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Page 88 of the 401st 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.



  • 401st Bomb Group

    401st Bomb Group

    The 401st Bomb Group flew B-17 Flying Fortresses from Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire, from November 1943 to June 1945. Starting their missions at that time meant the focus was very much on the coming invasion attempt of France planned for the following...


  • William Anderson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator
    Flew on 'Pistol Packin' Mama. DFC; Pres. Unit Citation.

  • Harold Bowman

    Military | Brigadier General | Commanding Officer
    Commanding Officer of 401st BG from June 1943 to 5 December 1944. Retired as Brigadier General Awards: SS, LOM, DFC (OLC), AM, Croix de Guerre, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Durward Fesmire

    Military | Captain | Bombardier
    On 26 Nov 1943 Bremen mission he thought it a unique thrill. He flew in the SW Pacific on the world-famed "Susy-Q" and who held almost every decoration issued in that theater said that "this freezing stuff is a new one on me.

  • John Jack

    Military | Staff Sergeant

  • Frank Miller

    Military | Lieutenant | Co-Pilot
    Shot down by fighters near IP on mission to Oscherleben on 11 Jan 1944 in B-17G #42-39969. Prisoner of War (POW). POW

  • William Riegler

    Military | Captain | Pilot
    Assigned to 613BS, 401BG, 8AF USAAF. 34 x combat missions. ETD Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.


  • VIII Bomber Command 138

    26 November 1943
    The industrial areas of Bremen, Germany are the target for this massive mission (largest to date) of 505 B-17s which included 14 B-17 Pathfinders from 482BG spread among the B-17 formations - 13 of these completed the mission and 7 were damaged. ...


  • Deenethorpe

    Military site : airfield
    Deenethorpe was a base purpose-built for American heavy bombers, with the Class A regulation 2,000 and 1,400-yard runways. All the buildings on site,such as the accommodation and administrative blocks, were temporary. In December 1943, several local...


Date Contributor Update
21 June 2017 10:01:31 general ira snapsorter Created entry with collection, caption and unit associations

An original copy of the 401st Bomb Group unit history in IWM’s Roger Freeman Collection, printed in 1946.