493rd Bomb Group

Group
The insignia of the 493rd Bomb Group. media-395171.jpg FRE 5228 The insignia of the 493rd Bomb Group. Roger Freeman Collection

IWM, Roger Freeman Collection

Object Number - FRE 5228 - The insignia of the 493rd Bomb Group.

The 493rd Bomb Group was the last Eighth Air Force Group to become operational, flying their first combat mission from Debach, Suffolk, on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Group was known as "the Fighting 493rd", named by their Commanding Officer Colonel Elbert Helton, who held the post for over a year. The Group flew 157 bombing missions, their targets a range of strategic ones in Germany and tactical ones in northern France, Holland and along the Rhine. In additional the crews flew six food missions in May 1945, dropping over 400 tonnes of food into newly-liberated parts of Europe.

Commanding Officers

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group Headquarters Squadron (493rd Bomb Group)
  • Service Numbers: O-22325
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Group Commanding Officer
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 56th Fighter Group Headquarters (493rd Bomb Group) Headquarters (56th Fighter Group)
  • Service Numbers: O-18868
  • Highest Rank: Major General
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot / Group Commander
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group Headquarters Squadron (493rd Bomb Group)
  • Service Numbers: O-21912
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Air Executive

Connections

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

Unit stations

Station Location Date

Based

Debach 6 August 1945

Encompassing

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 862nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 42000479
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 860th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 35708293
  • Highest Rank: Corporal
  • Role/Job: AAF Gunnery Instructor
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 863rd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-436565
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 860th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 36874157
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Flight Engineer; Top Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 861st Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: T-137637
  • Highest Rank: Flight Officer
  • Role/Job: Navigator

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: Bolicat
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 861st Bomb Squadron
A 452nd Bomb Group B-17G Flying Fortress ('M', serial number 42-32087) was damaged on the 6th of August 1944 and landed at Resmo in Sweden. Handwritten caption on reverse: 'B-17G-35-BD. 42-32087. 452 B.G. Downed at Resmo, 6 August 1944, Sweden.'
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Old Glory/Aint Misbehavin
  • Unit: 452nd Bomb Group 493rd Bomb Group 728th Bomb Squadron 862nd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Widdle Twinkle
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 862nd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Unit: 493rd Bomb Group 861st Bomb Squadron

Mission

  • Date: 12 September 1944

Revisions

Date
Changes
Sources
Date
Contributorphil marchese
Changes
Sources

Typo,

Date
ContributorDarren Jelley
Changes
Sources

493rd BG Archives

Date
ContributorDarren Jelley
Changes
Sources

493rd BG Museum archives

www.493bgdebach.co.uk

Date
ContributorDarren Jelley
Changes
Sources

The 493rd BG was never called Helton's Hellcats. the Official name was "the Fighting 493rd"
the Hellcats were the American Football team made up from 493rd BG personnel.

the Group flew 161 combat missions, and not 152 as listed.

D Jelley
493rd BG Archives

Date
ContributorRobin
Changes
Sources

Robin Deutsch

Date
Contributorrossingtonj
Changes
Sources

Type added.

Date
ContributorAAM
Changes
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)

493rd Bomb Group: Gallery (208 items)