The 381st Bomb Group welcomes you to the official 381st Bombardment Group (Heavy) Memorial Association web site. The 381st Bomb Group was a B-17 Flying Fortress unit based at Ridgewell, England, Station 167, as part of the mighty Eighth Air Force from 1943 to 1945. The group flew in the 1st Combat Wing, First Air Division of the 8th Air Force, United States Army Air Forces.

28 Jun 2009

Reunion Reminder

Author: Kevin Wilson PhD  /  Categories: Reunions  /  Rate this article:
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Reunion Reminder; Charleston SC Aug. 23-28, 2009

We are now three weeks away from the hotel and activities registration cutoff date for the 33rd reunion of the 381st BG to be held in Charleston, South Carolina from Aug 23-28th.  See the reunion tab for details and to request registration materials.

Last week marked sixty six years since  the 381st flew the first combat mission on June 22, 1943.  We are fortunate to have several original members of the group who flew that mission join us in Charleston this year.  Other 381st veterans from the later combat periods will also be present.  We value our time with all of these WWII veterans in recalling the history and honoring those who did not return. 

If you have not joined the memorial association or attended a reunion, consider doing so.  We welcome not only veterans but also descendants and friends who wish to preserve the group history and honor the 381st veterans.  We need your support to continue the reunions and activities of the memorial association.  Our WWII veterans will not be with us forever and we have an exciting week of reunion activities planned.  Wishing everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July celebration. Hope to see you in Charleston.

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381st BGMA

The 381st Bomb Group welcomes you to the official 381st Bombardment Group (Heavy) Memorial Association web site. The 381st Bomb Group was a B-17 Flying Fortress unit based at Ridgewell, England, Station 167, as part of the mighty Eighth Air Force from 1943 to 1945. The group flew in the 1st Combat Wing, First Air Division of the 8th Army Air Force.

The memorial association is for all elements of the 381st Bomb Group, its four bomb squadrons, and the ground unit commands of the 432nd Air Service Group. Our 700+ members are comprised of 381st WWII veterans, their descendants, and friends of the 381st. The association celebrated their Reunion in Detroit/Ysilanti Michigan from Aug 26-30, 2015 marking the group's 39th consecutive reunion.

The association publishes a newsletter, holds well attended yearly reunions, produces a membership directory, has an active forum, answers research questions via this web site, maintains an archive of photographs and 381st historical information, offers a college scholarship to 381st descendants, and much more.

Association History

The association was formed in 1977 at an Eighth Air Force Association reunion when six 381st BG veterans decided to try to find other group veterans and hold collateral meetings at the 8th AF reunions. They found about twenty other 381st BG veterans and held their first independent meeting at Hershey, PA, in 1978 with John Wierman as host.

T. Paxton "Pax" Sherwood was an driving force behind the early years of the association. The association has held annual reunions each year since 1978. The association was incorporated in the state of Wisconsin in 1994 and has nonprofit status granted by the IRS.  381st Veteran Joseph K. Waddell steered the association for over twenty years and remained actively involved with the Board of Directors until his death in 2015.

The purpose of the association is to encourage fraternal activities, foster patriotism and loyalty, maintain historical records, assist members of the association and their families, maintain allegiance to the United States, and to preserve and defend it from all enemies. - from the association constitution adopted in 1989.

History of the Association, by late Joe Waddell, past Association Secretary/Treasurer.

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