Army Air Forces in Europe

world war II

306th Bomber Group

8th Air Force 306th BG

The Reich Wreckers

Squadrons of the 306th BG

367th Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
368th Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
369th Bombardment Squadron -Heavy
423rd Bombardment Squadron - Heavy

Assigned 8th AAF: Sep 1942

Wing/Command Assignment

VIII BC, 1 BW Sep 1942
VIII BC, 1 BW, 101 PCBW Feb 1943
VIII BC, 1 BW, 102 PCBW Jun 1943
VIII BC, 1 BD, 40 CBW 13 Sep 1943
1 BD, 40 CBW 8 Jan 1944
1 AD, 40 CBW 1 Jan 1945

Combat Aircraft:



THURLEIGH 7 September 1942 to 15 December 1945

Group COs

Col. Charles B. Overacker 16 Mar 1942 to 3 Jan 1943
Col. Frank A. Armstrong Jr. 4 Jan 1943 to 17 Feb 1943
Col. Claude E. Putnam 17 Feb 1943 to 20 Jun 1943
Col. George L. Robinson 20 Jun 1943 to 23 Sep 1944
Col James S. Sutton 23 Sep 1944 to 16 Apr 1945
Col Hudson H. Upham 16 Apr 1945 to May 1946

First Mission: 9 Oct 1942
Last Mission: 19 Apr 1945
Missions: 342
Total Sorties: 9,614
Total Bomb Tonnage: 22,575 Tons
Aircraft MIA: 171

Major Awards:

Distinguished Unit Citations:
11 Jan 1944 (All 1 BD groups)
22 Feb 1944 Bernburg
Medal of Honors:
Sgt Maynard H. Smith 1 May 1943

Claims to Fame

Oldest operational bomb group in the 8th AF
Stationed in England and at one base, longer than any other group.
First 8AF BG to complete 300 missions from the United Kingdom

The 306th BG was the first Bomb Group to bomb Germany. It was 27 January 1943 to Wilhelmshaven -led by Col Frank Armstrong.

First man in VIII BC to complete a tour (T/Sgt M. Roscovich; 5 Apr 1943
367 BS had heaviest losses in VIII BC between Oct 42 to Aug 43
369 BS flew for over six months in 1943 without loss.
Princess Elizabeth 'named' "Rose of York" at Thurleigh.

Early History:

Activated 1 March 1942 at Salt Lake City AB, Utah. Personnel moved to Wendover AB Utah on the 6th of April 1942 and began flying training. Unit left Wendover 1 August 1942 to began movement to the United Kingdom. The Ground unit first moved to richmond AAB, Va. remained a week and leaving for Ft. Dix, NJ. On the 13th of August 1942. Group sailed on the Queen Elizabeth on the 30th of August 1942 and arrived on the 5th of September 1942 at Greenock, Scotland. The aircraft flew from Wendover to Westover field Mass. on 2 August 1942. The Group departed for the United Kingdom on 1 September 1942 via Gander-Prestwick ferry route.

Subsequent History:

Selected for duty with occupational air forces in Germany. The unit engaged in "Casey Jones" mapping photography project. Group then moved to Giebelstadt, Germany on 1 December 1945, and on the 28th of February 1946 to Istres, France, where it absorbed the remnants of the 92nd and 384th Bomb Groups. In August 1946 the unit re-established in Germany at Furstenfeldbruck and in September 1946 located at Lechfeld. The unit inactivated on the 25th of December 1946, although the group had virtually ceased to exist as flying unit in the late summer of that year.
The unit was activated again as a Strategic Air Command B-29 group in 1948, and in 1952 became the US Air Forces first B-47 jet bomber wing. When the B-47 was withdrawn it was designated as a B-52 wing, which flew sorties in the Vietnam War.

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