Colonel Frank A. Armstrong of the 97th Bomb Group in the cockpit of his B-17 Flying Fortress. Image stamped on reverse: 'Photographed by US Army Air Air Forces.' [caption], 'US Official Phot No. USB 230. (WA) Distributed by the Ministry of Information.' [caption] 'USAA(BRI)CCC:TYPE.' [written annotation] Printed caption on reverse: 'LEADER OF THE US BOMBING ATTACK ON WILHELMSHAVEN. Photo shows:- Col. Frank A. Armstrong of Asheville N.C. who led the bombing attack on Wilhelmshaven- the first American air attack on Germany in this war.'
Brigadier-General Frank Alton Armstrong Jr. during a visit to the 305th Bomb Group Official caption on image: "(GPR-83-9305) (18-6-43) (Brig. Gen. Armstrong..."
A bomber crew of the 306th Bomb Group with their B-17 Flying Fortress. Passed for publication 2 Feb 1943. Printed caption on reverse: 'American Airmen Who Made First Daylight Raid On Germany. Big bombers of the United States Army Air Force made their first daylight raid on Germany recently when they dropped tons of high explosives on the Nazi naval base at Wilhelmshaven. The bombers, unescorted, met considerable fighter opposition and knocked down 22 for the loss of three bombers. Associated Press Photo Shows:- The crew of the First Flying Fortress to reach the target, with their ground staff.
Left to right, top row:
Col. Frank Armstrong of Nashville, Tenn., Group Commander;
Lt. R.J. Salitrink of Alhambra, Calif., Navigator;
Lt. Frank Taussi of Glendale, Calif., Bombardier;
Sgt. Joseph E. Collette of N. Chelmsford, Mass., Engineer;
Staff Sgt. Charles D. Hill of Baltimore, Maryland, Waist Gunner;
Staff Sgt. Donald Tunstall of Darlington, S. Carolina, Tail Gunner;
Staff Sgt. Raymond H. Erikson of Chicago, Ill., Ball Turret Gunner;
Tech. Sgt. Robert A. Siavage of Eynon, Penn., Radio Operator;
Major Claude E. Putnam of Jacksboro, Tex., Co-Pilot.
TET 254769. 1-2-43-F.'
On reverse: Associated Press, US Army Press Censor ETO and US Army General Section Press & Censorship Bureau [Stamps].
Assumption of Command, 1st Bombardment Wing - Colonel Frank A. Armstrong vice Haywood S. Hansell Jr
"Five USAF Generals get together over a cup of coffee at an 8th AF base in England on 5-Mar-43. L-R: Brig Gen Frank A Armstrong, Brig Gen Newton Longfellow, Brig Gen Haywood S Hansell, Brig Gen James P Hodges and Brig Gen Fred L Anderson."
Commanded 97th BG from 31 July 1942 to 27 September 1942.
Commanded 306th BG 4 January 1943 to 17 February 1943.
Commanded 101st (Provisional) Combat Wing 8 February 1943 to 14 June 1943.
Commanded 1st Bomb Division 15 June 1943 to 31 July 1943.
Generally believed to be the primary inspriation for the character of 'Brigadier General Frank Savage' in Beirne Lay's book Twelve O'Clock High.
He commanded the first raid to Germany, bombing Wilhelmshaven 27 Jan 1943. Assigned to to 8th HQ on 17 Feb 1943.
AM w/1 Oak Leaf Cluster, DFC, DSC, DSM w/1 OLC, SS, British DFC,
Military | Colonel | Chief of Supply
Beasley was one of 6 staff officers to accompany General Eaker to England in February 1942. He was commissioned into the military after working as an executive of Lockheed Aircraft Company.
Military | Brigadier General | Commanding Officer; Air Leader, Pilot | 487th Bomb Group
Commanding Officer of 94th Bomb Group at Bury St. Edmunds from 19-Jun-43 to 16-Apr-44. Overseas with General Eaker's staff to organize 8th AF, February 1942.
Military | Major | Pilot | 93rd Bomb Group
March 8, 1943 'Thar She Blows' B-24 41-23658 crashlanded at Gibraltar Farms in Kent. The plane was returning from a mission to Rouen, France with battle damage. Major Cowart returned all crew members with Bombardier Dick injured.
Military | Colonel | Tactician
Cowart was one of 6 staff officers to accompany Eaker to England in February 1942.
Military | Lieutenant General | Commanding General, 8th Air Force
Commanding General of 8th AF 1 December 1942 to 5 January 1944. Following that, Eaker was given command of all Allied air forces in the MTO, and in April 1945 became Deputy CG of the USAAF. Retired July 1947.
Military | Brigadier General | Combat Intelligence Officer
Hull was one of 6 Staff Officers to accompany General Eaker to England in February 1942.
Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Group commander | 100th Bomb Group
Beirne Lay assumed command of the 487th Bomb Group at Alamogordo Army Air Base, New Mexico on February 28, 1944, his wife was Philippa Ludwell Lee.
Units served with
VIII Bomber Command was constituted and activated in 1942. It oversaw heavy bombardment operations until February 1944, when it was redesginated as the 8th Air Force.
The groups under the command of the 1st Bomb Wing came under the command of the 1st Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.
Constituted as 306th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 1 Mar 1942. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and assigned to Eighth AF Eighth Air Force in September 1942 Station 111 Thurleigh. During combat,...
The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the...
B-17 Flying Fortress
17 August 1942
The US 8AF launches its first strategic bombing raid of the war, sending 12 Boeing B-17Es of the 97BG on a strike against the railyards of Sotteville-lès-Rouen, France, while another six fly a diversionary route. The attacking force is split into two...
||Hamilton, NC, USA
||24 May 1902
||28 February 1929
|Arrived in UK
||20 February 1942
Arrived in the UK with General Eaker
||20 August 1969