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97th Bomb Group Reunion Association collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 02.01.0601

Scope and Contents

This collection relates to the 97th Bombardment Group which was based in England, Africa and Italy during World War II and the first operational bomb group in England in 1942. The collection contains documents (mostly photocopies) on missions, statements and statistics, three diaries, and newspaper articles. Their daily operations reports, narrative reports, and casualty reports detail their accomplishments and their losses. Included are a collection of videos, audio tapes, and microfilm. Included are copies of three personal diaries by Alex Blair, Jr., LeRoy Teschendorf, and Herman F. Lykins.

Also included is an extensive photograph collection of flight crews, air fields, and encampments in North Africa and Italy; nose art, including one of the "Berlin Sleeper," which shows a B-17 with 100 bombing missions (indicated by bombs and swastikas for downed German planes); damaged planes; a ruined building in Italy; and officers eating. Also, there are some photographs from 1939 of aircraft at Langley Field, Virginia, and photographs of aircraft at MacDill and Drew Air Fields in Florida.


  • Creation: 1942-2000
  • Creation: Date accessioned

Language of Materials

English and German

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish, exhibit, or broadcast works from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience must be requested and granted in writing by the director of the Institute. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Institute on World War II as the owner of the physical items and the copyright holder. Possession of a copy of an item does not constitute permission to publish, exhibit, or broadcast it. The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience reserves the right to refuse permission to individuals and publishers who have not complied with its policies. Permission fees must be paid before images are provided. Please contact the director of the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience for current publication and duplication rates.

Biographical/Historical Note

The 97th Bombardment Group was the first combat group of VIII Bomber Command to arrive in the United Kingdom was the ground echelon of the 97th Bombardment Group, which arrived at RAF Polebrook on June 9 1942. Regular combat operations by the 97th Bombardment Group, VIII Bomber Command, began on August 17, 1942, when the 97th Bombardment Group flew 12 B-17Es on the first heavy bomber mission of the war from RAF Polebrook, attacking the Rouen-Sotteville marshalling yards in France. The group was assigned to the 8th, 12th, and 15th Air Forces. The 97th Bomb Group was the oldest bomb group in the European Theater (ETO) and the first group to fly three hundred missions. The last mission ended on April 26, 1945 (the 483rd mission). One of the most successful bomb groups, their diaries and journals outline both successful and failed missions alike. The 97th bombed every major synthetic oil plant and other major chemical plants, including the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania.


6 boxes (6 boxes in General Collection; 1 folder in General Collection Oversized Box 10.)