Liberandos Patch

The 376th Heavy Bombardment Group

To perpetuate the name, history, comradeship, memories and deeds of the living and the heroic dead of the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group and its predecessor units.

The 376th Heavy Bombardment Group (HBG) began with an original cadre of 231 men and 23 B-24 Liberators. Crammed with all of the repair equipment their bomb bays could hold, they left the United States in 3 separate flights of 8, 8, and 7 planes.  It was May of 1942, six months after Pearl Harbor.

Assigned the code name, HALPRO, the unit was originally destined to fly missions against the Japanese home islands.  Fate would work against them - the Japanese pushed the Chinese bases out of bomber range, the Doolittle raiders completed their attack, and, more importantly, Rommel's Afrika Corps was seriously threatening Egypt and the Middle Eastern oilfields.

HALPRO was ordered to stay in North Africa.  Their first mission was flown on June 12, 1942 against the Ploesti oilfields, a target destined to become a major target for the 15th Air Force. 

They were joined in July by 10 B-17s, which were transferred from their bases in India.  Together, they joined the fight against Rommel and the Afrika Corps.

In August, these two units were merged into the 1st Provisional Bombardment Group.  In November, the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group was formed.  By the end of the year, the B-17s were withdrawn for badly needed repairs.  They never rejoined the Group.

Nicknamed the Liberandos, the Group continued to operate from bases in North Africa.  As the Afrika Corps slowly withdrew to the west, their bases slowly moved west.  

The Group continued to operate as a B-24 unit until it was re-deployed to the United States in April 1945.  It operated as part of the 9th, 12th, and 15th Air Forces.

The Group was credited with flying 451 missions, was awarded three Distinguished Unit Citations and earned 15 Campaign Awards. Aircrews destroyed 220 enemy aircraft in aerial combat at a cost of 1479 officers and enlisted men and 169 aircraft.

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Other Stories about our Veterans

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William L Welch 
I was in the 514th from Nov 44 until they backin 45. Ifinished up in the 456th up north. Flew 28 missions. My picture is on the 376th site. Had lots of …

John Byron McRae 
I do not have a story about John McRae because he was the father I never knew. I am looking for any and all information I can find about him. Somebody …

Henry M. Showalter 
My grandfather was on a B-24 shot down over Italy . Thanks to this website I found which plane(42-40110 Pink Lady - shot down July 16), and crew (513th …

Morris Albert Cannon 
Morris A. (Moe) Cannon was my Father. I decided on this Fathers Day to look up more information on my Dad's war experience. He was part of the HALPRO …

Frank M. Wyckoff 
I first met Mr. Wyckoff in the spring of 1967. He was working as an engineer for Boeing in Seattle. He, his wife Charlotte, and children Frank Jr. …

Willis Fuller 
Captain Willis Fuller flew his B-24 Liberator out of San Pancrazio, Italy. Nicknamed "Lil' Pud" for his little four year old daughter, the plane was brand …

William Frierson Edmunds 
Served in the 515th Squadron. Married Margaret Brading and had one son, William Frierson Edmunds, Jr.. Went to law school after the War and served as …

John R. Woodruff 
The following narrative and accompanying pictures are submitted by the Woodruff family. From Staff Sergeant John R. Woodruff’s diary we read this account …

Arthur Russell Pyne T/SGT 
Tail gunner with Frank Rimerman crew. Shot down over Rumania on a bombing mission over the Ploesti oil field. Bailed out and landed with Germans waiting …

Isaac L.Falkner 
My father (Isaac Falkner) was the armorer/ball turret gunner on Dwight Stauffer's crew in the 514th squadron. Evidently he would develop a little tunnel …

Berwyn F. Nicholas 
Berwyn F. Nicholas Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Forces 515th Bomber Squadron, 376th Bomber Group, Heavy This is my great grandfather. I never really …

Gerald Irion 
My Uncle Gerald Irion from Unionville, MI almost never talked about his days in service to his children, but did frequently to his best friend, Joseph …

James R. Gill 
My name is Diana Gill, the daughter in law of James R. Gill a navigator who was part of the 15th Air Force. 376th Heavy Bombardment Group. 515 Squadron …

S-SGT Weido Chipoletti 515th James P. Bishop Crew 
S-SGT Weido Chipoletti 376th Heavy Bombardment Gp., 515th Squadron James P. Bishop Crew. S-SGT Weido Chipoletti was the nose turret gunner with the …

Alfred W. Young, Jr. - Just Another Day at the Office 
My father, Alfred W. Young, Jr., flew his 19th combat sortie as the radio operator/gunner with the Lt. Marv Ehrenberg crew. He made a record of …

James Walter Wiley 
On one mission we took off at 2AM with Byfield Gordon as our pilot. We had been told this was a suicide mission and we may not return. The Germans were …

William R. Davis 
Aircraft No. 83 Pleasure Bent Update on James P. Bishop crew. B-24J #83 "Pleasure Bent" Shot up over Vienna and ditched in the Adriatic Sea 10/17/1944. …

