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Special Collections Online at UT

455th Bomb Group Records

Identifier: MS-3205

  • Staff Only

This collection, assembled by Colonel Alfred Asch, provides a comprehensive look at the 455th Bomb Group. The 455th formed a part of the Fifteenth Air Force and was stationed at Cerignola Air Base in Italy during World War II. The first series of the collection houses information documenting the 455th as a whole, including files on missions, health and dental records, personal recollections, photographs, and Colonel Asch's history of the group. Of particular interest are the materials showing two very important bombing runs that the 455th conducted against Moosbierbaum and Steyer, both of which were important locations to the Nazi military-industrial infrastructure.

The second series of this collection houses photographs and records documenting squadrons within the 455th, including the 304th, 740th, 741st, 742nd, and the 743rd. All of these groups were stationed at Cerignola Air Base as a part of the 455th Bomb Group.

The third series of this collection houses newsletters and publications documenting other bomb groups and the history of the 15th Air Force as a whole. Materials in this series touch on current Air Force policy as well as the Air Force's historical role.


  • 1941-2006 (bulk 1989-2000)

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


4.75 Linear Feet


This collection houses a compilation of papers documenting the 455th Bomb Group including military orders, photographs, and material showing the conception of the 455th Bomb Group Association. These papers provide a wealth of information about the strategic nature of the air war in Europe, the quality of life for pilots and crew members in combat, and the camaraderie of squads following the end of the war.

Biographical/Historical Note

Alfred Asch was raised on a small farm in Beaverton, Michigan. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1941 and graduated from flying school in the class of 42D. Following this graduation, Asch was assigned to the 93rd Bomb Group flying B-24s against the famous German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel over Northern Africa and Libya. After 28 successful missions, Asch returned to the United States where he was quickly reassigned to the 455th Bomb Group. Asch returned to combat, this time stationed at Cerignola Air Base in Italy. From this post, Asch flew a number of missions over Eastern Europe, Italy, and Germany. He later held several positions and accepted a regular officer appointment in the Army Air Corps. He also earned a Master's Degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Asch retired from the Air Force in 1968 as a full Colonel. While flying with the United States Air Force, Asch earned numerous medals including a Purple Heart and a Unit Citation with One Oak Leaf Cluster. In 1989, he was elected President of the 455th Bomb Group Association. Asch died on December 8, 2013 in Franklin, Tennessee.

The 455th Bomb Group served in the European Theater during World War II. They were based out of Cerignola, Italy and attacked targets in Eastern Europe and Germany.


Collection consists of three boxes divided into four series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: 455th Bomb Group
  2. Series II: Individual Squadrons
  3. Series III: Other Papers
  4. Series IV: Oversized Materials,1943 August 28- June 1992

Acquisition Note

This collection was donated to Special Collections, 2007 May 18

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA