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T/Sgt James H Sharp, Sr. B-24 Gunner, 93rd BG England
1941 | NJ
WWII, T/Sgt James H Sharp, Sr.'s photo's and stories are provided by his proud son, James H Sharp, Jr. (born 1963) While James (Sr.) was born in PA, 25 Oct. 1919, it was a temporary move or visit, the Sharp Families have lived in Paulsboro, New Jersey since the 1600's.
James enlisted 19 August, 1941 at Glouchester County, Camden, NJ. #12010857. James had completed 2 years of high school and was still single at enlistment. He was trained as a Top-Turret Gunner in the B-24 Liberator (Heavy) of the 93rd Bomb Group, the 329th Bomb Squad out of Hardwick, England. The MIGHTY 8th Air Force ! T/Sgt Sharp's main Pilot was Capt Robert Hoover on the B-24 Minerva. James flew with other men like Walter Stewart and Ken Dessert. He completed his Combat Missions, earning a DFC and other awards. The Squad's very FIRST Combat Mission was to Lille, France on 9 Oct. 1942 ! Talk about a baptism by fire ! Thrown into the deep end of the pool on their very first Mission.
James also won a DFC, an amazing-deed of some kind, as it is a Highly Heroic Award ! We are still searching for the Date and Action that earned James this Medal. (James Jr. remebers it well, he held it in his own hands when he was younger :)
James also flew in other ships like the "Ball of Fire" and the Yardbird" as well as his regular ship, the "Minerva".
After VE Day, James stayed in the service in England, he was later to also parcipitate in the Berlin Airlift.
93rd Bomb Group, T/Sgt James H Sharp, 329th Bomb Squad
1942 | Hardwick, England
The 93rd Bomb Group was activated on March 1, 1942, under the command of Colonel Edward J. Timberlake at Barksdale Army Air Field in Louisiana.
On October 8, one month after arriving in England, the 93rd flew its first mission–to the Lille-France Steelworks on the Franco-Belgian border. Colonel Timberlake and Major Addison Baker led in Teggie Ann, which was also the group's lead ship on subsequent raids. Opposition en route and over the target was heavy; one B-24 was shot down and a second was forced to land at another base in England. Lieutenant John Stewart's Boomerang came home with more than 200 holes, prompting the ground crew chief, Master Sgt. Charles A. Chambers, to explode, 'Lieutenant! What the hell have you done to my ship!' The severely damaged Liberator was earmarked for salvage, but Chambers and Stewart managed to save it. Boomerang went on to become the most famous Liberator in the Eighth Air Force.
On November 14, the 93rd was honored by a visit from King George VI–his first visit to an American bomber base. By that time, the group had flown nine missions, including attacks on submarine pens at Saint-Nazaire and two missions to Lorient. In early December, General Ira Eaker, commander of the Eighth Air Force, ordered Colonel Timberlake to take the group to North Africa for a 10-day mission. On December 5, the 328th, 330th and 409th bomb squadrons left foggy England for the hot desert sands of North Africa, while the 329th remained behind for a special mission. The 10-day mission turned out to be a 90-day deployment, with the group operating first from Tafaroui, then moving to Gambut.
********* James H Sharp was in the 329th Bomb Squadron. ********* (England)
93rd Bomb Group, B-24 Heavy, Hardwick, England
1942 | England
James Sharp was in the 329th Bomb Squadron of the 93rd BG, the Mighty 8th Air Force !
Constituted as 93rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Prepared for combat with B-24's. Engaged in antisubmarine operations over the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, May-Jul 1942.
Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF. Entered combat on 9 Oct 1942 by attacking steel and engineering works at Lille. Until Dec 1942, operated primarily against submarine pens in the Bay of Biscay. A large detachment was sent to North Africa in Dec 1942, the group receiving a DUC for operations in that theater, Dec 1941-Feb 1943, when, with inadequate supplies and under the most difficult desert conditions, the detachment struck heavy blows at enemy shipping and communications. The detachment returned to England, Feb-Mar 1943, and until the end of Jun the group bombed engine repair works, harbors, power plants, and other targets in France, the Low Countries, and Germany. A detachment returned to the Mediterranean theater, Jun-Jul 1943, to support the invasion of Sicily and to participate in the famous low-level attack on enemy oil installations at Ploesti on 1 Aug. Having followed another element of the formation along the wrong course to Ploesti, the 93rd hit targets that had been assigned to other groups, but it carried out its bombing of the vital oil installations despite heavy losses inflicted by attacks from the fully-alerted enemy and was awarded a DUC for the operation. Lt Col Addison E Baker, group commander, and Maj John L Jerstad, a former member of the group who had volunteered for this mission, were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for action in the Ploesti raid: refusing to make a forced landing in their damaged B-24, these men, as pilot and co-pilot of the lead plane, led the group to bomb the oil facilities before their plane crashed in the target area. After the detachment returned to England in Aug 1943, the group flew only two missions before the detachment was sent back to the Mediterranean to support Fifth Army at Salerno during the invasion of Italy in Sep 1943. The detachment rejoined the group in Oct 1943, and until Apr 1945 the 93rd concentrated on bombardment of strategic targets such as marshalling yards, aircraft factories, oil refineries, chemical plants, and cities in Germany. In addition it bombed gun emplacements, choke points, and bridges near Cherbourg during the Normandy invasion in Jun 1944; attacked troop concentrations in northern France during the St Lo breakthrough in Jul 1944; transported food, gasoline, water, and other supplies to the Allies advancing across France, Aug-Sep 1944; dropped supplies to airborne troops in Holland on 18 Sep 1944; struck enemy transportation and other targets during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945; and flew two missions on 24 Mar 1945 during the airborne assault across the Rhine, dropping supplies to troops near Wesel and bombing a night-fighter base at Stormede. Ceased operations in Apr 1945. Returned to the US, May-Jun 1945.Main Bases
Barksdale Field, La: 1 March 1942
Ft. Myers, Florida: 15 May-2 August 1942
Alconbury, England: 7 September 1942
Hardwick, England: 6 December 1942-19 May 1945
Sioux Falls, DS: June 1945
Pratt Field, Kansas: 24 July 1945
328th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1952
329th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1952
330th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1952
409th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1946
Eighth Air Force: 1942-1945