Campaign Game Background:

The historical 88th Bomber Group existed in WW2 as a training and replacement group stationed in the United States.  It never saw action nor did it ship out overseas before it was eventually deactivated in May 1944.

Unit history: Constituted as 88th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 15 Jul 1942, but not manned until Sept. Equipped with B-17's. Served for a short time as an operational training unit and afterward as a replacement training unit. Assigned to Second and later to Third AF. Inactivated on 1 May 1944.

For the purposes of this game, this is an alternate-history campaign, a 'what if' reality.  This alternate-history is based that the Department of the Army designated the 88th BG to be part of the massive buildup of the 15th AF taking place for 1944.  After training its crews in Walla Walla, Washington, the 88th is shipped overseas to southern Italy in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO).  Arriving in early December 1943 at Sterparone Airfield in Foggia, Italy, it joins the 5th Bomb Wing along with the other B-17 groups that had just recently transferred from Tunisia, the 2nd, 97th, 99th and 301st.  This is where the campaign game commences.

Historical Notes: The aircraft serial numbers assigned were actual production numbers that were canceled.  Sterparone Field was the home field of the 483rd BG that arrived in April-May 1944.


This is a play by e-mail event using the solitaire board game, "B-17, Queen of the Skies" published by the Avalon Hill Game company circa 1983.

The subject of the original game covered the strategic bombing campaign carried out by the US 8th Air Force from Nov. 1942-to-May 1943.  The game represented the missions of a single B-17 bomber faced during this time period as its crew attempted to fly the necessary 25 missions in order to earn their ticket home.  A variant was later published by Avalon Hill's house magazine, "The General", which expanded the game to include the 15th Air Force flying from southern Italy in 1944.  This alternate-history campaign will be using this variant.

The group CO will post the mission's parameters, covering the target, friendly fighter escort, weather, flak intensity and other pertinent information pertaining to the mission.  The players will then 'fly' the mission on their own and then will report back to the CO their results within a set time period, usually set beforehand between 21-to-28 days.  The details of the mechanics are included in the following procedures section below.

Ownership of the game is a requirement.  The game is no longer in print but it may be found on E-bay or at game convention auctions or flea markets.  Be warned that the game may be costly.  Ownership of the 15th AF variant is helpful but not necessary.

If you wish to join in on the fun, please visit the "Uncle Sam & the 88th BG Wants You" recruiting link.

One of the things that makes this type of format enjoyable to be a part of, is the role-playing element contributed by the imaginative players.  Players are encouraged to write not only descriptive mission narratives but to write on other events happening other than the missions.  On other virtual bombing groups like this, some players really enjoy the role-playing aspects that this type of game provides. They have written short stories as in the form of the servicemen writing letters back home to their families, on the daily life on the base and surrounding countryside during the non-missions time periods, going to a nearby town on a 3-day pass, events played out in their imaginations as if they were there too.  It is hoped the new members to the group will continue to do this.

Change, 10 April 2005: Based on some inappropriate submissions, some decorum must now be observed.  Taking a page out of Scott Settlemire's 99th BG site, the following addition is required for all participants:

    GAME CONDUCT: During World War II, units of the 15th Air Force took part in the war in the skies over southern Europe. The men of the 15th AF made tremendous sacrifices and many gave their lives.  I, and the vast majority of war gamers, have the greatest respect for what these men, and many other millions from around the world, did in defense of freedom.  There is a risk in giving a name of a historical unit to a game, even one as the 88th that did not see action.  I have every confidence that those involved in “Power to Shatter” with me will treat their subject submissions with the appropriate respect and historical content that it deserves. Those who do not will be promptly and without appeal removed from the game.


All rules in the game, the 15th Air Force variant, plus errata published in The General will be used. The following exceptions are noted:

2)  New Vastly Different Rule Changes From the Original Game Now Being Used:




When the mission is complete, each player will email an after action report to BOTH their squadron and group C.O.  (Group and squadron officers are posted on the group web page).  Players will use the following format for their AAR’s:


Player Name: 

Player e-mail:


Plane Name: 


Mission #:

Target City:  


Did the B-17 Bomb the target:

Bomb Run: 

Aircraft status:



# KIA:

# WIA: 

# POW:

# Crew Evaded capture:


Names & positions of replacement crew members:


Total Enemy A/C Claimed by type: New addition requirement: The order of aircraft shot down by the crew must be reported for kill conformation.


Medal Recommendations:


Mission Description:

Note: GM has to right to edit narratives (for grammar and spelling) before it is posted to the web site.


6)  OFFICER PROMOTIONS ("Rank has it's privileges" role-playing rule)


7).      GROUP DECORATIONS AND AWARDS (Optional role-playing element)

Return to Sterparone Field