The General Staff of the 8th United States Army Air Force created the "Grand Slam Award" in 1943. It had criteria that was to be maintained in order for a unit to be considered for the citation. Awards were given each month in five graded performance categories:
# 1- Best bombing results ( greatest percentage of bombs on target) decided by OAS ground observations and aerial reconnaissance
# 2- Greatest amount of bomb (tonnage) dropped on target
# 3- Keeping Largest amount of combat (fighter/bomber) aircraft operational
# 4- Lowest abortive rate of aircraft
# 5- Lowest loss of aircraft by a unit
In order to win the Grand Slam Award you had to win three of the five categories.
Only one unit ever received a Grand Slam Award, the 379th BG. They ranked first in all five categories for mission statistics of May 1944
The Grand Slam Award was created by the General Staff of the 8th Air Force as an incentive to perform feats above and beyond the call of duty. It was an expression for a job well done under dangerous situations over enemy territory. By January of 1945, it became apparent that the resources needed to collect and process all the data to calculate and present such an award was too extensive and untimely. By the time the award could be presented most of the personnel who had helped earn the award were headed for home or already stateside. The Grand Slam Award became secondary to the the war efforts that the Mighty 8th faced. The Grand Slam was dropped from the 8th Air Forces' Awards Programs after the war.
Home Of The Swamp Fire - Serial # 42-32024 - A/C # 20292 - Fuselage Code WA-L > **Tales Of The Swamp Fire** >