Bean, Henry Randall, TSgt

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Last Rank
Technical Sergeant
Last Primary AFSC/MOS
AAF MOS 755-Radio Operator, Army Air Force
Last AFSC Group
Signal (Enlisted)
Primary Unit
1942-1943, AAF MOS 755, 306th Bombardment Group, Heavy
Service Years
1941 - 1943
USAAFEnlisted Collar Insignia
Technical Sergeant

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This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Bean, Henry Randall, TSgt.

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Casualty Info
Home Town
Dos Cabezas, Arizona
Last Address
RAF Thurleigh (USAAF 111), Bedfordshire, England

Casualty Date
May 01, 1943
Hostile, Died
Other Cause
World War II
Location of Interment
American Cemetery - Brittany, France
Wall/Plot Coordinates
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  1942-1943, AAF MOS 755, 306th Bombardment Group, Heavy

Technical Sergeant
From Month/Year
- / 1942
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May / 1943
306th Bombardment Group, Heavy Unit Page
Technical Sergeant
AAF MOS 755-Radio Operator, Army Air Force
RAF Thurleigh (USAAF 111), Bedfordshire, England
United Kingdom
 306th Bombardment Group, Heavy Details

306th Bombardment Group, Heavy
During World War II, the group, as the 306th Bombardment Group, was the first operational bombardment group in the VIII Bomber Command. It was stationed at RAF Thurleigh, England from 6 September 1942 until 25 December 1945, the longest tenure at one station for any one Eighth Air Force group.

Staff Sergeant Maynard H. Smith of the 423d Bomb Squadron was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that helped save the lives of six of his wounded comrades on 1 May 1943.

The 306th was the first Eighth Air Force heavy bombardment group to complete 300 missions over Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany and also was the first United States Army Air Forces heavy bombardment group to attack a strategic target located in Nazi Germany when the group, led by Colonel Frank A. Armstrong, attacked Wilhelmshaven on 27 January 1943. Colonel Armstrong's experiences with the 97th and 306th groups became the basis of Sy Bartlett and Beirne Lay, Jr.'s novel and film Twelve O'Clock High.

The group was reactivated as a Strategic Air Command (SAC) group during the Cold War at MacDill AFB, Florida in 1947. The group was initially equipped with Boeing B-29 Superfortresses, and was upgrading to Boeing B-47 Stratojets when it was inactivated in 1952 when SAC transferred its operational squadrons to its parent 306th Bombardment Wing. Although the group remained inactive until 2004, from 1954 to 1992 its history and honors were temporarily bestowed on the 306th Bombardment Wing (Medium), 306th Bombardment Wing (Heavy) and 306th Strategic Wing

World War II
The group was activated 1 March 1942 at Salt Lake City Army Air Base, Utah. Personnel moved to Wendover Army Air Field, Utah on 6 April 1942 and began flying training, where it trained for bombardment operations using 40 B-17E aircraft. Group left Wendover 1 August 1942 to began movement to the United Kingdom. The Ground unit first moved to Richmond AAB, Virginia and remained a week before leaving for Fort Dix, New Jersey. On 13 August 1942, the Group's personnel sailed on the RMS Queen Elizabeth on 30 August 1942 and arrived 5 September 1942 at Greenock, Scotland. The aircraft flew from Wendover to Westover Field, Massachusetts on 2 August 1942. The remainder of the Group departed for the United Kingdom on 1 September 1942 via Gander-Prestwick ferry route.

Based at RAF Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, in south-central England, as part of the Eighth Air Force, the 306th was the longest continuously-serving bomb group of the Eighth Air Force during World War II, and led the first mission against a target in Germany. The novel and film Twelve O'Clock High were based in large part on incidents occurring in the group in 1942 and 1943.

Between October 1942 and April 1945, the Group bombed a variety of enemy targets in Europe, including railroad facilities and submarine pens in France and ball-bearing works, oil plants, marshaling yards, chemical plants, aircraft factories, and foundries in Germany. Took part in the first penetration into Germany by heavy bombers of the Eighth Air Force on 27 January 1943 by attacking the U-boat yards at Wilhelmshaven.

Sergeant Maynard Harrison Smith received the Medal of Honor for his actions on 1 May 1943. When the aircraft on which he was a gunner was hit by the enemy and set on fire, the sergeant threw explosive ammunition overboard, manned a gun until the German fighters were driven off, administered first aid to the wounded tail gunner, and extinguished the fire.

The 306th was the center of media attention on 6 July 1944, when Thurleigh was visited by the British Royal Family. As cameras rolled, King George VI, his wife Queen Elizabeth, and their daughter Heiress Presumptive Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) were led to a new B-17G of the 367th Bomb Squadron. The new replacement aircraft had been named Rose Of York in honor of the 18-year old Princess, who ceremonially christened the bomber. Rose Of York was shot down over Germany on 3 February 1945.

