About this website
This site is a tribute to those who served with the 458th Bomb Group during World War II. It is also a tribute to Crew 74, of which my father, Samuel D. Scorza, was a part. My father was assigned to the 458th Bombardment Group (H) in October 1943. He had just completed navigation training at San Marcos, Texas, and the group was nearing its final stages in assigning crews to the newly formed squadrons in Tonopah, Nevada. He became the navigator on Crew 74.. After training, they flew the 'Southern Route' to England in January 1944, arriving at Horsham St. Faith near Norwich in February. The group flew its first mission on March 2, 1944. Crew 74 completed their tour of 30 missions in June 1944.
When I first started researching my dad's crew, I was very disappointed at how little there was to be found on the 458th Bomb Group. Other than four volumes of a very good History of the 458th Bomb Group published many years ago by George Reynolds, the group's historian, there was not much on the 458th. Compared to some of the other bomb groups in the 8th Air Force, the 458th, it seemed, was a ghost group. That is one of the reasons for this website.
Over the course of the last several years I have found mission records, photos, Missing Air Crew Reports (MACR), and many other items of interest about the group. I became fascinated with all of those associated with the 458th. I have had the privilege to speak with numerous veterans over the phone, and many more via mail and email. Every single one of these men has been very forthcoming and generous in my numerous requests for information. It is because of their very kind contributions that this web page is possible.
It was the result of this continued correspondence with veterans and their families that allowed me to collaborate with two amazing individuals, Ron Mackay and Mike Bailey, in 2009. Together, we were able to put together a comprehensive history of the 458th Bomb Group from training in Tonopah, Nevada in the winter of 1943, through the German surrender in 1945. It was published by Schiffer Books in October 2010.
LIBERATORS OVER NORWICH
The 458th Bomb Group (H), 8th USAAF at Horsham St. Faith - 1944-1945
Update - March 2016
In the course of my research, I very often come to find that the information I seek is available, but at a cost. The 458th Bombardment Group has 63 boxes of records stored at the National Archives. These records can be ordered on CD or paper, the cost is currently about $0.75 per page. Documents consist of Operational Summaries, Mission Reports, Group Commander Reports, etc. Also available from Internet sources are aircraft Accident Reports (most with photos); and unit, parent unit and sub-unit records on microfilm. These records are generally $30.00 or less.
Some of these documents and microfilm reels (CDs) have been given to me by other researchers, but I have also purchased quite a number of these records, and most of them appear on this site in one form or another, many in their entirety. I have also been able to send numerous documents to family members seeking information on their 458th veteran or to the veterans themselves
For this reason I am going to leave the Donate button up. Any amount is very much appreciated and will be used solely for the acquisition of 458th materials and the maintenance of this website.
If you wish to honor an individual or group, I will gladly post that information on the Donations page.
Thank you very much for anything you can give!!
Please sign our GUEST BOOK or SEND ME A MESSAGE using the form below.
This website is a work in progress. If you are in possession of photos, documents, stories, or other memorabilia from the group, please consider sharing it with the site and help preserve the history of this group.
I welcome any and all comments. Please use the form below to send me an email.
Site Updates - 2017
01/17/17 - Added mission info for Yankee Buzz Bomb, "BIG DICK" Hard to hit to Group Aircraft page
02/07/17 - Added memoir, account of shoot down of John S. Holodak to Glass Crew page (755BS)
02/07/17 - Added information/photos on Sgt Charles Frazer, Jr to Duke Crew Page (754BS)
05/19/17 - Added diaries of William D. Ruth and Harold W. Smith to Healy Crew Page (753BS)