010430 - THIRD IN LINE: The 3rd Air Division over Europe in WWII
By Ron Mackay
What was successively titled the 4th Bomb Wing, 3rd Bomb Division and finally 3rd Air Division entered combat with the VIII Bomber Command in May 1943. Under the charismatic leadership of Gen. Curtis LeMay, the Forces crews in their B-17s forged the concept of shuttle missions with a run to North Africa on 17 August 1943, followed during the summer of 1944 with several similar missions to and from Russia. Although comprising the third and final element of the Mighty Eighths heavy bomber force to be established in England,, the Divisions combat record was to prove in all respects the equal of its contemporaries during its two years of active operations.
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