389th Bomb Group

Group
The insignia of the 389th Bomb Group.

Object Number - FRE 5147 - The insignia of the 389th Bomb Group.

The 389th Bomb Group, known in more familiar terms as "the Sky Scorpions", flew strategic bombing missions in B-24 Liberators from Hethel, England. They also sent detachments to join bases in North Africa at Benghazi No. 10, Libya, between 3 July 1943 and 25 August 1943 and at Massicault, Tunisia, between 19 September 1943 and 3 October 1943. During this period, the detachment carried out bombing raids over Crete, Sicily, Italy, Austria and Romania. The Group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for the Ploesti oil fields mission on 1 August 1943.

Earl Zimmerman, a radio operator during the Ploesti mission, has this to say about the origin of the insignia: "I first learned of the name Sky Scorpions during the early 1960s when the book Ploesti was published. Up to that time I had never heard of the name although I went over with the original Group and came back with the Group two years later. No one has confirmed it, but I assume the name came from Capt. Kenneth Caldwell's plane 'Scorpion'. Now about the formation ship, the Green Dragon. M/Sgt. Pashal Quackenbush is the original artist of the Dragon painted on the officers club wall. That dragon was green. His original painting of the dragon was blue and during the reunion at Colorado Springs, Pashal donated it to Al Kopp then VP of the 389th. The original now rests in the Library in Norwich. When I had the 389th patches made they were copied from the original, therefore the blue dragon."

Browse 389th Bomb Group photographs and other documents in the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library digital archive here: www.2ndair.org.uk/digitalarchive/Dashboard/Index/14

Connections

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

Unit stations

Station Location Date

Based

Hethel 1943-06-11 - 1945-05-30

Other

Commemorated at

389th Bomb Group Memorial Exhibition, Hethel

Based

Biggs Field 1943-02-01 - 1943-04-18

Other

Temporary Duty

Massicault 1943-09-19 - 1943-10-03

Other

Temporary Duty

Berca 1943-07-03 - 1943-08-25

Encompassing

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 567th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 564th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 35309153
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Assistant Crew Chief
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 564th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Sackwarmer
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 566th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 389th Bomb Group 565th Bomb Squadron

Mission

Revisions

Date11 Jul 2019 09:17:54
ContributorEmily
Sources

Associated North African bases for 389th Bomb Group's detachments in the Summer of 1943. Details provided in US Air Force Combat Units of World War II and Unit history highlights added by AAM website users to this record.

Date17 Mar 2019 18:28:10
ContributorDieterle
Sources

Richard Dieterle, adding stationing information from Biggs Field page.

Date17 Mar 2019 18:23:32
ContributorDieterle
Sources

Richard Dieterle, adding citation already referenced under "Unit History Highlights".

Date16 Mar 2019 16:41:31
ContributorDieterle
Sources

Richard Dieterle — from "HETHEL HIGHLIGHTS," by Earl L. Zimmerman (389th), Second Air Division Association Journal and published in the September, 1981.

Date18 Jan 2019 02:20:59
ContributorDieterle
Sources

Martin Bowman, 2nd Air Division Air Force USAAF 1942-45: Liberator Squadrons in Norfolk and Suffolk (Yorkshire: Pen and Sword, 2007) 141, caption with photograph.

Date7 Nov 2018 09:04:02
ContributorEmily
Sources

AIR FORCE COMBAT UNITS OF WORLD WAR II

Date6 Feb 2018 18:23:42
Sources

2nd Air Division Memorial Library

Date6 Feb 2018 18:21:34
Sources

2nd Air Division Memorial Library

Date17 Jan 2017 15:38:56
ContributorLucy May
Sources

Added 'Commemorated' event so that the museum at Hethel is associated to the 389th Bomb Group.

Date10 Apr 2015 18:57:44
ContributorEMBLEMHUNTER
Sources

my photo

Date2 Jan 2015 17:15:01
Contributorjkeeffe389
Sources

Lt. James H Keeffe Jr documents.

Date2 Jan 2015 17:08:23
Contributorjkeeffe389
Sources

Lt. James H Keeffe Jr documents
Paul Wilson author The Sky Scorpions

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)

389th Bomb Group: Gallery (519 items)