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91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

Group

The 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated at Harding Field, Louisiana on 15-April-1942 and went to MacDill Field, Florida for the first phase of training from 16-May-1942 to 25-June-1942. The Group was then assigned to 2nd Air Force at Walla Walla, Washington for the second and third phases of training from 26-June-1942 until 24-August-1942.

Effective 1-September 1942 the Group was re-assigned to 8th Air Force and began preparation for overseas deployment. The ground echelon proceeded to Fort Dix, New Jersey and boarded the Queen Mary on 2-September-1942 arriving at Gourock, UK on 11-September 1942 and then proceeded to their first station at Kimbolton.

The air echelon left Walla Walla, Washington on 24-August-1942 for Gowen Field, Idaho and received their first B-17s. The air echelon then went to Dow Field, Maine and waited until October-1942 to receive the remainder of their B-17s. The air echelon relocates to England via the northern ferry route between 23-Sep-42 and 11-Oct-42 assembling at Kimbolton and then the entire Group moves to Bassingbourn on 14-Oct-42 where they will conduct operations until 23-Jun-45.

The 91st Bomb Group, known more informally as "the Ragged Irregulars", flew 340 missions between 7-November-1942 and 25-April-1945 in 9,591 sorties dropping 22,142 tons of bombs. The Group lost 197 aircraft MIA.

Before D-Day these were predominantly strategic bombing missions, hitting targets like aircraft factories, air fields and oil facilities. After the Allies had gained a foothold on the Continent, the Group carried out more missions in support of ground troops, such as bombing railway yards and tracks. With 420 enemy aircraft destroyed, the Group had the highest total claim of all the Eighth Air Force Bomb Groups. The Group also had the highest losses of any of these Bomb Groups, with 197 aircraft reported as missing in action over the course of the war.

CLAIMS To FAME:
Highest total claims of enemy aircraft destroyed in 1sr Bomb Division: 420
Highest losses of all 8AF Bomb Groups: 197 Aircraft MIA
First 8AF BG to attack a target in the Ruhr: 4-Mar-43 DUC awarded.
Lead the famous Schweinfurt mission of 17-Aug-43
First 8AF Bomb Group to complete 100 missions: 5-Jan-44
Selected to test first flak suits in Mar '43
B-17G 42-31909 "Nine-O-Nine" completed 140 missions without a turn back for mechanical reasons.
Find out more about the history of the 91st at http://www.91stbombgroup.com/ and by visiting the Tower Museum at Bassingbourn (http://www.towermuseumbassingbourn.co.uk/).

Commanding officers
  • Baskin Lawrence

    Military | Brigadier General | Pilot | 482nd Bomb Group
    In 1934 joined Army Air Corp in pilot training. Joined 91st BG in September 1942. On March 4, 1943, taxying accident at Bassingbourne in Boston III AL441 on return from a photographic flight with Mr. LH Cave Chinn as a passenger. Chinn was a British...

  • Claude Putnam

    Military | Brigadier General | Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He was group Operations Officer from 18 January 1943 to 17 February 1943; ...

  • Henry Terry

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot; Commanding Officer | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    He was 367th BS pilot [flying only 5 missions from 09 Oct to 20 Nov 1942]; 369th BS CO from 07 Dec 1942 to 22 June 1943; Deputy GP CO 22 June 1943 to 08 August 1943; Transferred to 1CBW as Chief Staff from 08 August 1943 to 17 May 1944; CO 91st BG 17...

  • Stanley Wray

    Military | Major General | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Commanding Officer of 91st Bomb Group 15 May 1942 - 22 May 1943. Retired as a Major General.

  • William Reid

    Military | Major General | Commanding Officer | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Commanding Officer 91BG from 1-May-43 to 23-May-43; re-assigned as Commanding Officer 92BG 23-May-43 to 27-Sep-44. WIA 26-Aug-44.

  • Clemens Wurzbach

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Commanding Officer | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Commanding Officer 91st Bombardment Group 25-Jun-43 to 12-Dec-43.

Structure

Part of
Encompassing
Previously was
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Missions

  • VIII Bomber Command 16

    7 November 1942
    A combined bomber force of 56 B-17s are despatched by 91BG, 301BG and 306BG to bomb the U-Boat pens at Brest, France. This is the first mission flown by 91st Bomb Group. This element is joined by 12 B-24s from 93BG. To aide the attacking bomber force,...

