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47th Bomb Group


Constituted as 47th Bombardment Group (Light) on 20 November 1940, and activated on 15 January 1941. Operational squadrons of the group were:
84th Bombardment Squadron 1941–1949
85th Bombardment Squadron 1941–1949
86th Bombardment Squadron 1941–1949
97th Bombardment Squadron 1941–1946
Initially based at McChord Field, Washington, the group's mission was to perform anti-submarine patrols along the Pacific coast with the Douglas B-18 Bolo its primary aircraft. This was a short-lived mission, however, as after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the group began training for duty overseas when it was assigned Douglas A-20Cs which were taken over by the USAAF from Lend-Lease contracts.
Training at several bases in the midwest and southeast, it was first believed that the 47th would be sent to the South Pacific. However shortly after Operation Torch, the Allied invasion of North Africa in November 1942, the 47th became the first USAAF A-20 group to participate in large-scale combat in the North African Campaign, being assigned to Twelfth Air Force.
Flying to a former Vichy French Air Force base at Mediouni, French Morocco. the aircrews used ferry tanks on their A-20s to cross the North Atlantic. The group began operations by flying low-level missions against the enemy in North Africa flying its first combat mission from Youks-les-Bains, Algeria on 13 December 1942.
47th Group A-20s provided valuable tactical support to US and British ground forces, especially during and after the allied defeat at the Battle of the Kasserine Pass. Though undermanned and undersupplied, the group flew eleven missions on 22 February to attack the advancing Nazi armored columns and thus to help stop the enemy's offensive-an action which helped save the day, and eventually the Germans were forced back into a small perimeter in Tunisia. For these actions, the group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation.
The 47th remained active in combat during March and April 1943 while training for medium level bombardment. In 1943 the group was upgraded to the A-20G, which increased their forward firepower during low-level strafing missions. Moving to Malta, the group participated in the reduction of Pantelleria and Lampedusa (Operation Corkscrew) in June 1943 and the invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky) in July. The group also bombed German evacuation beaches near Messina in August.
The group supported the British Eighth Army during the invasion of Italy in September. Moving to Italy as part of the Italian Campaign, the group assisted the Allied advance toward Rome, September 1943 – June 1944 at the battles of the Bernhardt Line, Monte Cassino, and Operation Shingle. The 47th began flying numerous night intruder missions after June 1944, and supported the invasion of Southern France from bases in Corsica and also in France during August–September 1944.
Returning to Italy, the group attacked German communications in northern Italy, 1 September – 4 April 1945. Received a second DUC for performance from to 21–24 April 1945 when, in bad weather and over rugged terrain, the group maintained operations for 60 consecutive hours, destroying enemy transportation in the Po Valley to prevent the organized withdrawal of German forces.
After January 1945, the 47th received some new Douglas A-26Cs which flew alongside its A-20s during the last four months of the war for specialized night attacks. The group flew support and interdictory operations attacking such targets as tanks, convoys, bivouac areas, troop concentrations, supply dumps, roads, pontoon bridges, rail lines, and airfields. The A-26 was regarded as being the USAAF's best twin-engined bomber, and plans were being made for the conversion of the 47th to the type.
The 47th Bombardment Group returned to the United States in July 1945 and was reassigned to Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina. Its mission was to prepare for redeployment to the Pacific Theater for night pathfinder operations against Japan. Its black-painted A-26Cs were equipped with radar however the surrender by Japan in August 1945, cancelled all redeployment plans.

Commanding officers
  • Kenneth Wade

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Group Commander - Pilot | 47th Bomb Group

  • Frederick Terrell

    Military | Colonel | Group Commander - Pilot | 47th Bomb Group
    Major General Frederick Reynolds Terrell was born in Booneville, Mo., in 1913. He graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1931, and after achieving the third highest score in the nation on the entrance exams was given a Presidential appointment to...

  • Malcolm Green

    Military | Colonel | Pilot - Group Commander | 47th Bomb Group


Part of
  • 12th Air Force

    12th Air Force

    The 12th Air Force was established in the USA during the Second World War to provide the Army Air Force component of Operation Torch (the invasion of French North Africa) in 1942. The Air Force initially moved to England for training before...

Previously was
Not yet known
Not yet known


Station Location Date
Based Mediouna 18 January 1942 – 7 January 1943
Based Youks-les-Bains 7 January 1943 – 6 March 1943
Based Canrobert Airfield 6 March 1943 – 30 March 1943
Based Thelepte Airfield 30 March 1943 – 13 April 1943
Based Souk-el-Arba Airfield 13 April 1943 – 1 July 1943
Based Soliman 1 July 1943 – 21 July 1943
Based Ta Kali Airfield 21 July 1943 – 9 August 1943
Based Torrente Comunelli Airfield 9 August 1943 – 20 August 1943
Based Gerbini Airfield 20 August 1943 – 24 September 1943
Based Grottaglie 24 September 1943 – 15 October 1943
Based Vincenzo 15 October 1943 – 10 January 1944
Based Vesuvius Airfield 10 January 1944 – 22 March 1944
Based Capodichino Airfield 22 March 1944 – 25 April 1944
Based Vesuvius Airfield 25 April 1944 – 10 June 1944
Based Ponte Galeria Airfield 10 June 1944 – 27 June 1944
Based Ombrone Airfield 27 June 1944 – 11 July 1944
Based Poretta Air Field 11 July 1944 – 7 September 1944
Based Salon-de-Provence Air Base 7 September 1944 – 18 September 1944
Based Rosignano Airfield October 1944 – 11 December 1944
Based Grosetto 11 December 1944 – 20 June 1945



  • Carroll Abrahamson

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Aerial Gunner | 47th Bomb Group

  • John Adair

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Gunner/Armament Inspector/Armament Cheif | 47th Bomb Group

  • Marion Akers

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot - Squadron Commander | 47th Bomb Group

  • George Baggs

    Military | Captain | Bombardier/Navigator | 47th Bomb Group

  • Charles Barr

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 47th Bomb Group

  • Salvo Bascetta

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | 47th Bomb Group

  • Peter Beet

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 47th Bomb Group

  • Otto Bey

    Military | Flight Officer | Pilot | 47th Bomb Group

  • Anthony Biancardi

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Communications Chief | 47th Bomb Group

  • Joseph Bitzko

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier/Navigator | 47th Bomb Group

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Date Contributor Update
25 January 2021 21:48:13 466thHistorian Changes to commanding officers associations

added commander

Date Contributor Update
24 January 2021 03:35:59 466thHistorian Changes to unit encompassing associations and commanding officers associations

added connections

Date Contributor Update
07 January 2021 00:02:08 466thHistorian Changes to description and stations

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2021 03:24:05 466thHistorian Changes to stations

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2021 03:18:23 466thHistorian Changes to stations

Date Contributor Update
03 January 2021 03:39:11 466thHistorian Changes to stations

Date Contributor Update
03 January 2021 03:38:43 466thHistorian Changes to stations

Date Contributor Update
03 January 2021 02:59:02 466thHistorian Changes to stations

Date Contributor Update
14 April 2015 09:32:27 Lucy May Changes to type, motto, description, air forces and aircraft types

Frederick Terrell writes an account of the 47th Bomb Group's history here:

Date Contributor Update
13 April 2015 22:48:31 JMMortenson Changes to media associations

Letter of 1942, 47th Gp, 86th Sq.

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:46 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia