384th Bomb Group, Inc.

The Post-War Veterans' Group

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:

"KEEP THE SHOW ON THE ROAD"

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.

CONTACT US

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.

Preserving the Heritage

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.

Memorials In England

Grafton Underwood, Northamptonshire

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.

Kettering, Northamptonshire

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.

Memorials In the United States

Historic Wendover Airfield, Wendover, Utah

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.

Hill Aerospace Museum, Ogden, Utah

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.

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Pooler (Savannah), Georgia

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).

USAF Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado

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.

Other Locations

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:

  • The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
  • McConnell Air Force Base, Wichita, Kansas
  • Hill Aerospace Museum, Hill Air Force Base, Ogden, Utah
  • The Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Archives

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.


384th Archivist

Mark Meehl
628 N. 2nd St.
Seward, NE 68434-1504

Contact by email:

Reunions

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.

  • #32: 2021, 6-10 October, Ogden, Utah. We returned this year to the scene of the 2001 "Gathering", in Ogden, Utah. We visited Historic Wendover Airfield, dedicated the 384th Bomb Group Commemorative Wing Panel in its new permanent home at the Hill Aerospace Museum in honor of all 384th servicemen, and had a day out at Park City to just relax and get reaquainted. Attendees and activities can be observed in these photos.
  • 384th Junket XI: 19-24 September 2019, Cambridge, England: This was an awesome one! Accommodation and activity arrangements were provided by Arena Travel, Martlesham Heath, Suffolk. Every day was incredibly smooth, with no lost travelers (thanks Rick Hobson). The highlight, of course, was our visit to Grafton Underwood on Saturday. Words cannot adequately express our appreciation to the multitude of local folks who made sure we got to see everything. Suffice it to say that they easily outnumbered us, and couldn't do enough to be sure we had the time of our lives. Some small part of our experience has been captured in photos.
  • #31: 2018, 18-21 October, Dayton, Ohio. We returned to the scene of the "Final" reunion held in 2014. On Friday we toured the National Museum of the USAF - and held a memorial service at the 384th tablet in the Memorial Garden, as well as viewing the new "Memphis Belle" display, and on Saturday visited Grimes Field in Urbana to see how "Champaign Lady" is coming along. Several of our attendees gained new appreciation for Ball Turret Gunners, getting into (and out of) the ball turret, assisted by our very own BTG (and Chairman of the Board) Peter Bielskis! Photos
  • #30: 2017, 27 September-1 October, New Orleans, Louisiana. Our second reunion with the 8th AF Historical Society - and the B-I-G 3-0!!!! Photos
  • #29: 2016, 19-22 October, St. Louis, Missouri. First Reunion with the 8th AF Historical Society! Photos
  • #28: 2015, 29 October-1 November, Tucson, Arizona. "Second Annual 'Final' 384th Reunion!" Photos
  • #27: 2014, Dayton, Ohio. Billed as the "Final" reunion due to dwindling membership and attendance, it was so well attended that planning was immediately undertaken to explore the possibility of holding a "Second Annual 'Final' 384th Reunion!" Photos
  • #26: 2013, Norfolk, Virginia. Photos
  • #25: 2012, San Antonio, Texas. Photos
  • #24: 2011, Seattle, Washington. Photos
  • #23: 2010, Branson, Missouri. Photos
  • #22: 2009, Savannah, Georgia. Photos
  • #21: 2007, Dayton, Ohio. Photos
  • #20: 2006, Washington, DC (McLean, Virginia). Photos
  • Memorial Junket X: 2005, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK. Photos
  • #19: 2004, Alaska Cruise. Departing from Seattle, Washington, this reunion kept the show on a watery road!
  • #18: 2002, San Diego, California.
  • "The Gathering": 2001, May 9-12, Salt Lake City, Ogden/Hill AFB, Wendover, Utah. Photos
  • #17: 2000, Savannah, Georgia. Photos
  • Memorial Junket IX: 1999, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK.
  • #16: 1998, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
  • Decker "Airman's" Reunion: 1998, 26-28 March, Tucson, Arizona. Although not an "official" Group-sponsored event, Ken Decker organized a reunion for subscribers to his "Memories" publication, and at least 29 attendees indicated they were associated with the 384th Bomb Group! Photos
  • Memorial Junket VIII: 1997, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK.
  • #15: 1996, St. Louis, Missouri.
  • #14: 1994, Sarasota, Florida.
  • Memorial Junket VII: 1993, 19-24 May, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK.
  • #13: 1992, Irvine, California.
  • Memorial Junket VI: 1991, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK. Commemorated the restoration of St. James the Apostle Church in Grafton Underwood.
  • #12: 1990, Wichita, Kansas.
  • #11: 1988, Savannah, Georgia.
  • #10: 1986, Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Memorial Junket V: 1985, UK. Dedication of the rebuilt memorial monument and the time capsule and the planting of the Memorial Avenue of Trees.
  • #9: 1984, 10-14 October, San Antonio, Texas.
  • Memorial Junket IV: 1983, 19-24 May, Leicester, Leicestershire, UK. Dedication of the memorial stained glass window located in St. James the Apostle Church, Grafton Underwood, re-dedication of the Memorial Monument, and the filming of "The Village That Met Them Again."
  • #8: 1982, Seattle, Washington.
  • Memorial Junket III: 1980, UK. Commemoration of the bells at St. Peter & St. Paul Parish Church, Kettering.
  • #7: 1980, Dayton, Ohio.
  • Memorial Junket II: 1979, UK. Dedicated plaques for the St. Christopher statues at St. Peter & St. Paul Parish Church, and St. Edward's Catholic Church, Kettering. Pop Dolan presented the silver chalice to St. Edward's Catholic Church.
  • #6: 1978, Denver, Colorado.
  • Memorial Junket I: 1977, UK. Dedication of the original monument. Photos
  • #5: 1976, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  • #4: 1974, 26-28 July, New Orleans, Louisiana. Held at the New Orleans Marriott.
  • #3: 1972, 21-23 July, San Francisco, California. Held at the Hilton Inn San Francisco International Airport.
  • #2: 1970, 10-12 July, Chicago, Illinois. Held at the Palmer House.
  • #1: 1967, 2-4 June, New York City, New York. Held at the New York Hilton Hotel.

