A flight of B-17 Flying Fortresses of the 100th Bomb Group fly in formation. B-17 (serial number 42-3413) nicknamed "Hard Luck" is the foremost aircraft, with B-17 (serial number 42-31991) nicknamed "Miss Chief" flying alongside in the background. ©IWM (FRE 907)
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The true story of the 100th Bomb Group

On the morning of 25 June 1943, B-17s of the 100th Bomb Group went to war for the first time. The 100th Bomb Group is one of the most famous of the Second World War - earning the nickname 'The Bloody Hundredth'. Their experiences feature in the Apple Original Series Masters of the Air.

The 100th was among an armada of American bomber and fighter groups to arrive in England to bolster the flagging formations of the Eighth Air Force. Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force in February 1944 and oversaw the bombardment of strategic targets throughout Europe until 1945.

However, the 100th was not statistically noteworthy. They won numerous awards, but other groups won more. They didn’t fly the most missions, drop the most bombs, or even suffer the most casualties. But where did their legend come from? 

In this video, curator Dr Hattie Hearn examines the real history of 'The Bloody Hundredth'.


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Discover more about the people and events in this video in the American Air Museum's archive

Lieutenant Adam "Wiskey" Wisniewski and Captain Walker "Bud" Mahurin of the 56th Fighter Group indicate the point of action, after a mission in January 1944. ©IWM (FRE 5565)


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