472nd Bombardment Group

472nd Bombardment Group


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

472nd Bombardment Group

History - Books - Aircraft - Time Line - Commanders - Main Bases - Component Units - Assigned To

History

The 472nd Bombardment Group was a home-based training unit that trained crews for combat in the B-29 Superfortress. The group was activated on 1 September 1943 and became part of the Second Air Force. It became the 472nd Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) on 1 December 1943, but was disbanded on 1 April 1944.

Books

Aircraft

September 1943-April 1944

Timeline

19 May 1943Constituted as 472nd Bombardment Group (Heavy)
1 September 1943Activated; assigned to Second Air Force
1 December 1943Redesignated 472nd Bombardment Group (Very Heavy)
1 April 1944Disbanded

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Maj Conrad H Diehl: 6Oct 1943
Col Thomas H Chapman: 22Oct 1943-unkn.

Main Bases

Smoky Hill AAFld, Kan: 1Sep 1943
Clovis AAFld, NM: 7 Dec 1943-1 April 1944

Component Units

808th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1944
809th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1944
810th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1944
811th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-1944

Assigned To

1943-1944: 58th Bombardment Wing; XX Bomber Command; Second Air Force (Disbanded in US)


582d Air Resupply and Communications Wing

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

The 582d Air Resupply and Communications Wing is an inactive United States Air Force wing. Its last duty assignment was at Great Falls Air Force Base, Montana.

The first predecessor of the wing was the 472d Bombardment Group, which trained Boeing B-29 Superfortress crews for combat deployment until being disbanded in 1944 at Clovis Army Air Field. The wing was activated in 1952 and trained for psychological operations. Although the wing was inactivated in 1953, its operational group, the 582d Air Resupply Group deployed to RAF Molesworth, England, where it conducted special operations until inactivating in October 1956.

In 1985, the 582d Air Resupply and Communications Wing and the 472d Bombardment Group were consolidated as the 472d Special Operations Wing, but the consolidated unit has not been active.


Для показа рекламных объявлений Etsy по интересам используются технические решения сторонних компаний.

Мы привлекаем к этому партнеров по маркетингу и рекламе (которые могут располагать собранной ими самими информацией). Отказ не означает прекращения демонстрации рекламы Etsy или изменений в алгоритмах персонализации Etsy, но может привести к тому, что реклама будет повторяться чаще и станет менее актуальной. Подробнее в нашей Политике в отношении файлов Cookie и схожих технологий.


Related Research Articles

The 97th Air Mobility Wing is a United States Air Force (USAF) unit assigned to Nineteenth Air Force of Air Education and Training Command. It is stationed at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The wing is also the host unit at Altus. It plans and executes McDonnell Douglas C-17 Globemaster III, Boeing KC-46, and Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker pilot and aircrew training, providing formal school initial and advanced specialty training programs for up to 3,000 students annually. The training is done in a three-phase approach: Academic Phase, Simulator Phase, and Flying Phase.

The 376th Air Expeditionary Wing is an inactive wing of the United States Air Force. It was last stationed at the Transit Center at Manas International Airport, Kyrgyz Republic, supporting U.S. and ISAF operations in Afghanistan.

The 43d Air Mobility Operations Group is an active duty air mobility unit at Pope Field, Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and is part of the Air Mobility Command (AMC) USAF Expeditionary Center. The unit is composed of five squadrons, including one of the only two active Air Force aeromedical evacuation squadrons based in the United States. The group's primary mission focuses on providing enroute operations and enabling global response and airborne support for Fort Bragg's 82nd Airborne Division.

The 379th Air Expeditionary Wing is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to Air Combat Command. As a provisional unit, it may be activated or inactivated at any time.

RAF Kimbolton is a former Royal Air Force station located 8 miles (13 km) west of Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England.

The 384th Air Expeditionary Wing is an inactive unit of the United States Air Force. Its last assignment was with the United States Central Command Air Forces, being stationed at Shaikh Isa Air Base, Bahrain. It was inactivated in 2004. The wing's mission is largely undisclosed. However, it is known that one of its missions was aerial refueling of combat aircraft.

