Following a very successful initial reunion of 384th Veterans in New York City in 1967 (arranged by an ad hoc committee), the 384th Bomb Group, Inc. was founded in 1968 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit Veterans organization. Membership of WWII veterans who served with the 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in England grew over the years as word of the existence of the Group spread. Members work to preserve the memory of sacrifices they and their comrades-in-arms made in the name of Freedom.
Since the Group was founded, reunions have been held at numerous places around the country, and occasionally they returned to England for "Memorial Junkets". The reunions afforded an opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow Veterans who shared the rigors of war.
Membership at first was offered to Veterans of the 384th who had Served during WWII. These men shared bonds of kinship forged in the crucible of war, strong bonds not explainable to others. Over the years, as the number of Veterans able to participate has waned, descendants - so-called NexGens - have stepped up to help "KEEP THE SHOW ON THE ROAD." As a result, membership rules have been revised, permitting the Group to offer Associate Membership to relatives or persons with a special interest in preserving the memory of the 384th.
A leather-bound book about the 384th Bombardment Group (H), titled "As Briefed...", subtitled "A Family History of the 384th Bombardment Group", was first published in 1946. It contains stories and photographs, a list of Medals and Awards, and briefs about Station Units during WWII. A soft cover Addendum containing additional stories was published by the Group in 1974. The Group published a second edition of "As Briefed..." in 1980, which included the Addendum and the Post-War Activities of the Group. A third edition, published in 1990, includes the Addendum and the Post-War Activities of the Group.
A one-hour television documentary about the 384th Bombardment Group (H) was produced by Central Independent Television of England. It has been shown on British Television twice, and it has been shown at many of our reunions and other occasions. The documentary is titled "The Village That Met Them Again". It was filmed on location in England during Memorial Junket IV in 1983.
Perhaps the Group's proudest and most notable accomplishments have been in the Humanitarian Field. Long before the end of World War II the men of the 384th had adopted several war orphans. The Military Police played "Father Christmas" to the kids in the nearby villages. The Group flew a very special "Mission" to newly liberated Nantes, France. That time, the bomb bays of six B-17s were filled with toys and clothes for the town's children. Delivery was in time for the French traditional gift exchange on New Years Day, 1945. The men of the 384th had contributed money, their candy rations, clothing and toys purchased in town or sent over by request from relatives and friends in the U.S.A. The money was used for clothing, soap, and other practical necessities of hospitals and orphanages, items unattainable in France. The 384th and the French Red Cross ladies had packaged all the items (sent by request to Grafton Underwood) before stowing them into the six B-17s.
That spirit is still alive today, both in numerous projects of the Group as a whole, and in the individual commitments of its members. A prime example of this spirit is the donation of money for the restoration of St. James the Apostle Church in Grafton Underwood, England.
This website, and the members of the 384th Bomb Group, Inc., are proud to help preserve the heritage embodied in the words of Major Selden McMillin. After being captured and made a POW, he wrote the following message to his Commander, Colonel Budd Peaslee:
This simple phrase, adopted as the Group motto, is our link to a proud heritage. It is also our commitment to ensure the Freedom earned with the sweat and blood of these brave men is preserved for future generations.
For any additional information about the World War II activities of the 384th Bombardment Group (H), 8th Air Force, or the Post-War activities of the 384th Bomb Group, Inc., please contact any of the people listed on the Contacts page.
The 384th Bomb Group, Inc., has established a number of memorials, both in the United States and in England. These memorials are a tribute to those men of the 384th who lost their lives in the quest for Freedom during World War II, and to those who are no longer with us. They are permanent reminders of the heritage and the traditions established by the men of the 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy).
Photographs of many memorials mentioned below - and more - can be found in the Memorials of the 384th Bomb Group⇗ photo album, in the 384th Photo Gallery.
The 384th Bomb Group (H) flew all of its WWII combat missions from Grafton Underwood Airfield - also known as US Army Air Forces Station 106 - near the Village of Grafton Underwood.
Just north of the Village, a Memorial Monument and the Memorial Avenue of Trees were dedicated on 5 October 1985. This is located on the (former) main runway 6/24 of Grafton Underwood Airfield, where it is now crossed by the road to Geddington. The original Memorial Monument was dedicated on 25 September 1977, but was later replaced because of weather damage. A plaque for the Memorial Avenue of Trees was dedicated on 4 May 1991.
Within Grafton Underwood, a Memorial Stained Glass Window is located in St. James the Apostle Church (Church of England). The window depicts a B-17 of the 384th Bomb Group flying over the White Cliffs of Dover as it returns from a combat mission. The window was dedicated on 21 May 1983 by the Right Reverend, The Lord Bishop of Peterborough in the Presence of Her Royal Highness, Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester.
In the Grafton Underwood Village Hall, a replica of the Group Banner and other memorabilia are on display.
