409th Bombardment Group

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The 409th Bombardment Group was a light bomber unit that served with the Ninth Air Force from April 1944 until the end of the war in Europe.

The group was activated on 1 June 1943 and was equipped with the A-20 Havoc. It moved to England in February-March 1944 and joined the Ninth Air Force. Combat operations began in April, and during the build-up to D-Day the group was used to attack V-weapon sites, coastal defences and airfields across France.

During the D-Day campaign the group supported the ground troops, attacking gun batteries, rail links, bridges and communication targets. In July 1944 it supported the fighting at Caen and the breakout at St Lo, hitting supply dumps, strong points and anti-aircraft guns.

Between August and November the group supported the US Third Army as it advanced across France, moving to the Continent in September.

In December the group converted to the A-26 Invader. It used its new aircraft during the Battle of the Bulge, when it attacked German supply dumps and lines of communication. During 1945 it mainly focused on targets in Germany, although its last combat operation, on 3 May 1945, saw it attack an ammo dump in Czechoslovakia.

The group returned to the US in June-August 1945 and was inactivated on 7 November 1945.




June 1943-December 1944: Douglas A-20 Havoc
December 1944-August 1945: Douglas A-26 Invader


1 June 1943 Constituted 409th Bombardment Group (Light)
1 June 1943 Activated
Feb-Mar 1944 Moved to England and Ninth Air Force
3 May 1945 Last combat operation
Jun-Aug 1945 Returned to US
7 Nov 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Col Preston P Pender: Jun 1943
Col Thomas R Ford: 4 Jul 1944-1945

Main Bases

Will Rogers Field, Okla: 1 Jun 1943
Woodward AAFld, Okla: Oct 1943
DeRidder AAB, La: c. 10 Dec 1943- 10 Feb 1944
Little Walden, England: 7 Mar 1944
Bretigny, France: Sep 1944
Laon/Couvron, France: Feb-Jun 1945;
Seymour Johnson Field, NC, Aug 1945;
Westover Field, Mass: c.6 Oct-7 Nov 1945

Component Units

640th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
641st Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
642nd Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
643rd Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945

Assigned To

1944-45: 97th Bombardment Wing; 9th Bombardment Division (Medium); Ninth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 February 2014), 409th Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/409th_Bombardment_Group.html

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