The 7th Expeditionary Airborne Command and Control Squadron is part of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. It operates the E-8 Joint STARS aircraft, conducting airborne command and control missions. The squadron has performed the airborne command and control mission since 1968, when it was activated in Vietnam. In 1985, the squadron was consolidated with three earlier units: The 7th Ferrying Squadron, which helped deliver aircraft to the Soviet Union from 1942 until 1944 the 7th Combat Cargo Squadron, which performed combat airlift missions in the Southwest Pacific Theater from 1944 until V-J Day, then became part of the Occupation Forces in Japan until inactivating in 1948 and the 7th Air Transport Squadron, Special, which provided airlift support for the United States' special weapons porograms from 1954 to 1966.

The 385th Air Expeditionary Group is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to Air Mobility Command to activate or inactivate as needed. It was last known to be stationed at Incirlik AB, Turkey. It is currently a tenant unit of the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar.

The 22d Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit, assigned to United States Air Forces Central. It is engaged in combat operations as part of the Global War on Terrorism in Afghanistan. Its current status and location are undetermined.

The 97th Operations Group is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the 97th Air Mobility Wing of Air Education and Training Command. It is stationed at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma.

The 305th Operations Group is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the 305th Air Mobility Wing. It is stationed at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey.

The 774th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit, assigned to the 455th Expeditionary Operations Group at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan. The squadron provides airlift to forces engaged in the War in Afghanistan.

The 28th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It was last known to be assigned to the 40th Air Expeditionary Group. Diego Garcia Air Base, British Indian Ocean Territory. Its current status is at Al Udeid Air Base under the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group.

The 920th Air Refueling Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 379th Bombardment Wing at Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan where it was inactivated on 30 September 1992.

The 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 379th Expeditionary Operations Group at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. It has supported combat operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria from this location.

The 745th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to Air Combat Command to activate or inactivate as needed. Most recently, it operated Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft in theater airlift missions as part of the Global War on Terrorism.

The 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to Air Combat Command to activate or inactivate as needed. Most recently, it operated Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft in theater airlift missions as part of the Global War on Terrorism.

The 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 385th Air Expeditionary Group, stationed at Al Udeid Air Base, Doha, Qatar and has a few detachments. It is currently engaged in combat operations in Southwest Asia.

The 466th Air Expeditionary Group of the United States Air Force provides support for airmen at stations across Afghanistan. This includes "joint expeditionary tasking" airmen, airmen whose units are assigned to a headquarters other than the one from United States Air Force during their deployment. It also includes individual augmentees assigned to joint organizations. The 466th has been headquartered at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar since 2014, when it moved from the Transit Center at Manas. The group provides a lifeline, referred to as a "Blue Line' back to the Air Force. Its two squadrons, the 466th and 966th Air Expeditionary Squadrons are still located in Afghanistan.

The 107th Attack Wing is a unit of the New York Air National Guard, stationed at Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, New York. The 107th is equipped with the MQ-9 Reaper. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force's Air Combat Command.


Lineage

  • Established as the 18th Composite Wing on 8 May 1929
  • Redesignated 18th Replacement Wing on 17 June 1942
  • Reestablished and redesignated 18th Air Division on 20 May 1959

Assignments

  • Hawaiian Department, 1 May 1931
  • Hawaiian Air Force, 1 November 1940 – 29 January 1942
  • Second Air Force, 23 June 1942 – 11 April 1944
  • Fifteenth Air Force, 1 July 1959 – 2 July 1968 [1]

Components

  • 6th Strategic Wing: 25 March 1967 – 2 July 1968
  • 91st Bombardment Wing: 1 July 1963 – 1 September 1964
  • 92d Bombardment Wing (later 92 Strategic Aerospace Wing): 1 July 1959 – 2 July 1968
  • 320th Bombardment Wing: 1 July 1965 – 2 July 1966
  • 341st Strategic Missile Wing: 2 July 1966 – 2 July 1968
  • 462d Strategic Aerospace Wing: 1 February 1963 – 25 June 1966
  • 4157th Strategic Wing: 1 July 1965 – 25 March 1967
  • 4158th Strategic Wing: 1 July 1965 – 25 June 1966
  • 4170th Strategic Wing: 1 July 1959 – 1 February 1963 [1]
  • 5th Composite Group (later, 5 Bombardment Group): 1 May 1931 – 29 January 1942
  • 11th Bombardment Group: 1 February 1940 – 29 January 1942
  • 18th Pursuit Group: 1 May 1931 – 1 November 1940

Stations

  • Fort Shafter, Hawaii, 1 May 1931
  • Hickam Field, Hawaii Territory, 30 October 1937 – 29 January 1942
  • Salt Lake City, Utah, 23 June 1942 – 11 April 1944
  • Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, 1 July 1959 – 2 July 1968 [1]

Campaigns

Campaign StreamerCampaignDatesNotes
Central Pacific7 December 1941 – 19 January 194218th Bombardment Wing [1]
American Theater without inscription23 June 1942 – 11 April 194418th Replacement Wing [1]

Lt. Robert A. Durgin U.S.A. A.F.

