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461st Bombardment Group

Constituted as 461st Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943. Activated on 1 Jul 1943. Moved to the Mediterranean theater, Jan-Feb 1944, the air echelon flying B-24's via the South Atlantic and stopping in North Africa before joining the ground echelon in Italy. Began combat with Fifteenth AF in Apr 1944. Engaged chiefly in bombardment of communications, industries, and other strategic objectives in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Greece. Supported Fifteenth AF's counter-air operations by bombing enemy airdromes and aircraft centers, receiving a DUC for a mission on 13 Apr 1944 when the group battled its way through enemy defenses to attack an aircraft components plant in Budapest. Participated in the effort against the enemy's oil supply by flying missions to such oil centers as Brux, Blechhammer, Moosbierbaum, Vienna, and Ploesti. Received second DUC for a mission against oil facilities at Ploesti in Jul 1944 when, despite flak, clouds, smoke, and fighter attacks, the group bombed its objective. Also operated in support of ground forces and flew some interdictory missions. Hit artillery positions in support of the invasion of Southern France in Aug 1944 and flew supply missions to France in Sep. Aided the Allied offensive in Italy in Apr 1945 by attacking gun emplacements and troop concentrations. Dropped supplies to prisoner-of-war camps in Austria during May 1945. Returned to the US in Jul. Inactivated on 18 Aug 1945.

Redesignated 461st Bombardment Group (Light). Activated on 23 Dec 1953. Assigned to Tactical Air Command. Trained with B-16's and later converted to B-57's. Redesignated 461st Bombardment Group (Tactical) in Oct 1955.

Squadrons. 764th: 1943-1945; 1953-. 765th: 1943-1945; 1953-. 766th: 1942-1945; 1953-. 767th: 1943-1945.

Stations. Wendover Field, Utah, 1 Jul 1943; Gowen Field, Idaho, 29 Jul 1943; Kearns, Utah, 11 Sep 1943; Wendover Field, Utah, 30 Sep 1943; Hammer Field, Calif, 30 Oct 1943-Jan 1944; Torretto Airfield, Italy, c. 20 Feb 1944-Jul 1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, 22 Jul-18 Aug 1945. Hill AFB, Utah, 23 Dec 1953-.

Commanders. Unkn, 1 Jul-12 Aug 1943; Lt Col Willis G Carter, 12 Aug 194. Col Frederic E Glantzberg, c. 25 Oct 1943; Col Philip R Hawes, 22 Sep 1944; Col Brooks A Lawhon, 20 Dec 1944; Col Craven C Rogers, 16 Apr 1945-unkn. Maj Gordon Baker, c. Dec 1953; Lt Col Donald F Blake, 4 Feb 1954; Lt Col Robert F Price, 20 Feb 1954; Col Maxwell W Roman, c. 14 Jul 1954; Lt Col John A McVey, c. 16 May 1955; Lt Col William F Furman, c. 1 Aug 1955-.

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

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Budapest, Hungary, 13 Apr 1944; Ploesti, Rumania, 15 Jul 1944.

Insigne. Shield: Per bend azure and light blue, superimposed over the bend a thunderbolt, bendwise, or, piercing through a cloud formation proper, over an increscent moon to the sinister chief, and a sun to the dexter base of the third; on a chief argent, over a bar to base of chief, embattled gules, an olive branch and seven arrows in saltire, between two spheres all proper. (Approved 4 Aug 1955.)

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


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