The 479th Antisubmarine Group operated from England from mid July 1943 to October 1943, attacking German U-boats as they crossed the Bay of Biscay. The group was activated on 8 July 1943, and was allocated four experienced anti-submarine squadrons, each of which had carried out anti-submarine patrols in the American theatre. These squadrons became available for service over the Bay of Biscay after the Germans withdrew most of their U-boats from the North Atlantic. The new group was intended to be an offensive weapon, attacking the U-boats before they could reach the shipping lanes.
The group began operations on 13 July 1943. It was at its most successful between 18 July and 2 August, when it was able to attack seven U-boats on the surface in the Bay of Biscay, probably sinking three.
After that the Germans tended to cross the Bay at night or under water, and the number of attacks carried out by the group dropped. Instead the group saw most action against Luftwaffe aircraft operating from the west of France. Despite often being outnumbered by German Ju-88s, only two Liberators were lost to German aircraft.
The 4th Anti-Submarine Squadron operated in the American theatre from December 1941 to 22 June 1943. It joined the 479th on 8 July and flew anti-submarine patrols from England from July to 30 October 1943.
The 6th Anti-Submarine Squadron had flown anti-submarine patrols from bases in American from December 1941 until August 1943. It joined the 479th on 14 August 1943, and flew anti-submarine patrols from England in September 1943.
The 19th Anti-Submarine Squadron operated in the American theatre from 1 November 1942 to 22 June 1943. It joined the 479th on 8 July and flew anti-submarine patrols from England from 13 July to 5 October 1943.
The 22nd operated in the American theatre from January 1942 to August 1943. It joined the 479th on 14 August and flew anti-submarine patrols from England in September-October 1943.
All four squadrons and the group itself were all inactivated on 11 November 1943, as part of an agreement that the US Navy would take over all anti-submarine aircraft. Some of the aircraft and crews moved to the new 36th and 406th Bombardment Squadrons, part of the 482nd Bombardment Group (Pathfinder), and took part in Carpetbagger operations, delivering supplies and special agents to the French and Belgian resistance.
1943: Consolidated B-24 Liberator
|1 July 1943||Constituted as 479th Antisubmarine Group|
|8 July 1943||Activated in England with AAF Anti-submarine Command|
|13 July 1943||Began operations|
|Oct 1943||Operations ended|
|11 Nov 1943||Disbanded in England|
St Eval, England: 8 Jul 1943
Dunkeswell, England: 6 Aug 1943
Podington, England:, Nov-11 Nov 1943
1943: AAF Anti-submarine Command