Robert “Bob” Durgin’s story is one of the most unusual in Haverhill World War II history. After graduating from Haverhill High School in 1940 he sought to enlist in the Air Force Cadet Corp but was only eighteen years of age. Without telling anyone he went to City Hall and obtained the birth certificate of his brother James L. Durgin who was born two years before him but had died as an infant from influenza. The birth certificate was used to gain admission into the Army Air Force as a cadet. Lieutenant Durgin who carried the name of his dead brother through all of his air battles was commissioned at the age of 19 and was probably one of the youngest pilots in the air force.

Bob had a spectacular career in the Army Air Force, figuring in several narrow escapes. He was assigned overseas in August 1942 and during his stay in the Mediterranean theater he participated in 51 combat missions mostly over Africa, Sicily and Italy as pilot of a B-25 Mitchell bomber.

In March 1943 he piloted a bomber that attacked an Axis convoy at Porto Torres, Sardinia. The plane was credited with direct hits on three enemy vessels and the sinking of an Axis merchant ship. On a later mission, in a sweep over Tunis Harbor, Lieutenant Durgin’s ship was knocked out of formation by flak and ran smack into 12 German Messerschmitts. The big bomber had to become a fighter and managed to hold its own even though the tires of the plane were flattened, the radio and hydraulic system wrecked and the tail assembly shot away.

After Bob's combat duty was completed he returned home and was assigned to Greenville, SC as a flight instructor. He also made several speaking tours throughout the east to help sell War Bonds and he was an advocate for vocational training programs for returning veterans. By late 1944, however, he became restless and put in for a return to his old unit in northern Italy before fate intervened.

On January 12, 1945, Bob was a last minute passenger on a B-25 headed to Morgantown, WV to deliver another pilot home for a bedside visit with his failing father. He accompanied the flight in order to fly the plane back to Greenville. As the pilot dropped the plane toward an icy runway he immediately ran in to trouble and the aircraft went in to a skid , overturned, and burst into flames. Lieutenant Durgin died instantly.

Awards that Lieutenant Durgin received for the 51 combat missions that he flew in the Mediterranean theater of operations included: nine oak leaf clusters for an air medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and a presidential unit citation. His mother received the posthumous award of the Purple Heart.


Target- Town of Battipaglia Squadron airplanes- thirteen

Durgin Brings Bomber Home

GAAB PARACHUTISTS INVADE NEW YORK

472nd Men Hit Silk
When Warrior Ices:
Pilot Lands Bomber

How six airmen parachuted unhurt from the famed B-25 “Desert Warrior” over New York City’s suburbs, after which the pilot brought the ship unharmed to Boston, was told this week by five officers and two enlisted men of the 472nd bombardment squadron.

The six men bailed out on the pilot’s orders when the ship iced up at 14,000 feet. All landed amidst New York’s richest estates. A sergeant landed in a tree, climbed down and met a beautiful girl waiting at the bottom. A lieutenant landed in the front yard of a mansion and was asked to share some fine old rye whiskey. Another sergeant, floating down, whistled at a civilian below him. The civilian looked up, gasped, turned and fled over the fields and far away,
The men were Lt. James L. Durgin, Haverhill, Mass., pilot Lt. Richard W. Wilson, Portsmouth, N.H., co-pilot Flight Officer Harry Jones, Bartlesville, Okla., student pilot Lt. George S. Watts, Wakefield, Mass., bombardier Sgt. Emory S. VanTine, Jamaica, long Island, engineer and S/Sgt. Paul Buono, Passaic, N.J., radio man.
The ship was the famous Desert Warrior, veteran of Mediterranean flak-filled skies. Bomber of 32 cities from El Alamein to Sicily in 73 combat missions now used as a training ship in the 472nd.
The men were on a training flight, headed to Boston from Philadelphia. They jumped at 5:30 Saturday evening. New York papers reported a small “parachutist” scare.
Back in the 472nd squadron this week the men were taking a kidding from their fellow G.L.s. Whenever they climb into a jeep on the line, someone shouts “Hey Paratrooper – got your parachute?”
They have written the Switlick Parachute Company, forwarding a supportive letter from their Commander, to obtain the little caterpillar pins which will mark them as members of the Caterpillar Club – those who have “hit the silk” in an emergency.
The Desert Warrior is back in the Squadron, safe and sound.
Here are the jumpers’ stories (except that of Lt. Simko, who was not at the interview) as told to a GAB reporter soon after the arrived back at GAAB:

