91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars

Group
Unofficial emblem of the 91st Bomb Group.

Object Number - FRE 5070 - Unofficial emblem of the 91st Bomb 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" and encompassing 322nd, 323rd, 324th and 401st Bomb Squadrons , 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

Lieutenant-Colonel Baskin Lawrence, Lieutenant Chauncey Hicks and Staff Sergeant Willaim Zeigler of the 91st Bomb Group visit Technical Sergeant James Osborne, who was injured when their B-17 Flying Fortress (LL-Y, serial number 42-29797) nicknamed "Old Ironsides" crashed into the Channel on return from a mission over Germany. Image stamped on reverse: 'Passed for Publication 21 Jun 1943 [censor has added 'also passed U.S.']' [stamp] and '271235' [Censor no]. Printed caption on reverse: 'SAIDMAN. ILLUS. 2
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 482nd Bomb Group 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 323rd Bomb Squadron 329th Station Complement Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Brigadier General
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars Headquarters (306th Bomb Group)
  • Service Numbers: O-21642
  • Highest Rank: Brigadier General
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 367th Bomb Squadron 369th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-375352
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot; Commanding Officer
Colonel Stanley T. Wray of the 91st Bomb Group in front of aB-17 Flying Fortress nicknamed "Hell's Angels". Passed as censored 18 Jul 1943. Printed caption on reverse: 'His Bomb Group Has Destroyed More Enemy Aircraft Than Any Other Group In U.S. Air Forces. [Caption damaged…] Photo Shows - Colonel Stanley T. Wray photographed at an American airfield in Britain. SEA July 15th 1943 PN.' On reverse: US Army Censor [Stamp]. Print No: 274994
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
  • Service Numbers: O-18657
  • Highest Rank: Major General
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 92nd Bomb Group Fame's Favoured Few
  • Highest Rank: Major General
  • Role/Job: Commanding Officer
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • 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

Kimbolton 1942-09-12 - 1942-10-13

Based

Bassingbourn 1942-10-14 - 1945-06-23

Established

1942-04-15

Encompassing

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 324th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Staff Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 323rd Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 401st Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 401st Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
  • Service Numbers: 16042839
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ground Crew

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Man O War
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 323rd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: The Saint
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 401st Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Danellen
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 324th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Chief Sly
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 322nd Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Kickapoo
  • Unit: 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars 401st Bomb Squadron

Mission

Revisions

Date23 Aug 2019 11:30:08
ContributorEmily
Sources

Air Force Combat Units of WWII

Date10 Apr 2015 07:21:31
ContributorEMBLEMHUNTER
Sources

my photo

Date10 Apr 2015 07:18:08
ContributorEMBLEMHUNTER
Sources

my photo

Date10 Apr 2015 07:15:59
ContributorEMBLEMHUNTER
Sources

my photo

Date10 Apr 2015 07:12:50
ContributorEMBLEMHUNTER
Sources

my photo

Date9 Feb 2015 12:41:50
ContributorPat Flyer
Sources

P. MILWARD 9 February 2015

Date26 Nov 2014 18:00:03
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

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

Date6 Nov 2014 20:34:38
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

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

Date6 Nov 2014 20:13:42
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

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

Date6 Nov 2014 19:56:53
ContributorLee8thbuff
Sources

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

Date30 Sep 2014 10:14:40
ContributorPhillWray
Sources

History details grammar corrections.

Date27 Sep 2014 18:42:46
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)

91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars: Gallery (1404 items)