457th Air Expeditionary Group

457th Air Expeditionary Group

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 457th Air Expeditionary Group

dates= 1943-Present
country= United States
branch= United States Air Force
garrison= Air Combat Command
The United States Air Force's 457th Air Expeditionary Group is a unit located in Southwest Asia.

The task of developing a comprehensive listing of Air Expeditionary units present in Southwest Asia and other combat areas is particularly difficult as the events of 11 September 2001 and the Global War on Terrorism has made such an effort significantly difficult. The USAF seeks to improve operational security (OPSEC) and to deceive potential enemies as to the extent of American operations, therefore a listing of which units deploying where and when is unavailable



* 457th Bombardment Group (1943-1945)
* 457th Air Expeditionary Group (2001? - Present)

Stations Assigned

* Geiger Field, WA 1 Jul 1943
* Rapid City AAB, SD 9 Jul 1943
* Ephrata AAB, WA 28 Oct 1943
* Wendover Field, UT 4 Dec 1943-1 Jan 1944
* RAF Glatton, England 22 Jan 1944-1 Jun 1945 130
* Sioux Falls AAFld, SD 20 Jul-18 Aug 1945
* Southwest Asia (2001? - Present)

Aircraft & Missiles Operated

* Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress (1943-1945)
* Boeing B-52 Stratofortress (2001 ?-Present)

Operational History

World War II

Constituted as the 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943. Activated on 1 Jul 1943. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to RAF Glatton England, Jan-Feb 1944, and assigned to Eighth Air Force. The group was assigned to the 94th Combat Bombardment Wing of the 1st Bombardment Division. Its tail code was Triangle-U.

The 457th Bomb Group consisted of the following operational squadrons:

* 748th Bomb Squadron
* 749th Bomb Squadron
* 750th Bomb Squadron
* 751st Bomb Squadron

The 457th Bomb Group flew its first mission on 21 February 1944 during Big Week, taking part in the concentrated attacks of heavy bombers on the German aircraft industry. Until June 1944, the Group engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets, such as ball-bearing plants, aircraft factories, and oil refineries in Germany.

The Group bombed targets in France during the first week of June 1944 in preparation for the Normandy invasion, and attacked coastal defenses along the Cherbourg peninsula on D-Day. Struck airfields, railroads, fuel depots, and other interdictory targets behind the invasion beaches throughout the remainder of the month.

Beginning in July 1944, the 457th resumed bombardment of strategic objectives and engaged chiefly in such operations until April 1945. Sometimes flew support and interdictory missions, aiding the advance of ground forces during the Saint-Lô breakthrough in July 1944 and the landing of British 1st Airborne Division during the airborne attack on Holland in September 1944; and participating in the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 - January 1945, and the assault across the Rhine in March 1945.

The Group flew its last combat mission on 20 April 1945. The unit had carried out 237 missions. Total number of sorties was 7.086 with nearly 17.000 tuns of bombs and 142 tons of leaflets being dropped.

After V-E Day, the 457th transported prisoners of war from Austria to France, and returned to Sioux Falls AAF, South Dakota during June 1945.

On Saturday, 28 July. Lieutenant Colonel William F. Smith lost his way while ferrying a B-25 Mitchell bomber from Bedford, Massachusetts to Sioux Falls AAF via Newark Airport. Emerging from low cloud at about 9000 ft. the 457th pilot found himself among the skyscrapers of downtown Manhattan. The aircraft crashed headlong into the 79th floor level of the Empire State Building killing Lieutenant Colonel Smith, two passengers and eleven office workers. The B-25 exploded on impact spraying burning fuel into West 34th Street below, one of the engines completely passing through the building and out the other side.

The 457th was inactivated on 18 August 1945.

War On Terrorism

The 457th Air Expeditionary Group was activated as a combat unit as part of the Global War On Terror. It is known that the group supports B-52 Stratofortresses.


* Freeman, Roger A. (1978) Airfields of the Eighth: Then and Now. After the Battle ISBN 0900913096
* Freeman, Roger A. (1991) The Mighty Eighth The Colour Record. Cassell & Co. ISBN 0-304-35708-1
* Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.

External links

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