B-17 Squadron Assignments

Last revised August 9, 1999

The following is a listing of the Bombardment Groups and Squadrons which operated the B-17 during World War 2:

8th Air Force - United Kingdom

  • 34th Bombardment Group

    4th, 7th, 18th, and 391st Bomb Squadrons

    Trained on B-17s and conducted early patrols, but first entered combat from England in May 1944 equipped with B-24s. Transitioned to B-17s September 1944. Based at Mendlesham, UK. Inactivated August 1945.

  • 91st Bombardment Group

    322nd, 323rd, 324th, 401st Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in US in April 1942. Based at Bassingbourn, UK. Inactivated at end of 1945.

  • 92nd Bombardment Group

    325th, 326th, 327th, and 407th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in January 1942. Based at Bovington, then at Alconbury, and finally at Podington in the UK. Absorbed into 306th BG.

  • 94th Bombardment Group

    331st, 332nd, 333rd, and 410th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed June 1942, based briefly at Earls Colne then moved to Bury St Edmunds, Rougham, UK. Inactivated December 1945

  • 95th Bombardment Group

    334th, 335th, 336th, and 412th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in early 1942. Based at Alconbury and Framilingham in the spring of 1943, but quickly moved to Horham, UK. Inactivated August 1945.

  • 96th Bombardment Group

    337th, 338th, 339th, and 413th Bomb Squadrons

    Activated October 1942. Based at Snetterton Heath, UK.

  • 100th Bombardment Group

    349th, 350th, 351st, and 418th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in June 1942. Based at Podington and then at Thorpe Abbot, UK.

  • 303rd Bombardment Group

    358th, 359th, 360th, and 427th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in February 1942, based at Molesworth, UK, inactivated July 1945.

  • 305th Bombardment Group

    364th, 365th, 366th, and 422nd Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in March of 1942. Based at Grafton Underwood (Chelveston??) in UK. Deactivated December 1946.

  • 306th Bombardment Group

    367th, 368th, 369th, and 423rd Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in March of 1942, based at Thurleigh in UK, disbanded December 1946.

  • 351st Bombardment Group

    508th, 509th, 510th, and 511th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in October of 1942, based at Polebrook, UK, inactivated August 1945.

  • 379th Bombardment Group

    524th, 525th, 526th, and 527th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in November 1942, based at Kimbolton, UK, inactivated July of 1945.

  • 381st Bombardment Group

    532nd, 533rd, 534th, 535th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in November 1942. Based at Ridgewell, UK. Inactivated Aug 1945.

  • 384th Bombardment Group

    544th, 545th, 546th, and 547th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in December 1942, based at Grafton Underwood, UK, inactivated February 1946.

  • 385th Bombardment Group

    548th, 549th, 550th, 551st Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in February 1953, based at Great Ashfield, UK, inactivated August 1945.

  • 388th Bombardment Group

    560th, 561st, 562nd, and 563 Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in December 1942, based in Knettishall, UK. Inactivated September 1945

  • 390th Bombardment Group

    568th, 569th, 570th, and 571st Bomb Squadrons

    Formed in January 1943. Based at Framlingham, UK. Inactivated in August of 1945.

  • 398th Bombardment Group

    600th, 601st, 602nd, and 603rd Bomb Squadrons

    Formed March 1, 1943, based at Nuthampstead, UK, inactivated Sept 1, 1945.

  • 401st Bombardment Group

    612th, 613th, 614th, and 615th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed April 1943, based at Deenethorpe, UK, inactivated August 1945.

  • 447th Bombardment Group

    708th, 709th, 710th, and 711th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed spring 1943, based at Rattlesden, UK, inactivated November 1945

  • 452nd Bombardment Group

    728th, 729th, 730th, and 731st Bomb Squadrons

    Formed June 1943, based at Deopham Green, UK., inactivated August 1945

  • 457th Bombardment Group

    748th, 749th, 750th, and 751st Bomb Squadrons

    Formed July 1943, based at Glatton, UK, inactivated August 1945

  • 482nd Bombardment Group

    812nd, 813rd, and 814th Bomb Squadrons.

    Established at Alconbury, UK August 1943. A composite group with 2 squadrons of B-17s and one of B-24s. Conducted Pathfinder missions using H2X radar. Inactivated September 1945.

  • 486th Bombardment Group

    832nd, 833rd, 834th, and 835th Bomb Squadrons

    Converted from B-24s to B-17s Aug 1, 1944, based at Sudbury, UK., Inactivated November 1945.

  • 487th Bombardment Group

    836th, 837th, 838th, and 839th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed initially with B-24s, transitioned to B-17s July 1944 and based at Lavenham, UK. Inactivated November 1945.

  • 490th Bombardment Group

    848th, 849th, 850th, and 851st Bomb Squadrons

    Transitioned from B-24s to B-17s in August 1944, based at Eye, UK, inactivated November 1945.

  • 493rd Bombardment Group

    860th, 861st, 862nd, and 863rd Bomb Squadrons

    Formed as a B-24 group, but only used them for 7 weeks before converting to B-17s, based at Depach and Little Walden, UK. Inactivated August 1945.

