A Consolidated History of the 464th Bomb Group

The 464th Bombardment Group (H), consisting of Headquarters Squadron, the 776th, 777th, 778th and 779th Bombardment Squadrons, was activated at Wendover Field, Utah, on 1 August 1943.

The first temporary change of station was made on 22 August 1943 without personnel or equipment to Gowen Field, Boise, Idaho.  The first personnel were assigned to the Group on 26 August 1943.

The first training was received at AAFSAT, Orlando, Florida during the month of September, 1943, where Lt. Colonel Marshall Bonner assumed command.  Lt. Colonel Sylvan D. Hand joined the Group at Gowen Field as Deputy Group Commander.

The Group arrived at its permanent base, AAB, Pocatello, Idaho on 2 October 1943, where second and third phase combat training was carried on during the months of October, November and December, 1943, and in January and February, 1944.

The Ground Echelon departed by troop train for overseas service on 9 February 1944.  The Air Echelon departed by air on 21 February 1944 for the staging area at AAB, Lincoln, Nebraska.  From Lincoln, aircraft crews took off singly for their overseas destination, via Morrison Field, Florida, Borinquen, Puerto Rico, Atkinson, British New Guiana, Belem and Natal, Brazil, Dakar, Marrakech and Oudna, Africa.  The first aircraft and crew arrived at Oudna on 9 March 1944.

After training at Oudna, the Group flew to temporary base at Gioia del Cole, Italy on 21 April 1944 and flew their first combat mission on 30 April 1944 with the Marshalling Yards at Castel Maggiore, Italy as the Group's first combat target.

The Group moved by air and truck to its permanent base at Pantanella, Italy on 1 June 1944.  Lt. Colonel Sylvan D. Hand, the Deputy Group Commander, was lost on the second combat mission, the target being the Parma West Marshalling Yards, Italy on 2 May 1944.  Colonel Marshall Bonner, Group Commander, was lost on combat mission over Vienna, Austria, on 26 June 1944.

Lt. Colonel Charles F. McKenna III, was appointed Deputy Group Commander on 30 May 1944.  Colonel A. L. Schroeder was appointed Group Commanding Officer on 30 June 1944.

Colonel Andrew Jackson Byrd replaced Colonel Schroeder early in the winter of '44-'45 remaining in command until the end of hostilities and the deactivation of the group at Waller Field, Trinidad 31 July 1945.

210 completed combat sorties were flown with a loss of 138 aircraft.   Fortunately many B-24 type air crews survived to return and fly again unless they were captured or interned in a neutral nation.

This brief history was reproduced with the permission of Tony Schneider, Secretary/NL Editor (464th, 776th), from the 464th 2000 Reunion booklet.

Official History

July - October 1943

November - December 1943

Original 464th Air Echelon

February - April 1944

May 1944

July 1944

August 1944

September 1944

October 1944

November 1944

December 1944

January 1945

February 1945

March 1945


464th Squadron Color Designations

Each bomber in each squadron had a letter on its fuselage in its squadron's designated color.  For example, (links will open in a new window) the Black "N" - Nan had a black "N" in a white box on both sides of her fuselage.  The black "N" indicates that she was from the 779th as their squadron color designation was black.


If you look, you'll also notice that Black "N" - Nan has no tail markings (as shown below on the bottom-right). She was an "Intruder" aircraft, which was used for bad weather missions with bombings by radar, these were referred to as "single ship" missions.

The Fifteenth Air Force and the 464th Shield


Flight Jacket Patches

778th Squadron patch
779th Squadron patch
The story (via Mike Moyna, 779
th) goes that this patch was designed by Jimmy Litzenburger's wife because the 779th bombardiers were last in accuracy during Group training at Pocatello Air Base in 1943.  Any rebuttal from the 779th bomb aimers?

Tail Marking

Tail marking Tail

This information was reproduced with the permission of Tony Schneider, Secretary/NL Editor (464th, 776th), from the 464th newsletters and pamphlets. The Fifteenth's color patch, the flight jacket patch, the 464th B24 illustration and the tail marking (first and second from the left) were provided by Robert Hoskinson (464th, 778th).