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2nd Bomb Group


Served on antisubmarine duty for several months after the U.S. entered World War II. In October 1942 was re-designated as 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy) and earmarked for combat. The group was transferred on paper to Geiger Field, Washington, where it was re-organized and trained with new personnel.

A B-17G of the 96th BS, 2d BG, dropping its bombs.
The group was made up of four Squadrons, the 20th, 49th, 96th, and the 429th. In November 1942, the squadrons were sent to satellite bases in Montana for additional training as units, the 20th to Great Falls, the 49th to Lewistown, the 96th to Glasgow, and the 429th to Cut Bank. This was the third and final phase of training.

The 2d Bombardment Group and squadrons left their satellite bases on 13–14 March 1943 arriving at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey 17–18 March 1943 for debarkation overseas. The Flight Echelon left the above bases for Morrison Field West Palm Beach, Florida; Natal, Brazil; Marrakech, Morocco and arriving at Navarin, Algeria on 22 April 1943. The Ground Echelon were disbursed at Camp Kilmer in several ships arriving at Casablanca and Port Lyautey in March/April 1943, thence motor and train convoy to Navarin, Algeria. Was initially assigned to Twelfth Air Force.

It arrived at Chateau D'un, Algeria on 27 April 1943. The first mission on 28 April 1943 was to Terranova, Sardinia. The 2d Bombardment Group departed Chateau D'un after flying 25 missions and arrived at Ain M'Lila, Algeria on 17 June 1943 and flew 25 missions from that base. The group departed for Massicault, Tunisia on 31 July 1943 and flew 56 missions from that base.

2d Bombardment Group B-17s form up and begin their climb to altitude from Amendola Airfield, Italy, 1944
Missions flown included bombing such targets as marshalling yards, airdromes, troop concentrations, bridges, docks, and shipping. Participated in the defeat of Axis forces in Tunisia, April–May 1943; the reduction of Pantelleria and the preparations for the invasion of Sicily, May–July 1943; and the invasion of Italy, September 1943.

Moved to Italy in December 1943 and continued operations as part of Fifteenth Air Force. Operated primarily from Amendola Air Base in Foggia. Engaged primarily in long-range bombardment of strategic targets in Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Rumania, and Greece. Participated in the drive toward Rome, January–June 1944; the invasion of Southern France, August 1944, and the campaigns against German forces in northern Italy, June 1944 – May 1945. En route to bomb an aircraft factory at Steyr, Austria on 24 February 1944, the group was greatly outnumbered by enemy interceptors, but it maintained its formation and bombed the target, receiving a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for the performance. On the following day, while on a mission to attack aircraft factories at Regensburg, it met similar opposition equally well and was awarded a second DUC.

Served as part of the occupation force in Italy after V-E Day. Inactivated in Italy on 28 February 1946. Group gunners claimed 279 victories of German and Italian aircraft. Flew 406 combat missions; 146 aircraft lost.


Part of
  • 15th Air Force

    15th Air Force

    The Fifteenth Air Force was one of two Strategic Air forces in Europe, along with the Eighth Air Force. ...

  • 5th Combat Bomb Wing

    5th Combat Bomb Wing

    The 5th Air Division (5th AD) originated on 19 October 1940 at McChord Field, Washington. Its initial mission was air defense of the northwest United States with three bombardment groups (12th, 17th and 39th) flying early B-17 Flying Fortresses (B-17C...

Previously was
Not yet known
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Station Location Date
Established 31 March 1921
Based Chateaudun-du-Rhumel 24 April 1943 – 7 June 1943
Based Massicault 31 July 1943 – 2 December 1943
Based Amendola 9 December 1943 – 19 November 1945



  • Nilo Abel

    Military | Master Sergeant | Crew chief | 2nd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 429BS, 2BG, 15AF USAAF. Crew chief of B-17 42-38078 'Sweat Pea'. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Warren Anderson

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio operator | 2nd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 20BS, 2BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Pilsen, Czech in B-17 42-97739 9-Dec-44; Hit by flak, partial crew bale-out, crash landed near Linz, Austria. Baled out and captured. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 10139 ...

  • Robert Arnold

    Military | Captain | Co-Pilot | 2nd Bomb Group
    Shot down 25 Feb 1944 in B-17 #42-31416 on mission to Regensburg, GR, Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2576.

  • James Babek

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | 2nd Bomb Group
    From Texas

  • John Bacsu

    Military | First Lieutenant | Navigator | 2nd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 49BS, 2BG, 15AF USAAF. On mission to Sofia 24-Jan-44, ditched off Civitanova in B-17 42-29645, 15 miles east of Bari RTD. 37 missions. Shot down on mission to Steyr, Austria in B-17 42-29638. Baled out Salzburg, Austria Prisoner Of War (POW...

