397th Bomb Group, WW II, B-26 Marauders

397th Bomb Group, WW II, B-26 Marauders


397thBomb Group, B-26 Marauders

  • Hurn, England

Constituted as 397th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 20 March 1943. Activated on 20 Arpil 1943. Trained with B-26's. Moved to England, March-April 1944, and assigned to Ninth AF. Participated in operations preparatory to the Normandy invasion by attacking V-weapon sites, bridges, coastal defenses, marshalling yards, and airfields, April-June 1944. Hit strong points in France on D-Day and and assisted ground forces throughout the remainder of the Normandy campaign by bombing fuel dumps, defended areas, and other objectives. Engaged in bombardment of German forces in the region of St. Lo during the Allied breakthrough in July. After moving to the Continent in Aug., struck enemy positions at St. Malo and Brest and bombed targets in the Rouen area as Allied armies swept across the Seine and advanced to the Siegfried Line. Began flying missions into Germany in Sept. attacking such targets as bridges, defended areas, and storage depots. Struck the enemy's communications during the Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 1944-Jan. 1945) and received a DUC for a mission on 23 Dec. 1944 when the group withstood heavy flak and fighter attack to sever a railway bridge at Eller, a vital link in the enemy's supply line across the Moselle. Continued to support the Allied drive into Germany until April 1945. Returned to the US, Dec. 1945-Jan. 1946. Inactivated on 6 Jan. 1946. Squadrons 596th: 1943-1945 597th: 1943-1946 598th: 1943-1945 599th: 1943-1945 Stations MacDill Field, Fla, 20 Arpil 1943 Avon Park Bombing Range, Fla, 12 Oct. 1943 Hunter Field, Ga, 1 Nov. 1943-13 March 1944 Gosfield, England, 5 April 1944 Rivenhall, England, 15 April 1944 Hurn, England5 Aug. 1944 Gorges, France, Aug. 1944 Dreux, France, c. 11 Sept. 1944 Peronne, France, 6 Oct. 1944 Venlo, Holland, 25 April 1945 Camp Kilmer, NJ, 5-6 Jan. 1946 Commanders Maj. Rollin M. Winingham, c. May 1943 Lt. Col. John F. Batjer, 18 July 1943 Col. Richard T. Coiner Jr., 5 Oct. 1943 Lt. Col. Jimmie W. Britt, 23 July 1945-unknown Campaigns Air Offensive, Europe Normandy Northern France Rhineland Ardennes-Alsace Central Europe Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation: Eller, Germany, 23 Dec. 1944

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