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Budd J Peaslee


First Commanding Officer of 384th Bomb Group and instigator of the Scouting Force concept, to enable the bomber stream to change course in good time if target area was obscured.

Activated on 1st December 1942 in Idaho, the 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was placed under the command of Col Budd J Peaslee. In May 1943 the 384th moved to Grafton Underwood Airfield in Northamptonshire, England, and Col Peaslee was the Commanding Officer until 1 October 1943.
Col Peaslee later became well-known for being the primary founder of The Scouting Force. Lockheed P-38s, P-51 Mustangs and Dehavilland Mosquitos were used to range ahead of a bomber strike and report back on target weather conditions. They were also used to check for Anti-Aircraft sites and Luftwaffe interceptor airfields and units. The first Scouting Force Mission flew on July 16th 1944.
The “triangle-P” insignia emblazoned on Grafton Underwood’s B-17 aircraft may have been chosen to honour Col. Budd Peaslee.



  • Charles Bonnett

    Military | Captain | Group Bombardier | 384th Bomb Group
    •Flew to England with 384th Group Commander, Colonel Budd J. Peaslee, per Army Air Base Kearney Special Orders #96 dated 17 May 1943. ...

  • Selden McMillin

    Military | Major | Pilot | 384th Bomb Group
    Shot down 25 June 1943 in B-17 42-5850. Prisoner of War.

  • Walter Owens

    Military | Captain | Public Relations Officer | 384th Bomb Group
    Assigned to the 384th Bomb Group at Wendover Field, Utah and deployed to the UK in May 1943. Public Affairs Officer Author of the 384th Bomb Group History "As Briefed..."

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Units served with

  • 384th Bomb Group

    384th Bomb Group

    The 384th Bomb Group flew B-17s from Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire, between May 1943 and June 1945. They were engaged in daylight bombing missions over Germany as part of the Allies' efforts to destroy the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe by...

  • 1st Scouting Force
  • Scouting Force (Experimental) (SFX)

    Scouting Force (Experimental) (SFX)

    Formed by Col. Peaslee following presentation of his theory to Gen. Doolittle. The purpose of the Scouting Force concept was for experienced, tour expired lead bomber pilots, escorted by volunteer fighter pilots, to fly ahead of bomber formations to...


  • 43-38757 Peaslee's Payoff

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lincoln 16/9/44; Grenier 30/9/44; Assigned 547BS/384BG [SO-L] Grafton Underwood 6/10/44; crash landed Troston AD, Sfk, UK with Wallace Davidson 8/5/45, repaired; Returned to the USA Bradley 11/7/45; 4185 BU Independence 12/7/45; 4136 BU...

  • 44-13283 Carolyn Ann

    P-51 Mustang
    Personal aircraft of Col. Budd Peaslee, Commanding Officer Scouting Force (Experimental) and 1st Scouting Force. Flown by Lt William J. Doherty of 364th Fighter Group / 383rd Fighter Squadron on 10 January 1945. Was last seen in formation at about 12...

Associated Place

  • Grafton Underwood

    Military site : airfield
    Grafton Underwood was built in 1941 by George Wimpey and Co. Ltd. It was the first airfield in England to receive an Eighth Air Force flying unit, when in May 1942 personnel of the 15th Bomb Squadron took up residence. As a satellite airfield for...

  • Honington

    Military site : airfield
    Honington was in use by Eighth Air Force units for a longer period than any other air base in England. The air base, built in the mid 1930s as part of the RAF's expansion programme had seen plenty of action as an RAF base before it was handed over to...

  • Steeple Morden

    Military site : airfield
    Originally used from 1940 as a small, grass airfield, satellite for nearby RAF Bassingbourn, Steeple Morden was allocated to the Eighth Air Force in August 1942 as a potential bomber base. It was used briefly by the 3rd Photographic Group during the...


Event Location Date
Born Santa Cruz, CA, USA 26 May 1902
Commissioned 28 February 1927
Retired 30 September 1953
Died Salinas, CA, USA 3 April 1983


Date Contributor Update
03 February 2016 21:38:32 bombercommand Changes to biography
Personal conversation with Budd J. Peaslee's son, Richard Peaslee, in October 2014.

Date Contributor Update
02 February 2016 16:25:51 Anne Hughes Changes to biography
Sources; websites of 384th Bombardment Group and Little Friends

Date Contributor Update
04 March 2015 03:09:02 bombercommand Changes to events and media associations


Date Contributor Update
16 February 2015 16:40:32 bombercommand Changes to awards and events

Date Contributor Update
06 October 2014 16:29:12 Pyker Changes to awards

Added decorations.

Date Contributor Update
06 October 2014 16:26:22 Pyker Changes to nickname, role, biography, events, unit associations and place associations

Personal research plus that of Ted Damick.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:04:50 AAM AAM ingest

Ted Damick, VIII Fighter Command pilots list