Activated on May 1, 1943, the B-24 Liberator-equipped 448th deployed to England in November for service with the Eighth Air Force. Constituent units included the 712th, 713th, 714thand 715thbombardment squadrons. The group entered combat on December 22, and bombed such targets as factories in Gotha, ball bearing plants in Berlin, an airfield at Hanau, U-boat facilities at Kiel, a chemical plant in Ludwigshafen, synthetic oil refineries in Politz, aircraft engine plants at Rostock, marshalling yards at Cologne, and a V-1 rocket assembly plant at Fallersleben. The 448thtook part in the intensive “Big Week” bomber campaign (February 20-25) against the German aircraft industry, and flew numerous interdictory missions as well.
The 448thbombed V-weapon sites, airfields, and transportation facilities prior to the Normandy invasion and on D-Day attacked coastal defenses and transportation choke points. The group supported Allied offensives at Caen and the breakthrough at St. Lo in July, and dropped supplies to airborne troops near Nijmegen during the airborne attack into Holland in September.
The 448thbombed transportation and communications during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 through January 1945, and dropped supplies to troops at Wesel during the airborne assault across the Rhine in March. The 448thflew its last combat mission on April 25, a marshalling yard in Salzburg. The 448thBombardment Group returned to the United States in July and was re-designated as the 448thBombardment Group (Very Heavy) in August. The group was equipped with B-29s and assigned to Strategic Air Command on March 21, 1946. The 448th was inactivated on August 4 of that year.
Campaigns: American Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe