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USAAF 8th Air Force Bomber Bases (Heavy)

When I visited England in September 2019, our group of 384th Bomb Group veterans and next generation (NexGen) members visited the airfield museum of the 100th Bomb Group, also known as the Bloody Hundredth, at Thorpe Abbotts. While there, I picked up this list of the heavy bomber (B-17 and B-24) bases in England during WWII.

USAAF 8th Air Force Bomber Bases (Heavy) in England During WWII
Photo courtesy of the 100th Bomb Group Historical Association and Airfield Museum at Thorpe Abbotts

The graphics on the list, which is one of the nicest lists I’ve seen of all the groups, illustrate how the aircraft of different bomber groups were distinguished from one another by their tail fin and wing markings, using a symbol (traingle, circle, or square) combined with a group letter.

The aircraft of 1st Air Division B-17 groups were marked with a triangle. The aircraft of 2nd Air Division B-24 groups were marked with a circle. And the aircraft of 3rd Air Division B-17 groups were marked with a square or box.

The 384th Bomb Group based in Grafton Underwood, England, of which my dad was a waist gunner in the war, can be found in the far left column of the 1st Air Division and used the marking of the Triangle P. The painting below of the 384th Bomb Group’s B-17 42-31740 by Ron Leigh shows a good example of the marking on the tail fin.

Painting by Ron Leigh. This 546th Squadron aircraft was shot down on 9 April 1944. Courtesy of the 384th Bomb Group website and photo gallery.

Keeping the show on the road…

Triangle P tail symbol of the 384th Bomb Group
Photo courtesy of the 384th Bomb Group Website and Photo Gallery

Notes

  • The 482nd Bomb Group was a radar-equipped Pathfinder group.
  • The 34th, 490th, and 493rd Bomb Groups converted from B-24’s to B-17’s in the summer of 1944.

© Cindy Farrar Bryan and The Arrowhead Club, 2020