388th Bomb Group Association
FORTRESS FOR FREEDOM
388th BG (H)
The 388th BG was in the United States Army Air Corps, 8th Air Force, 3rd Air Division, 45th Combat Wing. Our squadrons were the 560th, 561st, 562nd and 563rd.
The 388th BG was activated December 24, 1942 at Gowan Field just outside of Boise, Idaho. After going to England in the summer of 1943 and helping win the war there, they returned to Sioux Falls Army Air Field, SD and prepared to deploy to the Pacific. When the Pacific war ended the group was inactivated on August 28, 1945.
For a more detailed account, please see our Unit History.
Station 136, Knettishall, England. We took command of this RAF base on June 23, 1943 and stayed until August 5, 1945. Knettishall is roughly 7 miles southeast of Thetford and 11 miles northeast of Bury St Edmunds. Diss, where the 65th General hospital was located, is about 10 miles east.
Symbols & Tradition
Flying Fortress Crest
WORLD WAR II
8th Air Force
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3rd Air Division
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The Commanding Officers
Attached Organizations and Units
29th Station Complement
214th Finance Detachment
434th Air Service Group
434th HQ Squadron
452nd Sub Depot
587th Postal Unit
877th Chemical Company
1211th Quartermaster Company
1284th Military Police Company
1751st Ordnance Supply and Maintenance Company273rd Medical Dispensary
2019th Engineering and Fire Fighting Platoon
The 388th flew over 300 missions during the war (July 17, 1943 to May 20, 1945). Most of these missions were flown in conjunction with other Bomb Groups of the 8th AirForce.
306 combat missions were focused mainly on targets in France and Germany. However some of the missions went to Belgium, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Czechoslovakia. The 388th also participated in the Aphrodite Project (19 Missions) which was a top secret project that employed remote controlled B-17's on suicide missions.
The 388th also flew humanitarian missions at the end of the war. 5 Chowhound missions airlifted food to starving Dutch in the Netherlands. 2 Revival missions transported emaciated French from Austria to France. A POW mission brought Allied POWs out of Germany and back to England.
The bottom line: 306 Combat, 19 Aphrodite, 5 Chowhound, 1 POW, 2 Revival
For a more detailed account of the missions, please see our historian's database.
Louis Lane was a turret specialist working at Knettishall from 1943 to 1945. At some point in 1944, he shot a series of color sides of 388th aircraft during routine maintenance procedures. When Mr. Lane died in 1995, his collection was given by the family to the 388th Bombardment Group (H) Association, Inc. for safekeeping.
We hope that you will enjoy these rare color images from the Louis Lane Collection and will respect our copyright.
If you wish to purchase copies of these images or obtain digital rights, please contact the association.
The bomb markings and swastikas symbols represent the number of completed bombing missions and the number of enemy airplanes shot down, respectively.
91 aircraft lost, 524 men killed in action, 801 taken prisoner, 2 missing
Distinguished Unit Citation - Regensburg, August 17, 1943 (shuttle to Africa)
Distinguished Unit Citation - Combined efforts at Hanover (June 26, 1943) Brux (May 12, 1944) and Ruhland (June 21, 1944)
Some Noteworthy Facts
We lost an entire squadron (the 563rd) over Stuttgart on Sept 6, 1943
Our 560th squadron under Maj Roy Forrest was assigned to the top-secret Aphrodite project
We led the entire 8th Air Force on D-Day (June 4, 1944)
We were instrumental in organizing three missions in aid of the Maquis; Area 5 (June 25) Area 4 (July 14) and Area 12 (August 1)
We lost 11 planes on the ground at Poltava, Russia dueing Operation Frantic (June 21, 1944)
388th Military Heirs
The 388th Fighter Bomber Wing was activated November 23, 1953 at Clovis AFB, NM. Follwing two periods of inactivation, the 388th FBW was reactivated as the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing on April 1, 1966 at Korat RTAB, Thailand. At the end of the VietNam war, the unit relocated to Hill AFB, UT where it was renamed the 388th Fighter Wing.
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Col William B. David
Activation to October 6, 1944
Col Chester C. Cox
October 6, 1944 to Inactivation