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Theater of Operations

The 449th Bomb Group began arriving at its operating base of Grottaglie, Italy in December 1943. Grottaglie Field was located in southern Italy on the instep of the Italian boot, near the town of Taranto. By the first of January 1944, the 449th was ready to commence combat operations. The 449th operated from Grottaglie from January 1944 until the end of the war in Europe in May 1945. From Grottaglie, the 449th flew a total of 254 combat missions against targets in central and eastern Europe. The missions reached as far north as Regensburg and Munich, Germany, and Vienna, Austria; as far east as Ploesti, Romania; and as far west as southern France.