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97th Bomb Group Reunion Association collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 01.0601

Scope and Contents

This collection relates to the 97th Bombardment Group which was based in England, Africa and Italy during World War II and the first operational bomb group in England in 1942. The collection contains documents (mostly photocopies) on missions, statements and statistics, three diaries, and newspaper articles. Their daily operations reports, narrative reports, and casualty reports detail their accomplishments and their losses. Included are a collection of videos, audio tapes, and microfilm. Included are copies of three personal diaries by Alex Blair, Jr., LeRoy Teschendorf, and Herman F. Lykins.

Also included is an extensive photograph collection of flight crews, air fields, and encampments in North Africa and Italy; nose art, including one of the "Berlin Sleeper," which shows a B-17 with 100 bombing missions (indicated by bombs and swastikas for downed German planes); damaged planes; a ruined building in Italy; and officers eating. Also, there are some photographs from 1939 of aircraft at Langley Field, Virginia, and photographs of aircraft at MacDill and Drew Air Fields in Florida.


  • 1942-2000
  • Other: Date accessioned

Language of Materials

English and German

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical/Historical Note

The 97th Bombardment Group was the first combat group of VIII Bomber Command to arrive in the United Kingdom was the ground echelon of the 97th Bombardment Group, which arrived at RAF Polebrook on June 9 1942. Regular combat operations by the 97th Bombardment Group, VIII Bomber Command, began on August 17, 1942, when the 97th Bombardment Group flew 12 B-17Es on the first heavy bomber mission of the war from RAF Polebrook, attacking the Rouen-Sotteville marshalling yards in France. The group was assigned to the 8th, 12th, and 15th Air Forces. The 97th Bomb Group was the oldest bomb group in the European Theater (ETO) and the first group to fly three hundred missions. The last mission ended on April 26, 1945 (the 483rd mission). One of the most successful bomb groups, their diaries and journals outline both successful and failed missions alike. The 97th bombed every major synthetic oil plant and other major chemical plants, including the Ploesti oil refineries in Romania.


6 boxes (6 boxes in General Collection; 1 folder in General Collection Oversized Box 10.)

Custodial History

Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.

97th Bomb Group Reunion Association Collection
Andrew Darlington and Grace Overholt
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
English and German

Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US