398th Organizational Mission
The mission of the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association
There was no mistaking the mission of the 398th Bomb Group in WWII - it was to contribute to winning a war in a major way. The mission of the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association is a bit more difficult to define, but is concentrated in two very special areas. The first, and perhaps foremost, is the membership's wish to have the 398th's combat history survive in permanent and meaningful ways. The 398th has done well as on organization on this desire. Many sincere and dedicated individuals have spent years of effort in assuring the 398th will be remembered with tangible things. These include:
- Memorial monuments in Nuthampstead, England and in the 8th AF Heritage Museum in Savannah, GA.;
- A magnificent stained glass window in St. George's Church in Anstey, England;
- Memorial trees in Nuthampstead, England, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, Merseburg, Germany and Neuss, Germany; and
- Plaques at the Air Force Academy in Colorado, Wright-Paterson AFB, OH and in Ephrata, Washington.
Also of real significance is that we have a real flying B-17 with the 398th's combat insignia constantly in view touring the United States, courtesy of the Experimental Aircraft Association located in Oshkosh, WI.
In addition, we have obtained all possible 398th combat records from archives and individuals, and have compiled them onto CD-ROM, and made that information easily available for purchase.
But, perhaps most lasting of all, is that we have a dedicated Flak News editor, Allen Ostrom, that has produced a 398th oriented newsletter, four times a year, for the past seventeen years. These volumes of 398th history and personal remembrances recorded in Flak News may outlast all the other 398th memorials in the years ahead.
The important second mission of the Association is to provide the facilities for our veteran membership to meet, continue to enjoy their wartime friendships and to recall their combat experiences in the 398th's years of war. To do that, the 398th has conducted nineteen very successful annual reunions at meeting sites spread across the United States. There has also been every other year returns to our Station 131 home at Nuthampstead, England since 1986. Each of these returns to Nuthampstead has included tour extensions - for example a ride on the Rhine, a ground visit to a target city like Merseburg, Germany or a Flak leave area in Scotland. At this time we are not discussing when our reunion business will come to an end, but we know the end will come, when the time is right.
So these are our missions: make a sincere effort to permanently record the wartime service of the 398th; and provide the opportunity for 398th veterans, members of their families and other friends, to spend time recalling 398th events that happened years ago.
We welcome all who will celebrate this with us. Please visit the Prospective Member Page.