We’re pleased to announce that we’ve added records for the 96th Bomb Group to our archives. The 96th Bomb Group was part of the United States 8th Air Force and flew B-17 Flying Fortresses with a Square-C tail marking. They flew 324 missions across occupied Europe during WWII and received two Distinguished Unit Citations.
During WWII, the US determined that it needed to beef up the Army Air Force in the European Theatre of Operations. The 96th Bomb Group, organized in the summer of 1942, was activated at Army Air Force Base in Salt Lake City. Many of the initial recruits came from Salt Lake City and Boise. Additional members joined the Group, and after training, the 96th was deployed to Europe in three phases.
This Unit History contains microfilm from the Air Force Historical Research Agency. Some of the images are of poor quality, but to provide the most accurate and archival record, we’ve included every page of the film. The reels of microfilm are organized by date and include groupings for the squadron, group records, mission reports, and operations reports. You’ll find squadron diaries for the 337th Bomb Squadron, the 338th Bomb Squadron, and the 339th Bomb Squadron. The records also document awards, such as when members of the 413th Bomb Squadron received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
This collection also contains details about different bombing missions, like this summary of missions from the 338th Bomb Squadron, crew rosters from the 339th Bomb Squadron, and reports on injuries and fatalities.
The 96th Bomb Group received two Distinguished Unit Citations. The first was awarded for bombing an aircraft factory on August 17, 1943, in Regensburg. They received the second citation for assisting the 45th Bomb Wing in bombing aircraft components factories in Poznan on April 9, 1944. Before the war ended, the 96th Bomb Group lost 938 men, flew 8924 sorties, and lost 206 aircraft.