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Thread: RAF Thorpe Abbotts

  1. #1

    Default RAF Thorpe Abbotts

    RAF Thorpe Abbotts

    Thorpe Abbotts was given USAAF designation Station 139 (TA).

    100th Bombardment Group (Heavy)

    The 100th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrived at Thorpe Abbotts on 9 June 1943, from Kearney AAF Nebraska although construction work was barely finished. The 100th was assigned to the 13th Combat Bombardment Wing, and the group tail code was a "Square-D". Its operational squadrons were:

    * 349th Bomb Squadron (XR)
    * 350th Bomb Squadron (LN)
    * 351st Bomb Squadron (EP)
    * 418th Bomb Squadron (LD)

    The group flew the B-17 Flying Fortress as part of the Eighth Air Force's strategic bombing campaign. In combat, the 100th operated chiefly as a strategic bombardment organization until the war ended. The group gained the nickname "The Bloody Hundredth" due to its heavy losses during eight missions to Germany when the group experienced several instances where it lost a dozen or more aircraft on a single mission, whereas most units suffered losses in consistent small amounts.

    From June 1943 to January 1944, the 100th Bomb Group concentrated its efforts against airfields in France and naval facilities and industries in France and Germany. The 100th BG received a Distinguished Unit Citation for seriously disrupting German fighter plane production with an attack on an aircraft factory at Regensburg on 17 August 1943.

    The unit bombed airfields, industries, marshalling yards, and missile sites in western Europe, Jan-May 1944. Operations in this period included participation in the Allied campaign against enemy aircraft factories during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944. The group completed a series of attacks against Berlin in March 1944 and received a 2d Distinguished Unit Citation for the missions.

    Beginning in the summer of 1944, oil installations became major targets. In addition to strategic operations, the group engaged in support and interdictory missions, hitting bridges and gun positions in support of the Normandy invasion in June 1944. The unit bombed enemy positions at St Lo in July and at Brest in August and September Other missions were striking transportation and ground defenses in the drive against the Siegfried Line, Oct-Dec 1944; attacking marshalling yards, defended villages, and communications in the Ardennes sector during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945; and covering the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945.

    The 100th Bomb Group received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for attacking heavily defended installations in Germany and for dropping supplies to French Forces of the Interior, Jun-Dec 1944.

    The 100 BG flew its last combat mission of World War II on 20 April 1945. The following month the unitís aircrews dropped food to the people in the west of the Netherlands, and in June transported French Allied former prisoners of war from Austria to France. The group flew 306 combat missions.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: RAF Thorpe Abbotts

    and they were actually late to arrive in theater. It seems that during their graduation navigation course, instead of just doing the long cross country flight hitting assigned waypoints....the 100th, in their fashion, decided to navigate all over the place to vist, buzz, fly over, their homes, or in certain case have a last weekend with wives and girl friends to the point of very few actually arrived at the appointed time at their destination airfields. One crew flew over the house of a crewmembers mother and tied a note to a wrench and dropped it from the waist gunners window. IIRC there was some damage to the homestead.

    This got the Group CO, and several squadron COs canned, the 100th was sent back for "remedial" training and arrived in the ETO well behind their original deployment date.

    Adding to the legend of the Bloody Hundredth, was the positions they tended to be placed in in the combat wing, usually the low position in the last wing.....purple heart corner.

    The 100th earned its name during Black Week Oct. 8-14 1943.
    Oct. 8th - Bremen, 7 A/C missing 6 A/C unflyable
    Oct. 9th - Marienburg, no losses but could only muster 13 total A/C for this mission
    Oct. 10th, Munster, the 100th BG put up 18 planes and added 2 from the 390th, but had 6 abort over the North Sea, leaving 12 100th, and 1 390th. Only Royal Flush LD-Z returned to Thorpe Abbotts with 2 engines out and 2 wounded crew.
    Oct. 14th Schweinfurt (#2) the 100th could only muster 8 planes and had to form a composite group with the 95th and 390th, no losses were recorded

  3. #3

    Default Re: RAF Thorpe Abbotts

    Hook thanks for the info, the 100th sound alot like our 328th Squadron. Those guys are Always getting into something. ;D

  4. #4
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    Default Re: RAF Thorpe Abbotts

    hey I resemble that remark!

    On the Regensburg mission, Aug. 17, 43, LeMay did a circle over a lake in the Alps to gather the planes together before heading out over Italy for the African coast. When he saw a rather ragged formation of planes with a Square-D on the tail he got on the horn and dressed down the 100th. "Square D leader.....get your formation in order and formed up" and the reply was "This is my formation....all of us" The 100th had lost 9 planes and had many cripples barely hanging on. I'll have to look but I think they lost 3 or 4 more before they landed in Africa. 1 100th B17 landed in Switzerland, where the swiss held them until the end of the war....and it was not easy on these detainees.

    There was also the myth that the Germans were gunning for planes with a Square D on the tails. I'll square my facts and post that up tonight when I get home.


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  6. #6
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    Default Re: RAF Thorpe Abbotts

    looks just like all the pictures I have seen....well other than it being in B&W...lol

    outstanding job!

  7. #7

    Default Re: RAF Thorpe Abbotts

    Thanks Hook, twas a Team effort. ;D

  8. #8
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    Default Re: RAF Thorpe Abbotts

    I'm sure you guys have this info but just in case....here is a link to the 100th BG foundations web page and lots of pics of station 139....

    http://www.100thbg.com/mainmenus/base/base_main.htm

    anyway looks real good.............

  9. #9

    Default Re: RAF Thorpe Abbotts

    I live quite near Thorpe Abbotts and the Control Tower/Museum is a fantastic tribute to all who served there! Some of the runway and hardstands are still visible and its easy to imagine the ustle of a busy station. Fantastic work guys for producing this one!!!

  10. #10
    Junior Member kamov-58's Avatar
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    hi everyone. saw this on the net the other day, and already being a big 100th follower, decided i had 2 join! whoever did this wonderful rendition of thorpe-abbotts needs a medal. how do i download it? is it for il2 only, or can it go with il21946?!

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