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History

Rapid expansion of Eighth Air Force creates need for reorganisation, requested by Eaker, apporved by War Department summer of 1943

1st Bombardment Wing redesignated 1st Bombardment Division,

Wing itself then split into smaller wings, each controling two or three heavy bombardment wings when first set up - 1943 saw 1st, 40th, 41st and 92nd wings, 92nd closed down and units transfered to 94th by end of year (in official linage 1st BW remained same unit and 1st Bombardment Division formed as new unit).

New name came into general use in period after approval of scheme but before offifical constitution - used during official history of Army Air Force raid on R/S

1st division attacked Schweinfurt during Regensburg/ Schweinfurt raid 17 August 1943 and took part in return raid on 14 October 1943

The Division lost 45 B-17s during a second raid on Schweinfurt on 14 October 1943.

On 6 March 1944 the division took part in the first large American raid on Berlin (three squadrons from the 3rd BD carried out the first attack on Berlin two days earlier having failed to receive a recall notice). The Division lost 18 aircraft during this attack.

In the week after D-Day the division attacked tactical targets in France. On 15 June it moved on to attack targets further from Normandy, with a focus on Luftwaffe airfields.

On 18 July 1944 the division attacked the German research centre at Peenemunde on the Baltic, on the longest range Eighth Air Force attack into north-eastern Germany of the entire war.

45 B-17s lost

734 736 741

24 February 1945 - attacks oil refinaries in Hamburg

 

Books

The Schweinfurt-Regensburg Mission, Martin Middlebrook. A very detailed account of the costly American daylight raids on Regensburg and Schweinfurt of 17 August 1943, a pair of maximum effort attacks that were meant to cripple parts of German industry but instead made it clear that even the heavily armed B-17 Flying Fortress couldn't operate without fighter escort. [read full review]
cover cover cover

Timeline

30 August 1943 Constituted as 1st Bombardment Division
13 September 1943 Activated in England
December 1944 Redesignated 1st Air Division
31 October 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Major General Robert B. Willliams: 16 September 1943
Major General Howard M Turner: 22 October 1944
Brigadier General Bartlett Beaman: 26 September 1945

Main Bases

Brampton Grange, England: 13 September 1943
Alconbury: 20 September-31 October 1945

Component Units

1st Air Division
1st Bombardment Wing, 1943-1945
Group Dates Aircraft Used
91st Bombardment Group 1942-1945  
381st Bombardment Group 1943-1945  
398th Bombardment Group 1944-1945  
482nd Bombardment Group 1943  

Seven groups previously in the wing were transfered to 40th and 41st Bombardment wings as part of creation of 1st Air Divison

2nd Bombardment Wing, 1945
Group Dates Aircraft Used
389th Bombardment Group 1943-1945  
445th Bombardment Group 1943-1945  
453rd Bombardment Group 1944-1945  
40th Bombardment Wing, 1943-1945
Group Dates Aircraft Used
2nd Bombardment Group 1945-1946  
92nd Bombardment Group 1943-1946  
305th Bombardment Group 1943-1945  
306th Bombardment Group 1943-1945  
384th Bombardment Group 1945-1946  
492nd Bombardment Group 1944-1945  
41st Bombardment Wing, 1943-1945
Group Dates Aircraft Used
303rd Bombardment Group 1943-1945  
379th Bombardment Group 1943-1945  
384th Bombardment Group 1943-1945 to 40th W
67th Fighter Wing, 1944-1945
Group Dates Aircraft Used
20th Fighter Group 1943-1945  
352nd Fighter Group 1943-1945  
356th Fighter Group 1944-1945  
359th Fighter Group 1943-1945  
361st Fighter Group 1944  
364th Fighter Group 1944-1945  
92nd Bombardment Wing, 1943
Group Dates Aircraft Used
351st Bombardment Group 1943  
401st Bombardment Group 1943  
94th Bombardment Wing, 1943-1945
Group Dates Aircraft Used
351st Bombardment Group 1943-1945  
401st Bombardment Group 1943-1945  
457th Bombardment Group 1944-1945  

Assigned To

1943-44: VIII Bomber Command; Eighth Air Force
1944-45: Eighth Air Force;

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (date), name, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/1st_Air_Division.html

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