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WWII US Bridge Busters The 397th Bomb Group (M) A Pictorial History With Letter "I'm Coming Home"
Item #: VF3506
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Crane Howard, 1946. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Good brown leatherette, photo of a bomber on front. Full of sepia tone photos. Also included is a small unit history of the 9th Air Force and a letter made from a French map announcing of the Air Corps veteran coming home. 
 
World War II
Constituted as 397th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 20 March 1943. Activated on 20 April 1943. Trained with B-26's. Moved to RAF Gosfield England, March–April 1944, and assigned to Ninth Air Force, however. no sooner had they arrived than they were moved on to RAF Rivenhall. The group's identification marking was a yellow diagonal band across both sides of the vertical tailplane.

Over the next few days, more than 60 'bare metal' B-26s were to be seen on the Rivenhall hardstands. Although fresh from the training grounds in south-eastern United States, and having only reached the UK early in April. the 347th undertook its first combat mission on 20 April: an attack on a Pas de Calais V-1 site.

During its tenure of Rivenhall the 397th undertook 56 bombing missions, 32 of them attacks on bridges. Other targets were enemy airfields, rail junctions, fuel and ammunition stores, V-weapon sites and various military installations in France and the Low Countries. During these missions a total of 16 B-26s were missing in action and several others wrecked in crash-landings at the base.

Early in August, officially on the 5th, the 397th transferred from Rivenhall to RAF Hurn in Hampshire, to give the Marauders a better radius of action as the break-out of the Allied forces from the Normandy beachhead meant that potential targets were receding.

Although moving from Rivenhall, the group arrived without ceasing operations and flew 72 missions from Hurn before moving to the Advanced Landing Ground at Gorges, France (A-26) on 19 August, with the last departures on the 30th and 31st. Three Marauders were lost during the month's stay.

On the continent, the 397th struck enemy positions at St Malo and Brest and bombed targets in the Rouen area as Allied armies swept across the Seine and advanced to the Siegfried Line. The group began flying missions into Germany in September, attacking such targets as bridges, defended areas, and storage depots.

The 397th struck the enemy's communications during the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944 – January 1945) and received a Distinguished Unit Citation for a mission on 23 December 1944 when the group withstood heavy flak and fighter attack to sever a railway bridge at Eller, a vital link in the enemy's supply line across the Moselle.

The group continued to support the Allied drive into Germany until April 1945, being stationed at Venlo, the Netherlands (Y-55) on VE-Day. It returned to the United States during December 1945 – January 1946, being inactivated at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey on 6 January 1946.

Shipping Weight: 2 lbs
Your Price $300.00 USD