Pilot Durgin
Brought Her In

Lt. Durgin turned back when he saw the ice begin to form at 14,000 feet. One engine was rough. As the rime ice, white and glistening, grew thicker on the leading edge of the wings, the plane began to buck.
“It’s like a high speed stall,” Lt. Durgin said, explaining the ice-ing up feeling.
The intercom was out, so he turned to Flight Officer Jones, standing behind him. “Everybody out,” he shouted.
Jones relayed the command. The plane, to gain flying speed, was in a steep glide. One by one the crew dropped out the hatch. Leaving Lt. Durgin alone at the controls
“At 7,000 feet I lost the ice,” Lt. Durgin said. “The radio compass was frozen at zero. I flew aural null to La Guardia, because I could hear them best. The left engine was working okay now.”
“When I couldn’t contact La Guardia I flew to Hartford, then Westover, but I couldn’t contact them either. Then I heard a weather report from Boston, so I flew there and contacted them. Radio interference was thick. I couldn’t identify or fly the beam. I finally let down on compass to the range station, and then let down on a gyro-compass heading to the field. I broke out a little to the right of the field. I landed pretty hot but safely.”
“Billups (Lt. Thomas Billups, squadron instrument instructor) was right there with me in spirit every minute. I thought about everything he’d taught me about the use of aural null in let-down procedure.”
“There was just one other time in my life when I had that same tight feeling in my stomach. That was one day over North Africa. My ship was shot up – no hydraulic system, no radio, no electric system to speak of, and no gunner. Twelve Messerschmitt 109’s lined up behind me in a string and started to peel off, one by one attacking us. That day I had to bring the ship in on the nose wheel, right wheel and wing tip.”
Lt. Durgin flew 50 missions in the Mediterranean theater. He holds the air medal and clusters.

“It seemed like the ship just didn’t want to fly anymore,” said Lt. Wilson. “When Durgin said get out, I took that for what it was worth. I had always heard about men cracking up on the plane. After I dropped out the hatch I watched the tail of the ship go over me. I was going to count to five, but that was too damn long, so I pulled the ring.”
“It took ten or twelve minutes to get down. Sometimes it seemed as if I was not dropping at all. It was cold and rainy in the clouds and I couldn’t see the ground.” He saw Lt. Jones a few hundred yards away, swinging from his chute. They waved at each other and shouted.
Two hundred feet above ground Lt. Wilson broke out of the overcast above a beautiful lawn. He landed easily, gathered his chute in his arms, and walked over a slight rise to the nearby mansion.
Mr. David Traum, representative of the Talon Slide Fasteners, welcomed him in.
“Maids started running around. They fixed a small scratch on my hand,” Lt. Wilson said. Mr. Traum offered me some rye. “I said ‘Mr. Traum, Air Corp men don’t usually drink like this,’ and then I tilted the bottle.”
He started to call Greenville. The operator asked him if he were one of the parachutists, and put him in connection with Lt. Watts nearby.

Flight Officer Jones
Kicked Others Out

With the interphone out, Flight Officer Jones was the verbal interphone as he stood just behind the pilot and co-pilot. When he saw ice forming he put his parachute harness outside his leather jacket.
Co-pilot Wilson shouted to jump. Jones turned around to find Sgt. VanTine pulling on the hatch handle to open it. On his way out, Lt. Simko caught his harness on the emergency Bomb-bay door crank housing.
“I reached down, lifted his harness free, and dropped him out like a bombardier,” Jones said. The next man, bombardier Watts also got stuck on the way out. “So I put my foot on his back and shoved him through, then I stepped out. I waited for Wilson to come out then I pulled my cord. There was no feeling of falling. I don’t even remember the jerk of the chute opening. I was too busy sweating out land, because we knew we were near Long Island Sound.”
When he broke out of the overcast he saw a small airport, a small house, and a lot of trees. His chute caught in the trees, hanging him comfortably four feet above the ground.
“So I unbuckled my harness and landed easily on the ground after the 10,000 foot drop,” he said. “I could hear the plane circling above. I wondered when it would crash, because I didn’t know Durgin was still in it.”
The airport was in construction so he went to the small house. It belonged to a doctor. A hospital was next door, but Jones was unhurt. The Doctor offered Jones a glass of milk and the use of his telephone. Jones used the phone. The operator connected him with his crew and he eventually ended up at Mitchell Field.

