391st Bombardment Group (M)
Distinguished Unit Citation
The following citation is quoted from General Order 12, dated 24 February 1945:
The 391st Bombardment Group (M) is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action, against the enemy from 23 to 26 December 1944. On the morning of 23 December 1944, 30 aircraft of the 391st Bombardment Group(M) were dispatched in an attack upon a railroad viaduct at Ahweiler, Germany. Despite the fact that fighter escort was lacking, and both the Pathfinder aircraft were forced out of the formation by intense, heavy, and accurate antiaircraft fire, the formation gallantly continued to the target. Approximately 60 enemy fighters intercepted the second box of the formation during the bombing run. A violent and bitter aerial battle ensued and, ignoring the continuous enemy attacks, the second box bombed the objective with devastating effect. Enemy aircraft now swarmed about he two boxes, attacking from the rear in waves 4 deep and 15 abreast, while the combat crews of the 391st Bombardment Group (M) fought magnificently despite the overwhelming odds. Men who were wounded remained at their posts and continued firing, and the aircraft shot out of the sky went down with their guns still blazing at the enemy. In this heroic action the enemy lost 16 aircraft, and 3 probably destroyed, and 16 so badly damaged that they were driven from the conflict.
That afternoon, despite losses sustained earlier in the day, the 391st Bombardment Group (M) displayed outstanding aggressiveness by preparing in record time an attack upon the heavily defended village of Neuerburg. Twenty one aircraft were dispatched and attacked the target with outstanding results. Maintenance personnel worked feverishly and with untiring zeal. On the following day the 391st Bombardment Group (M) attacked with 39 aircraft the railroad bridge at Kons Karthaus, Germany. Despite intense, heavy flak, the bridge was destroyed. During the following 3 days, the group dealt fierce blows at other strategic enemy bridges, contributing vital assistance to the ground forces at a most critical time.
The inexorable determination, outstanding skill, and unhesitating courage of the officers and men of the 391st Bombardment Group (M) in so brilliantly carrying the attack of the enemy, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the Army Air Forces.