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Newly Added Unit History for the 96th Bomb Group!

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.

413th Bomb Squadron, 96th Bomb Group

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.

Crew from the 339th Bomb Squadron

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 Squadronthe 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.

B-17 Bomber “Ole Puss” and crew

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.

To learn more about the 96th Bomb Group, search this new collection on Fold3® today!


  1. Mary Yamada says:

    My uncle was Bernhart (Bud) Robert Emil Pautsch. He flew bombers over Japan during WWII.

    I was wondering what Bomb Group he was in.

    Mary Causey/Pautsch Yamada

    • Clarke Wolfe says:

      Perhaps this link can help you –

      Clarke Wolfe

    • madhatton says:

      look up via his service # .My Dad flew B29’s off of Guam ..The 330 Bomber Group . The planes had names of US cities and K on their tails .They bombed Japan

    • john d overby says:

      B-29s dropped 91 percent of all bombs falling on Japan during World War II.

    • Jim S says:

      046811 looks like his service number

    • Jim Kelly says:

      I am a professional Piano Technician in South Carolina. One of my favorite customers was fighter pilot who escorted bomber missions over Japan. He was a fascinating guy, a hero really. He went on to be a lawyer and a State Representative. Fortunately he recorded his service as part of n oral history Veteran’s Project. His obituary recognized his service. For all I know he could have escorted many missions for many groups. Somewhere I have a link about Army Air Force units , there are lots of sites on the internet which can help with your research.

  2. Richard M Wearing says:

    My Dad St. Sgt Johnny Ray Wearing -tailgunner flew 35 combat/bombing missions on the 5 Grand. The 5 Grand was with the 96th Heavy Bomb Group and w/ the 338th Squadron.

  3. My Dad (step), was a radio operator waist gunner with the 490th BG. Shot down, B-17 disintegrate in midair, full bomb load, all of the crew KIA except him. Captured remained a POW for the duration of the war, less than a year.

    Delivered Cheyenne 20/8/44; Lincoln 7/9/44; Grenier 18/9/44; Assigned 850BS/490BG Eye 19/9/44; Missing in Action Plauen, Ger 21/3/45 with Herman Bailard, Gilbert Brown, George Kumm, Jim Huddy, Albt Jenkins, Jim Price, Henry Bennett, Alf Cole (8 Killed in Action); Gilbert Wright (Prisoner of War); jet enemy aircraft, crashed Elsterwerda, Ger. Missing Air Crew Report 13557.

    • I have only just seen this entry, but I thought you would like to know the following.
      The 490thbg lost 3 planes on that run 21 March ‘45 of which the
      Ballard crew was one. I note you have the MACR number so I’m guessing you have the eye witness report contained within it but if we can help in any way with further information. Please get in touch. There is a contact page on our web site or you could email [email protected]
      490thbg memorial group, Eye Airfield, uk

    • Jacqueline, I DO NOT have the eye witness account, I did at one time, but lost the link without recording the info. I will be getting in touch and have info to offer.

      Thank you very much for responding.

      George Purvis

    • Lisa Mosier says:


  4. Mike Mauer says:

    My dad, William H. Mauer, was a B-29 radio operator-gunner flying out of Biak with 5th Air Force. They were shot down on 12 June 1944. Spent time at Scott AFB hospital til separation on 2 Nov 1945. Went to Archives in St. Louis looking for info. They had a fire in old location years ago and his records were destroyed. Also my father-in-laws and my own were gone. Seeking any info from this time. Thanks.

  5. Jim KELLOGG says:

    My uncle Chuck Slater was a tail gunner on the B 17’s. I asked him once if he had seen much action. His reply was “Yeah I had a bullet through my pant leg IN A BAR DOWNTOWN. I am not really sure if that was true or not, as most vets from that era were not much for talking about the SHIT they went through. I know our generation owes every one them the highest regard. KEEP “em flying. USAF RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Agnes Nelson says:

    My brother was a top turret gunner during WWII J. W. Nelson Tech Sergeant Engineer US Army Air Force Flew 50 Missions as a Top Turret Gunner on a B17 (414th Bombardment Squadron (H) (AAF) European Theatre Yugoslavia, Italy, Austria, France, Romania, Budapest, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Greece
    Enlistment Date 10/31/1942 Release Date 5/19/1945 Honorable Discharge
    SS# 460 22 6350

  7. James P. Willis says:

    I was in the Army Signal Corps during the Cold War in 1962-1964. I have the greatest respect for the men that served before me. My unit was the 69th Signal Batt. Co. B, Vassincourt, France.

