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Enjoy this history of the 97th Bombardment Group in World War II with this discovered archival film footage. The 97th BG moved from England to North Africa in late 1942 where they were assigned to the 12th Air Force. In the fall of 1943 they were based in Italy as part of the 15th Air Force. This film begins with their arrival in Algeria in 1942 staging at the bases of Maison Blanche, Biskra and Chateaudun-du-Rhumel and then at Depienne, Tunisia before their last move to Amendola, Italy where they would remain until Victory in the Europe in 1945.
Identified Boeing B-17 aircraft are seen on the ground and in the air at their various bases and the viewer gets a unique look and visual record of the 97th Bombardment Group and their Flying Fortress aircraft in action during World War II.
In constructing this film on the 97th Bombardment Group, we have watched hundreds of hours of film footage. We have utilized a variety of sources for research. What has remained is identified footage. We present this material without any narration (sound) added. Footage contained has not been enhanced in any way. Some may be over exposed, other clips dark and even items may not have ideal focus. Nevertheless, we want to present the most comprehensive record of this group on film.
The footage in this movie contains film of the 97th when they were assigned to the 12th AF and 15th AF. These are not documentary wwii movies, they are not hollywood produced films but the raw original footage taken by the photographers of the Army Air Forces Combat Camera Units. Much of the footage was digitized from 16mm and 35mm film reels.
246 total minutes of silent black and white film footage. There is also a bit of rare color footage in North Africa. 204 minutes of the 97th then 42 minutes that includes listening to the three commanders, Doolittle, Spaatz and Eisenhower discuss the victory in North Africa. Also, see results of the air war with destroyed North African targets and the bombardment of Ploesti, Rumania.
Exceptional historic footage
Posted by Col John J. Rankin, USMC (Ret.) on 21st Aug 2016
Tremendous effort went into assembling footage that was directly tied to the 97th. My father was a crew chief and line chief in the 97th (414th Sqdn) when it arrived in England and through North Africa and Italy. The film matches the photos he took and stories he told of his time in the 97th. Great work!