379th Expeditionary Operations Group

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379th Expeditionary Operations Group
379aeg-emblem.jpg
Emblem of the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group
Active 1942–1945;2003–present
Country [unreliable source?]
Branch United States Air Force
A B-1B Bomber takes off from the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing. B-1s from the 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron were once again called on to increase operations in support of ground forces in Afghanistan through precision bombing and shows of force and presence.
A KC-135 Stratotanker operated by the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron takes off on a flight

The 379th Expeditionary Operations Group (379 EOG) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the United States Air Forces Central. It is the flying component of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing, stationed at Al Udeid AB, Qatar.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 379th Bombardment Group was a VIII Bomber Command B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England. Assigned to RAF Kimbolton in early 1943, the group flew more sorties than any other bomb group in the Eighth Air Force, and dropped a greater bomb tonnage than any other group. The combat record of the 379th was the most successful of all the Eighth Air Force heavy bomber groups, receiving two Distinguished Unit Citations.

Overview[edit]

The 379th Air Expeditionary Operations Group is the flying component of the 379th AEW, with more than 90 combat and support attached aircraft, including eight coalition airframes. Aircraft come from every US service, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

Assigned units[edit]

History[edit]

For additional history and lineage, see 379th Air Expeditionary Wing

World War II[edit]

Emblem of the 379th Bombardment Group
Boeing B-17G-45-BO Fortress 42-97229 524th BS, "Hi Ho Silver".
Douglas-Long Beach B-17G-30-DL Fortress 42-38111 525th BS.
Douglas-Long Beach B-17F-45-DL Fortress 42-3325 524th BS, "Paddy Gremlin".

Activated 26 November 1942 at Gowen Field, Idaho. The Group assembled at Wendover Field Utah on 2 December 1942. They trained there until 2 March 1943. Then moved to Sioux City AAB Iowa on 3 February 1943 until their departure in 9 April 1943. The ground unit moved for final processing at Camp Douglas, Wis, and then to Camp Shanks, New York. They sailed on the Aquitania on 10 May 1943, and arrived at Clyde on 18 May 1943. The Aircraft left Sioux City on 9 April 1943 for Bangor Me. via Kearney, Nebraska, and Selfridge, Michigan. They commenced overseas movement on 15 April 1943 by the North Atlantic ferry route from Presque Isle, Maine via Greenland, Iceland to Prestwick, Scotland.

Arrived in England in May 1943, assigned to VIII Bomber Command, 41st Combat Bombardment Wing. Stationed at RAF Kimbolton, assigned Triangle-K as its tail identification code.

The 379th BG began operations with Eighth AF on 19 May 1943, and received a Distinguished Unit Citation for operations over Europe from May 1943 through July 1944. The group engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets such as industries, oil refineries, storage plants, submarine pens, airfields and communications centres in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway and Poland.

Specific targets included a chemical plant in Ludwigshafen, an aircraft assembly plant in Brunswick, ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt and Leipzig, synthetic oil refineries at Merseburg and Gelsenkirchen, marshalling yards at Hamm and Reims and airfields in Mesnil au Val and Berlin.

The Group received another DUC for flying without fighter protection into central Germany to attack vital aircraft factories on 11 January 1944. On several occasions the Group attacked interdictory targets and operated in support of ground forces. It bombed V-weapon sites, airfields, radar stations and other installations before the Normandy invasion in June 1944, bombed defended positions just ahead of the Allied landings on 6 June and struck airfields, rail choke points, and gun emplacements during the campaign that followed.

During the Battle of France, the Group bombed enemy positions to assist ground troops at St Lo during the breakthrough, 24–25 July 1944, attacked German communications and fortifications during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945, and bombed bridges and viaducts in France and Germany to aid the Allied assault across the Rhine, February–March 1945.

The combat record of the 379th was the most successful of all the Eighth Air Force heavy bomber groups. It held records as far as bomb tonnage dropped – 26,459 tons – more than any other unit including those operational before the 379th arrived in the UK. It also exceeded all other UK Bomb Groups in the total number of missions flown, carrying out 330 between May 1943 and 15 May 1945. One B-17G, "Ol Gappy", itself completed 157 missions, probably more than any other Eighth Air Force bomber.

Scheduled to transport US troops from Europe to Casablanca. The unit moved to Casablanca in early June with the last aircraft flown back to the States and the Group inactivated as Casablanca on the 25 July 1945.

Cold War[edit]

On 1 April 1960, jurisdiction of Wurtsmith was transferred from Air Defense Command to Strategic Air Command. The 379th Bombardment Wing became the Base Host Operating unit, being moved from Homestead AFB, Florida. The 379th and its subordinate units' mission was to operate at full readiness, and support activities included aircraft and vehicle maintenance, bombing crew and unit training, and air refueling support. The wing did not deploy bomber aircraft to Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War, as the B-52H was dedicated to strategic deterrence. In 1977, the 379th exchanged their B-52Hs for the conventional bomb capable B-52G. Wurtsmith AFB closed on 30 June 1993 as a result of the 1991 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, which determined that the development of new weapons and long-range satellite surveillance systems rendered many installations unnecessary. On the morning of 15 December 1992, the last B-52G, AF Serial No. 57-6492, the "Old CrowExpress," was flown to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base for storage.

Modern era[edit]

Activated in 2003 as 379th Air Expeditionary Operations Group. Engaged in combat operations as part of Global War on Terrorism.

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted as 379th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 October 1942
Activated on 3 November 1942
Inactivated on 25 July 1945
  • Redesignated 379th Expeditionary Operations Group and converted to provisional status 2003 (date TBD)
Activated in 2003 (Date TBD)

Assignments[edit]

Attached to: 201st Provisional Combat Bombardment Wing, May – 13 September 1943

Components[edit]

Stations[edit]

Air echelon at RAF Bovingdon (USAAF Station 112), 24 April 1943 – 21 May 1943

Aircraft assigned[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Freeman, Roger A. (1978) Airfields of the Eighth: Then and Now. After the Battle ISBN 0-900913-09-6
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1991) The Mighty Eighth The Colour Record. Cassell & Co. ISBN 0-304-35708-1
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

External links[edit]

  • Bendiner, Elmer. The Fall of the Fortress. A Personal Account of the Most Daring -and Deadly- American Air Battles of World War II. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1980.
  • Cassens, Kenneth H. Screwball Express: A Meaningful Tribute to the 8th Air Force, 379th Bomb Group & the Screwball Express. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publications, 1992.
  • Robb, Derwyn D. Shades of Kimbolton, a Narrative of the 379th Bombardment Group (H). San Angelo, Texas: Newsfoto Publishing Company, 1946 (2nd edition 1981).
  • 379th Bombardment Group Association