457th Bombardment Group (Second World War)

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The 457th Bombardment Group was a B-17 group that took part in the Eighth Air Force's strategic bombing campaign from February 1944 until April 1945.

B-17G 'Ladies Delight', 457th Bombardment Group
B-17G 'Ladies Delight',
457th Bombardment Group

The group made its combat debut on 21 February 1944, during the Big Week attacks on the German aircraft industry. Its last combat missions came in April 1945 and it spent most of the intervening period taking part in the strategic bombing campaign.

The group was also used for a number of tactical missions. It helped support the D-Day landings, attacking targets in France in the week before D-Day and coastal defences on the Cherbourg peninsula on the day itself. After D-Day it spent the rest of June supporting the invasion forces. On 14 June it lost five aircraft in an attack on Le Bourget and Melum airfields near Paris.

In July the group supported the American breakout from St Lo. In September it took part in Operation Market Garden. It also took part in the Battle of the Bulge and helped support the crossing of the Rhine in March 1945.

B-17G of 457th Bombardment Group
B-17G of 457th Bombardment Group

The group's last combat mission came on 20 April 1945. After D-Day it was used to fly liberated prisoners of war from Austria to France. It returned to the United States in June 1945 and was inactivated in August.


‘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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1943-1945: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress


19 May 1943 Constituted as 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
1 July 1943 Activated
Jan-Feb 1944 To England and Eighth Air Force
21 February 1944 First combat mission
20 April 1945 Last combat mission
June 1945 To United States
28 August 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Col. Herbert E Rice: 24 Jul 1943
Lt Col Hugh D Wallace: 3 Sep 1943
Col James R Luper: 4 Jan 1944
Col Harris E Rogner: 11 Oct 1944-Aug 1945

Main Bases

Geiger Field, Wash: 1 Jul 1943
Rapid City AAB, SD: 9 Jul 1943
Ephrata AAB, Wash: 28 Oct 1943
Wendover Field, Utah: 4 Dec 1943-1 Jan 1944
Glatton, England: 22 Jan 1944-1 Jun 1945
Sioux Falls AA Fld, SD: 20 Jul-28 Aug 1945.

Component Units

748th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-45
749th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-45
750th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-45
751st Bombardment Squadron: 1943-45

Assigned To

1944: 94th Bombardment Wing; 1st Air Division; VIII Bomber Command; Eighth Air Force
1944-1945: 94th Bombardment Wing; 1st Air Division; Eighth Air Force; US Strategic Air Forces Europe

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (20 November 2013), 457th Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/457th_Bombardment_Group.html

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