  8. Sandra Holley says:

    My father was an airplane mechanic in the USAF and was stationed in England during WWII. He did not like to talk about his service over there other than to say he couldn’t believe how the pilots were able to land some of the planes, they were so shot up or on fire. I would like to know where in England he was stationed. Does anyone know of a website I can access?

    • Hi Sandra. My Uncle John McBrien was a Vet of USA ArmyAirForce during WWII. He was a member of a bomber flight crew stationed in England who was shot down in Germany in a mission over Madenburg oil fields in 1944. He was MIA/POW and then SURVIVOR of this experience. The Stackpole Military History series books have a book on this Mission 376. You may be able to find info about his service from info in these books. Go to http://www.americana as well. There is an American Air Museum in Britain which has a database for these bomber groups. Get his military records and then do search online. Even local newspapers did stories about Vets. Good luck.

  9. Thomas Cleary says:

    I have an Escape Map issued to Bomber Crews and given to me by Sergeant C. L. Love ( deceased)
    Believe Love was a radio operator/ waist gunner.
    He was assigned to the 423rd Bomb Squadron
    “Grim Reapers,” 306th Bomb Group. Based in Thurle, England.
    Love’s B-17 was shot down over Germany 2/45, he did survive was picked up by partisans and ultimately made it back to England.

  10. Dolores M Thompson says:

    MY deceased husband, Harry Nixon Davis, was bombing Hamburg, Germany, when they lost one of their engines, the second gave out over England and they crashed, I do not know many details, as we did not talk about it often. I believe he was the only survivor, this may not be. He was taken to a hospital in Scotland, for his injuries and then sent to Valley Forge, to recuperate. I have a son who was 4, at the time of his death and he has asked me several time for more information, but I have not been able to find anything except his Scotland Hospitalization. Would like to know if there were other survivors of this crew!

  11. Larry Preston says:

    my uncle Arthur Brandt was a tail gunner on a bomber that bomb Japan. I do not know what his plane was. He was from Fennimore, WI

  12. Mary Miller Brenzel says:

    My mother’s brother was a bombardier on a B-17 in the 95th BG (Square B) that flew out of Horham RAF, England. His group was the first B-17s to complete daylight raids on Berlin. I am so proud of his service.

  13. Max Blanton says:

    My grandfather was a Free French volunteer in North Africa. I know he flew as an on-board mechanic on B-17s in the push east after Torch. I can’t find anything on any Free French, either on YS musters or French government databases. Does anyone have experience with this sort of thing?

  14. JOHN H BOND says:

    Which Bomb Group flew B-17s out of Grafton-Underwood in England?

  15. Hi Sandra. My Uncle John McBrien was a Vet of USA ArmyAirForce during WWII. He was a member of a bomber flight crew stationed in England who was shot down in Germany in a mission over Madenburg oil fields in 1944. He was MIA/POW and then SURVIVOR of this experience. The Stackpole Military History series books have a book on this Mission 376. You may be able to find info about his service from info in these books. Go to http://www.americana as well. There is an American Air Museum in Britain which has a database for these bomber groups. Get his military records and then do search online. Even local newspapers did stories about Vets. Good luck.

