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Brief History of the 387th Bomb Group

Brief History of the 387th Bomb Group

1. The 387th was activated at MacDill Field, FL in November 1, 1942 from the 21st Bomb Group.

2. After completing training, the 387th moved to Drane Army Air Field, FL for "in the field" experience. (April 12, 1943)

3. The 387th moved to Godman Field, Fort Knox, KY for Overseas movement orders on May 11, 1943. (See number 8 below for Ground Crews for their trip to Chipping Ongar)

4. The Air Crews went to Selfridge Field, MI to pick up new B-28's on May 23, 1943.

5. The Air crews then proceeded to fly to Chipping Ongar, England as follows:

a. To Hunter Field, Savannah GA for B-28 modifications and is the official Port Debarkation - 8/10/43.
b. To Langley Field, VA - 6/12/43.
c. To Presque Isle, ME but had to land at Grenier Field, NH because of bad weather - 6/14/43 and left on 8/16/43.
d. To Goose Bay, Labrador on 6/19/43.
e. To BW1, Greenland on 8/20/43.
f. To Iceland on 8/21/43.
g. To Prestwick, Scotland on 8/23/43.
h. To Aldernaston, England on 6/24/43.
i. Arrived Chipping Ongar, England on 6/25/43.

6. The Ground crews proceeded to Chipping Ongar as follows:
a. To Camp Kilmer, NJ via train on 8/10/43.
b. To New York City to board the troop ship "Queen Mary" on
c. Sailed for Firth of Clyde, Scotland on 8/23/43.
d. Arrived Gourock, Scotland on 6/29/43.
e. Arrived Chipping Ongar, England on 8/30/43.

7. After further training for combat, the 387th Bomb. Group went on operational status on July 31 1943 and let mission on 8/15/43.

8. Shortly after D-Day and because of the B-26's relatively short range, the 387th began to move its operational location to keep up with the Army's movement over France and Germany. The various new airbases are as follows:
a. Chipping Ongar to Stony Cross (A452), England - 7/18/44
b. To Maupertus (A15), France (Cherbourg) - 8/27/44
c. To Chateaudun (A39), France - 9/18/44
d. To Clastres (A71), France (near St. Quentin) - 10/30/44
e. To Book (Y44), Holland ( near Maastricht) - 4/29/45
f. To Rosieres-en-Santerre, France (near Amiens) - 9/45

9. After the war, the 387th BG eventually ended up at Camp Kilmer, NJ - 11/14-17/45 and was finally inactivated November 17, 1945.

10. The 387th Bomb Group was made up of the 556th, 557th, 558th 559th Bomb Squadrons plus the Headquarters staff.


Initial Installment - December 1. 1942 to July 1. 1943

2a (1) Original designation of the unit and subsequent changes of designation.

The original designation of the unit was the Headquarters, 387th Bombardment Group (M). There have been no changes in the original designation.

(2) Date and place of activation and organization together with authority for the same.

The Headquarters, 387th Bombardment Group was activated on December 1, 1942 at MacDill Field, Tampa, Florida by Paragraph 1, General Order #97, Headquarters, MacDill Army Air Base.

(3) Sources from which personnel was obtained. The Headquarters personnel were obtained from several of the member units of the III Bomber Command. The original cadre came from Miami Beach, Florida and from Daniel Field, Georgia. Later fillers to the Headquarters were assigned from Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, III Bomber Command, Barksdale Field, Anti-Sub Command, 334th Bombardment Group, Greenville, South Carolina and 309th Bombardment Group, Columbia, South Carolina.

(4) Resume of its movements from time of activation until arrival in the European Theatre of Operations.

(a) MacDill Field, Florida - Activated on December 1, 1942 the Headquarters stayed at MacDill until April 11, 1943 when, having completed initial organization and a part of Phase II, the Group moved to Drane Field (Special Order #53, III Bomber Command, April 4, 1943.

(b) Drane Field. Lakeland, Florida - from April 12, 1943 until May 12, 1943 the Group remained at Lakeland, Florida completing Phase II and starting on Phase III training.

(c) Godman Field, Fort Knox, Kentucky - On May 12, 1943 the Group moved to Godman Field (Special Order #64, III Bomber Command, May 8, 1943) to complete Phase III training and to participate in Second Army Maneuvers. On May 26, 1943 the Air Echelon left for Selfridge Field to be fitted out with combat equipment. The Ground Echelon left Godman Field on June 10, 1943 headed for the staging area at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey (Special Order #141, Headquarters, Army Air Base, Godman Field, Fort Knox, Kentucky).


Selfridge Field, Michigan - May 26 to June 10
Hunter Field, Georgia - June 10 to June 13
Langley Field, Virginia - June 14 - 15
Grenier Field, N.H. - June 16
Presque Isle, Maine - June 16 - 19
Goose Bay, Labrador - June 19
Bluie West 1, Greenland - June 20
Meek Field, Iceland - June 21 - 23
Prestwick, Scotland - June 23 - 24
Aldermaston, England - June 24
Willingale, Essex, England - June 25, 1943
(Station 162)


Camp Kilmer, New Jersey - June 11 - 23
S.S. Queen Mary June 23 - 30
(New York, N.Y. to Gourock)
Willingale, Essex, England - July 1, 1943
(Station 162)

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