The 100th BG of USAAF

The Formation of the 100th Bomb Group

The 100th Bomb Group, also known as the “Bloody Hundredth,” was activated on June 1, 1942, at Orlando Army Air Base, Florida. It was originally designated as the 100th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and was part of the Eighth Air Force. This group was destined to become one of the most celebrated and storied bomb groups in the USAAF.

Training and Early Missions

After its formation, the 100th underwent extensive training in the United States, focusing on flying the B-17 Flying Fortress, one of the iconic aircraft of World War II. The group honed their skills in navigation, bombing accuracy, and formation flying. In November 1942, they were sent to England to join the growing Allied air campaign against Nazi-occupied Europe.

Combat in Europe

The 100th Bomb Group began combat operations in early 1943. Their first mission took place on June 25, 1943, when they attacked the submarine yards at Bremen, Germany. As they continued to engage in missions, they quickly gained a reputation for their precision bombing and tenacity in the face of enemy opposition.

The Schweinfurt-Regensburg Mission

One of the most challenging and historic missions the 100th participated in was the infamous Schweinfurt-Regensburg mission on August 17, 1943. This raid targeted ball-bearing factories in Schweinfurt, vital for Germany’s war production. The 100th Bomb Group, along with other B-17 units, faced heavy enemy fighter and anti-aircraft fire. Despite the intense opposition, they pressed on, but at a high cost. The group lost nearly a third of its aircraft on that mission, a testament to the bravery and determination of its crews.

Recognition and Legacy

The 100th Bomb Group went on to complete over 300 combat missions during the war, becoming one of the few units to achieve this milestone. They received numerous commendations and awards for their exceptional service, including two Distinguished Unit Citations.

After the war, the 100th Bomb Group was inactivated in 1945 but was later reactivated as the 100th Air Refueling Wing, focusing on air refueling missions during the Cold War. Their legacy, however, lives on in the annals of military aviation history.

In conclusion, the 100th Bomb Group of the USAAF was a remarkable unit that played a significant role in the air campaign over Europe during World War II. Their courage, skill, and sacrifices will forever be remembered as part of the heroic effort to defeat Nazi Germany and bring an end to World War II.

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