UNIT CITATION - February 1944
The 450th Bombardment Group (H) is cited for outstanding performance of duty in armed conflict with the enemy.
On 24 February 1944, the 450th Bombardment Group (H) was notified to prepare a maximum number of aircraft for a mission
against the Prufening Aircraft Factory in Regensburg, Germany. The initial purpose of this attack was to destroy the important plant, capable
of producing two hundred and fifty ME 109's monthly. A successful completion of the mission would cost the enemy 8 to 9 months of production
and would materially diminish Nazi interception of allied strategic bombing on the continent. Throughout the evening prior to the attack the ground
crews worked untiringly in a muddy field, determined to have their aircraft in perfect mechanical condition for this vital operation. On 25 February 1944,
twenty nine B-24 type aircraft heavily loaded with maximum tonnage took off for their important destination in the lead of an entire wing formation.
Hazardous weather was encountered shortly after the take off, and over 15 enemy fighters intercepted them while they were still 300 miles from the target.
The gallant crews fought off the enemy onslaught, overcame the hazards of weather, and unwaveringly held to their course as a second wave
of twenty ME 109's attacked them. The approach to the target and the target proper were heavily defended by flak batteries that threw up an intense
barrage through which the formation flew undaunted to a precise bombing run, delivering a telling blow to the important factory and surrounding installations.
This outstanding contributed immeasurably to the effective crippling of enemy production at a significant time. The palls of smoke issuing from the debris
left in the wake of the bombers obscured observation, but subsequent reconnaissance revealed a complete destruction of the target. Throughout the
serial battle the courageous crews fought two more enemy onslaughts en route and accounted for one enemy aircraft destroyed. Our own losses were
held down to 4 lost, in a mission wrought with hazardous weather, intense ground defences, and a total of over 60 enemy fighters. By the determination,
outstanding professional skill, and heroic courage of the combat crews, together with the devotion to duty of the ground personnel, the
450th Bombardment Group (H) has rendered an invaluable contribution to the allied war effort, thereby reflecting great credit on themselves
and the armed forces of the United States.
A very special thanks to Jim Ciborski, son of John C. Ciborski, 720th Squadron, for supplying copies of the Citation
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