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389th Bombardment Group at Hethel


The 389th Bombardment Group was stationed at Hethel in Norfolk, England, from June 1943 to April 1945.

The group was known as The Sky Scorpions and flew a total of 321 missions, including 14 when on detachment to North Africa. It lost 116 Liberators in action.

The 389th, with the 44th and 93rd bombardment groups, was detached to Libya to join the 98th and 376th B-24 groups of the Ninth Air Force on the renowned Ploesti raid.

The Romanian oilfields were extensively damaged as a result of this action on 1 August 1943. Second Lieutenant Lloyd H Hughes, a pilot of the 389th, was posthumously awarded a Medal of Honor for his valour on the Ploesti raid.

The 389th itself was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its efforts during the mission.

The group was part of the Eighth's programme of intensive bombing in Europe, with a variety of targets including Berlin. It also joined missions supporting Allied troops in France, Holland and Germany.

Film actor James Stewart was among those who served at Hethel. He moved there in 1944 and was promoted colonel and chief of staff of the Second Combat Wing.

If you wish to view photographs and other records relating to the 389th, you can browse our digital archive.