458th Bombardment Group at Horsham St Faith
The 458th Bombardment Group was stationed at Horsham St Faith in Norfolk, England from February 1944 to April 1945.
It was activated on 1 July 1943 at Wendover Field, Utah. The group was organised at Gowen Field in Idaho, before moving to Kearns Field, Utah in early September.
The final training was held in Nevada at Tonopah Airfield from late October until December 1943.
The ground crew left the United States on 18 January 1944, travelling on the USS Florence Nightingale.
The air crews flew their planes via the southern ferry route, with the last aircraft arriving on 18 February 1944 at their new base at Horsham St Faith.
This airfield had been used by the Royal Air Force and had permanent brick buildings, causing some envy among those assigned to other airfields in Norfolk!
The first mission was flown six days later. This was a diversionary mission along the coast of the Netherlands, to allow other bomber units to fly deep into Germany.
The first bombing mission flown by the 458th was on 2 March 1944 over Frankfurt, Germany.
Overall, it flew 240 missions, with its final mission on 25 April 1945.
During that time, the 458th lost 47 aircraft in combat from 5,759 sorties flown.
The 458th was redeployed to the United States in the summer of 1945, with aircraft leaving on 14 June and the ground crews following via the Queen Mary on 6 July 6.
The 458th was inactivated on 17 October 1945 with the end of the Second World War.
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