Bomb Group

The Eighth Air Force's 381st and the Allied Air Offensive over Europe

Paul Bingley, Mike Peters

An intimate history of a B17 Bomb Group at the heart of the US Eighth Air Force's daylight bombing offensive against Hitler's Germany.
Publication date:
June 2022
Publisher :
Casemate Publishers
Illustration :
b/w images throughout
Format Available     Quantity Price
ISBN : 9781612009605

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
Not Yet Published. Available for PreOrder.


• Over half a million USAAF personnel were based in Britain at the peak of the war
• 381st Bomb Group flew 297 bombing missions over Europe

In February 1942, a reconnaissance party of United States Army Air Forces officers arrived in England. Firmly wedded to the doctrine of daylight precision bombing, they believed they could help turn the tide of the war in Europe. In the months that followed, they formed the Eighth Air Force - an organization that grew at an astonishing rate. To accommodate it, almost seventy airfields were hastily built across the eastern counties of England.

At the heart of the Eighth Air Force were its bombardment groups, each equipped with scores of heavily armed, four-engine bombers. These Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses and Consolidated B-24 Liberators were soon punching through the enemy's defences to bomb targets vital to its war effort. They were crewed by thousands of young American airmen, most of whom were volunteers.

This book tells the story of just one "Bomb Group" - the 381st, which crossed the Atlantic in May 1943. Arriving at RAF Ridgewell on the Essex-Suffolk border, its airmen quickly found themselves thrown into the hazardous and attritional air battle raging in the skies over Europe.

Bomb Group follows the 381st's path from its formation in the Texan desert, to its 297th and final bombing mission deep into the heart of Hitler's Third Reich. It is the remarkable story of one group and the part it played in the strategic bombing campaign of "The Mighty Eighth."