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3rd Bomb Wing


One of four original bombardment wings of the Eighth Air Force, the 3rd Bomb Wing comprised four groups of B-26 Marauder medium bombers by September 1943, as part of VIII Air Support Command.

Its HQ had moved from Elveden Hall, Suffolk to Marks Hall, Essex in the spring of 1943 in an exchange of bases with B-17s of the 4th Bomb Wing.

The 3rd Bomb Wing and its assets then transferred to Ninth Air Force control (as part of IX Bomber Command) on October 16th 1943 – becoming the nucleus of the 98th Combat Bombardment Wing, headquarted at Earls Colne airfield.

The '3rd Wing' designation then disappeared from USAAF nomenclature until after WW2.

US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

Authorized on the inactive list as 3d Wing on 24 Mar 1923. Redesignated 3d Attack Wing in 1929. Activated on 15 Jun 1932. Redesignated 3d Wing in 1935. Became one of the original wings of GHQAF. Redesignated 3d Bombardment Wing in 1940. Inactivated on 5 Sep 1941-

Activated on 7 Jun 1942. Assigned to Eighth AF. Moved to the European theater, Aug-Sep 1942, and entered combat in May 1943. Redesignated 98th Combat Bombardment Wing (Medium) in Nov 1943

Commanding officers
  • Frederick Anderson

    Military | General | Commanding General | 95th Bomb Group
    Formerly senior pilot and CG of 4th Bomb Wing at Marks Hall from May 1943. Then appointed CG VIII BC 1 July 1943 to January 1944. ...

  • Haywood Hansell

    Military | Major General | Commander
    He worked under Eisenhower and Spaatz. He was experienced in Intelligence. He was the one who selected the crew of the 'Memphis Belle' to go back to America. One of the most important founders of the Strategic Heavy Bombing method. He helped formulate...

  • Jack Caldwell

    Military | Colonel | Command Pilot | 387th Bomb Group
    On 12 April 1944, while exiting the target (Dunkirk naval facilities), Colonel Caldwell's B-26C (tail number 2107581) took a direct flak hit in the left wing, inboard of the engine. The wing was blown off, and the ship spun into the harbor, killing...

  • Thomas Scott

    Military | Colonel | Assistant Chief of Staff

  • Samuel Anderson

    Military | General
    Transferred to the European Theatre of Operations in May 1943, as administrative inspector of the 3rd Bomb Wing (Medium) - assumed command on 12 July 1943. ...


Part of
  • VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command was constituted and activated in 1942. It oversaw heavy bombardment operations until February 1944, when it was redesginated as the 8th Air Force.

  • 322nd Bomb Group

    322nd Bomb Group

    The 322nd Bombardment Squadron (Medium) was activated on 19-Jun-1942 at MacDill Field, Florida with B-26B Marauder aircraft. In late September 1942 the unit moved to Drane Field, Florida. The Ground echelon sailed for the UK aboard the Queen Elizabeth...

  • 323rd Bomb Group

    323rd Bomb Group

    The 323rd Bombardment Group operated with B-26 Marauders, American medium bombers. They were the first Eighth Air Force Group to fly a medium level bombing mission with this aircraft on 16 July 1943. After flying a total of 33 missions with the Eighth,...

  • 386th Bomb Group

    386th Bomb Group

    The 386th Bomb Group flew B-26 Marauders for the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces. Whilst with the Eighth, the Group developed the formation release procedure for the B-26 on missions that targeted aerodromes, marshalling yards and V-weapon sites along the...

  • 387th Bomb Group

    387th Bomb Group

    The 387th Bomb Group flew just under thirty missions with the Eighth Air Force before being transferred to the Ninth Air Force in October 1943. The Group remained at Chipping Ongar, Essex after being reassigned and continued to hit targets in France....

Previously was
Not yet known


Station Location Date
Based Elveden Hall 12 September 1942 – 12 June 1943
Based Marks Hall 12 June 1943 – November 1943




Date Contributor Update
04 September 2019 14:09:58 Emily Changes to type, motto, insignia, us air force combat units of world war ii description, air forces, aircraft types, unit encompassing associations, commanding officers associations and stations

Air Force Combat Units of World War II

Date Contributor Update
20 June 2019 07:31:43 SavvyGA Changes to description

Clarification of 3rd BW's status; and removal from USAAF unit listings in October 1943.

Date Contributor Update
20 June 2019 07:27:43 SavvyGA Changes to name, description and stations

Maurer, Freeman et Al.

Date Contributor Update
09 May 2015 19:00:18 Paul Bellamy Created entry with type, category, name, air forces, aircraft types, unit part of associations, unit encompassing associations and unit became association

Airfields of the Ninth Then & Now (R A Freeman, 1994)
Air Force Combat Units of World War II (Maurer, 1983)