15th AF The Fifteenth Air Force 15th AF

885th Bomb Squadron

In October 1944, the AAF assigned heavy bombers to augment the transport of supplies and weapons to partisan groups, and the 885th Bombardment Squadron began flying to distant points in northern Italy and Yugoslavia.  After the invasion of southern France, the United States increased its support for the Italian partisans, flying first from North Africa and later from Italy, the 885th Bombardment Squadron dropped tons of supplies to resistance forces in the Po Valley.  Until the end of the war, American units continued supplying partisan bands wherever they fought, from remote mountains and valleys to the teeming cities of Belgrade, Zagreb, and Sarajevo.

Black Bird

Courtesy of Enrico Barbina

Aircraft of the 885th were typically painted black to be invisible on the night missions flown by the organization.

Roster of the 885th Bomb Squadron

Aircraft of the 885th Bomb Squadron

885th BS Targets

Mission Planning

Courtesy of Enrico Barbina

Navigators plot the course for their next mission in northern Italy 15 February 1945.

Preparing for drop

Courtesy of Enrico Barbina

T/Sgt. Charles Locasto of Ridgewood, New York and S/Sgt. John Padgett of Newberry, South Carolina attach parachute drop packages to the static line on board their plane over Italy.  Both men are members of the 885th Bomb Squadron (H).

The Drop

Courtesy of Enrico Barbina

Supplies are dropped from a Consolidated B-24 to Partisans behind enemy lines in Italy 15 February 1945.

Adams

Courtesy of Kathleen Black

Elwood Rayfield Adams, Gunner

Photographs

Jerome L. Solomon's Crew