Fifteenth Air Force-Italy

  • 2nd Bombardment Group

    20th, 49th, 96th, and 429th Bomb Squadrons

    Arrived in Algeria April 1943. Flew out of Tunisia and was then based at Foggia, Italy from December 1943.

  • 97th Bombardment Group

    340th, 314st, 342nd, and 414th Bomb Squadrons

    Initially part of the 8th AF, but reassigned to 12th AF in November 1942 in North Africa and then to Italy. Disbanded October 1945.

  • 99th Bombardment Group

    346th, 347th, 348th, and 416th Bomb Squadrons

    Moved to North Africa early 1943. To Tortorella near Foggia, Italy. Deactivated in Italy November 1945.

  • 301st Bombardment Group

    32nd, 352nd, 353rd, and 419th Bomb Squadrons

    Originally part of 8th AF, but moved to North Africa late 1942. Inactivated August 1945.

  • 463rd Bombardment Group

    772nd, 773rd, 774th, and 775th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed August 1943, based at Foggia, Italy, Inactivated August 1945.

  • 483rd Bombardment Group

    815th, 816th, 817th, and 840th Bomb Squadrons

    Formed September 1943, based at Tortorella and then based permanently at Sterparone, Italy. Inactivated September 1945.

Fifth Air Force-Pacific Theatre

  • 19th Bombardment Group

    28th, 30th, and 93rd Bomb Squadrons

    Based in Philippines at beginning of war, withdrew to Australia and then to Java. Returned to US in late 1942 and became a replacement training unit before disbandment in April of 1944 and reformation as a B-29 unit

  • 43rd Bomb Group

    63rd, 64th, 65th, and 403rd Bomb Squadrons

    Joined 5th AF in Pacific in March 1942. Participated mainly as a replacement unit for the 7th and 19th BGs, but did see action in the anti-shipping role. Transitioned to B-24s in mid 1943.

Seventh Air Force

  • 5th Bombardment Group

    31st, 23rd, 72nd, and 394th Bomb Squadrons

    Initially based in Hawaii at time of Pearl Harbor attack. Flew patrol missions for 11 months, then moved to Espritu Santo in the Solomons, and with a mix of B-17s and B-24s fought in the Solomons and Philippines campaigns as part of the 13th Air Force

  • 11th Bombardment Group

    26th, 42nd, 98th, and 431st Bomb Squadrons

    Operated at Midway and then to New Hebrides. Returned to USA in March of 1943 for conversion to B-24s.

Tenth Air Force-China-Burma-India

  • 7th Bombardment Group

    9th, 436th, 492nd, 493rd Bomb Squadrons , plus 24th Combat Mapping Squadron.

    Operated in Philippines, Java, Netherlands East Indies at beginning of the war, then moved to India as part of the 10th Air Force. Converted to B-24s at end of 1942.

First, Second, Third, and Fourth Air Forces-United States

These groups served exclusively in the continental United States either as training units or on coastal patrol.

  • First Photo Group

  • First Search Attack Group

  • 39th Bombardment Group

  • 88th Bombardment Group

  • 304th Bombardment Group

  • 331st Bombardment Group

  • 333rd Bombardment Group

  • 346th Bombardment Group

  • 383rd Bombardment Group

  • 393rd Bombardment Group

  • 393rd Bombardment Group

  • 395th Bombardment Group

  • 396th Bombardment Group

  • 444th Bombardment Group

  • 469th Bombardment Group

  • 488th Bombardment Group

  • 504th Bombardment Group

  • 505th Bombardment Group

Sixth Air Force-Panama Canal Zone

Initially formed at the Caribbean Air force and redesignated Sixth Air Force in February of 1942.

  • 6th Bombardment Group

  • 9th Bombardment Group

  • 40th Bombardment Group

A lot of you have questions about relatives or friends who flew in B-17s during the war. There is a good website which gives lots more information on B-17 squadron assignments than is listed here. It is known as Heavy Bombers. They also have indexes to web sites operated by veterans which point to information about specific planes and specific squadron histories and perhaps pointers to specific veterans themselves. Go and check it out!


  1. Flying Fortress, Edward Jablonski, Doubleday, 1965.

  2. Famous Bombers of the Second World War, Volume One, William Green, Doubleday, 1959.

  3. Boeing Aircraft Since 1916, Peter M. Bowers, Naval Institute Press, 1989.

  4. United States Military Aircraft Since 1909, Gordon Swanborough and Peter M. Bowers, Smithsonian, 1989.

  5. Lockheed Aircraft Since 1913, Rene J. Francillon, Naval Institute Press, 1987.

  6. Boeing B-17E and F Flying Fortress, Charles D. Thompson, Profile Publications, 1966.

  7. American Combat Planes, Ray Wagner, Third Edition, Doubleday, 1982.

  8. Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II, Military Press, 1989.

  9. Final Cut: The Post-War B-17 Flying Fortress: The Survivors, Scott A. Thompson, Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., 1990.

  10. Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress: Queen of the Skies, Wings of Fame, Aerospace Publishing Ltd, Volume 6, 1997.