452nd Bombardment Group (Second World War)

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History

The 452nd Bombardment Group was a B-17 group that fought with the Eighth Air Force from February 1944 until the end of the Second World War.

The group was formed in the United States in May-June 1943, and moved to England in December 1943-January 1944. It joined the 45th Bombardment Wing and remained part of that wing until the end of the air campaign in April 1945.

The group spent most of its time engaged in the strategic bombing campaign, attacking targets across Germany, including the infamous attacks on Regensburg and Schweinfurt.

Two members of the group won posthumous Medals of Honor during the strategic campaign. During a raid over Germany on 9 November 1944 1st Lt Donald J Gott and 2nd Lt William E Metzger's aircraft was badly damaged. They stayed with the aircraft in an attempt to fly it to safety and save a wounded crewman who couldn't bail out. The aircraft exploded in mid-air killing all three.

The group also flew a number of tactical missions. It attacked Luftwaffe bases, V-weapon sites and transport targets before D-Day and hit German coastal defences on D-Day itself. It supported the American breakout at St Lo in July and the siege of Brest in August and September. In September the group also supported Operation Market Garden. The group attacked transport targets behind the German lines during the Battle of the Bulge and supported the crossing of the Rhine in March 1945.

The group won a Distinguished Unit Citation late in the war for a determined attack on German jet-fighter base at Katlenkirchen.

The group's last combat mission of the war was an attack on marshalling yards at Ingolstadt on 21 April. It returned to the United States in April 1945 and was inactivated in the same month.

Books

 

Aircraft

1943-1945: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress

Timeline

14 May 1943 Constituted as 452nd Bombardment Group (Heavy)
1 June 1943 Activated
December 1943-January 1944 To England and Eighth Air Force
5 February 1944 Entered combat
August 1945 To United States
28 August 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Lt. Col Herbert O Wangeman: c. 15 Jun 1943
Lt Col Robert B Satterwhite: 8 Feb 1944
Lt Col Marvin F Stalder: 28 Feb 1944
Col Thetus C Odom: 30 Mar 1944
Col Archibald Y Smith: c. 24 Jul 1944
Col William D Eckert: c.1 Aug 1944
Lt Col Charles W Sherburne: 13 Sep 1944
Col Burnham L Batson: c. 25 Sep 1944
Col Jack E Shuck: c. 6 Jun 1945-unkn.

Main Bases

Geiger Field, Wash: 1 Jun 1943
Rapid City AAB, SD: c. 15 Jun 1943
Pendleton Field, Ore: c. 11 Oct 1943
Walla Walla AA Fld, Wash: c. 4 Nov-c. 22 Dec 1943
Deopham Green, England: c. 3 Jan 1944-c. 6 Aug 1945
Sioux Falls AA Fld, SD: c. 12-28 Aug 1945

Component Units

728th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-45
729th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-45
730th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-45
731st Bombardment Squadron: 1943-45

Assigned To

1944-45: 45th Bombardment Wing; 3rd Air Division; Eighth Air Force; US Strategic Air Forces Europe
1945: 20th Bombardment Wing; 2nd Air Division; Eighth Air Force; US Strategic Air Forces Europe

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (27 November 2012), 452nd Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/452nd_Bombardment_Group.html

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