Our Heroes and History
The 100th Bombardment Group entered combat operations in the spring of 1943, joining the growing ranks of the U.S. Army Air Forces stationed in England during WWII. As part of America’s effort to stop Hitler’s conquest of Europe, they flew B-17 “Flying Fortresses” during almost daily daylight missions against strategic targets deep into German territory at tremendous risk. On their very first combat flight, the Group lost three planes and thirty men over Bremen. Barely three months later, only one aircraft from the Group managed to returned to base at Thorpe Abbotts, England from a mission to Munster. The courage and persistence of the Group’s many unsung heroes in the face of staggering losses became legendary, earning them a lasting place in history—as the “Bloody Hundredth®.”
Today, the 100th Bomb Group Foundation, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization, is dedicated to preserving and promoting the legacy of one of the most famous Air Force units of World War II. The 100th Bombardment Group (Heavy) of the Eighth Air Force of the U.S. Army Air Forces (the “100th BG®”), became known as the “Bloody Hundredth.” The heroic exploits of its crewmembers and high mortality rate made it one of the most- revered and decorated units in World War II.
The Foundation, originally started as a veterans’ reunion association in 1985 by William A. Carleton, Robert Rosenthal, and Irving B. Waterbury, Jr., has evolved to focus its efforts on the preservation, research, and education of the 100th BG’s critical place in World War II history. The Foundation is proud to offer one of the most comprehensive archives and detailed histories of the 100th BG.
The mission of the 100th Bomb Group Foundation is to preserve and disseminate first-hand historical accounts of the men, missions, and machines that fought in the skies over Europe during WWII.
The Foundation fulfills its mission of preservation, research, and education through:
- Archiving and Preserving
Central to the Foundation’s mission of preserving and protecting the history of the 100th BG, the Foundation focuses much of its efforts on archiving historical artifacts and information to preserve the legacy of the 100th BG for future generations. These artifacts, which include photographs, videos, personal items, and equipment, represent the largest and most comprehensive collection of 100th BG memorabilia in the world, and contribute to the ongoing global public education about the Eighth Air Force of World War II’s history generally, and more specifically, the 100th BG’s place in those events.
- Museum Lending
As part of the Foundation’s mission to educate the public about the achievements of the 100th BG, the Foundation participates in an extensive lending program of its historical collection to museums around the world, including the Thorpe Abbotts 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum (Norfolk, England); Museum of Air Battle over the Ore Mountains (Kovarska, Czech Republic); National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force (Savannah, Georgia, USA); National World War II Museum (New Orleans, Louisiana, USA); National Museum of WWII Aviation (Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA); The 13th Combat Wing Exhibit, at the 390th Memorial Museum, (Tucson, Arizona, USA); and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, (Washington, D.C., USA).
- Support for Historians
Foundation volunteers provide leading historians, academics, students, and other history enthusiasts with access to comprehensive research and archival resources on the 100th BG and the air war over Europe in WWII.
- Quarterly Splasher Six Publications
Begun as a newsletter in 1970, and becoming a quarterly publication of the 100th BG Foundation since 1980, Splasher Six serves as a regular touch point for the Foundation’s members and supporters. The title honors the “Splasher” beacons used during World War II to guide aircraft formation assemblies and then as location signals to guide pilots and crews on their return to base
- Reunions and Seminars
The Foundation organizes reunions throughout the country that function as business meetings, seminars, and historical displays. Veterans and their families and friends, as well as those with an interest in the 100th BG, can remember, honor, and learn about the 100th BG and World War II air war over Europe.
Our vision to educate the world on the history of heroism, sacrifice and service to the cause of freedom of the 100th Bomb Group of World War II continues through the content of this website; member-led educational programs and presentations; and historical, technical, and editorial support for non-fiction publications, films, museum exhibits, and virtual reality projects.