin' Forming up, hit by AC 42-95159. Plane went into spin and crew was ordered to bail out. Immediately after Carlstrum and Abshire bailed out, the pilot was able to gain control and the rest of the crew...

  • Felix Acencio

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 458th Bomb Group

  • Dewey Adams

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 458th Bomb Group
    Crashed at Hellesdon, Norwich after takeoff for 1st operational mission on 2-Mar-44 in B-24H 41-28669. Killed in Action (KIA). Awards: PH.

  • John Adamson

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 458th Bomb Group
    Hit by flak and fighters on a mission to Erkner, Berlin on 8 Mar 1944, B-24 #42-28720 and crashed near Finsterwalde. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • David Adkins

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 458th Bomb Group

  • Jimmie Adkins

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 458th Bomb Group
    B-24H #41-29329 'Fritzi' broke up in mid-air after being hit by flak and crashed SW of Warendorf/Westfallen, GR on 23 Mar 1944. Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Joseph Agitata

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 458th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Crashed at Koblenz on 9/9/44 in B-24 Rough Riders #4129342

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Aircraft

  • 41-28666 'Dixie DuDrop'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned 458BG re-assigned to 703BS, 445BG, 8AF USAAF as a replacement aircraft. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Friedrickshafen left formation under control on reciprocal course, hit by 3 x Fw190 fighters causing fire in bomb bay, most of crew baled...

  • 41-28667 'Jayhawker'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 752BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Tutow, Germany. E/A seen to hit #3 engine which was successfully feathered. Failed to keep up with formation despite jettisoning bombs and headed for neutral territory. Landed at...

  • 41-28669 'Ginny'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 752BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. Crashed on 1st combat mission, shortly after take off, stalled possibly due to icing of wings. 2-Mar-44. 3 x RTD, 7 x KIA. Cat 5 damage, written off.

  • 41-28678

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 755BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) - Aircraft was lost due to mechanical failure on 22-Mar-44 mission to bomb the BMW engine factory at Basdorf outside Berlin,Germany. Eight of the crew became POW's and one was killed because...

  • 41-28718 'Bo'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 752BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. Flew 27 missions. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Berlin. Attacked by Fw190's and dropped out of formation in spin with one engine knocked out. Landed in Rinkaby, Sweden. 11 x Interned (INT). 29-Apr-44. MACR 4451.

  • 41-28720

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 755BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Berlin, just short of IP hit by flak causing oil leak on #4 and turbo failure #2. Dropped out of formation, calling for fighter cover, Me210's attacked them knocking out the tail...

  • 41-28733 'Rhapsody in Junk'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 754BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Fassberg airfield, Germany shot down by flak on the 18-Jun-44. 9 x POW 1 x KIA. MACR 5908.

  • 41-28738 'Meat Around the Corner'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 754BS, 458BG, 8AF USAAF. 19 missions. Failed to Return (FTR) mission to Epinal. Left formation at target salvoed bombs, 1 x engine feathered and some control lost of rudders, 11-May-44. Headed for and crashed Jegenstorf, Switzerland. Crew...

  • 41-28942

    B-24 Liberator

  • 41-29273

    B-24 Liberator

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Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
22 October 2015 01:56:08 466thHistorian Changes to mission associations
Sources

466th BG Historian

Date Contributor Update
28 May 2015 13:28:54 DScorza458BG Changes to description, unit part of associations and mission associations
Sources

This is a much more comprehensive history highlight of the 458th as a unit than what was previously printed. The prior text made it seem like the group came in on the heels of the 457th BG, and only flew diversion missions and gas hauls in late 1944. Please feel free to contact me darinS@eskc.com.

Date Contributor Update
13 March 2015 15:23:15 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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