385th Bomb Group

Group
The insignia of the 385th Bomb Group.

Object Number - FRE 5137 - The insignia of the 385th Bomb Group.

The 385th Bomb Group, who took the nickname "Van's Valiants" after their first Commanding Officer Col. Elliot Vandevanter, flew B-17s from Great Ashfield, Suffolk. The Group led the famous attack on the Focke-Wolfe aircraft factory at Marienburg on 9 October 1943, during which only two out of one hundred B-17s were lost and all of the buildings on the site were damaged or destroyed. They won two Distinguished Unit Citations. The first, awarded to all 4th Bomb Wing Groups, was for accurately dropping their pay load on an aircraft factory at Regensburg, on 17 August 1943 and the Group's second was awarded after leading a difficult long-range mission to destroy an aircraft repair works at Zwickau, south-west Germany, on 12 May 1944.

Commanding Officers

Lieutenant-Colonel Elliot Vandevanter Jr Commanding Officer of the 385th Bomb Group, signs off a medal recommendation with Lieutenant Wagner and Corporal Joseph Fitzgerald. Passed for publication 1 Nov 1943. Printed caption on reverse: 'Presentation Of Awards To The Heroic Flyers Of U.S. Eighth Air Force. So many American flyers of the Eighth Air Force have achieved so many high distinctions that the presentation of medals and awards has become a "big business" in England. One of them is Lt.Col. Preston P
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group
  • Service Numbers: O-21989
  • Highest Rank: Brigadier General
  • Role/Job: Commanding Officer

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Unit stations

Station Location Date

Based

Great Ashfield 1943-06-28 - 1945-08-04

Encompassing

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 548th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Navigator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 549th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 13118986
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 548th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 549th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner

Aircraft

A B-17 Flying Fortress (serial number 41-9017) of the 92nd Bomb Group in flight. Passed for publication 5 Sep 1942. Printed caption on reverse: 'Q.13312: A Flying Fortress photographed in flight at a U.S. Training Centre.' On reverse: Westminster Press Provincial Newspapers Ltd and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps].
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Heidi Ho
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 482nd Bomb Group 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few 94th Bomb Group 97th Bomb Group 327th Bomb Squadron 342nd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Dixie Demo
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few 97th Bomb Group 414th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Wee Willie Wilber
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 551st Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Kentucky Winner
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 550th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Curley's Kids
  • Unit: 385th Bomb Group 550th Bomb Squadron

Mission

Revisions

Date22 Sep 2016 00:54:20
Contributorhermanns
Sources

385th BG website

Date21 Sep 2016 18:25:30
Contributorhermanns
Sources

Documented source

Date21 Sep 2016 18:24:31
Contributorhermanns
Sources

Documented source

Date10 Apr 2015 18:45:59
ContributorEMBLEMHUNTER
Sources

my photo

Date10 Apr 2015 18:44:53
ContributorEMBLEMHUNTER
Sources

my photo

Date10 Apr 2015 18:41:32
ContributorEMBLEMHUNTER
Sources

my photo

Date10 Apr 2015 18:40:26
ContributorEMBLEMHUNTER
Sources

my photo

Date10 Apr 2015 18:38:40
ContributorEMBLEMHUNTER
Sources

my photo

Date18 Mar 2015 17:01:28
Contributorclunds
Sources

thought I was tagging pic, not group

Date18 Mar 2015 16:50:18
Contributorclunds
Sources

Official 385th archive files

Date13 Mar 2015 15:15:52
Contributorrossingtonj
Sources

Type added.

Date16 Dec 2014 21:32:25
Contributorclunds
Sources

error with name - thought it was going to a pic, not the whole site!

Date16 Dec 2014 21:31:29
Contributorclunds
Sources

385th official rosters.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:42:45
ContributorAAM
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)

385th Bomb Group: Gallery (467 items)