Bombardier Watts
Met Cows in Barn

“The only reason we had our parachute harnesses on was because Col. Bird had called a meeting recently and told everyone to wear ’em or else,” Lt. Watts said. “I jumped then looked back. After I saw the next two boys jump out of the ship I pulled my cord.”
Lt. Watts too, couldn’t believe he was actually dropping. He thought he was caught in a thermal up-draft.
On the way down he mostly prayed and “sweated out a water landing. Nobody had taken training on how to get out of a chest-type chute over water.”
He tried to put the rip-cord ring in his jacket pocket, but he dropped it, though he doesn’t remember doing so.
“Then I pulled out my jackknife, because I’d heard of men being dragged by their chutes when they landed,” he said.
Suddenly he came out of the overcast to see a yellow house and a patch of woods. There was no time to slip the chute. He missed a fence and landed hard in a field. As he was trying to spill the air from it, the chute dragged him ten feet where it caught in a fence and spilled itself.
“A farmyard nearby looked deserted,” he said. “I went in to the barn and saw many cattle, and knew there must be people around.”
He found a nearby caretakers house and got on the telephone. After a little tussle with the operator to get Priority One on his call, he notified Mitchell Field. Later the local phone supervisor said she had talked with Wilson, Simko and Jones.
The local police turned up with the rear entrance hatch of the plane. They said he landed on the estate of Mr. Chisholm, “one of the ten richest men in the world.”

VanTine Met By
Beautiful Girl

“I’d been in bad weather before,” said Sgt. VanTine the engineer. “Every time like that I put on my parachute. We had a tough time with the hatch – had to kick it out. Then somebody gave me a heave and out I went.”
“On the way down I was mostly sweating out Buono (S/Sgt. Buono, the radioman). I knew he was the only one in the back of the plane. It was a swell ride, going down. Finally my chute caught in a tree. I grabbed a limb as it went past. The limb broke, but it broke my fall. I swung into the tree, wrapped my legs around it so both hands would be free, and unbuckled my chute. I shinnied down the tree. And there, waiting for me, was a really beautiful girl.” She was Barbara Woodger, daughter of the caretaker on the estate. She took him to her father’s house and gave him a drink. When he got on the phone, the operator fixed up a three-way connection with Jones and another of the crew.
Watts landed only a mile away and Wilson, Watts and VanTine ended up at Fort Slocum, an infantry camp, where they were toasted in the Officers Club. The Commander, a colonel, gave Sgt. VanTine a staff car which took him to his home in Jamaica, a few miles away, where he spent the night with his surprised folks.


472nd Bombardment Group - History

Your browser does not support frames.

United States Army Air Forces

Combat Groups

Army Air Forces B-29 groups and squadrons assigned to operations as part of the Pacific War against the Japanese Empire, 1944–1945. Includes units assigned to the XX Bomber Command in the China-Burma-India Theater (April 1944-February 1945), and to XXI Bomber Command in the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) (March–August 1945). Also includes groups and squadrons deployed to Okinawa assigned to Eighth Air Force, in July/August 1945 but did not engage in combat operations.

6th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1944–1947)
Reassigned from Sixth Air Force (ATO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, March 1944
XXI BC 313th Bombardment Wing
Circle R Tail Code North Field, Tinian
24th Bombardment Squadron
39th Bombardment Squadron
40th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in October 1948

9th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1944–1947)
Reassigned from Sixth Air Force (ATO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, March 1944
XXI BC 313th Bombardment Wing
Circle X Tail Code North Field, Tinian
1st Bombardment Squadron
5th Bombardment Squadron
99th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in October 1948

16th Bombardment Group, (B-29B, 1944–1946)
Activated, April 1944
XXI BC 315th Bombardment Wing
Diamond B Tail Code Northwest Field, Guam
15th Bombardment Squadron
16th Bombardment Squadron
17th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in April 1946

