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Old 13th January 2005, 19:10
Rabe Anton Rabe Anton is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alabama U.S.A.
Posts: 254
Rabe Anton
Eighth AF 3rd Bombardment Division and the 92nd Combat Wing

Dear Dirk,

You are struggling with an understandable problem of the designations of Eighth AF subordinate units. It's a little complicated. Let me try to help.

As you probably already know, the Eighth AF was a very large organization with many bombardment and fighter
groups by August 1944. This mass of men and planes was broken down into smaller units in this way:

Eighth AF
Three Bombardment Divisions (1st, 2nd, 3rd)
14 Combat Wings
Ca. 45 Bombardment Groups (H)
Ca. 180 Bombardment Squadrons (H)

The 3rd Bombardment Division included the 92nd Combat Wing (subdivided into 92nd "A" Wing and 92nd "B" Wing for specific operations only). The 92nd CW all together included two bombardment groups: the 486th (also called the "A" Wing) and 487th (also called the "B" Wing) Bombardment Groups.

The Eighth AF also happened to have a 92nd Bombardment GROUP. This group was assigned to the 40th Combat Wing of the 1st Bombardment Division.

Basically, then, the 92nd Combat Wing "A" = 486th BG. The 92nd Combat Wing "B" = 487th BG. BUTónot all four squadrons from a group always flew every mission. ANDócombat wings could be split up.

On 14 August 1944 the 92nd CW (486th and 487th BGs) was ordered to attack Fl.Pl. Mannheim/Sandhofen. THEORETICALLY, each group was supposed to launch 39 airplanes, for a total of 78. But of course that never happened. Only 76 airplanes were actually dispatched (lifted off); only 74 actually made the sortie (entered German airspace); and only 72 bombed the target with the formation leader.

The Fl.Pl. Mannheim/Sandhofen received 116.2 tons of High Explosive ("HE") 500-lb. bombs and 67.5 tons of Incendiary Bombs ("IB"). No American airplanes were lost, but some were damaged.

Source: AFHRA 520.332, 14 Aug. 1944, Eighth AF Master Mission Report, 14 Aug. 1944.

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