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Two 15th Air Force Bomb Groups Cited

A 15th AAF BASE, ITALY, Nov. 6 — Four-engined Liberator bombers and more than 4,000 officers and men formed a background Friday while Maj. Gen. Nathan F. Twining, Commanding General of the 15th AAF, pinned blue battle steamers denoting War Departmen[t] unit citations on the colors of the 454th and 455th Bombardment Groups. This was the first double presentation of unit citations in the 15th AAF.

The bomb groups, part of a Liberator wing commanded by Brig. Gen. Fay R. Upthegrove, Olean, N.Y., have been in combat since the first of the year.

The 454th Bomb Group, commanded by Col. Horace D. Aynesworth, Childress, Texas, was cited for its attack on the Hermann Goering Works at Linz, Austria, July 25.

During its combat period, the 454th Bomb Group has dropped more than 8,400 tons of bombs on Axis-held targets and destroyed 223 enemy planes.

Commanded by Lt. Col. William L. Swowden, Denver, Colo., the 455th Bomb Group received its citation "for tremendous material damage" inflicted on the important ball bearing works at Sleyr [Steyr], Austria, April 2. The group was led by its former commander Col. Kenneth A. Cool, Cleveland, Ohio. During the attack, the group encountered 75 rocket and cannon-firing enemy planes. In the fierce air battle, gunners of the group destroyed 27, probably destroyed 17 more, with a loss of only four Liberators.

All groups of Brig. Gen. Upthegrove's wing have received War Department citations.