392nd Bombardment Group

History - Books - Aircraft - Time Line - Commanders - Main Bases - Component Units - Assigned To

History

The 392nd Bombardment Group was a B-24 Liberator group of the Eighth Air Force, forming during the summer of 1943. Unlike many earlier B-24 units, the 392nd spent its entire war operating from England, remaining at Wendling from its arrival in July 1943 to its departure in June 1945.

The 392nd spent most of its time taking part in the strategic bombing campaign, attacking industrial targets in occupied Europe and Germany. The group took part in "Big Week", the attack on the German aircraft industry of 20-25 February 1944, winning a Distinguished Unit Citation for an attack on Gotha on 24 February.

As with most of the Eighth's heavy bomber units, the strategic bombing campaign was interrupted by a series of tactical missions. The 392nd took part in the campaign against German communications and airfields in France in the period before D-Day; the attacks that assisted the breakthrough at St Lo in July 1944 and the Battle of the Bulge, attacking German supply lines. The group was used to drop supplies to the airborne troops involved in Operation Market Garden in the autumn of 1944 and again during the airborne crossing of the Rhine in March 1945. The unit flew its last combat mission on 25 April 1945, after which it carried out relief supplies to Holland, where food was running very short.

Books

 Consolidated B-24 Liberator (Crowood Aviation), Martin W. Bowman. A well balanced book that begins with a look at the development history of the B-24, before spending nine out of its ten chapters looking at the combat career of the aircraft in the USAAF, the US Navy and the RAF.
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 B-24 Liberator Units of the Eighth Air Force, Robert F. Dorr. Although the Eighth Air Force is famous for operating the B-17, even at the end of the Second World War the B-24 still equipped one third of all Eighth Army Bombardment Groups. Here Dorr looks at the role the Liberator played with the Eighth Army, from its tiny beginnings in 1942 to the final massive air armadas of 1944 and 1945. Dorr also looks at the sizable detachments sent to North Africa during 1943, and the famous Ploesti mission.  
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Aircraft

January 1943-April 1945: Consolidated B-24 Liberator.

Timeline

15 January 1943 Constituted as 392 Bombardment Group (Heavy)
26 January 1943 Activated
July-August 1943 To Eighth Air Force in England
25 April 1945 Last combat mission

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Colonel Irvine A. Rendle: 26 January 1943
Colonel Lorin L. Johnson: 21 June 1944
Lt. Colonel Lawrence G. Gilbert: 27 May 1945

Main Bases

Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona: 26 January 1943
Biggs Field, Texas: 1 March 1943
Alamogordo: 18 April-18 July 1943
Wendling, England: July 1943-15 June 1945
Charleston, South Carolina: 25 June-13 September 1945

Component Units

576th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
577th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
578th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
579th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945

Assigned To

Eighth Air Force: 1943-1945
1943: 2nd Bombardment Wing; VIII Bomber Command; Eighth Air Force
1943-1945: 14th Bombardment Wing; 2nd Air Division; Eighth Air Force
1945: 96th Bombardment Wing; 2nd Air Division; Eighth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 February 2008), 392nd Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/392nd_Bombardment_Group.html

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