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379th Bombardment Group (Heavy)

Activated on November 3, 1942, the B-17 Flying Fortress-equipped 379thdeployed to England in April 1943 for service with the Eighth Air Force. Constituent units included the 524th, 525th, 526thand 527thbombardment squadrons. The 379thbegan operations on May 19, and received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for operations over Europe from May 1943 through July 1944. It bombed industrial facilities, oil refineries, storage plants, submarine pens, airfields, and communications centers in Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Norway, and Poland. Specific targets included a chemical plant in Ludwigshafen, an aircraft assembly plant in Brunswick, ball bearing plants at Schweinfurt and Leipzig, synthetic oil refineries at Merseburg and Gelsenkirchen, marshalling yards at Hamm and Reims, and airfields around Mesnil au Val and Berlin. 

An armada of 379th Bombardment Group Boeing B-17 'Flying Fortresses' fly toward target across the Rhine on March 12, 1945.

The 379thearned a second DUC for flying without fighter protection into central Germany to attack vital aircraft factories on January 11, 1944. The 379thflew interdiction missions and bombed V-weapon sites, airfields, radar stations, railways, and gun emplacements before the Normandy invasion on June 6. It supported the St. Lo breakout in July, and attacked German communications and fortifications during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 through January 1945. It bombed bridges and viaducts in France and Germany in support of the Allied assault across the Rhine from February through March. The 379thBombardment Group moved to French Morocco in June and inactivated on July 25.

Crew of the Boeing B-17 'This Is It', 379th Bombardment Group pose beside their plane at their base in Kimbolton, England on September 17, 1944.

Campaigns: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe