RAF Matching - USAAF Use - 391st Bombardment Group

391st Bombardment Group

The first combat organisation, the 391st Bombardment Group, arrived at Matching on 26 January 1944 from Goodman AAF, Kentucky flying Martin B-26 Marauders. Operational squadrons of the group were:

The group marking was a yellow triangle painted on the tail fin of their B-26s.

The first mission was flown on 15 February and 150 more were completed before the group moved into France in late September 1944. During the ensuing weeks the 391st bombed targets such as airfields, marshalling yards, bridges, and V-weapon sites in France and the Low Countries to help prepare for the invasion of Normandy. The group attacked enemy defenses along the invasion beaches on 6 and 7 June 1944. From June through September, the group continued cross-Channel operations, which included attacks on fuel dumps and troop concentrations in support of Allied forces during the breakthrough at Saint-Lô in July 1944, and strikes on transportation and communications to block the enemy's retreat to the east.

A total of 20 B-26s were missing in action during the 391st's operations from Matching before the group moved onto the continent, transferring to Roye/Amy, France (ALG A-73) on 19 September 1944. The group then switched to Douglas A-26 Invaders and flew its last mission on 3 May 1945 from Asche, Belgium (ALG Y-29).

The 391st Bomb Group returned to the United States in October and was inactivated at Camp Shanks, New York on 25 October 1945.

With the move of the 391st to France, this was the end of Matching airfield's association with the Ninth Air Force as a combat airfield.

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