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410th Bombardment Group (Light)

Activated on July 1, 1943, the A-20 Havoc-equipped 410thdeployed to England in March 1944 for service with the Ninth Air Force. Constituent units included the 644th, 645th, 646thand 647th bombardment squadrons. The 410thentered combat in May, and prepared for the invasion of Normandy by bombing coastal defenses, airfields, and V-weapon sites in France, and marshalling yards in France and Belgium. It supported the Normandy campaign by bombing gun positions and railway choke points, and assisted in assaults on Caen and the breakthrough at St. Lo. 

A Douglas A-20 of the 410th Bombardment Group during a raid to Rouen, August 1944.

It attacked bridges, vehicles, fuel nodes, ammunition dumps, and rail lines during the siege of Brest. The group moved to France in September, and bombed defended villages, railroad bridges, overpasses, marshalling yards, military camps, and communications centers to support Allied assaults on the Siegfried Line. The 410thparticipated in the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 through January 1945, bombing marshalling yards, railheads, bridges, and vehicles. It received a Distinguished Unit Citation for particularly effective attacks on enemy lines of communications from December 23 through 25, 1944. 

A crew of the 410th Bombardment Group poses beside the Douglas A-20 "Mama Lou" at a base in England, July 24, 1944.

The 410thflew night missions in February 1945, using B-26 Marauders to drop flares, A-26 Invaders to mark targets, and A-20 Havocs to bomb the targets themselves. The 410thflew support and interdiction missions during the final drives across the Rhine into Germany, and had converted completely to the A-26 Invader by the end of the war. The 410thBombardment Group returned to the United States between June and August and inactivated on November 7.

A formation of Douglas A-20s of the 410th Bombardment Group leave a smoking target.

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