    • Gaye David says:

      Parham Airfield Museum on the English coast hosted the 390th Bomber Group, American B -17’s. The coast was lined with similar airfields. They have many records of American’s there. We visited there in July, 2019. It was the best day of our entire trip to the British Isles. The museum treated us royally as my husband’s father was one of the pilots based there. They had prepared a packet of records concerning him which they gave us. We were also treated to a homemade lunch on site with staff. We walked around the inside of the control tower! At closing we were also given a personal guided tour in a car around the base with all the standing facilities pointed out like the HQ building, postal, movie facility, etc. We drove on former runways. We were also driven to Framlingham Castle where we walked around the walls and heard childhood stories of playing on the grounds. The pilots always knew they had made it back when they flew over the castle! That was the most important statement my father-in-law always included when talking about Parham Air Field. We learned a great deal at this museum about the English war effort. It was amazing. We stayed in Cransford, Woodbridge at the High House Farm on Bruisyard Rd overnight. The B & B was a unique experience which gave us a touch of what living in England was all about. The owners sent us home with a 50 caliber bullet and the remnants of a 50 caliber shell recovered as a child playing on the airfield after the war. What a meaningful gift which we treasure. Everyone we encountered those two days was warm and friendly. I would recommend this side trip to all of you history buffs, especially those who had relatives based on the coast. However, don’t forget the 390th Bomber Group Museum which is on the grounds of the Pima Air Museum in Tuscan, Az. Check out their web site. Also a place worth visiting closer to home! The 390th Museum also recommends Parham!

  16. Barb Klabunde says:

    My mother’s brother, Francis Houston III, was a tail gunner in the 703rd Bomber Squadron, 445th Bomber Group. His plane was shot down over Magdeburg, Germany on 3 March 1945 on what was to be his last mission-he was 19 years old.

  17. John Brown says:


  18. Vicki Lee says:

    My uncle Lt. James P. Guyot was apart of the 457th Bomb Group and the 748th Bomb Squadron. He was stationed at RAF Glatton Airfield in England. He flew 24 missions and volunteered for one more. As the B17, Miss Ida was leaving the runway for a mission in Germany, it barely lifted when it exploded! All men on board were killed but one. That occurred in April 5, 1945. My uncle is buried at Cambridge American Cemetery! He was the lead navigator!

  19. Barbara Merideth says:

    My dad, DJ Merideth, Jr, was a B-17 pilot based out of Snetterton Heath in England during WWII. He never talked about the war till right before he died. We have been to the National Archives and have scanned most of the info that was available for him and for his crew. We have been to Snetterton Heath, which is now a private boys’ School. There is a museum there that is loaded with items from the 96th. I wish my dad had still been alive and could have gone with us.

  20. Richard Morrison says:

    My dad, 1st Lt. Cyril S Morrison was with the 96th BG/413th BS stationed at Snetterton Heath. He was the pilot of B-17 “Guess Who” (42-3284) and was shot down over Germany on June 22, 1943 along with his crew: 2ndLt Gadsen Ford, 1st Lt Fred Alexander, 2nd Lt John Kerr, T/SGT Ray Howerter, T/SGT Keith Moyes, S/SGT Robert Garrett, S/SGT James Ward, S/SGT Keith Kay and S/SGT Warren Goodwin. The crew became POWs with my dad imprisoned in Stalag Luft 3 until the end of the war. Since he talked very little of his war experience, much of my research was gathered at the 8th Air Force Museum near Savannah, GA. I highly recommend a stop (plan a lot of time) to go through the exhibits and staff will gather much information for you.

  21. Joan Halter Schellert says:

    December 30, 1943 attack over Ludwigshaven, Germany
    30 Dec 1943
    Dad was assigned to the Army Air Force. He operated machine guns in B-17 bombers when his squadron was sent on bombing flights over France and Germany. Attached is a report from one of the flights:

