A Consolidated History of the 464th Bomb Group
The 464th Bombardment Group (H), consisting of HQS, 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,
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, 776), from the 464th 2000 Reunion booklet .