  • VIII Bomber Command 17

    8 November 1942
    Two Primary (P) targets are the objects of this mission: the German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France and the Atclier d'Hellemmes locomotive works at Lille, France. 91BG despatches 15 B-17s to Abbeville and 301BG and 306BG despatch a combined...

  • VIII Bomber Command 19

    14 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens of La Pallice, France are the Primary(P) target for a combined bomber force of 21 B-17s from 91BG (14) and 306BG (7); 93BG also joins the raid with 13 B-24s. However, La Pallice is completely clouded over, so instead, the bombers attack...

  • VIII Bomber Command 19

    14 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens of La Pallice, France are the Primary(P) target for a combined bomber force of 21 B-17s from 91BG (14) and 306BG (7); 93BG also joins the raid with 13 B-24s. However, La Pallice is completely clouded over, so instead, the bombers attack...

  • VIII Bomber Command 20

    17 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) target for a combined force of 49 B-17s despatched from 91BG (20), 303BG (16) and 306BG (13). Another element of 14 B-24s despatched from 93BG also joins the bombing force on St. Nazaire. The...

  • VIII Bomber Command 21

    18 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient and La Pallice, France are the Primary (P) targets for this mission. However, those at St. Nazaire, France are attacked by 21 B-17s of 303BG when they are mistaken for those of Lorient. The force attacking Lorient is composed...

  • VIII Bomber Command 22

    22 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at Lorient, France are the Primary (P) target of this mission. A combined force of 68 B-17s despatched from 91BG (18), 303BG (18) 305BG (23) and 306BG (9) against the target but a 10/10 could cover prevents all but 11 from 303BG from...

  • VIII Bomber Command 23

    23 November 1942
    The U-Boat pens at St. Nazaire, France are the Primary (P) for this mission. A combined force of 50 B-17s despatched from 91BG (10), 303BG (12), 305BG (20) and 306BG (8) to attack this target. 91BG is not able to put any of their group on the target,...

  • VIII Bomber Command 24

    6 December 1942
    The German airfield of Drucat at Abbeville, France is the primary target for 19 B-24s despatched from 44th Bomb Group but are recalled. One squadron of 6 does not hear the recall and proceeds to the target, 1 B-24 MIA. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 25

    12 December 1942
    This mission is composed of two elements. First element: The German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France is the Primary (P) target for a force of 78 B-17s despatched from 91BG (19), 303BG (20), 305BG (21) and 306BG (18). However, the target is...

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Stations

Station Location Date
Established 15 April 1942
Based Kimbolton 12 September 1942 – 13 October 1942
Based Bassingbourn 14 October 1942 – 23 June 1945

Connections

People

  • Robert Abb

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 25 missions on 'Delta Rebel #2'

  • George Abbott

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down by fighters and crashed at Ruehlow in B-17 Sleepytime Gal on 6/21/44 #42102527 Prisoner of War (POW) POW

  • Daniel Abeles

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 19 April 1944 in B-17 #4297406. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Robert Abt

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 21 May 1943 in B-17 #423053 'Desperate Journey. ' Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • Harry Ackerman

    Military | Captain | Navigator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 5 missions on Delta Rebel #2

  • Frank Adams

    Military | Lieutenant | Pilot | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Killed in Action (KIA) at Berlin in B-17 42-97632

  • Harry Adams

    Military | Ground Crew , Parachutes & Flying Clothes | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

  • Jack Adams

    Military | Sergeant | Radar; Bombardier; Navigator | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

  • Stanford Adams

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Shot down 17 August 1943 in B-17 42-5139 'Chief Sly II. ' Killed in Action (KIA).

  • Robert Ade

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Killed in Action (KIA). Shot down 17 April 1943 in B-17 41-24459 'Hellsapoppin. ' According to Havelaar, the target was the Fukke Wolf aircraft factory. Fighters and flak were heavy and the 401st BS was hit especially hard.

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Aircraft

  • 41-24399 Man O' War

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Bangor 13/7/42; with Earl Shaefer force landed Olmstead, PA 20/8/42; Assigned 323BS/91BG [OR-V] Bassingbourn 23/9/42; Missing in Action Kassel 30/7/43 with Keene McCammon, Co-pilot: John Bruce (2 Prisoner of War), Navigator: Bob Duggan,...

  • 41-24431 The Saint

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-G] Bangor 27/8/42; Bassingbourn 11/10/42; detailed mechanical trip to Honington, Sfk. 16/2/43 but crashed on attempted t/o with Earl Riley, Co-pilot: Earl Dosier, Navigator: Roy Schwendiman, Bombardier: Edwin Bush, Flight...

