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32 CoPilots

Paperback (296 pages)
No bomb group in WWII lost as many aircraft and crew members in a three month period.

32 CoPilots

With a primary wartime goal to weaken the enemy through strategic bombing key assets, the England based 8th Air Force, nevertheless, flew tactical missions against troop concentrations as well as bridges, rail lines and canals to interdict supply. With the Allies in France after D-Day, the 8th flew low-level missions to re-supply paratroops dropped behind enemy lines, to supply our own troops on the Continent with fuel, munitions and supplies, and, the local populace with food.

The story includes over 100 photos, charts, etc, plus the names of over 700 men and women involved, many of whom tell their own personal tales of accomplishment to defeat the enemy, to keep the planes flying or to just survive, plus, interesting sketches of life both on and off the base in wartime England, Ireland and Scotland.

While the book covers parts of Spring, Summer and Fall of 1944, the 492nd Bomb Group ceased operations after August 7th due to high losses. "No bomb group in World War II lost as many aircraft and crew members in a three month period" The remaining crews were dispersed and the survivors tell their stories from their new stations. Some were shot down and returned; others became prisoners, some of which escaped. Many of the 700 men and women tell their own personal, often incredible, histories. Once you start reading, you'll have to finish the story. It's just that engrossing.

The 492nd Bomb Group...

Related Scanning WWII dates...

  • 18 Apr 44: 492nd Bomb Group arrives at Station 143, North Pickenham, England
  • 09 May 44: 492nd BG does exhibition formation flight over 2nd AD bases
  • 11 May 44: 492nd BG flies its first mission; no casualties
  • 19 May 44: 492nd BG Mission 05 to Brunswick; first of their three deadliest missions
  • 20 Jun 44: 492nd BG Mission 34 to Politz; second of their three deadliest missions
  • 07 Jul 44: 492nd BG Mission 46 to Bernburg; third of their three deadliest missions; entire 859th Bomb Squadron is wiped out
  • 15 Jul 44: The bomb dump at nearby Metfield mysteriously explodes, rocking the countryside and destroying the 491st Bomb Group's base
  • 07 Aug 44: 492nd BG flies its final mission (no casualties) and is disbanded
  • 13 Aug 44: The 801st Provisional Group at Harrington is redesignated the 492nd Bomb Group
  • 15 Aug 44: The 491st Bomb Group moves from their destroyed base at Metfield to North Pickenham
3 deadliest missions for the 492nd Bomb Group
Date Mission Target City Lost KIA WIA POW INT
19 May 44 Mission 05 Brunswick 8 43 3 34 0
20 Jun 44 Mission 34 Politz 14 76 0 22 41
07 Jul 44 Mission 46 Bernburg 12 67 0 52 0
Totals: 34 186 3 108 41
  Casualties per 1000 Combatants in WWII  
  US Army Air Force 16  
  US Army 24  
  US Marine Corps 29  
  467th Bomb Group 91  
  492nd Bomb Group 442  

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