In Kettering, Northamptonshire, hand-carved statues of St. Christopher stand in both St. Edwards Parish Church, (Catholic), and St. Paul and St. Peter Parish Church, (Church of England). These statues were presented to the churches in 1945 by the men of the 384th Zebra (NCO) and Officers Clubs. An official dedication was held on 13 May 1979.
A silver chalice and paten set were presented to St. Edwards Church in memory of the men and families of the 384th Bombardment Group (H), and the American and British fighter pilots. The presentation took place on 13 May 1979. A Foundation Mass is held each May as long as St. Edwards Church is in existence.
The belfry of St. Paul and St. Peter Parish Church was re-built and new Bells were installed. One bell, called the American Bell, is inscribed to the 384th Bombardment Group (H). The bells were commemorated on 11 May 1980.
The 384th Bomb Group was established at Wendover Army Air Field in January 1943. Combat training continued there for three months, after which the Group moved on Sioux City Army Air Base for additional training.
A smaller reproduction of the Memorial Stained Glass Window in Grafton Underwood⇗ has been placed in the Historic Wendover Airfield Museum in Wendover (Utah), along with other mementos from the Group.
A replica of the Memorial Stained Glass Window is located in the Col. Nathan H. Mazer Memorial Chapel, near Hill Aerospace Museum, Ogden, Utah. It was dedicated on 8 September 1989. It is significant for the Memorial Window and Memorial Monument to be located at Hill Air Force Base, as Hill Field was the parent base of Wendover Army Air Field in western Utah where the 384th Bombardment Group (H) originally trained in B-17s.
A duplicate of the American Bell was dedicated at the Heritage Chapel, Museum Complex, Hill AFB on 9 May 1997. It was produced at the same foundry in England that made the original bell.
The 384th Bomb Group Commemorative Wing Panel is destined to be placed on permanent display at the Museum. From September 2010 thru September 2019, 154 Veterans of this Group have signed the wing panel. Some even added a note or comment relating to their service with the Group. One statistic stands out about this artifact: of the 141 combat crewmen who signed, at least one was on each of the 316 combat missions flown by the 384th BG. For additional interesting statistics, read this.
The 384th Bomb Group, Inc. has placed a duplicate Memorial Monument, and a model of a 384th B-17 with a ten foot wingspan at the 8th Air Force Museum in Pooler, Georgia (near Savannah). The aircraft is named "Big Dog" after Bill Harvey, a 384th pilot.
Another replica of the Memorial Stained Glass Window has been placed in a replica of a British Church at the 8th Air Force Museum in Pooler, Georgia (near Savannah).
A 384th Bombardment Group (H) Plaque is mounted on the Memorial Wall in the United States Air Force Academy Memorial Cemetery, Colorado. The Plaque was dedicated on 30 May 1986.
The 384th Bomb Group, Inc. sponsors the Eagle and Fledgling Sculpture, which is awarded each year to the Outstanding Graduating Cadet in Scholastic Achievement in each Major Subject, and Military and Athletic Performance at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado. Each year a member of the 384th Bomb Group, Inc. makes the presentation during graduation week to the Outstanding Graduate in Biological Sciences.
A plaque mounted on a walnut base telling the history of the Group is located in the United States Air Force Academy, along with a model of one the 384th B-17 Flying Fortresses. These were presented on 31 May 1988.
A Silver Chalice was donated to St. Mary Cistercian Monastery, Ringold, Pennsylvania, near Allentown.
A "Living Tree" was planted on the grounds of the Air Force Museum, Dayton, Ohio, accompanied with a plaque. This was dedicated on 2 August 1980.
Pictures of the Memorial Stained Glass Window, with plaques, may be seen at the following locations:
Members of the 384th Bomb Group have submitted materials to the Archivist for preservation, and to be made available for study by current and future researchers. These materials include books, original photographs, documents, and assorted ephemera, which help understand the experiences of aerial combat groups in WWII. Please contact the Archivist to inquire about donating or utilizing materials.
628 N. 2nd St.
Seward, NE 68434-1504
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An initial reunion of 384th Veterans and their wives in New York City in 1967 set the stage for many more over the years.
Reunions continued over the years, some more elaborately planned than others. Naturally, there was great interest in re-visiting England, so a number of "Memorial Junkets" were held, which included typical tourist activities, but which always included a visit to Grafton Underwood. It was during one of those "Junkets" that the original monument was dedicated; on another, the memorial window was dedicated, and on another, the new memorial was dedicated.
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|Newsletter Issue||PDF File Size, MB|
|NexGen Q1 2009⇓||0.497|
Membership in the 384th Bomb Group, Inc. is open to all, Veterans, descendants (aka "NexGens"), and all other interested persons. Members receive quarterly newsletters and other benefits. To join and support the 384th Bomb Group, Inc., print out the application and submit it as directed.
|Chairman of the Board of Directors||
Peter Bielskis, 384th Veteran
NexGen Research Director
New Hudson, Michigan
Airfield Visit Coordinator
Barton Seagrave, Northamptonshire
|384th Archive Conservator||