This history of the 391st Bombardment Group has been compiled from the official history of the Group as published by the Historical Division of the Research Studies Institute, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. The balance has been added as a result of detailed examination of the actual unit history compiled by the 391st historians as it happened day-by-day. It is most interesting reading for those that were involved and those who were not. The relatively short active life of the 391st Bombardment Group in World War 11 covers the tremendously tumultuous time in the European Theater of Operations preceding the great European invasion, the invasion itself, and the subsequent assault upon the German Fatherland while flying from French and Belgian bases, the enemy's defeat of his Christmas assault (391st Distinguished Unit Citation), the capitulation of the German forces and the final disbandment of the 391st is graphically and many time poignantly described.
Further detailed microfilm examinations in '84, '86 and 1989 of the official 9th Air Force descriptions of the missions and their results revealed that they were actually describing the development of a warrior clan. The fumbling first missions in February 1944, the navigation errors, the bombing misses and the inexperience of the aircrews, in the air and on the ground stopped abruptly before O-Day time. After that, if the bombardiers could see the target, they hit it. Time after time, the 391st mounted 36 airplanes twice a day. The ferocity of the strikes during December 23-26 where losses were high on both sides and aircrews went down with their guns blazing, may be described as some of the greatest air battles of World War 11. This ferocity continued until the German capitulation in May 1945.
Bob Mynn, our dedicated honorary historian of England and Hugh Walker, the 391st Bomb Group Historian, have now chronicled all 294 missions, some 30 thousand words, in full detail, in this updated history.
The living and dying are there for all to read. Also there is the privilege of being a part of history. And the privilege of being alive to read it.--Hugh H Walker, Col. USAF (Ret), member of the 572 B. Sq., 391st Bomb Group (B-26 Marauders), April-October, 1944.