Click for a full size view

Commanding Officers:
Lt. Col. Arthur Y. Snell, 21 April - 27 September 1943
Col. Jacob J. Brogger, 27 September 1943 - 22 September 1944
Col. Troy W. Crawford, 22 September 1944 - 4 April 1945
Lt. Col. William A. Schmidt, 4 April 1945 -28 August 1945

Motto: Voler Venger Vaincre - Fly Avenge Vanquish-Conquer

The 446th Bomb Group was activated 1 April 1943 at Davis-Monthan AAB, Arizona where initial assembly began. The unit moved to Alamagordo, NM on the 6th June 1943, but immediately moved again to Lowry AAB, Colorado, where the training was completed. The ground unit left on the 18th of October 1943 for Camp Shanks, NY and embarked on the Queen Mary on the 25th of October 1943. They sailed on the 27th of October 1943 and arrived in Clyde on the 2nd of November 1943. The aircraft left Lowry AAB on the 20th of October 1943 for Lincoln AAB, Neb. The aircraft flew via the southern route from Florida, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Dakar, and Marrakash to England. One aircraft was lost on the Puerto Rico leg, and one aircraft was shot down when it strayed off course into France. The group was stationed in Bungay, England, near the North Sea coast, about 90 miles NE of London.

Planes of the 446th led the 8th AF and the 2nd BD on the first heavy bomber mission of D-Day. "Ronnie" is believed to be the first 8th AF B-24 to fly 100 missions. The 706th Bomb Squadron flew 62 consecutive missions and the 707th Bomb Squadron had 68 missions without a loss.

The 446th operated chiefly against strategic objectives on the Continent from December 1943 until April 1945. Targets included U-boat installations at Kiel, the port at Bremen, a chemical plant at Ludwigshafen, ballbearing works at Berlin, aero-engine plants at Rostock, aircraft factories at Munich, marshalling yards at Coblenz, motor works at Ulm, and oil refineries at Hamburg and Magdeburg.

Besides strategic missions, the group often carried out support and interdictory operations. Supported the Normandy invasion in June 1944 by attacking strong points, bridges, airfields, transportation, and other targets in France. Aided ground forces at Caen and St Lo during July by hitting bridges, gun batteries, and enemy troops. Dropped supplies to Allied troops near Nijmegen during the airborne attack on Holland in September. Bombed marshalling yards, bridges, and road junctions during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 through January 1945. Dropped supplies to airborne and ground troops near Wesel during the Allied assault across the Rhine in March 1945. Flew last combat mission on April 25 attacking a bridge near Salzburg.

Mission Statistics:
First Mission: 16 Dec 1943
Last Mission: 25 Apr 1945
Missions: 273
Total Sorties: 7,259
Total Bomb Tonnage: 16,819 Tons
Aircraft Lost: 58
KIA: 450+
MIA: 51
Enemy Aircraft Destroyed: 34, 11 probable

Subsequent History: Redeployed to the US June/July 1945. First of the aircraft departed the United Kingdom mid-June 1945. One aircraft was lost over the Azores on the return flight to the US. The ground echelon sailed from Greenock on the Queen Mary on the sixth of July 1945, arriving in New York on the 11th of July 1945. Personnel went to Camp Kilmer and had 30 days R and R. Some assembled at Sioux Falls AAFB, SD where the Group was inactivated on the 28th of August 1945.

Top of page