387th Bombardment Group

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The 387th Bombardment Group served with the Eighth and then Ninth Air Forces as a medium bomber unit, taking part in the anti V-weapon campaign, the D-Day invasion and the fighting in north-western Europe.

The group was activated on 1 December 1942, and moved to England in June 1943. It was allocated to the Eighth Air Force and entered combat in August 1943. Most of its early operations were against German airfields.

On 16 October 1943 the group was one of four medium bombardment groups that were transferred to the Ninth Air Force. It was used against V-Weapon sites in the winter of 1943-44. During Big Week (20-25 February 1944) the group attacks airfields at Leeuwarden and Venlo.

Before the D-Day invasions the group attacked coastal batteries and bridges. On D-Day it attacked coastal targets. After the landings it attacked railways, bridges and other transport links as well as fuel dumps and German strong points.

In July 1944 the group moved to France. It took part in the fighting at St Lo in late July, supporting the American breakout, and attacked the isolated German garrison at Brest in August and September. It also began to operate against targets in Germany.

During the Battle of the Bulge the group attacked transport links and communications at Mayen and Prum, and was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions. After the Battle of the Bulge the group was used against transport links, bridges, marshalling yards and storage dumps. Combat operations ended in April 1945. It returned to the US in November and was inactivated on 17 November 1945.


‘Big Week’ 1944 – Operation Argument and the breaking of the Jadgwaffe, Douglas C. Dildy. Looks at the USAAF’s concentrated attack on the German aircraft industry, a week of massive bombing raids that forced the Luftwaffe into an equally massive defensive effort that cost them around 150 aircrew at a time when they could hardly afford those losses, as well as cutting German fighter production by around 2,000 aircraft, and proving that the long range escort fighter was the key to a successful daylight bombing campaign (Read Full Review)
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December 1942-November 1945: Martin B-26 Marauder


25 November 1942 Constituted as 387th Bombardment Group (Medium)
1 December 1942 Activated
June 1943 To England and Eight Air Force
October 1943 To Ninth Air Force
August 1943 First combat operations
July 1944 To Continent
April 1945 Combat ends
November 1945 To US
17 November 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Maj David S Blackwell: 20 Dec 1942
Col Carl R Storrie: c. 19 Jan 1943
Jack E Caldwell: 8 Nov 1943
Col T'homas M Seymour: 13 Apr 1944
Col Grover C Brown: c. 18 Jul 1944
Lt Richard R Stewart: 20 May 1945
Col Philip A. Sykes: June 1945-unkn

Main Bases

MacDill Field, Fla: 1 Dec 1942
Drane Field, Fla: 12 Apr 1943
Godman Field, Ky: c. 11 May-1o Jun 1943
Chipping Ongar, England: 25 Jun 1943
Stony Cross, England: 18 Jul 1944
Maupertuis, France: 22 Aug 1944
Chateaudun. France: 18 Sep 1944
Clastres, France: 30 Oct 1944
Beek, Holland: 29 Apr 1945
Rosieres-en-Santerre, France: 24 May-c. Nov 1945
Camp Kilmer, NJ: 14-17 Nov 1945

Component Units

556th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1945
557th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1945
558th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1945
559th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1945

Assigned To

1942-November 1943: 3rd Bombardment Wing; VIII Air Support Command; Eighth Air Force
November 1943-44: 98th Bombardment Wing; IX Bomber Command; Ninth Air Force
1944-45: 98th Bombardment Wing; 9th Bombardment Division (Medium); Ninth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (7 January 2014), 387th Bombardment Group , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/387th_Bombardment_Group.html

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