Though you’re probably unfamiliar with the 307th Bomb Group, you may have heard of one of its members: Louis Zamperini, whose World War II survival story is the subject of the popular book Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, and the new film of the same title, directed by Angelina Jolie.
If Unbroken has sparked your interest about Zamperini’s life, Fold3’s 307th Bomb Group Records (part of our Contributed Military Group Records collection) gives you access to some fascinating documents related to his life.
- A three-part article from 1945 detailing Zamperini’s amazing story of survival (part 1, part 2, part 3)
- A special order from August 25, 1942, assigning Zamperini to bachelor officer quarters
- A list of Zamperini’s combat crew on October 19, 1942, from a special order for the 307th Bomb Group to move from Iowa to California
- A list of the crew members of Zamperini’s B-24D on October 24, 1942, from an operations order for the 307th Bomb Group to report to Hawaii
- A list of Air Force personnel captured by the Japanese
But, of course, these records of the 307th that Fold3 is helping to preserve go far beyond only Zamperini’s experiences. Serving in the Pacific, this decorated bomb group received two Distinguished Unit Citations and was also awarded the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, not to mention the silver stars and other medals earned by individual members.
Records from this bomb group include newspaper articles and other publications, flight records, mission reports, personal accounts and letters, photos, service records, and unit records, just to name a few. The collection also includes historical memorabilia like WWII-era advertisements, comics, propaganda, and foreign currency.
So if you have family members who served in the 307th or are interested in learning more about Louis Zamperini, take a look at Fold3’s 307th Bomb Group Records. (You can also find additional records about Zamperini in other Fold3 collections by doing a search for his name from the search box). Or you may want to browse other contributed group records, like those of the 63rd, 70th, and 137th Infantry Divisions and the 497th and 500th Bomb Groups.