Newsletters

Please submit stories, photos, and ideas to

The newsletter files are set up to download directly to your computer. Depending on your browser settings, it will either open in your browser, open in your PDF reader program, automatically download to your Downloads file folder, or your browser will ask you what you would like to do with it.

Newsletter Issue PDF File Size, MB
September, 2021 1.172
June, 2021 6.019
March, 2021 0.853
December, 2020 9.197
September, 2020 4.878
June, 2020 5.230
March, 2020 2.737

2000-Teens

December, 2019 1.193
June, 2019 4.621
January, 2019 11.660
August, 2018 3.477
Winter, 2018 22.323
July, 2017 1.866
March, 2017 2.941
December, 2016 1.023
September, 2016 0.662
June, 2016 1.651
March, 2016 0.845
December, 2015 2.069
September, 2015 1.679
June, 2015 2.829
March, 2015 5.608
December, 2014 2.077
September, 2014 1.906
June, 2014 0.903
February, 2014 0.769
Fall, 2013 4.834
Summer, 2013 0.803
Spring, 2013 3.542
Fall, 2012 6.232
Summer, 2012 3.189
Spring, 2012 2.865
February, 2012 2.930
November, 2011 12.526
July, 2011 4.174
February, 2011 8.269
November, 2010 5.065
May, 2010 3.870
January, 2010 3.815

2000s

October, 2009 10.979
June, 2009 2.794
March, 2009 3.977
NexGen Q1 2009 0.497
December, 2008 19.814
September, 2008 1.291
June, 2008 6.632
March, 2008 3.592
December, 2007 8.927
May, 2007 0.838
November, 2006 2.664
November, 2005 4.550
February, 2005 3.150
October, 2003 6.847
March, 2002 3.676
November, 2000 44.692
April, 2000 6.258
January, 2000 5.369

1990s

November, 1999 13.698
February, 1999 5.348
December, 1998 2.544
June, 1998 11.885
December, 1997 4.969
December, 1996 32.410
July, 1995 8.810
January, 1995 8.725
July, 1994 19.116
February, 1994 2.897
August, 1993 11.870
March, 1993 7.412
November, 1992 6.234
June, 1992 3.119
March, 1992 4.772
May, 1991 6.860
December, 1990 6.363
April, 1990 3.028

1980s

August, 1989 8.254
November, 1988 4.143
June, 1988 6.553
March, 1988 0.245
August, 1986 6.843
August, 1983 4.460

Pre-1980s

December, 1979 0.234
March, 1968 0.504

Membership

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.

Download Forms & Documents

Membership Application

Download Membership Application Form
(Adobe Acrobat Document)

Group By-Laws

Download Group By-Laws
(Adobe Acrobat Document)

Contacts

Chairman of the Board of Directors Peter Bielskis, 384th Veteran
Detroit, Michigan
USA
President Frank Alfter
Beavercreek, Ohio
USA
Treasurer Ray Lustig
Walden, NY
USA
Group Historian
NexGen Research Director
John Edwards
Macon, Georgia
USA
Newsletter Editor Paul Furiga
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
USA
NexGen President Dennis Bielskis
New Hudson, Michigan
USA
Grafton Underwood
Airfield Visit Coordinator
Matt Smith
Clopton, Northamptonshire
England
Grafton Underwood
Airfield Contact
Kevin Flecknor
Kettering, Northamptonshire
England
Grafton Underwood
Airfield Contact
Neill Howarth
Barton Seagrave, Northamptonshire
England
384th Archive Conservator Mark Meehl
Seward, Nebraska
USA

Marketplace/PX

Group Sales


Ordering Information for Group Sales

Please with your order, including your postal address for shipping and your preferred payment method - PayPal or check - and Keith will provide the necessary information for completing the transaction. If you intend to pay by check, it must be made payable to 384th Bomb Group, Inc.