19th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1944–1954)
Reassigned from Fifth Air Force (SWPA)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, April 1944
XXI BC 314th Bombardment Wing
Square M Tail Code North Field, Guam
28th Bombardment Squadron
30th Bombardment Squadron
93d Bombardment Squadron
Reassigned to: Twentieth Air Force (FEAF), May 1946
Reassigned to: 19th Bombardment Wing (FEAF), August 1948
Moved to: Andersen AFB, Guam, August 1948
Moved to: Kadena AB, Okinawa, June 1950
Combat in Korean War, 1950-1953
Reassigned to: Strategic Air Command in June 1954

29th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1944–1946)
Reassigned from II Bomber Command (ZI)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, April 1944
XXI BC 314th Bombardment Wing
Square O Tail Code North Field, Guam
6th Bombardment Squadron
43d Bombardment Squadron
52d Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in May 1946

39th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1944–1945)
Reassigned from II Bomber Command (ZI)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, April 1944
XXI BC 314th Bombardment Wing
Square P Tail Code North Field, Guam
60th Bombardment Squadron
61st Bombardment Squadron
62d Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in December 1945

40th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1943–1946)
Reassigned from Sixth Air Force (ATO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, November 1943
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, April 1944
XX BC XXI BC 58th Bombardment Wing
Chakulia, India, Hsingching, China (XX BC) West Field, Tinian (XXI BC)
Triangle S Tail Code
25th Bombardment Squadron
44th Bombardment Squadron
45th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in October 1946

330th Bombardment Group (VH), (B-29, B-29A, 1944–1945)
Reassigned from II Bomber Command (ZI)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, April 1944
XXI BC 314th Bombardment Wing
Square K Tail Code North Field, Guam
457th Bombardment Squadron
458th Bombardment Squadron
459th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in November 1945

331st Bombardment Group, (B-29B, 1944–1946)
Reassigned from II Bomber Command (ZI)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, July 1944
XXI BC 315th Bombardment Wing
Diamond L Tail Code Northwest Field, Guam
355th Bombardment Squadron
356th Bombardment Squadron
357th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in April 1946

333d Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1944–1946)
Reassigned from II Bomber Command (ZI)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, July 1944
Eighth Air Force 316th Bombardment Wing
Kadena Field, Okinawa
435th Bombardment Squadron
460th Bombardment Squadron
507th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in May 1946

346th Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1944–1946)
Reassigned from II Bomber Command (ZI)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, August 1944
Eighth Air Force 316th Bombardment Wing
Kadena Field, Okinawa
461st Bombardment Squadron
462d Bombardment Squadron
463d Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in June 1946

382d Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1944–1946)
Reassigned from II Bomber Command (ZI)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, August 1944
Eighth Air Force 316th Bombardment Wing
Kadena Field, Okinawa
420th Bombardment Squadron
464th Bombardment Squadron
872d Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in January 1946

383d Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1944–1946)
Reassigned from II Bomber Command (ZI)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, August 1944
Eighth Air Force 316th Bombardment Wing
Kadena Field, Okinawa
876th Bombardment Squadron
880th Bombardment Squadron
884th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in January 1946

444th Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1944–1946)
Reassigned from II Bomber Command (ZI)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, August 1944
XX BC XXI BC 58th Bombardment Wing
Dudkhuadi, India, Kwanghan, China (XX BC) West Field, Tinian (XXI BC)
Triangle N Tail Code
676th Bombardment Squadron
677th Bombardment Squadron
678th Bombardment Squadron
679th Bombardment Squadron (1943-1944)
Inactivated in August 1946

462nd Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1943–1946)
Activated, July 1943
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, November 1943
XX BC XXI BC 58th Bombardment Wing
Piardpba, India, Kiunglai, China (XX BC) West Field, Tinian (XXI BC)
Triangle U Tail Code
768th Bombardment Squadron
769th Bombardment Squadron
770th Bombardment Squadron
771st Bombardment Squadron (1943-1944)
Inactivated in March 1946

468th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1943–1946)
Activated, August 1943
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, November 1943
XX BC XXI BC 58th Bombardment Wing
Kharagpur, India, Pengshan, China (XX BC) West Field, Tinian (XXI BC)
Triangle I Tail Code
792d Bombardment Squadron
793d Bombardment Squadron
794th Bombardment Squadron
795th Bombardment Squadron (1943-1944)
Inactivated in March 1946

