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463ed Bombardment Group

Constituted as 463rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943. Activated on 1 Aug 1943. Trained with B-17's for duty overseas. Moved to Italy, Feb-Mar 1944, and assigned to Fifteenth AF. Entered combat on 30 Mar 1944 and operated chiefly against strategic objectives. Attacked such targets as marshalling yards, oil refineries, and aircraft factories in Italy, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Greece. Received a DUC for bombing oil refineries at Ploesti on 18 May 1944: when clouds limited visibility to such an extent that other groups turned back, the 463rd proceeded to Ploesti and, though crippled by opposition from interceptors and flak, rendered destructive blows to both the target and the enemy fighters. Received second DUC for leading the wing through three damaging enemy attacks to bomb tank factories in Berlin on 24 Mar 1945.

5th Bombardment Wing DVD
DVD Video with Combat film footage of 5th Bomb Wing including the 463rd BG in WW2.

The 463rd also engaged interdictory and support missions. Bombed bridges during May and Jun 1944 in the campaign for the liberation of Rome. Participated in the invasion of Southern France in Aug 1944 by striking bridges, gun positions, and other targets. Hit communications such as railroad bridges, marshalling yards, and airdromes in the Balkans. Operated primarily against communications in northern Italy during Mar and Apr 1945. After V-E Day, transported personnel from Italy to Casablanca for return to the US. Inactivated in Italy on 25 Sep 1945.

Redesignated 463rd Troop Carrier Group (Medium). Activated in the US on 16 Jan 1953. Assigned to Tactical Air Command and equipped with C-119's.

Squadrons. 772d: 1943-1945; 1953-. 773d: 1943-1945; 1953-. 774th: 1943-1945; 1953-. 775th: 1943-1945; 1955-.

Stations. Geiger Field, Wash, 1 Aug 1943; Rapid City AAB, SD, Aug 1943; MacDill Field, Fla, 5 Nov 1943; Lakeland AAFld, Fla, Jan-1 Feb 1944; Celone Airfield, Italy, 9 Mar 1944-25 Sep 1945. Memphis Mun Aprt, Tenn, 16 Jan 1953; Ardmore AFB, Okla, 24 Aug 1954-.

Commanders. Lt Col Elmer H Stambaugh, 9 Aug 1943; Col Frank A Kurtz, 27 Aug 1943; Col George W McGregor, 11 Sep 1944; Col Ephraim M Hampton, Apr-c. Sep 1945. Col John R Roche, 16 Jan 1953; Col Woodrow T Merrill, 10 Aug 1953; Col Benjamin M Tarver Jr, 12 Aug 1954-.

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: Ploesti, Rumania, 18 May 1944; Germany, 24 Mar 1945.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, on a representation of a cloud argent a silhouette of mythical Pegasus drawing a chariot driven by Mars, the mythical Roman God of War, all sable. (Approved 30 Aug 1954.)

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


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