This B-24 website is dedicated to the men who flew with the 445th Bomb Group out of Tibenham, England during World War II. It is our mission to preserve their history for future generations. It is for us, those who came after the men and women you will read about and see, to cherise their memory and never forget the sacrifices they made so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we have today. Even more so, given the current economic and political climate, we need to remember what it was that made them the "greatest generation".
Before you progress on into the pages of the 445th's website, I would like to take a minute of your time with a request for assistance. For the past fourteen years my wife Deborah (or Deb as she like to be called) and I have borne the full costs of supporting this website, doing the research, and purchasing materials to include in not only the website, but to enhance the Personal Mission Histories that we do for the veterans and families of 445th members.
Unless you have experience in website creation and hosting, most of you aren't aware of the costs that goes along with maintaining a website from year to year. I did a lot of research to find a good hosting company at a very reasonable price that would have the resources to host what I hope will become the model for a World War 2 aviation website. As I want to present a lot of pictures, bandwidth (how much website traffic would be allowed) and disk storage space (pictures eat up a lot of space) became primary factors. The Canadian firm called Netfirms had a package deal that was too good to pass up.
To host the website for 2 years is $214.80 and to register the domain name "445BG.org" is $35 per year. To develop the website, I purchased Incomedia's WebSite X5 at a cost of about $150. To store the hundreds of pictures, files, maps, and videos we've had to purchase additional disk storage equipment for my main computer system. Because of the size of some of the tables Deb and I are working with, our main computer system was upgraded to a Dell quad-core system with 8 Gigabytes of memory and 2.5 Terabytes of disk storage space. To use the additional Random Access Memory (RAM) in the system, the Operating System was upgraded to Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit) ($239.00) and use Microsoft Office Professional 2010 ($359.00) to handle tables up to 4,795 rows by 300 columns. I've since upgraded my computer system to a custom-built, 3.8GHz eight core processor system with 16 Gigabytes of RAM. That more computing power than was used for all of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo moon missions combined!
We also have our eyes on some 35 reels of microfilm (which have been converted to CDs) with information like Tactical Mission Reports, Unit Special and General Orders, Awards and Decorations, Maps, Strike Photos. Each reel of microfilm (or CD) contains some 2,000 images (pages) of records. That's some 70,000 pages of documentation that will have to be reviewed, cataloged, and saved to disk. Those 35 CDs will cost us $30 each for a total of $1,050.
There are other fees that we pay to get information and to provide services to our patrons. I keep a membership with Footnote.com to research biographical data on 445th members as well as having access to all of the Missing Air Crew Reports (MACRs) and photos that were digitized out of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) in College Park, MD. That's $59.95 a year. All of the proceeds go back into an account we use only for the 445th Website and research services.
I know these times are tough, but if you can see your way to make a donation to the 445th, you can be assured that those funds will be spent wisely and well in support of the website and the acquisition of additional reference material to support our mission. Help us keep alive the memory of those brave men of the 445th; all gave some and some gave all!
Donations can be made by check, money order, and PayPal (which will handle secure credit card donations). If you would like to send your donations directly to me, please contact me at my 445th email account. Thank you very much for your time in reading this. Please continue on and learn about the 445th Bomb Group.
Update #1: 10 August 2012: Thanks to the generousity of followers of this website, the first 20 reels of microfilm have been received from the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. Those 20 reels each contain up to 2,000 pages or "frames" of filmed documents pertaining to the 2nd Air Division which was the parent unit for the majority of the B-24 bomb groups flying out of England. With more than 35,000 pages of documents to go through, it will take some time to go through the records and sort them out into what will be presented here on this website and what will go into reference material for future books about the 445th Bomb Group.
Update #2: 03 February 2013: Once again thanks are in order for a close personal friend of the family who graciously offered a donation which allowed us to order the remaining 17 reels of microfilm records that will complete our reference library. The order was placed in mid-January and is expected sometime around the first weeks of this coming summer.
Update #3: 10 February 2013: SHOCK! In today's mail came the remaining 17 disks from AFHRA. Unfortunately, they sent only the PDFs of the reels, not the requested JPG images. I've contacted the folks at AFHRA and they profusely apologized and will be sending the correct disks,
Update #4: 18 February 2013: Today 17 DVDs arrived containing the requested reels with JPG images. I can't say enough about how appreciative I am for the Maxwell AFB staff in completing the order. They have certainly gone the extra mile in filling this request.
Update #5: 20 July 2013: With the able assistance of the Heritage League, whom this site is collaborating with on all the microfilm data, the final 7 reels of microfilm data has been received from AFHRA. Included were 9 reels of Individual Aircraft Record Cards (IARCs) that covers about 2/3's of the 445th's aircraft in the unit inventory.
Update #6: 12 September 2013: Started reconstruction of the 445th website as a result of a catastrophic disk failure on the webmaster's computer system resulting in the loss of a significant amount of information as well as the working copy of the website.