497th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1943–1946)
Activated, November 1943
XXI BC 73rd Bombardment Wing
A Square Tail Code Isley Field, Saipan
869th Bombardment Squadron
870th Bombardment Squadron
871st Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in March 1946

498th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1943–1946)
Activated, November 1943
XXI BC 73rd Bombardment Wing
T Square Tail Code Isley Field, Saipan
873d Bombardment Squadron
874th Bombardment Squadron
875th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in August 1946

499th Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1943–1946)
Activated, November 1943
XXI BC 73rd Bombardment Wing
V Square Tail Code Isley Field, Saipan
877th Bombardment Squadron
878th Bombardment Squadron
879th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in February 1946

500th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1943–1946)
Activated, November 1943
XXI BC 73rd Bombardment Wing
Z Square Tail Code Isley Field, Saipan
881st Bombardment Squadron
882d Bombardment Squadron
883d Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in January 1946

501st Bombardment Group, (B-29B, 1944–1946)
Activated, May 1944
XXI BC 315th Bombardment Wing
Diamond Y Tail Code Northwest Field, Guam
21st Bombardment Squadron
41st Bombardment Squadron
485th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in June 1946

502nd Bombardment Group, (B-29B, 1944–1946)
Activated, May 1944
XXI BC 315th Bombardment Wing
Diamond H Tail Code Northwest Field, Guam
402d Bombardment Squadron
411th Bombardment Squadron
430th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in April 1946

504th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1944–1946)
Activated, March 1944
XXI BC 313th Bombardment Wing
Circle E Tail Code North Field, Tinian
398th Bombardment Squadron
421st Bombardment Squadron
680th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in June 1946

505th Bombardment Group, (B-29, B-29A, 1944–1946)
Activated, March 1944
XXI BC 313th Bombardment Wing
Circle W Tail Code North Field, Tinian
482d Bombardment Squadron
483d Bombardment Squadron
484th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in June 1946

509th Composite Group, (B-29, 1944 Silverplate B-29, 1945–1947)
Activated, December 1944
XXI BC 315th Bombardment Wing
Various Tail Codes North Field, Tinian
393d Bombardment Squadron
Redesignated: 509th Bombardment Group, July 1946
Became part of Strategic Air Command assigned to 509th Bombardment Wing in November 1947.

Combat Reconnaissance Squadrons
• 1st Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, (F-13A, 1944–1947)
𔅗d Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, (F-13A, 1944–1947)

Non-Combat Groups

Army Air Forces groups which were assigned to Second Air Force for conversion B-29 training during the summer of 1945. These groups were returned to the United States from the European Theater of Operations (ETO) after the German Capitulation in May 1945, and were programmed to redeploy to the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) after their training was completed. However, the Japanese Capitulation and the end of combat in the PTO led to their inactivation after August 1945.

98th Bombardment Group
Reassigned from Twelfth Air Force (MTO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, July 1945
343d Bombardment Squadron
344th Bombardment Squadron
345th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in November 1945

450th Bombardment Group
Reassigned from Fifteenth Air Force (MTO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, July 1945
720th Bombardment Squadron
721st Bombardment Squadron
722d Bombardment Squadron
723d Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in October 1945

466th Bombardment Group Reassigned from Eighth Air Force (ETO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, August 1945
784th Bombardment Squadron
785th Bombardment Squadron
786th Bombardment Squadron
787th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in October 1945

489th Bombardment Group
Reassigned from Eighth Air Force (ETO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, March 1945
844th Bombardment Squadron
845th Bombardment Squadron
846th Bombardment Squadron
847th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in October 1945

472nd Bombardment Group (2d AF Operational Training Unit)* Activated in September 1943
808th Bombardment Squadron
809th Bombardment Squadron
810th Bombardment Squadron
811th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in April 1944

32nd Composite Wing* (Twentieth Air Force)
Activated in August 1948 (RB-29, 1948-1949)
31st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
Inactivated in April 1949

5th Bombardment (later Reconnaissance) Group (Thirteenth Air Force)*
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, Apr 1946 (B-29)
Redesignated Reconnaissance Group, Mar 1947 (F-13A, later RB-29)
5th Reconnaissance Squadron
23d Bombardment (later Reconnaissance) Squadron
31st Bombardment (later Reconnaissance) Squadron
38th Reconnaissance Squadron
338th Reconnaissance Squadron
394th Bombardment Squadron
Assigned to: Strategic Air Command, May 1949
Assigned to: 5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, July 1949

