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492nd Bomb Group Carpetbaggers


The 492nd Bomb Group, after flying similar missions to other heavy bomb groups until the late summer of 1944, took up 'Carpetbagger' missions, transporting agents, supplies and propaganda leaflets to southern France. The Group was taking on the role of the 801st Bomb Group (Provisional), which it superseded. In September 1944, the Group was also involved in supplying ground forces with petrol as they moved across France and into Belgium. In a very varied war service, the Group also conducted night bombardments in February and March 1945. The Group then resumed 'Carpetbagger' missions, this time over Germany, winning a Distinguished Unit Citation for their courageous efforts.

US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

Transferred, less personnel and equipment, to another station in England on 5 Aug 1944 and assumed personnel, equipment, and the CARPETBAGGER mission of a provisional group that was discontinued.

Operated chiefly over southern France with B24's and C-47's engaging in CARPETBAGGER operations, that is, transporting agents, supplies, and propaganda leaflets to patriots. Ceased these missions on 16 Sep 1944 to haul gasoline to advancing mechanized forces in France and Belgium. Intermittently attacked airfields, oil refineries, seaports, and other targets in France, the Low Countries, and Germany until Feb 1945. Meanwhile, in Oct 1944, began training for night bombardment operations; concentrated on night bombing of marshalling yards and goods depots in Germany, Feb-Mar 1945. Ceased these missions on 18 Mar 1945 to engage in CARPETBAGGER operations over Germany and German-occupied territory, using B-24, A-26, and British Mosquito aircraft to drop leaflets, demolition equipment, and agents. Received a DUC for these operations, performed at night despite adverse weather and vigorous opposition from enemy ground forces, 20 Mar- 25 Apr 1945. Also cited by the French government for similar operations over France in 1944. Flew its last CARPETBAGGER mission in Apr 1945 and then ferried personnel and equipment to and from the Continent until Jul. Returned to the US, Jul-Aug 1945

Commanding officers
  • Clifford Heflin

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer, Pilot | 801st Bomb Group
    CMDR of the 'Carpetbaggers' the first AF Special Forces Unit Dist. Serv. Medal/Legion of Merit, DFC; Air Medal w/Oak Leaf Clusters

  • Hudson Upham

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer; Pilot | 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers
    Commanding Officer of the 492nd BG from 17 December 1944 to April 1945. ...

  • Jack Dickerson

    Military | Pilot | 490th Bomb Group

  • Robert Fish

    Military | Colonel | 1091-Pilot | 492nd Bomb Group Carpetbaggers
    Commanding Officer of 492nd BG. This group was more widely known as the 'Carpetbaggers.' The mission of this group was to air drop supplies and agents in German occupied areas of Europe during WW II. Its concomitant mission was to land C-47 aircraft in...


Part of
Previously was
  • 492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)

    492nd Bomb Group (Heavy)

    The 492nd Bomb Group were assigned to the 8th Air Force in April 1944. They flew 60 missions over occupied Europe from 11 May 1944 until 7 August 1944. ...

Not yet known


Station Location Date
Based Harrington 13 August 1944 – 7 July 1945



  • Arthur Abate

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Tail Gunner | 490th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA). Member of Kline crew in B-24H Carpetbagger, #42-50386, which was shot down by ME 110 south of Paris at 0200hrs. T/O from Harrington, site of crash Les Trois Mares, Oise. MACR 6991.

  • James Abell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 467th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) Crashed at Lostau in B-24 42-50481. (Transferred 467th BG)

  • Donald Adamson

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 467th Bomb Group
    Returned from operations and crash landed on a Carpetbagger mission in A/C 42-50584 on August 6/7, 1944.

  • Charles Allessio

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 492nd Bomb Group Carpetbaggers
    Charles Allessio graduated from Pittsfield High in 1939. He was son to Mr and Mrs Leo Allessio of Pittsfield, MA, and served in the USAAF as a 2/Lt Navigator with 492nd Bomb Group in England during World War II. He was killed while on a "Carpetbagger"...

  • Richard Anderson

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 457th Bomb Group
    Prisoner of War (POW) Shot down on 9/28/44 at Buckau in B-17 'The Denver Bandit' #42102948 on a carpetbagger mission of counterfeit rations books and rr tickets

  • Lee Arlin

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 467th Bomb Group
    Returned from operations and crash landed on Carpetbaggers mission in ac 42-50584 on August 6/7, 1944.