    December 30, 1943 – THE FOLLOWING A/C (B-17’s) were assigned to assist in the attack on the chemical works of I.G. Farbenindustrie at Ludwigshaven, Germany: A/C A/C #070 1st Lt. Griffin, James L. 2nd Lt. Boyce, John 2nd Lt. Page, J.C. (IO) 2nd Lt. Johnson, Thomas E. 2nd Lt. Young, George F. 2nd Lt. Keyser, William R. 2nd Lt. Hovantz, Joseph P. 2nd Lt. Kennedy, Henry J. T/Sgt Moertle, Lawrence J. S/Sgt Lovely, Robert L. S/Sgt Davis, John D. Sgt. Landis, Harvey G. T/Sgt Caldwell, James L. S/Sgt Weston, Morris (NMI) S/Sgt Martin, Charles R. Sgt. Coomes, John M. S/Sgt Harper, Norman L. Sgt. White, Mickel D. S/Sgt McGraw, Marvin C. Sgt. Moore, Curtis M. A/C #076 A/C #947 2nd Lt. Jackson, Frank R. 1st Lt. Greer, Eldridge V. 2nd Lt. Geiger, Bruce H. 2nd Lt. Wood, William D. 2nd Lt. Wolker, John (NMI) 2nd Lt. Anderson, Marvin D. 2nd Lt. Fox, Robert E. 2nd Lt. Dobbs, Louie R. S/Sgt Mitchell, Martin J. T/Sgt Lekowski, Cassmer W. Sgt. White, William E. T/Sgt Mouton, Oscar J. S/Sgt Bacon, Verdner E. T/Sgt Walters, Gardner (NMI) Sgt. Sparks, Clarence A. S/Sgt Wade, Woodrow (NMI) Sgt. Olszewski, Anthony J. S/Sgt. Purton, James E. Sgt. Karl, Robert J. S/Sgt Mueller, Robert A. A/C #353 A/C #815 Lt. Fancher, Robert E. 2nd Lt. Jessop, Paul D. 2nd Lt. Wuest, Carl W. 2nd Lt. Moeller, John K. 2nd Lt. Hawkins, Herston 2nd Lt. Lerner, Harry 2nd Lt. Mangold, Jack R. F/O Caglaino, Joseph S. Sgt. Lewis, Clayton A. Sgt. Southworth, Walden P. Sgt. Taylor, Jack M. Sgt. Martin, Sidney D. Sgt. McLaren, Ken F. Sgt. Shope, Berchel L. Sgt. Moody, Thomas E. Sgt. Kelly, Morele H. Sgt. Clark, Robert H. Sgt. Elroy, Robert G. Sgt. Halter, Roman L. Sgt. Zastenchik, Joseph F. Bomb Load: 42 x M 47’s Altitude: 21,500 ft. Results A.T.O.T.: Dropped on PFF 10/10 clouds. No Obs. Time: Take Off 0815. Target 1158. R. T. Base 1535. A/A Fire: Meager and moderate. Enemy Fighter Opposition: 25/30 Me109’s and FW190’s – making attacks in formation of 5/C A/C from 12 to 2 o’clock, nose down instead of rolling over after attack. Me109’s with wing guns. Fighter Support: P-47’s gave good support, Spits IX’s were late, P-38’s too far away. Casualties: B/T Gunner Sgt Sidney D. Martin of A/C 815 received slight wound in face from exploding bullet. T/T Gunner Sgt. Clayton A. Lewis of A/C 353 received slight face wound from fragments from 20 mm in turret. Battle Damage: A/C 656 received 20 mm in left wing and #2 gas tank, left stabilizer hit by 50 cal. A/C 353 major damage #3 engine shot out, electric cab le in bomb bay, top turret damaged by 20 mm. Claims: 1 Me109 destroyed by B/T gunner Sgt. Harvey G. Landis, ASN 33111912. Remarks; No change in squadron personnel. (Note to group—My dad and crew he was in flew out of Bassingborne Airdrome in England, which has reduced its size for air craft, but has enlarged its capacity for a WW2 museum.)

  22. Bob Welenc says:

    My Father-in-law, Ernest H Tucker, was a top turret gunner on B-17 and possibly B-24s. As near as I have been able to determine, he and his whole plane crew, flew only 1 mission before being sent home. Based on timing and circumstantial information, I believe he may have flown one of the raids over Ploesti, but have not been able to confirm this. Anyone who can identify the Squadron, Bomb Group, or plane that he might have been assigned to, this information would be most appreciated. Ernest dies in 2015, and would not talk about his service, other than stories about things that happened on the ground in England.

  23. Mary Rice says:

    Mary Rice my Dad was in the Army WWll his name George Henry Brumfield and had gotten a purple.heart around.1942 but it got lost when he died I heard that I could get another one.