Constituted as 445th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 20 Mar 1943. Activated on 1 Apr 1943. Prepared for combat with B-24's. Moved to England, Oct-Dec 1943, for service with Eighth AF. Entered combat on 13 Dec 1943 by attacking U-boat installations at Kiel. Operated primarily as a strategic bombardment organization until the war ended, striking such targets as industries in Osnabruck, synthetic oil plants in lutzendorf, chemical works in Ludwigshafen, marshalling yards at Hamm, an airfield at Munich, an ammunition plant at Duneberg, underground oil storage facilities at Ehmen, and factories at Munster. Participated in the Allied campaign against the German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944, being awarded a DUC for attacking an aircraft assembly plant at Gotha on 24 Feb. Occasionally flew interdictory and support missions. Helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by bombing airfields, V-weapon sites, and other targets; attacked shore installations on D-Day, 6 Jun 1944. Supported ground forces at St Lo by striking enemy defenses in Jul 1944. Bombed German communications during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Early on 24 Mar 1945 dropped food, medical supplies, and ammunition to troops that landed near Wesel during the airborne assault across the Rhine; that afternoon flew a bombing mission to the same area, hitting a landing ground at Stormede. On occasion dropped propaganda leaflets and hauled gasoline to France. Awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm by the French government for operations in the theater from Dec 1943 to Feb 1945. Flew last combat mission on 25 Apr 1945. Returned to the US, May-Jun. Inactivated on 12 Sep 1945.
For the 445th Bomb Group, September 27 1944 was deadly. In just over three minutes, 20 B-24’s—with crews of at least 9 men each—went down in a forest in central Germany, resulting in the highest loss in history for a bomb group in a single day's battle. Five more crashed in Germany, one in Belgium and two in France. Two made emergency landings at Manston, England, just across the White Cliffs of Dover. One crash-landed after being waved off when it tried to land at home. Only 4 of the 35 B-24’s made it back to the base at Tibenham, England safely. The few survivors who did return were told to "get lost" for a few days, while the 445th pulled itself back together.
Redesignated 445th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 12 Jul 1947. Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949.
Redesignated 445th Fighter-Bomber Group. Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 8 Jul 1952.
700th: 1943-1945; 1947-1949; 1952-.
701st: 1943-1945; 1947-1949; 1952-.
702d: 1943-1945; 1947-1949; 1952-.
703d: 1943-1945; 1947-1948.
Gowen Field, Idaho, 1 Apr 1943;
Wendover Field, Utah, 8 Jun 1943
Sioux City AAB, Iowa, 8 Jul-20 Oct 1943
Tibenham, England, 4 Nov 1943-28 May 1945
Ft Dix AAB, NJ, 9 Jun-12 Sep 1945.
McChord Field, Wash, 12 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949.
Buffalo, NY, 8 Jul 1952
Niagara Falls Mun Aprt, NY, 15 Jun 1955-.
Col Robert H Terrill, 1 Apr 1943
Col William W Jones, 25 Jul 1944-12 Sep 1945.
Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
Distinguished Unit Citation: Gotha, Germany, 24 Feb 1944. French Croix de Guerre with Palm.
Shield: Azure, a snorting bison, proper, winged argent, with streaks of fire proper, issuing from his horns and nostrils, in base three stars of the third. Motto: The Bison Wing. (Approved 7 Sep 1955.)
Group Web Sites:http://www.445bg.org/