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Page 27 of the 385th Bomb Group unit history.
Many of the 8th Air Force Groups produced an unofficial unit history in the months after the war ended in Europe but before they were redeployed out of the ETO (European Theater of Operations).

Resembling a college yearbook, unit histories were an unofficial – and often tongue-in-cheek – record of the unit’s time based in the UK. They include photo montages showing different aspects of base life. Often the servicemen in the photos are unnamed. The American Air Museum hopes that by adding unit histories to the website as individual pages, the men in the photos will be identified and associated to their person entries. Many included lists of personnel and a mailing address, providing a means for servicemen to keep in contact with each other after the war. These lists are now incredibly useful records of where US airmen in England in 1945 called their home.



  • 385th Bomb Group

    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...


  • Wayne Horr

    Military | Captain | Pilot

  • Curtis LeMay

    Military | General | Commanding General
    306th Temporary Deputy Commander at Wendover, then transferred as Group Commander of 305th BG 4-Jun-42 to 15-May-43. ...

  • Preston Piper

    Military | Colonel | Pilot
    More than anything, he loved to fly. In high school in Santa Ana, he was part of a club that built a glider plane. I have home movies he made flying over the orange groves in Santa Ana, California in the mid-1930's. Shot down 24 August 1943 in B-17 ...

  • Elliott Vandevanter

    Military | Brigadier General | Commanding Officer
    Brigadier General Elliott "Pete" Vandevanter Jr., was born in Baltimore, Md., in 1917. He is the son of the late Colonel Elliott Vandevanter, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army. Since his father's activities required frequent moves, he attended many grade...


  • 42-30197 Mission Belle

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 27/4/43; Gt Falls 6/5/43; Kearney 29/5/43; Dow Fd 13/6/43; Assigned 549BS/385BG [SG-M] Gt Ashfield 14/6/43; Missing in Action Rostock 11/4/44 with Duane Pangle, Co-pilot: Onner Davis, Navigator: Sam Kaiser, Bombardier: Bob Brisebois,...


  • Great Ashfield

    Military site : airfield
    The airfield was built in 1942 by John Laing & Son Ltd. 108,000 tons of concrete was used in its construction, creating a Class 'A' airfield suitable for heavy bombers. The 385th Bomb Group took up residence in the summer of 1943, and remained at the...


Date Contributor Update
26 April 2017 09:47:13 general ira snapsorter Created entry with collection, caption and unit associations

An original copy of the 385th Bomb Group unit history in IWM’s Roger Freeman Collection, printed in 1945.