The 321st Bombardment Group

Introduction


This website displays some of the personal records, photographs, and history from WWII veterans of the 321st Bombardment Group. The 321st was initially assigned to XII Bomber Command of the 12th Air Force while still training for combat in the States in 1942. After flying their B-25 Mitchell medium bombers across the Atlantic via the
South Atlantic route, the group was assigned to the 47th Bomb Wing of the Northwest African Strategic Air Force. Later the 321st was assigned to the 57th Bomb Wing of the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force.

The first aircraft and crews of the 321st Bomb Group arrived in Oujda, French Morocco in late February of 1943. Their first mission was to Mezzouna, Tunisia on March 15th, 1943. Group Commanding Officer Colonel Robert D. Knapp was lead pilot for the transatlantic flight and the first combat mission. The diary of Lt. Wallace "Spike" Williams provides a fascinating personal account of the 321st during the Tunisian Campaign.

One of the major contributors to this website is Lt. Daniel R. McDuff, an original 321st pilot. Another major contributor is Lt. Richard H. Spingler who arrived in Algiers from the States in late May, 1943 with the first replacement crews and aircraft for the 447th Bombardment Squadron. At this time, the Allies controlled all of North Africa and the 321st was participating in the bombing of the island of Pantelleria - Operation Corkscrew. In fact, Spingler's first six combat missions were to Pantelleria. The Allies captured the island on June 11, 1943, opening the way for Operation Husky and the Sicilian Campaign.

Other contributors to this site include Lt. Henry W. Stephenson, Lt. William T. Williams and his brother Edward Williams, Lt. Edward G. Mogren, Lt. Alfred G. Drury, Captain Robert F. Spikes and Lt. Arthur M. Holloway. Sergius P. Neprash and Bernard Prinz of the photo group likely deserve credit for many of the photos that appear on this website but many of the pictures were taken by the veterans themselves. The personal pages of Glenn Crisp and Dick Krause provide some interesting history of the group while based on the island of Corsica and in Falconara, Italy when the war ended. The individual Squadron pages for the 321st Bombardment Group provide contributions from many other 321st veterans. These pages are frequently updated with new photographs and history.


Bases of the 321st Bombardment Group in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) during WWII:

Oujda, French Morocco, 7 Mar 1943.
Ain M’lila, Algeria, 12 Mar 1943.
Souk-el-Arba, Tunisia, 1 Jun 1943.
Soliman, Tunisia, 8 Aug 1943.
Grottaglie, Italy, 4 Oct 1943.
Amendola, Italy, c. 20 Nov 1943.

Vincenzo Airfield, Italy, 14 Jan 1944.
Gaudo Airfield, Italy, 18 Feb 1944.
Solenzara, Corsica, 23 Apr 1944.
Falconara, Italy, 6 Apr 1945.
Pomigliano, Italy, c. Aug 1945 - 12 Sep 1945.

In February of 1944, recently commissioned Brigadier General Robert D. Knapp became the Commanding Officer of the 57th Bomb Wing. The 57th Bomb Wing Headquarters was based at Migliacciaru, Corsica between April of 1944 and April of 1945. During this period, the B-25 Mitchell medium bombers of the 310th, 319th (until their return to the States in January 1944), 321st, and 340th Bombardment Groups participated in the Naples-Foggia Campaign, the Rome-Arno Campaign, Operation Dragoon and the Southern France Campaign, the Northern Apennines Campaign, and the Air Combat Balkans Campaign.


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