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44th Bomb Group

The Flying Eightballs

44th BG Unit Markings

Squadrons of the 44th BG

66th Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
67th Bombardment Squadron - Heavy
68th Bombardment Squadron -Heavy
506th Bombardment Squadron - Heavy

Assigned 8th AAF: September 1942

Wing/Command Assignment

VIII BC, 2 BW: Sep 1942
VIII BC, 2 BW, 201 PCBW 1 Mar 25 1943
VIII BC, 2 BW, 202 PCBW Sep 2, 1943
VIII BC, 2 BD, 14 CBW 13 Sep 1943
2 BD, 14 CBW 8 Jan 1944
2 AD, 14 CBW 1 Jan 1945

Combat Aircraft:

B-24M Eagle


CHEDDINGTON 11 Sep 1942 to 9 Oct 1942
SHIPDHAM 10 Oct 1942 to 15 Jun 1945

Temporary stations in North Afica: Benina Main, Libya; 28 Jun 1943 to 25 Aug 1943, and Ounda No.1, Tunis, 19 Sep 1943 to 4 October 1943.

Group COs

Col. Frank H. Robinson 1 Apr 1942 to 4 Jan 1943
Col Leon W. Johnson 4 Jan 1943 to 2 Sep 1943
Lt. Col James T. Posey 3 Sep 1943 to 3 Dec 1943
Col. Frederick R. Dent 4 Dec 1943 to 29 Mar 1944
Col. John H. Gibson 29 Mar 1944 to 15 Aug 1944
Col. Eugene H. Snavely 15 Aug 1944 to 13 Apr 1945
Col. Vernon C. Smith 13 Apr 1945 to 1 Jun 1945

First Mission: 7 Nov 1942
Last Mission: 25 Apr 1945
Missions: 343
Total Sorties: 8,009
Total Bomb Tonnage: 18,980 Tons
Aircraft MIA: 153

Major Awards:

Two Distinguished Unit Citations: 14 May 1943; Kiel and 1 Aug 1943 Ploesti

Claims to Fame

First USAAF group to be equipped with B-24 Liberators.
Operated from England for longer period than any other B-24 group
Sustained highest Aircraft MIA loss of 8AF B-24 groups
Claimed more enemy fighters than any other 8AF B-24 group.
First group in 8AF to be awarded a DUC for 14 May 1943.

Early History:

Activated 15 January 1941 at Mcdill Field Florida. Received first B-24, and later B-24C. Moved Barksdale Field, La. on 16 Feb 1942 and acted as training unit for 98th, 93rd, and 90th Bomb Groups. During same period took part in anti-submarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico and was credited with the destruction of one U-boat. On 26 Jul 1942 the moved to Will Rogers Field in Oklahoma, and prepared for overseas movement. Ground echelon left by Queen Mary on the 4th of September 1942 for Grenier Field in NH, and remained there until the first aircraft left for the UNited Kingdom late in September of 1942. The 404 Bomb Squadron originally part of the Group was reassigned while in the United States.

Subsequent History:

Redeployed to the US June 1945. First of the air echelon departed the United Kingdom on 22 May 1945. Ground echelon sailed on Queen Mary on the 15th of June 1945, arriving in New York on the 20th of June 1945. Personnel had 30 days R and R with some assembiling in Sioux Falls AAFd, South Dakota, On July 1945 the Group was selected for reforming as a B-29 unit, and in late July 1945 established at Great Bend AAFd, Kansas for training. Aircraft and personnel were transfered to another unit, and then the Group was inactivated on the 12th of July 1946. It was activated again in 1951 as a B-29 wing in the Strategic Air Command, and later was as a B-47 unit. Finally reestablished in 1963 as a minuteman missle wing at Ellsworth AFB, SD.

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