416th Bombardment Group

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History

The 416th Bombardment Group was a light bomber unit that fought with the Ninth Air Force, taking part in the D-Day campaign and the fighting in France, the Low Countries and Germany.

The group was activated in February 1943 and trained with the A-20 Havoc. It took that aircraft to England in January-February 1944 and joined the Ninth Air Force, the American contribution to the tactical air force being gathered to support the invasion of Europe. By 1944 the A-20 was being used as a level bomber, with formations of solid nosed B-20Gs and B-20Hs, being led by the clear nosed A-20Js and A-20Ks.

The group entered combat in March 1944. Most of its early missions were attacks on V-Weapon sites, with a number of attacks on airfields and coastal defences thrown in. In June the group hit transport links, including bridges, marshalling yards and road junctions. In July it took part in the fighting at Caen and assisted with the breakthrough at St. Lo, and in August-September it took part in the siege of the German garrison at Brest.

Between 6-9 August the group attacked bridges, railways, rolling stock and a radar station during the campaign to block the Falaise gap. It was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for these missions.

In September the 416th supported Operation Market-Garden. After that it was used to attack transport links and supply dumps that were being used to support the Siegfried line.

In November the group swapped its A-20s for the new A-26 Invader. It was back in action in time to take part in the Battle of the Bulge, where it was used to attack German troops and strong points as well as the transport links to the battlefield.

During 1945 it was used to support the Allied advance into Germany, attacking the same sort of targets. It was also used to attack German anti-aircraft defences during the crossing of the Rhine in July-October 1945.

The group returned to the US between July and October 1945 and was inactivated on 24 October 1945.

Books

 

Aircraft

Feb 1943-Nov 1944: Douglas A-20 Havoc
Nov 1944-: Douglas A-26 Invader

Timeline

25 Jan 1943 Constituted as 416th Bombardment Group (Light)
5 Feb 1943 Activated
Jan-Feb 1944 To England and Ninth Air Force
July-Oct 1945 To US
24 Oct 1945 Inactivataed

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Lt Col Richard D Dick: Feb 1943
Col Harold L Mace: Oct 1943
Col Theodore R Aylesworth: 3 Aug 1944- 1945.

Main Bases

Will Rogers Field, Okla: 5 Feb 1943
Lake Charles AAFld, La: 4 Jun 1943
Laurel AAFld, Miss: Nov 1943- c.1 Jan 1944
Wethersfield, England: Feb 1944
Melun, France: Sep 1944
Laon/ Athies, France: Feb 1945
Cormeilles-en- Vexin, France: May-Jul 1945
Camp Myles Standish, Mass: c. 23-24 Oct 1945

Component Units

668th: 1943-1945
669th: 1943-1945
670th: 1943-1945
671st: 1943-1945

Assigned To

1944-45: 97th Bombardment Wing; 9th Bombardment Division (Medium); Ninth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (5 February 2014), 416th Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/416th_Bombardment_Group.html

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