466th Bombardment Group

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History

The 466th Bombardment Group was a B-24 Liberator unit of the Eighth Air Force, based at Attlebridge, Norfolk, from March 1944 to the end of the war in Europe.

After moving the England in the spring of 1944, the 466th entered combat on 22 March 1944, taking part in a daylight raid over Berlin. It spent most of the war taking part in the strategic bombing campaign over Germany and occupied Europe. Targets included the marshalling yards at Liege, oil industry targets at Bohlen, Misburg and Dulmen and aircraft industry targets at Kempten and Eisenach.

The unit also carried out a number of tactical missions. On D-Day (6 June 1944) it attacked German pillboxes on the Normandy coast. It also took part in the massive air attack that preceded the breakthrough at St. Lo. During September 1944 it was used to carry fuel to the Allied forces advancing rapidly east across France. During the crossing of the Rhine on 24 March 1945 the group attacked the German airfield at Nordhorn.

Its last combat mission in Europe was an attack on a transformer station at Traunstein on 25 April 1945. In July 1945 the group returned to the United States, where it began to convert to the B-29 in preparation for operations over Japan, but the war ended before the unit moved to the Pacific.

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. cover cover cover
 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.   cover cover cover

Aircraft

August 1943-April 1945: Consolidated B-24 Liberator
August-October 1945: Boeing B-29 Super Fortress

Timeline

19 May 1943 Constituted as 466th
1 August 1943 Activated
February-March 1944 Moved to England to join Eighth Air Force
22 March 1944 Entered combat
25 April 1945 Last combat mission
July 1945 Returned to United States
August 1945 Redesignated Bombardment Group (Very Heavy), began to train with B-29 for use in the war against Japan
17 October 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Major Beverly E Steadman: 23 August 1943
Major Walter A Smith, Jr: 29 August 1943
Colonel Watler G. Bryte, Jr: 2 September 1943
Colonel Arthur J Pierce: 17 December 1943
Colonel Luther J Fairbanks: 1 August 1944
Colonel William H. Cleveland: 1 November 1944-1945

Main Bases

Alamogordo, New Mexico: 1 August 1943
Kearns, Utah: 31 August 1943
Alamogordo, New Mexico: 24 November 1943
Topeka, Kansas: 5-13 February 1944
Attlebridge, England: 7 March 1944-6 July 1945
Sioux Falls: 15 July 1945
Pueblo, Colorado: 25 July 1945
Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona: 15 August-17 October 1945

Component Units

784th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
785th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
786th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
787th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945

Assigned To

Eighth Air Force: 1944-1945
1944-1945: 96th Bombardment Wing; 2nd Air Division; Eighth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (6 February 2008), 466th Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/466th_Bombardment_Group.html

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