Ultra Rare Theater Made 449th Bomb Group 15th Air Force Distinctiv?e Insignia Ww
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Ultra Rare Theater Made 449th Bomb Group 15th Air Force Distinctiv?e Insignia Ww:
matched pair of Italian made 449th Bomb Group DI's or distinctive insignia.
The 15th Air Force was formed in November 1943 for the purpose of using southern Italy as a base of operations for a strategic air force, equipped with long-range, heavy bombers, capable of reaching targets in central and Eastern Europe that lay beyond the range of the 8th Air Force operating from bases in England. The 15th Air Force began operations on 1 November 1943 with a nucleus of six heavy-bombardment groups and three fighter groups transferred over form the existing 12th Air Force. By 1 May 1944, the 15th Air Force contained 21, heavy-bombardment groups organized into five wings. Four Wings -- the 47th, 49th, 55th, and 304th -- were equipped with B-24 Liberators. The 5th Wing was equipped with the B-17 Flying Fortress. A Bomb Wing generally consisted of four or more Bombardment Groups. A single fighter wing -- consisting of 7 fighter groups -- was an integral part of the 15th, as were a reconnaissance and a weather squadron.
The 47th Wing consisted of four, heavy-bombardment groups: the 98th BG, the 376th BG, the 449th BG and the 450th BG. The 449th -- equipped with B-24 Liberator bombers -- was a typical heavy-bombardment group of the 15th Air Force.
The 449th Bomb Group was composed of four Squadrons -- the 716th, 717th, 718th, and 719th. The 449th was activated on 1 May 1943 at Davis-Monthan Field near Tucson, Arizona. The first morning report was issued on 27 May 1943. The strength of the Group on that date was listed as 52 officers and 33 enlisted men. Over the next 7 months the Group steadily increased to full strength as the training program progressed. On 1 July 1943 the Group was moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico. On 6 September 1943 the Group was again relocated, this time to Bruning Field, Nebraska. The move to Bruning was completed on 18 September 1943. At that time the 449th consisted of a total complement of 184 officers and 1,203 enlisted men.
At Bruning the 449th was equipped with some 61 B-24 aircraft. Each aircraft required a crew of 10 men. By December 1943, training was complete and the 449th was ordered overseas to the European theater. Each crew flew its aircraft overseas by a route which took them to southern Florida, then to Puerto Rico and thence to Brazil. The Atlantic crossing was made from Brazil to Dakar, Africa. From Dakar the planes flew north to Tunis by way of Marrakech. From Tunis they flew to their forward operating base at Grottaglie Field near Taranto, Italy.
The 449th operated from Grottaglie from January 1944 until the end of the war in Europe in May 1945. From Grottaglie, the 449th flew a total of 254 combat missions against targets in central and Eastern Europe.Unconditionally guaranteed as original. Buyer has a 14 day return privilege and policy if item is returned in same condition as sent.