  • Harold Barth

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 2nd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 49BS, 2BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Blechhammer in B-17 44-6176 A/C flak hit #2 engine, crashed Mechnitz. Baled out and captured. Prisoner of War (POW) 7-Aug-44. MACR 7470 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Thomas Barton

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner | 2nd Bomb Group

  • Harold Beall

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 2nd Bomb Group

  • Clarence Bolt

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner/Flight Engineer | 2nd Bomb Group
    Shut down on 24/1/44 in A/C 42-5411 ‘SHADY LADY’ on Mission to Sofia, Bulgaria. Prisoner of War (POW).

  • Charles Brouwer-Ancher

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 2nd Bomb Group
    Shotdown on 7/6/44 on mission to Verona in B-17 #42-31848. A/C was attacked by enemy fighters and exploded at about 14,000 feet, three chutes were seen, one burning, crashed Rovigo, It; MACR 6376. Killed in Action (KIA).

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  • 36-149

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    The initial flight of the aircraft took place on 2-Dec-36, but with Stan Umstead, five days later nosed over during landed but was not too badly damaged. Delivered 49BS/2BG Langley 1-Mar-37; 4000 Base Unit Wright Fd 1938; transferred 19BG March Fd, Oct...

  • 36-150

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered 96BS/2BG Langley 1-Mar-37; transferred 19BG March Fd, but force landed due to engine failure 8-Oct- 40; with Lee Coates force landed base 2-Dec-40; Albuquerque 16-Jul-42; 66 flights; Written off 30-Dec-42. [aircraft No. 60] Never saw combat. ...

  • 36-151

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered 49BS/2BG Langley 28-Mar-37; transferred 20BS; took part in goodwill trip to South America 1938; transferred 19BG March Field Oct-40; Amarillo 21-Nov-42; 64 flights; Written off 15-Jan-43 after surviving a spin. [aircraft No. 80]. Never saw...

  • 36-152

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered 20BS/2BG Langley 27-Mar-37; transferred 19BG March Fd Oct-40; Hendricks Fd, Sebring 6-Feb-42; force landed base with W.R. George; 65 flts; Written off 13-Apr-42. [aircraft No. 50] Aircraft never served in combat. ...

  • 36-155

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered 2BG/HQ Langley 1-Jun-37; used by CO Major Bob Olds from 28-May-37; took part on goodwill trip to South America 1938; transferred 19BG March Fd Oct-40; then Langley, force landed with Warren Wilkinson at Lively Fd, VA 1-Jan-42; Amarillo 12-Nov...

  • 36-156

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered 20BS/2BG Langley 17-Jun-37; transferred 19BG March Fd Oct-40; public relations trip to Grand Union High School, McClelland Fd 4-Jul-41; 66 flts; Written off 2-Apr-42. [aircraft No. 51] This aircraft never served in combat and was never posted...

  • 36-157

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered 2BG Langley 6-Jun-37; with Bill Bentley force landed ? due to severe icing conditions 6-Jul-37; transferred 19BG March Fd Oct-40; with John Turner crash landed east of San Jacinto, Cal. on 46th flt during a violent thunderstorm 18-Dec-40....

  • 41-24345

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 326BG/92BG Bovingdon /42; 342BS/97BG Polebrook 8/42; Maison Blanche, Alg 20/11//42; 20BG/2BG Massicault, Tun 14/11/43; Missing in Action Athens {5m} 20/12/43 with Bill Slaughter, Co-pilot: Bob Ogletree, Bombardier: Clarry Lanham, Flight...

  • 41-24361

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned RAF [FA676] but transferred 301BG Westover 18/7/42; Podington 6/8/42; Tafaraoui, Alg 24/11/42; 96BS/2BG Massicault, Tun {38m} 348BS/99BG Oudna, Tun 28/3/44 {52m}; 840BS/483BG Tortorella, It 31/3/44; {98m in total} Returned to the USA 11/6/44;...

  • 41-24364

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned RAF [FA679]; Assigned 353BS/301BG 16/3/42; transferred 32BS Westover 6/8/42; Podington, UK 6/8/42; Tafaraoui, Alg 24/11/42 {64m}; 429BS/2BG Massicault, Tun 14/11/43; Amendola, It 9/12/43; Missing in Action Fano 15/1/44 with Bill Pederson,...

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Distinguished Unit Citation - for outstanding performance maintaining formation in the face of overwhelming opposition on a mission to Steyr, Austria 24 February 1944

Distinguished Unit Citation - for outstanding performance on a mission to Regensburg, Germany 25 February 1944


Date Contributor Update
01 November 2016 02:18:20 466thHistorian Changes to motto and stations

Date Contributor Update
01 November 2016 00:27:59 466thHistorian Changes to aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
01 November 2016 00:21:03 466thHistorian Changes to citations, description, unit encompassing associations, aircraft associations and stations

Date Contributor Update
14 December 2015 11:00:23 Lucy May Changes to unit part of associations and aircraft associations

Added connections to the group's squadrons.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:44 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia