About the Forgotten Bomb Group

“When the Army Air Forces Headquarters in Washington tallied the bombing accuracy of every bomb group in combat, I was astonished to find that the 308th led them all.”
General Claire Chennault in his Memoirs




“The 308th… performed some of the most accurate bombing of the US Army Air Forces and used the first American”smart bomb” called the Azon. The 308th also sustained the highest casualty rate in the USAAF, for its missions were long and hard, often conducted at very low level and at night through the very heart of Japanese-occupied territory and over their controlled sea lanes.”

“The 308th flew nearly 600 combat missions under conditions that would have been deemed impossible in Europe. At the end of a 12,000-mile supply line, every ounce of gasoline, every bomb, every spark plug, had to be dragged over the hazardous, high altitude route across the mountains, along what became known as “the Aluminum Trail” for the plane wreckage scattered along the way. There were few radio or navigational aids, and the weather was usually bad. Midway through the war, crew viewed combat missions as less stressful than the haul over the Hump. It took about four trips hauling supplies to be ready for one bombing mission.”

Walter J. Boyne, Former Director, National Air & Space Museum Excerpt from the Foreword in CHENNAULT’S FORGOTTEN WARRIORS
By Carroll V. Glines


19 thoughts on “About the Forgotten Bomb Group

  1. Excerpt

    Heavy-Bomber Group of 14th Air Force Identified as 308th

    KUNMING, China, Jan. 26 (Delayed) (AP) – The United States Fourteenth Air Force’s Liberator group, known unofficially as “the Liberators of China,” may now be referred to publicly by its official designation, the 308th Bombardment Group.
    The group arrived in China on March 21, 1943. Up to Jan. 1 of this year the Liberators had sunk a total of 466,800 tons of Japanese shipping, including 34,000 tons in naval vessels. It had dropped more than 3,000 tons of bombs on Japanese installations, shot down twenty-two enemy planes and probably shot down eighty-four.
    The 308th’s sea-sweeping activities produced one of the Fourteenth Air Force’s greatest heroes, Maj. Horace S. Carswell Jr. of San Angelo, Tex., who died last Oct. 27 in an attempt to save his crew after an attack on a Japanese naval formation.
    Col. John G. Armstrong of New York is the present group commander.

  2. Here’s part of a post I wrote about Joe Kennedy and his last flight using Azon with a nice little video.

    ‘Azon’ (from AZimuth ONly) controls had been used successfully on individual 500lb or 1000lb bombs, where the control box was attached to the rear of the bomb and controlled by the bomb aimer through a joy stick. Using two directional controls (left or right) he could direct a bomb very accurately onto a given point. The downside of Azon, was that range and fall had to be determined in the usual way by the bomb aimer and could not be altered once the bomb had left the aircraft.

  3. Great look back into the past gp, wars certainly have their own dictionary, Aluminium Trail, The Hump, and all those other designations for various moments in military time.

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