WWII Fifteenth Air Force Websites

$3,255 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 25 people in 46 months
Hughes Glantzberg  GUNNISON, CO
I have been working on the Fifteenth Air Force websites for over ten years now.  The idea is to tell people about the Fifteenth Air Force and what their part was during World War II to help end the war in Europe.  Please see www.15thaf.org for more information.  I'm looking for financial help to continue this project.  Here is a brief story of the Fifteenth Air Force.

In the 18 months of existence the Fifteenth Air Force, operating principally from the complex of airfields in southern Italy, destroyed all gasoline production within its range in southern Europe; knocked out all the major aircraft factories in its sphere; and destroyed 6,282 enemy aircraft in the air and on the ground.

The Fifteenth crippled the enemy's transportation system over half of once-occupied Europe with repeated fighter and bomber attacks. On occasion it helped disperse enemy counter attacks and spearheaded the advances of our own armies.

The Fifteenth dropped 303,842 tons of bombs on enemy targets in nine countries of Europe, including military installations in eight capital cities. Its combat personnel made 148,955 heavy bomber sorties and 87,732 fighter sorties against the enemy.

It lost 3,364 aircraft and 21,671 personnel killed, wounded, missing and taken prisoner -- 20,430 bomber crewmen and 1,187 fighter pilots.

The Fifteenth fought four broad campaigns: against enemy oil, enemy air force, enemy communications, and enemy ground forces. Most vital of the Fifteenth's oil targets was the Ploesti complex of refineries, which contributed about 30% of the entire Axis oil supply and an equal amount of gasoline. Ploesti was protected by 150 first class fighters and 250 heavy flak guns when the Fifteenth, with the cooperation of the RAF 205th Group of night bombers, began a series of attacks against it on April 5. The campaign continued until 19 August. Fifteenth and RAF bombers flew 5,287 sorties, dropping 12,870 tons of bombs. The cost was 237 heavies (15 of them RAF), 10 P-38 dive bombers and 39 escorting fighters. More than 2,200 American Airmen were lost. But results were good. At the end of the campaign the refineries were reduced to only 10% of their normal rate of activity and during the entire period from April to August the average production rate was reduced by 60%.

The Fifteenth followed up the Ploesti attacks by dropping 10,000 tons of bombs in attacks on three synthetic oil plants in Silesia and one in Poland, reducing their combined production by February of 1945 to 20% of what it was in June of 1944.

By devastating attacks on Weiner Neustadt and Regenshurg, two of the three main enemy fighter manufacturing complexes, the Fifteenth helped materially in the attainment of European air supremacy. By May 1944, estimated actual production stood at 250 aircraft a month within range of the Fifteenth against a contemplated production of 650 aircraft per month.

Through the counter-air force and oil campaigns, the Fifteenth was also attacking enemy communications and transportation systems far behind the front lines, disrupting supply movements from industrial centers over an 800 mile radius from the Italian airfields.

The Fifteenth also supplied Allied Army cooperation bombing targets at Salerno, Anzio, and Cassino in the Rome campaign. On 15 April 1945 the Fifteenth put up a record smashing 93% of its available aircraft to soften up the approaches to Bologna in one of the final missions of the Italian campaign.

A unique sidelight of the Fifteenth's operations has been the rescue and repatriation of air crews shot down in enemy territory. No other air force has undertaken escape operations in so many countries. The Fifteenth has returned 5,650 personnel by air, surface vessel and on foot through enemy lines. In more than 300 planned "reunion" operations, men have been brought back safely from Tunisia, Italy, France, Switzerland, Greece, Albania, Bulgaria, Rumania, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Austria and Germany.
+ Read More
Update 2
Posted by Hughes Glantzberg
45 months ago
I thought I would let everyone know that thanks to the donations I've received, I've now registered two new domains in order to make it easier to find what you're looking for on the Fifteenth Air Force website. Try out 451st.org and 460th.org.
+ Read More
Update 1
Posted by Hughes Glantzberg
46 months ago
I'm looking to raise money for a special project. Please consider helping and please, please spread the word to all your friends . Every little bit helps.
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update
Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.

$3,255 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 25 people in 46 months
Created March 29, 2015
Hughes Glantzberg
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
Roy White
12 months ago

A friendly voice that "Big G" would instantly recognize in the skies over Southern Europe, call sign "Big Fence" often directed 100+ lost, damaged, and SAR aircraft during a typical shift. I'm thinking you might create a link to "6649th Navigational Aids Squadron" which I could then help you to populate with their story.

Jeannie Thomas
22 months ago

So happy to have found all the great work documenting the history of the 15th and more specifically, the 49th Bomb Group!

Jerry Whiting (485th BG Assoc)
22 months ago

This website is great to keep these memories alive. Hughes is doing a fantastic job of honoring our 15th AF Vets in this way and this donation is from the 485th Bomb Group Association.

Pamela Louie
24 months ago

My father was George Leonard Jaire

Gerry Mitchell
26 months ago

In memory of Frank Mitchell, B-24 pilot in the 460th Bomb Group

Peter Kendall
32 months ago

My Dad was in the 461st, Thaddeus Kaczerski. He was the navigator/bombardier based in Cerignola and flew missions to Linz, Austria. Thank you for creating and maintaining this wonder site!

Robert Pioli
33 months ago

For my father.

Susan Rodkin
42 months ago

Thank you for this incredible website that has allowed my family to learn more about our wonderful dad, Terence L. Girvan, 5 Bomb Wing, 2nd Bomb Group, who was a B-17 pilot at Amendola Air Force Base out of Foggia, Italy. We are so grateful!

Foster Hamilton
43 months ago

Thank you for providing this valuable information, I cannot express how much it means to me. Through your efforts I was able to find information on my father, Foster Hamilton III, who was part of the 736 SQ, 454 BG and shot down 11 Nov 1944.

Fred Johnson
44 months ago

In memory of Fred W Johnson Jr., 756th Bomb Squadron.

Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.