  • 41-24432 Danellen

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24432 was assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-E] Bangor 2-Sep-42; Bassingbourn 1-Oct-42; transferred 324BS [DF-E]; Missing in Action Romilly-sur-Seine 11m 20-Dec-42 (9-man crew) 8KIA 1 POW MACR 5381. ...

  • 41-24439 Chief Sly

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24439 'Chief Sly' was delivered Dow Fd 2-Sep-42; Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-Q] 6-Sep-42; Bassingbourn 29-Sep-42; battle damaged 20-Dec-42 on mission to bomb the German air depot at Romilly-sur-Seine, France. Crash-landed Parsonage Farm,...

  • 41-24447 Kickapoo

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-H] Bangor 29-Aug-42; Bassingbourn 1-Oct-42; Missing in Action 11m Wilhelmshafen 26-Feb-44. Flak hit caused fire in #4, crashed North Sea. 10 Killed in Action, Missing Air Crew Report 3575. KICKAPOO. ...

  • 41-24449 Short Snorter

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24449 'Short Snorter' was assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-B] Bangor 31-Aug-42; Bassingbourn 1-Oct-42. On 20-Dec-43 the aircraft was damaged on the mission to Romilly, France with Capt William Harris, but limped back to base OK. 10RTD ...

  • 41-24452

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    B-17F 41-24452 was assigned to 91BG/401BS at Bangor 29-Aug-42; Bassingbourn 1-Oct-42. Despatched on 20-Dec-42 to bomb the German air depot at Romilly, France. Enemy aircraft KO’d tailplane and the aircraft crashed near Rouen, France. 3KIA 7POW MACR...

  • 41-24453 Mizpah - The Bearded Lady aka The Bearded Beauty

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 322BS/91BG [LG-O] Bangor 29/8/42; Bassingbourn 29/9/42; in taxi accident with John Hardin 18/11/42 at RNAS Yeovilton; MIZPAH - THE BEARDED LADY aka THE BEARDED BEAUTY. ...

  • 41-24459 Hellsapoppin

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 401BS/91BG [LL-B] Bangor 2/9/42; Bassingbourn 1/10/42; Missing in Action Bremen 17/4/43 with John Wilson, Waist gunner: Walt Bohaczyk, Ball turret gunner: Gil Andrews, Waist gunner: Cliff Cadle,Tail gunner: Bob Ade; (5 Killed in Action); Co...

  • 41-24464 Excalibur

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 367BS/306BG Westover 17-Aug-42; Thurleigh 13-Oct-42; transferred 324BS/91BG [DF-J] Bassingbourn 20-Feb-43; Missing in Action (MIA) 2m Hamm 4-Mar-43. Shot down by Lt Kostler (IV/NJG1) in Me 110, KO’d #1 & #3,oil pouring away before #4 was...

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Citations

Distinguished Unit Citation 4-May-43 Hamm
Distinguished Unit Citation 11-Jan-44 Oschersleben

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
10 April 2015 07:21:31 EMBLEMHUNTER Changes to mission associations and media associations
Sources

my photo

Date Contributor Update
10 April 2015 07:18:08 EMBLEMHUNTER Changes to mission associations and media associations
Sources

my photo

Date Contributor Update
10 April 2015 07:15:59 EMBLEMHUNTER Changes to mission associations and media associations
Sources

my photo

Date Contributor Update
10 April 2015 07:12:50 EMBLEMHUNTER Changes to mission associations and media associations
Sources

my photo

Date Contributor Update
09 February 2015 12:41:50 Pat Flyer Changes to mission associations
Sources

P. MILWARD 9 February 2015

Date Contributor Update
26 November 2014 18:00:03 Lee8thbuff Changes to type, description and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 26-Nov-2014. Added early history per: http://www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/91bg.HTM

Date Contributor Update
06 November 2014 20:34:38 Lee8thbuff Changes to name, commanding officers associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Nov-2014. Added connection to Clemens Wurzbach

Date Contributor Update
06 November 2014 20:13:42 Lee8thbuff Changes to description, mission associations and stations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Nov-2014. http://www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/91bg.HTM

Date Contributor Update
06 November 2014 19:56:53 Lee8thbuff Changes to nicknames, citations, aircraft types, commanding officers associations and mission associations
Sources

Lee Cunningham 6-Nov-2014. http://www.usaaf.com/8thaf/bomber/91bg.HTM

Date Contributor Update
30 September 2014 10:14:40 PhillWray Changes to description and mission associations
Sources

History details grammar corrections.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:46 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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