465th Bomb Group (H) 15th Airforce History
Italy 1944/45

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The 465th Bomb Group was part of the
55th Wing of the 15th Air Force in Europe
The Group consisted of the
780th, 781st, 782nd and 783rd Bomb Squadrons
Flying B-24 Liberators out of Panatella Air Base, Italy.

It was constituted as the 465th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943
and activated on 1 Aug 1943.
The Group prepared for duty overseas with B-24's and moved to the Mediterranean
theater, Feb-Apr 1944; the air echelon received additional training in Tunisia before
joining the ground echelon in Italy.
Assigned to the Fifteenth Air Force, the Group entered combat on 5 May 1944
until it's last mission, 26 April 1945.
The primary mission of the group as part of the 15th AF was directed at
accomplishing four main objectives throughout the war in Europe.

1) To destroy the German Air Force in the air and on the ground.

2) To participate in operation ‘Pointblank’ (code name for the Combined
Bomber Offensive) which called for the destruction of German fighter aircraft
plants, ball bearing and rubber plants as well as oil refineries, munitions
factories and sub pens and bases.

3) To support the Battle of the Italian Offensive attacking communication
targets in Italy along the Brenner Pass Route and in neighboring Austria

4) To weaken the German position in the Balkans.

As the war progressed more objectives were set for targets associated with preparing for the Invasion of Southern France which would take place on 15 August 1944.
Attacking marshalling yards, dock facilities, oil refineries, oil storage plants, aircraft factories, and other objectives in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans.
On two different missions - to marshalling yards and an oil refinery at Vienna on 8 Jul 1944 and to steel plants at Friedrichshafen on 3 Aug 1944 - the group bombed its targets despite antiaircraft fire and fighter opposition, being awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation
for each of these attacks.

Other operations included bombing troop concentrations and bivouac areas in May 1944 to aid the Partisans in Yugoslavia; attacking enemy troops and supply lines to assist the drive toward Rome, May-Jun 1944; striking bridges, rail lines, and gun emplacements prior to the invasion of Southern France in Aug 1944; bombing rail facilities and rolling stock in Oct 1944 to support the advance of Russian and Rumanian forces in the Balkans; and hitting troops, gun positions, bridges, and supply lines during Apr 1945 in support of Allied forces in northern Italy.

In the year the 465th was engaged in combat the Group successfully accomplished the mission assigned. It helped knock out Germany’s refineries, aircraft and munition factories as well as shooting down a number of Nazi Fighters in the sky. It also participated in knocking out strategic gun positions in France paving the way for the invading US 7th Army.
Moved to the Caribbean area in Jun 1945

The Group was inactivated in Trinidad on 31 Jul 1945.

The 465th had helped to make history.
It had destroyed what it was designed to destroy,
with skill and precision.

•In Combat from 5 May 1944 to 26 April 1945•
• Flew 191 Missions over Southern Europe
• Shot down or destroyed 97 German Aircraft.
• Dropped 10,528 Tons of Bombs
• Awarded two Presidential Citations for Bombing and Gunnery Accuracy
• Awarded eight Battle Stars for Air Offensive Campaigns
• Participated in the last Heavy Bomber raid over Nazi Germany in WWII

American Theater, Air Combat, EAME Theater, Air Offensive,
Europe, Rome-Arno, Normandy, Northern France, Southern France,
North Apennines, Rhineland, Central Europe, Po Valley,
Distinguished Unit Citations:
Vienna, Austria, 8 Jul 1944; Germany, 3 Aug 1944

--465th Bomb Group (H) Squadron Associations--
780th Bomb Squadron Association
Newsletter: "The Flightline"
Robert A. Bleier
1288 Rio Hondo Drive
San Jose, Ca 95120
Phone: (408) 268 2310
E-mail: Bobbleier@aol.com

781st Bomb Squadron Association
Newsletter: "Pantanella News"
Frank Ambrose,Editor
E-mail: email:frank@frankambrose.com:

782nd Bomb Squadron Association
Newsletter: "Flak Flimsy"
Dean Ottaway
16 Pine Street
Port Crane, N.Y. 13833
Phone: 607-648-5155
E-mail: dottaway@stny.rr.com

783rd Squadron Association
Newsletter: "Latrine-O-Gram"

Sam Marie
13306 Lobelia
San Antonio, TX. 78232
E-mail: poppop783@sbcglobal.net