392nd Bombardment Group

HISTORY:

Constituted as 392d Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 15 Jan 1943 and activated on 26 Jan. Trained with B-24's. Moved to England, Jul-Aug 1943, and assigned to Eighth AF. Began combat on 9 Sep 1943 and engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic objectives on the Continent until Apr 1945. Attacked such targets as an oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen, a marshalling yard at Osnabruck, a railroad viaduct at Bielefeld, steel plants at Brunswick, a tank factory at Kassel, and gas works at Berlin. Took part in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against the German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944, being awarded a DUC for bombing an aircraft and component parts factory at Gotha on 24 Feb. Sometimes supported ground forces or carried out interdictory operations. Bombed airfields and V-weapon sites in France prior to the Normandy invasion in Jun 1944 and struck coastal defenses and choke points on D-Day. Hit enemy positions to assist ground forces at St Lo during the breakthrough in Jul 1944. Bombed railroads, bridges, and highways to cut off German supply lines during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Dropped supplies to Allied troops during the air attack on Holland in Sep 1944 and during the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Flew last combat mission on 25 Apr 1945, then carried food to the Dutch. Returned to the US in Jun. Inactivated on 13 Sep 1945.

Redesignated 392d Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 30 Jul 1947. Redesignated 392d Bombardment Group (Light) in Jun 1949. Inactivated on 10 Nov 1949.

Squadrons:

576th: 1943-1945; 1947-1949.
577th: 1943-1945; 1947-1949.
578th: 1943-1945; 1947-1949.
579th: 1943-1945; 1947-1949.

Stations:

Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz, 26 Jan 1943
Biggs Field, Tex, 1 Mar 1943
Alamogordo AAB, NM, 18 Apr-18 Jul 1943
Wendling, England, Jul 1943-15 Jun 1945
Charleston AAFld, SC, 25 Jun-13 Sep 1945.
Barksdale Field, La, 30 Jul 1947-10 Nov 1949.

Commanders:

Col Irvine A Rendle, 26 Jan 1943
Col Lorin L Johnson, 21 Jun 1944
Lt Col Lawrence G Gilbert, 27 May 1945-unkn.

Campaigns:

Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.

First Mission: 9 Sep 43; Last Mission: 25 Apr 45; Total Missions: 285; Total Sorties: 7,060; Total Bomb Tonnage: 17,452 tons.

Decorations:

Distinguished Unit Citation: Gotha, Germany, 24 Feb 1944.

Group Web Site:

http://www.b24.net

Missions Flown

392nd Bomb Group Missions Introduction

This section of the 392nd's history provides details on each of the 285 combat missions and 6 diversions flown by Group personnel. Starting 1 January 1944, the 392nd began compiling and submitting monthly Squadron and Group histories in compliance with USAAF requirements. Information about efforts flown in 1943 is not as complete as for those that would follow, but the following is known:

During these first missions, combat losses were heavy indeed. During the 21 combat operations flown in 1943, a total of 20 aircraft were lost. Of the original 35 aircrews assigned, only 18 remained on December 31, an attrition rate of almost fifty percent. On 1 July 1943 (during stateside training), there were 85 pilots and copilots assigned to the unit. A short six months later, only 35 remained. Of the 50-pilot cadre lost by the 392nd, 19 had been transferred to other units, 29 were missing-in-action (MIA), and 2 had been killed in a crash during training. By December 31, 1943, replenishment aircrews had been assigned which brought the total number of crews to 66.

By the time the war ended, approximately 4,000 men had flown combat operations for the 392nd. They were supported by nearly 3,000 ground personnel whose outstanding efforts-sometimes unsung but always noticed and appreciated-enabled the Liberators and their crews to achieve the Group's commendable results in World War II. Reliable estimates are that nearly 21 percent of the 392nd's combat airmen lost their lives, another 11 percent became prisoners of war, and 2 percent were interned in neutral countries.

The mission information that follows was obtained from many sources including the two books written by 392nd pilot Colonel Robert E. Vickers, Jr.--"Remembrance of the Missing" and "The Liberators from Wendling"; the 392nd's historical records and tactical mission folders; The National Archives in Washington D.C.; 392nd Bomb Group veterans; and files and data from numerous other sources including researchers in Europe.

Greatest Losses On One Mission
These 15 missions accounted for more than half of the Group's total losses throughout the entire War.


DATES MISSIONS WERE FLOWN HAVE THE GREY DATE BOX
Put mouse on the date, when it turns red, click on date to go to that mission page.

1943

 June 1943 
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 September 1943 
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 December 1943 
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 July 1943 
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12 13 14 15 16 17  18 
19 29 21 22 23 24 25
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 October 1943 
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 August 1943 
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 November 1943 
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7 8 9 10 11 12  13 
14 15  16  17  18  19 20
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1944

 January 1944 
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 30   31           

 April 1944 
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 9   10   11   12   13  14 15
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23  24   25   26   27  28  29 
30            

 July 1944 
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2 3  4   5   6   7   8 
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 16  17  18   19   20   21  22
23  24   25  26 27 28  29 
30  31           

 October 1944 
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 22  23 24  25   26  27 28
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 February 1944 
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27 28  29         


 May 1944 
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 August 1944 
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 November 1944 
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 March 1944 
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 June 1944 
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 September 1944 
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 December 1944 
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 31             

 1945 

 January 1945 
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 April 1945 
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 February 1945 
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  May 1945 - Trolley Flights 
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 March 1945 
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