465th Bombardment Group

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The 465th Bombardment Group was a B-24 group that served with the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy in 1944-45, taking part in the strategic bombing offensive.

The group was activated in the US on 1 August 1943 and moved to the Mediterranean in February-April 1944. The air echelon traveled via Tunisia, where it underwent extra training before joining the ground echelon in Italy.

For most of the next year the group took part in the strategic bombing campaign, hitting targets across most of occupied Europe and Germany. The group was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations for strategic missions. The first was won during an attack on marshalling yards and an oil refinery at Vienna on 8 July 1944, the second for an attack on steel plants at Friedrichshafen on 3 August 1944.

The group was also used on a number of tactical missions to more directly support the ground troops. In May 1944 it was used to attack German troop concentrations in Yugoslavia to help protect the partisans from attack.

During the advance on Rome the group was one of ten B-24 groups that took part in a 17 May 1944 attack on the harbours at Piombion, San Stefano and Porto Ferraio on Elba as part of the campaign to prevent supplies from reaching the German front line. It was also used to attack German troops and supply lines during this period.

In August 1944 the group took part in Operation Dragoon, the invasion of the south of France. In October it attacked tactical targets in the Balkans to support Soviet and Romanian troops. Finally in April 1945 it attacked transport links and troop concentrations during the final Allied offensive in Italy.

In June 1945 the group moved to Trinidad and joined Air Transport Command, but it was inactivated on 31 July 1945.




August 1943-: Consolidated B-24 Liberator


19 May 1943 Constituted as 465th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
1 August 1943 Activated
Feb-April 1944 To Mediterranean and Fifteenth Air Force
5 May 1944 Combat Debut
June 1945 To Caribbean and Air Transport Command
31 July 1945 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Col Elmer J Rogers Jr: 24 Aug 1943
Col Charles A Clark Jr: 13 Mar 1944
Lt Col Joshua H Foster: 1 Dec 1944
Lt Col William F Day Jr: 26 Apr 1945-unkn.

Main Bases

Alamogordo AAFld, NM: 1 Aug 1943
Kearns, Utah: Sep 1943
McCook AAFld, Neb: c. 5 Oct 1943-1 Feb 1944
Pantanella Airfield, Italy: Apr 1944- Jun 1945
Waller Field, Trinidad: 15 Jun-31 Jul 1945.

Component Units

780th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
781st Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
782d Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945
783d Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1945

Assigned To

1944-45: 55th Bombardment Wing; Fifteenth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (4 April 2014), 465th Bombardment Group , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/465th_Bombardment_Group.html

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