394th Bombardment Group (USAAF)

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The 394th Bombardment Group was a medium bomber unit that served with the Ninth Air Force in Europe, taking part in the D-Day invasion and the campaign that followed.

The group was activated in March 1943 and equipped with the Martin B-26 Marauder. It moved to England in February-March 1944 and joined the Ninth Air Force. Its combat debut came very quickly, in March 1944. In the pre D-Day campaign it was used to attack V-weapon sites, rail links, bridges, gun positions and Luftwaffe air fields.

On D-Day the group bombarded gun positions at Cherbourg. During the Normandy campaign it attacked communications, strong points and fuel dumps. It took part in the break-out at St Lo on 25 July 1944. Between 7-9 August it carried out five difficult raids, destroyed an ammo dump and four bridges. The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for these operations.

On the last of these days Captain Darrell R. Lindsey won the Medal of Honor for his actions as raid leader. Before the attack his aircraft was damaged and the right engine caught fire. He carried on to lead his formation onto the target. The crew then bailed out, but Lindsey stayed with his aircraft to make sure that the bombardier could escape safely. Lindsey was killed when his aircraft crashed.

The group moved to the Continent in August 1944. It was used against the besieged garrison of Brest, then began operations over Germany. It took part in the Battle of the Bulge, attacking German transport links (first to prevent reinforcements from reaching the battle then to prevent the exposed Germans from retreating).

During 1945 the group attacked transport links and German supplies. It was also used to drop propaganda leaflets. After the war the group joined the United States Air Forces in Europe as part of the Army of Occupation. During this period the group converted to the A-26 Invader, but in February 1946 it was transferred to the US without equipment or personnel and was inactivated on 31 March 1946.




March 1943-December 1945: Martin B-26 Marauder
December 1945-March 1946: Douglas A-26 Invader


15 Feb 1943 Constituted as 394th Bombardment Group (Medium)
5 March 1943 Activated
Feb-March 1944 To England and Ninth Air Force
March 1944 Entered combat
August 1944 To Continent
Dec 1945 Redesignated 394th Bombardment Group (Light)
15 Feb 1946 To US without personnel and equipment
31 March 1946 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Lt. Col Joe W Kelly: c. 20 Mar 1943
Col Thomas B Hall: 6 Apr 1943
Col Gove C Celio Jr: c. 24 Jan 1945-c. Feb 1946

Main Bases

MacDill Field, Fla: 5 Mar 1943
Ardmore AAFld, Okla: 12 Jul 1943
Kellogg Field, Mich: 19 Aug 1943-15 Feb 1944
Boreham, England: c. 11 Mar 1944
Holmsley, England: 24 Jul 1944
Tour-en- Bassin, France: 25 Aug 1944
Bricy, France: 18 Sep 1944
Cambrai/Niergnies, France: 8 Oct 1944
Venlo, Holland: 2 May 1945
Kitzingen, Germany: Sep 1945-15 Feb 1946
Bolling Field, DC, 15 Feb-31 Mar 1946

Component Units

584th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-46
585th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-46
586th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-46
587th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-45

Assigned To

1944-45: 98th Bombardment Wing; 9th Bombardment Division (Medium); Ninth Air Force
1945: 99th Bombardment Wing; 9th Bombardment Division (Medium); Ninth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (10 January 2013), 394th Bombardment Group (USAAF), http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/394th_Bombardment_Group.html

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