445th Bombardment Group

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History

The 445th Bombardment Group was a B-24 Liberator unit serving with the Eighth Air Force from 1943 until the end of the war in Europe.

The group's first operation was an attack on the U-boat base at Kiel on 13 December 1943 (The Eighth Air Force's 154th heavy bomber mission). It spent most of the rest of the way engaged in strategic bombing against targets in Germany and occupied Europe. The unit took part in Big Week (20-25 February 1944), the attack on the German aircraft industry. The unit won a Distinguished Unit Citation for its part in a raid on Gotha on 24 February.

The strategic bombing was interrupted by a series of more tactical missions. The unit took part in the campaign to support the D-Day landings, attacking German targets on the Normandy shoreline on 6 June 1944. It also took part in the operations to support the breakthrough at St. Lo in July 1944. The group attacked German communications during the battle of the Bulge. During the crossing of the Rhine it was used to drop supplies to airborne troops near Wesel.

The 445th Bombardment Group flew its last combat mission on 25 April 1945, returning to the United States over the next two months.

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

April 1943-April 1945: Consolidated B-24 Liberator

Timeline

20 March 1943 Constituted as 445th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
1 April 1943 Activated
October-December 1943 Moved to England to join Eighth Air Force
13 December 1943 First combat mission
25 April 1945 Last combat mission
May-June 1945 Returned to US
12 September 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Colonel Robert H. Terrill: 1 April 1943
Colonel William W Jones: 25 July 1944-12 September 1945

Main Bases

Gowen Field, Idaho: 1 April 1943
Wendover Field, Utah: 8 June 1943
Sioux City, Iowa: 8 July-20 October 1943
Tibenham, England: 4 November 1943-28 May 1945
Fort Dix, New Jersey: 9 June-12 September 1945

Component Units

700th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
701st Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
702nd Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
703rd Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945

Assigned To

Eighth Air Force: 1943-1945
1943-1945: 2nd Bombardment Wing; 2nd Air Division; Eighth Air Force
1945: 2nd Bombardment Wing; 1st Air Division; Eighth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 February 2008), 445th Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/445th_Bombardment_Group.html

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