  • Charles Baker

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 492nd Bomb Group Carpetbaggers
    Killed in Action (KIA). AC #44-49297 Failed to return from mission behind enemy lines. . Carpetbagger mission over Denmark & Norway

  • Lewis Bambick

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 458th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) on 9 September 1944 in Skorve, Norway, after crashing B-24 Liberator 42-52196 on a carpetbagger mission. ...

  • John Bear

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Engineer | 467th Bomb Group
    Returned from operations and crash landed in Carpetbaggers mission in ac 42-50584 on August 6/7, 1944

  • Albert Beers

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator Gunner | 482nd Bomb Group
    Pathfinder squadron for Operation Carpetbagger, part of the 1st Bombardment Division.

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  • 42-50584

    B-24 Liberator
    Returned from operations and crash landed on Carpetbaggers mission on August 6/7, 1944.

  • 42-6080 'Floozie Flossy' 'Mary Ruth the WeWa Special'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 15-Jul-43; Cheyenne 18/7/43; (Fitted with Sperry gyroscope); Assigned 336BS/95BG [ET-P] Horham 3/9/43; force landed Metfield Afd with L.G. Hamby 16-Dec-43; force landed Tibenham Afd with J.D. Pearson 5-Jan-44; force landed...

  • 42-6174 Homesick Angel

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Long Beach 13/8/43 with Joe Hearn(d); Cheyenne 15/8/43; Assigned 422BS/305BG [JJ-K] Chelveston 7/11/43 HOME-SICK ANGEL; 858BS/492BG Alconbury (Carpetbagger Ops) 26/6/44. STRIPPED FOR ACTION aka SWING SHIFT.

  • 42-63784

    B-24 Liberator
    Shot down by Flak on Carpetbagger mission "OSRIC 81 DZ" over Belgium. Crashed near La Hulpe, Belgium. Pilot : 1st Lt Kenneth Pratt (evaded); Co-Pilot : 2nd Lt Ralph Leindorf (wounded; POW); Navigator : 2nd Lt Russell J. Byrne Jr (died from wounds);...

  • 42-63798

    B-24 Liberator

  • 42-72873 Raggedy Ann II, Star Spangled Hell

    B-24 Liberator
    A) On 4 October 1943, B-24D Serial #42-72873 of 44th Bomb Group, 67th Bomb Squadron was flying a Diversion over the North Sea, feigning attacks toward Wilhelmshaven and Emden. The purpose was to draw German fighters from the B-17 formations on their...

  • 42-7563 'Hells Warrior'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 701BS, 445BG, 8th AF. Transfered to the 859BS, 492BG and modified for use in Carpetbagger missions. After August 1944 the 492nd Bomb Group was used as a cover for special operations missions in Europe, such as supply drops to Underground...

  • TA614 PATTY

    de Havilland DH98 Mosquito TA614 of the OSS controlled 801st-492nd Bombardment Group "The Carpetbaggers", used as a training aircraft. Based at AAF-179 - Harrington, England. ...

  • 42-52693 'Aries'

    B-24 Liberator
    After leaving 486th BG in July 1944, was put in storage at a depot and not received by 492nd BG at Harrington until between 7 & 23 Dec 44. Never flew in 492nd BG as a Carpetbagger. It remained a bomber (even after being painted black) and flew on all...

  • 41-23682 - The Blasted Event

    B-24 Liberator
    The B-24D, 41-23682, named, The Blasted Event, was originally in the 8th Air Force, the 93rd Bomb Group, and the 329th Bomb Squadron in Britain. It was placed on temporary duty (TDY) to the 9th Air Force at Benghazi, Libya, to help with Operation Tidal...

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Distinguished Unit Citation: Germany and German-occupied territory, 20 Mar-25 Apr 1945. French Croix de Guerre with Palm.


Date Contributor Update
02 September 2019 10:06:00 Emily Created entry with type, category, name, nicknames, us air force combat units of world war ii description, citations, description, air forces, aircraft types, unit part of associations, unit previously was association, commanding officers associations and stations

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