Mark Mooty 
Mark was my father-in-law. He was studying to be a doctor at the University of Florida when he dropped out to go into the Air Force to become a B-24 pilot. …

2nd LT. Roy Arthur Accola 
Roy Arthur Accola was born 04-13-1919 and grew up on a farm East of Greeley Colorado. He joined the Army 01-11, 1942. He later applied for admission …

SSGT. Billy Mullins  
Joined Army Air Corps within 1 week of Pearl Harbor 1941 from Dallas, Texas and Training in: San Angelo, Texas: Muroc, California: Sebring, Florida. …

Eddie Huddleston 
Eddie Huddleston was the tailgunner on my father's plane, the Wild Wolf. My father was Capt. Charles Hobbs of Hennessey, Oklahoma. I've been able to look …

Lt. Kenneth W. Butler 
Kenneth Butler was my father's cousin. He enlisted after Pearl Harbor. My understanding was originally he was a B-17 co-pilot before being promoted to …

James Bishop Crew 
James P. Bishop Crew Mission History 36 verified missions July 1944 - March 1945 A combination of Ed Clendenin's Book 376th Heavy Bomb Group Mission …

SSG Bernard P. Boecker 
513rd Bomber Squadron, 376th Bomber Group, Heavy Died, May 29, 1944. Purple Heart, Air Medal Never knew my Uncle but have visited him in the Ardennes. …

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Henry M Showalter Not rated yet
Front and back of German POW ID

Henry M Showalter Not rated yet
Front and back of German POW ID

Henry M Showalter Not rated yet
Henry M Showalter at the North Africa base, with a photo his sweetheart, my grandmother.

James Benshoff Not rated yet
I'm just submitting more pictures I have of Benshoff's crew.

Vernon L moore fate? Not rated yet
see possible explantion of his disappearance... {Reference only}

James O. Britt Not rated yet
Thank you for the postings on my father as a B-24 pilot. As you have noted, he died in 1993, having been hit by a car while walking. I will have to look …

Morris Albert Cannon Not rated yet
Morris A. (Moe) Cannon was my Father. I decided on this Fathers Day to look up more information on my Dad's war experience. He was part of the HALPRO …

William Frierson Edmunds Not rated yet
Served in the 515th Squadron. Married Margaret Brading and had one son, William Frierson Edmunds, Jr.. Went to law school after the War and served as …

Chappuis Louis C. 916988-514th Squadron and Sgt.Mendozzi Ralph.G Grroup S4 Not rated yet
My Father was a young italian boy during 1943-1944 stay in sanpancrazio airfield and was an accordeon-player for all the soldiers but he remembered only …

Ralph H Andrews Not rated yet
I don't have a story, but I have a picture of him that I would love to share. I hadn't seen the picture of him with his crew, thank you!

T/Sgt Fred Russek Not rated yet
I was looking through your Oral History page and I found a name on there that is in a piece of History that was given to me by the widow of the 376th. …

Wayne Sandberg Not rated yet
Flew a b-24 for the 514 Sandberg Crew. Please add his picture.

My Dad flew 50 missions over enemy territory during World War II. While flying over Pulaski, Rumania on April 4, 1944, he was wounded with shrapnel in …

Mark Mooty Not rated yet
I previously sent a story about Mark, but I wanted to send this photo of him standing by "Jap Trap" so that it may be included with his crew. Donald …

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history of the 376th heavy bombardment group
This is a brief history of the 376th HBG.
This page lists the names and duties of the veterans of the 376th HBG
Air Crews of the 376th HBG
Pictures of the air crews are shown on this page.
Ground Personnel
Ground Personnel of the 376th HBG.
B-24 Liberator
The history and images of the various B-24 Liberators that served with the 376th Heavy Bombardment Group.
Missions Flown by the 376th HBG
Missions flown by the 376th HBG are listed on this page.
Oral Histories of the 376th HBG
Oral Histories of the 376th HBG were taken at the 2007 annual reunion.
In Memoriam
In Memoriam
POW, Internees, Evadees
These men were either captured or escaped capture.
Photo Gallery
This page will direct you to various collections of photographs.
Combat Camera unit
These are the men in the Combat Camera unit.
Search Our Site
Search our site
Reunions of the 376th HBG Veterans Association
Reunions of the 376th HBG Veterans Association
Join the 376th HBG Veterans Association
Welcome to the 376th HBG Veterans Association.
Contact us
This page lists the contact information for the 376th HBG Veterans Association.
For Sale
These items deal with various aspects of the 376th HBG.
European Research Contacts
This page presents European Research Contacts.
War Time Entertainment
War Time Entertainment took many forms.
Reference Material of the 376 Bombardment Group
Reference Material of the 376 Bombardment Group
Liberandos News Record
Liberandos News Record
Awards and Citations
Awards and Citations presented to our veterans.
Intelligencer, Association newsletter
Intelligencer, Association newsletter
Training Groups, 376 HBG
Training Groups that provided crews to the 376 HBG
Links to other web sites
Links to other web sites
B-24 related You Tube videos
B-24 related You Tube videos