COMMEMORATING THE 416TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (L).
416th Bombardment Group (Light) Memorial
The 416th Bombardment Group (L) was constituted on January 25, 1943 and activated on February 5 of that same year at Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. On February 15, 1943, 51 officers and 241 enlisted men were transferred to the Group, which soon shipped overseas to the European Theater of Operations, where they would spend the entire war.
The 416th built up a distinguished flying record during World War II. On March 3, 1944, the group flew its first combat mission to Poix, France, flying Douglas A-20 “Havocs”. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the 416th flew two missions to destroy vital transportations, road junctions, and railroad marshaling yards in support of the Allied invasion. In November of 1944 they began transitioning to Douglas A-26 “Invader” aircraft, and flew 14 missions between December 23 and January 29, 1945 in support of the Allied counter-offensive that ended the Battle of the Bulge.
During their time in Europe, the 416th flew a total of 285 missions. They returned home and were disbanded in October of 1945. Today, the New England Air Museum is proud to be the home of “Reida Rae”, an A-26 Invader that flew 39 combat missions with the 416th and today serves as a memorial to their skill and bravery.