A Tribute To The 15th Air Force In Italy

"The Flying Horsemen"

The 449th Bomb Group, a component of the 15th Air Force, operated from its base near Grottaglie, Italy from January 1944 to May 1945. The 449th flew 254 combat missions over Europe and Eastern Asia and was equipped with B-24 Liberator bombers. It was a typical heavy-bombardment group of the 15th Air Force and was composed of four Squadrons -- the 716th, 717th, 718th, and 719th.

Below are photographs provided by a 449th Flight Engineer from the 717th Squadron that were taken in 1944 to 1945. They include official bomb strike photographs of areas in Italy, Romania, Yugoslavia including the Ploesti oil refineries which were a frequent and dreaded target due to the flak intensity.

Thanks to the

for some aircraft information.


Click on each photo below to expand