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301st Bombardment Group (H)

The 301st BG flew its first missions as part of the 8th AF in England. They participated in the first all American daylight bombing raids on the European Continent. They were transferred to the newly created 12th AF and sent to North Africa in November of 1942.

The 301st Bombardment Group Heavy was comprised of 4 bomb squadrons. The 32nd, 352nd, 353rd and 419th.

After the conclusion of the war in North Africa, the 301st became part of the newly organized 15th AF.

Squadrons. 32d: 1942-1945; 1946-1952. 352d: 1942-1945; 1946-1952. 353d: 1942-1945; 1946-1952. 354th: 1942. 419th: 1942-1945.

DVD Video with Combat film footage of 301st Bombardment Group WW2.

Constituted as 301st Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 3 Feb 1942. Trained with B-17's. Moved to England, Jul-Aug 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF. Began combat in Sep 1942 and attacked submarine pens, airfields, railroads, bridges, and other targets on the Continent, primarily in France. Operated with Twelfth AF after moving to North Africa in Nov 1942. Bombed docks, shipping facilities, airdromes, and railroad yards in Tunisia, Sicily, and Sardinia. Attacked enemy shipping between Tunisia and Sicily. Received a DUC for action on 6 Apr 1943 when the group withstood intense antiaircraft fire from shore defenses and nearby vessels to attack a convoy of merchant ships off Bizerte and thus destroy supplies essential to the Axis defense of Tunisia. Assaulted gun positions on Pantelleria during May-Jun 1943. Flew numerous missions to Italy, Jul-Oct 1943. Assigned to Fifteenth AF in Nov 1943, moved to Italy in Dec, and afterward directed most of its attacks against such strategic targets as oil centers, communications, and industrial areas in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Greece. Received another DUC for a mission to Germany on 25 Feb 1944 when, in spite of vicious encounters with enemy fighters, the group bombed aircraft production centers at Regensburg. Other operations for the group during 1944-1945 included flying missions in support of ground forces in the Anzio and Cassino areas, supporting the invasion of Southern France, knocking out targets to assist the Russian advance in the Balkans, and aiding the Allied drive through the Po Valley. Returned to the US in July 1945. Redesignated 301st Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in Aug. Inactivated on 15 Oct 1945.

Activated on 4 Aug 1946. Assigned to Strategic Air Command. Equipped with B-29's. Redesignated 301st Bombardment Group (Medium) in May 1948. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952.

Stations. Geiger Field, Wash, 3 Feb 1942; Alamogordo, NM, 27 May 1942; Richard E Byrd Field, Va, 21 Jun-19 Jul 1942; Chelveston, England, 9 Aug 1942; Tafaraoui, Algeria, c. 26 Nov 1942; Maison Blanche, Algeria, 5 Dec 1942; Biskra, Algeria, c. 16 Dec 1942; Ain M'lila, Algeria, c. 17 Jan 1943; St-Donat, Algeria, 6 Mar 17, 1943; Oudna, Tunisia, 6 Aug 1943; Cerignola, Italy, c. 7 Dec 1943; Lucera, Italy, 1 Feb 1944-1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD 28 Jul 1945; Pyote AAFld, Tex, 23 Aug-15 Oct 1945. Clovis AAFld, NM, 4 Aug 1946; Smoky Hill AAFld, Kan, 16 Jul 1947; Barksdale AFB, La, 7 Nov 1949-16 Jun 1952.

Commanders. Col Ronald R Walker, Feb 1942; Lt Col Samuel Gormly Jr, c. Feb 1943; Col John K Brown Jr, 3 Sep 1943; Col Jean R Byerly, 24 Nov 1943; Lt Col Karl T Barthelmess, 25 Dec 1943; Col John F Batjer, 3 Mar 1944; Lt Col John D Moorman, Sep 1944; Col Ernest S Holmes Jr, 8 Dec 1944; Lt Col Robert H Allyn, 1945; Col Raymond L Winn, 31 Aug 1945-unkn. Unkn, Aug 1946-Aug 1947; Col George L Robinson, 1 Aug 1947; Lt Col Frank W Ellis, Sep 1947; Lt Col Thomas Classen, 20 Jun 1949; Col Harris E Rogner, 21 Jul 1949; Col Chester C Cox, 15 Dec 1950; Col Horace M Wade, Mar 1951-16 Jun 1952.

Campaigns. Air Combat, EAME Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Po Valley.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Tunisia, 6 Apr 1943; Germany, 25 Feb 1944.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, three ravens pendent from a spear fessways or. Motto: Who Fears? (Approved 11 Aug 1942.)

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986

   Arrow 32nd Bomb Squadron
   Arrow 352nd Bomb Squadron
   Arrow 353rd Bomb Squadron
   Arrow 419th Bomb Squadron

Museum Collection

   Arrow Walter E. Ruesch

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