Without fighter escort and in the face of powerful opposition, the group completed an assault against aircraft factories in central Germany on 11 January 1944, earning a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for the mission. The group participated in the Big Week intensive campaign against the German aircraft industry, 20–25 February 1944. The group earned another DUC for effectively bombing an aircraft assembly plant at Bernberg, Gummersbach, Germany on 22 February, even though escort fighters had abandoned the mission because of weather. Often supported ground forces and attacked interdictory targets in addition to its strategic operations. Hit airfields and marshaling yards in France, Belgium, and Germany in preparation for Normandy. On D-Day, 6 June 1944, the unit raided railroad bridges and coastal guns in support of the assault. Assisted ground forces during the Saint-Lô breakthrough in July, then participated in the airborne portion of Operation Market Garden, the invasion of the Netherlands in September. During the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945, the 306th attacked airfields and marshaling yards to help stop the German advance. Bombed enemy positions in support of the airborne assault across the Rhine River in March 1945, the Operation Varsity portion of the Western Allied invasion of Germany.

Selected for duty with occupational air forces in Germany. The unit engaged in "Casey Jones" mapping photography project. Group then moved to Giebelstadt, Germany on 1 December 1945, and on 28 February 1946 to Istres, France, where it absorbed the remnants of the 92nd and 384th Bomb Groups. In August 1946 the unit re-established in Germany at Furstenfeldbruck and in September 1946 located at Lechfeld. The unit inactivated on 25 December 1946, although the group had virtually ceased to exist as flying unit in the late summer of that year. Inactivated December 1946, the group received the Distinguished Unit Citation with one Oak Leaf Cluster and six campaign stars.

Combat - Bomber Units
Parent Unit
Bombardment Units
Created/Owned By
Not Specified

Last Updated: Dec 10, 2019
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31 Members Also There at Same Time
306th Bombardment Group, Heavy

Dayton, William G., SSgt, (1942-1943) A25 AAF MOS 755 Sergeant
Klette, Immanuel John, Col, (1941-1965) A23 AAF MOS 1091 [Other Service Rank]
Armstrong, Frank Alton, Lt Gen, (1928-1962) A23 AAF MOS 1060 Colonel
Check, Raymond James, Capt, (1941-1943) A23 AAF MOS 1091 Captain
Coots, Gerald C., 1st Lt, (1942-1944) A23 AAF MOS 1091 First Lieutenant
Ebert, Dale, D., 1st Lt, (1942-1946) A23 AAF MOS 1091 First Lieutenant
Carlson, Arnold R., 2nd Lt, (1942-1943) A33 AAF MOS 770 Second Lieutenant
Dougherty, John L., 1st Lt, (1941-1944) A08 AAF MOS 1034 Second Lieutenant
Harris, Jack, 2nd Lt, (1942-1943) A23 AAF MOS 1091 Second Lieutenant
Hendershot, Leland C., 2nd Lt, (1942-1943) A08 AAF MOS 1034 Second Lieutenant
Landry, Robert R., 2nd Lt, (1941-1942) A23 AAF MOS 1054 Second Lieutenant
O'Grady, Michael D., 2nd Lt, (1942-1944) A33 AAF MOS 770 Second Lieutenant
Utley, Lewis H., 1st Lt, (1941-1943) A08 AAF MOS 1034 Second Lieutenant
Warner, William H., Capt, (1941-1943) A33 AAF MOS 770 Second Lieutenant
Beers, Richard L., TSgt, (1941-1942) A07 AAF MOS 737 Technical Sergeant
Rogers, Eli C., TSgt, (1941-1945) A07 AAF MOS 611 Technical Sergeant
Kisling, Robert D., SSgt, (1942-1943) A07 AAF MOS 611 Staff Sergeant
Smith, Maynard Harrison, SSgt, (1942-1945) A07 AAF MOS 611 Staff Sergeant
Williams, William E., SSgt, (1941-1943) A07 AAF MOS 611 Staff Sergeant
Aurie, Leander J., Sgt, (1942-1944) A07 AAF MOS 611 Sergeant
Barrus, Andrew P., Sgt, (1942-1944) A07 AAF MOS 611 Sergeant
Chatelaine, Howard L., Sgt, (1941-1944) A07 AAF MOS 611 Sergeant
Goss, Warren B., Sgt, (1942-1944) A07 AAF MOS 611 Sergeant
Morgan, Walter C., Sgt, (1941-1943) A07 AAF MOS 611 Sergeant
Neeley, Colon E., Sgt, (1942-1943) A07 AAF MOS 611 Sergeant
Thomas, Dock G., Sgt, (1942-1943) A07 AAF MOS 611 Sergeant
Gregory, Edward, Cpl, (1942-1945) A01 AAF MOS 511 Corporal
Hage Jr., Doane, SSgt, (1939-1945) A01 AAF MOS 612 Corporal
Roberts, George, TSgt, (1942-1945) 111 Technical Sergeant
Harris, Arizona Todd, TSgt, (1919-1943) Technical Sergeant
Wilkins, Bertram D., 1st Lt, (1943-1950) Staff Sergeant

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