The 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was activated on December 1, 1942 at Gowen Field, Idaho. Five men led the group as Commanding Officer during its existence in WWII. I plan to write more about each Commander in future posts, but here is a summary.
Col. Budd J. Peaslee was the first Commander of the group from December 18, 1942 to September 6, 1943. Col. Peaslee was a veteran pilot who had extensive flying experience, including the B-17. He led the 384th into combat on their first mission on June 22, 1943. The group’s symbol, the Triangle-P was developed to honor Col. Peaslee.
Col. Peaslee was born in 1902 and died in 1983. He is buried in the Garden of Memories in Salinas, Monterey County, California.
Col. Julius K. Lacey was the second Commander of the group from September 6, 1943 to November 23, 1943. He was a temporary replacement for Col. Peaslee.
Col. Lacey was born in 1904 and died in 1992. He is buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, Plot: Section 4 Site 25-A.
Col. Dale O. Smith was the third Commander of the group from November 23, 1943 to October 24, 1944.
Col. Smith was born in 1911 and died in 1998. He is buried in the United States Military Academy Post Cemetery, West Point, Orange County, New York, Plot: Section VI, Row B, Site 100.
Lt. Col. Theodore R. Milton was the fourth Commander of the group from October 24, 1944 to June 16, 1945.
Lt. Col. Milton was born in 1915 and died in 2010. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Arlington County, Virginia, in Plot: Section 54, Site 6379.
Lt. Col. Robert W. Fish was the fifth and last Commander of the 384th Bomb Group from June 17, 1945 to October 18, 1945.
Lt. Col. Fish was born in 1917 and died in 2008. He is buried in the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas in Plot: Section 49, Site 104. (Note: this is the same cemetery in which Col. Lacey is buried).
Photos courtesy of 384thbombgroup.com.
© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2016