If no response is received, email Keith Ellefson directly at 384thbombgroup@troycable.net using your customary email facility.

384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) Challenge Coin


2020 Challenge Coin

These coins are 1.5"/38mm diameter and 7/64"/2.8mm thick, weigh about 21 grams, and exposed metal surfaces are gold plated. The colors are intense and true. The front and back designs are slightly revised from the original batch (early 2000s), most notably regarding the simpler B-17 illustration, and revisions to the lettering around the front and back give a clean and legible look to these coins. A later batch available in the US now has a revised B-17G graphic, but is otherwise the same.

The US price is $15 each, including domestic USA postage.
US Customers: contact -- US SUPPLY TEMPORARILY SOLD OUT - CONTACT KEITH ELLEFSON TO EXPRESS INTEREST IN A FUTURE ORDER

The UK price is £20 each, including UK postage, as needed.
UK Customers: contact

UK Coins are 1.5" diameter
Challenge Coin
US Coins are 1.5" diameter
Challenge Coin

384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) Patch


384th

These embroidered Group patches are approximately 4-1/2" wide by 4-3/4" high. This particular design reflects the version that was used later in WWII, and was submitted as the "official" version in March 1945.

The price is $10 each, including domestic USA postage.

See ordering information above.

384th
Group Patch

544th, 545th, 546th, & 547th Bombardment Squadron Patches


A limited number of embroidered squadron patches are now available for purchase. Each patch is representative of those worn by our squadron members during WWII. Please note that colors of the images at left may not exactly match colors of the actual patches due to limitations of digital photography and display on a computer screen. Squadron patches are approximately 4 inches in diameter or height, 100% embroidery with an iron-on backing.

The price for each squadron patch is $9.00. For orders of four or more squadron patches - in any combination - the price is $8.00 each. Domestic USA postage is included in these prices.

See ordering information above.
544th
544th Patch
545th
545th Patch
546th
546th Patch
547th
547th Patch

Triangle-P Patch


In the Eighth Air Force during WWII, aerial recognition of group aircraft was necessary to enable crews to properly assemble into their assigned combat formations. In the Summer of 1943, recognition markings were promulgated to all the groups, consisting primarily of a tail and wing marking with a letter inside a geometric shape. Although the details of these markings evolved for the next year, the basic letter and shape remained the same. The symbol assigned to the 384th was the letter 'P' inside a triangle: a 'Triangle-P'. The triangle signified the First Bombardment Division - later the First Air Division - and the 'P' is said to honor Col. Budd J Peaslee, first CO of the 384th.

Detailed information on the evolution of the 384th Triangle-P markings can be found by clicking the 'Description of Group Aircraft Markings' link on the Aircraft page. This Triangle-P patch is modeled on the final version that was applied to 384th aircraft beginning about August 1944. It is about 2-5/8" high

The price is $5 each, including Domestic USA postage.

See ordering information above.
Triangle-P
Triangle-P



Independent Vendors

These vendors offer their own products on their own terms, and are not directly affiliated with the 384th Bomb Group, Inc. Contact them directly to inquire about availability, or to place orders.

Additional Sources of Patches


Patches by Johnny Signor: "Siggy" custom-paints Group and Squadron patches to order. His patches are painted on leather, using oil-based paints which are very durable. He has access to many designs and will work with you to get the size you want. My 546th patch, which many of you have seen, is Siggy's work. Contact him via Facebook.

The Tom Nash Trading Store on eBay produces and sells 384th Bombardment Group and Squadron patches that are embroidered on felt. He does not always have them in stock, but re-orders a supply regularly - just send him an email from his store website. Also, be sure to mention this website when you order (I don't get anything for it, but it may be good for a discount...). Tom Nash Trading on eBay.


384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) Apparel, Accessories, Gifts


Order 384th logo merchandise from EmbroidMe, in Centerville, Ohio. EmbroidMe offers many styles of shirts, pants, outerwear, caps and some accessories, for all ages and sizes. They will quote the exact cost, with shipping, so you know what to expect. I found the website a bit hard to navigate, but that was after I had easily found what I wanted - just keep trying things and it will all work out.


Official 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) Pint Glasses


Pint Front Pint Back

These glasses were introduced at the Reunion in San Antonio in October 2012. If you would like one (or more) of them, just contact The Glass Etch Studio at the address or phone number below, or and tell them Frank Alfter of The 384th Bomb Group referred you.

Glass Etch Studio
1606 Old Mill Rd
Springfield, OH 45502

Phone: 937-322-5907
This page is provided as a courtesy to the 384th Bomb Group, Inc.