* Note: The 472d Bombardment Group was a Second Air Force Operational Training Unit for initial B-29 crew training established in 1943 the 5th Bombardment Group was redesignated and reequipped as a B-29 unit by Far East Air Forces and assigned to Thirteenth Air Force in the Philippines in 1946 from aircraft and equipment of former XXI Bomber Command units which had inactivated. The 5th BG was a prewar bomb group assigned to Hawaii at the time of the Pearl Harbor Attack its B-17s largely destroyed on the ground at Hickam Field. The unit was reformed into a B-24 Liberator heavy bomb group after the attack and was assigned to Thirteenth AF during the war the 32nd Composite Wing flew RB-29s for Far East Air Forces in the late 1940s, primarily as photo-mapping aircraft over China, Formosa, Indochina and Korea.

Strategic Air Command (Groups)

Army Air Forces B-29 bomb groups assigned to Strategic Air Command (SAC) after the command's establishment in March 1946. Includes groups that were returned to the United States from the European Theater and were programmed to redeploy to the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO) after their B-29 conversion training was completed. These units were retained on active service after the Japanese Capitulation in August 1945 and were assigned to Continental Air Forces (CAF). In March 1946 were transferred to SAC upon redesignation of CAF to SAC.

Many of these units and squadrons were under-manned and under-equipped due to the rapid demobilization of the armed forces in this period. In addition, frequent inactivations and activations were made, with older, prewar units being reactivated in place of younger, wartime units. Up until the end of the Korean War, SAC used tail markings that consisted of a combination of geometric shapes and letters. The shape would indicate the Numbered Air Force, with a triangle representing the Eighth Air Force a circle for Fifteenth Air Force and a square for Second Air Force. This system was phased out in 1953.

2nd Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1947-1948)
Activated in July 1947
Chatam AFB, Georgia
Tail Code: Empty Square
20th Bombardment Squadron
49th Bombardment Squadron
96th Bombardment Squadron
Re-equipped with B-50 Superfortress, July 1948

7th Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1946–1948)
Activated in October 1946
Carswell AFB, Texas
Tail Code: Empty Triangle
9th Bombardment Squadron
436th Bombardment Squadron
492d Bombardment Squadron
Re-equipped with B-36 Peacemaker, July 1948

22nd Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1948–1952)
Reassigned from Fifth Air Force (WPA)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, June 1946
March AFB, California
Tail Code: Circle-E
2d Bombardment Squadron
19th Bombardment Squadron
33d Bombardment Squadron
Group assigned to 22d Bombardment Wing, June 1952

28th Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1946–1950)
Activated in July 1946 from a/p/e of inactivated 449th Bombardment Group
Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota
Tail Code: Triangle-S
77th Bombardment Squadron
717th Bombardment Squadron
718th Bombardment Squadron
Re-equipped with RB-29 Superfortress, April 1950
Re-equipped with B-36 Peacemaker, July 1950

43rd Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1946–1948)
Activated in October 1946 from a/p/e of inactivated 444th Bombardment Group
Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
Tail Code: Circle-K
63d Bombardment Squadron
64th Bombardment Squadron
65th Bombardment Squadron
Re-equipped with B-50 Superfortress, July 1948

9n2d Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1946–1952)
Reassigned from Eighth Air Force (ETO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, July 1946
Fairchild AFB, Washington
Tail Code: Circle-W
325th Bombardment Squadron
326th Bombardment Squadron
327th Bombardment Squadron
Group assigned to 92d Bombardment Wing, June 1952

93rd Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1947–1949)
Reassigned from Eighth Air Force (ETO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, July 1945
Castle AFB, California
Tail Code: Circle-M
328th Bombardment Squadron
329th Bombardment Squadron
330th Bombardment Squadron
Re-equipped with B-50 Superfortress, July 1949

97th Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1946–1950)
Activated in August 1946 from a/p/e of inactivated 485th Bombardment Group
Eielson AFB, Alaska Smoky Hill AFB, Kansas Biggs AFB, Texas
Tail Code: Triangle-O
340th Bombardment Squadron
341st Bombardment Squadron
342d Bombardment Squadron
Re-equipped with B-50 Superfortress, 1950
Re-equipped with B-47 Stratojet, 1955

301st Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1946–1952)
Activated in August 1946 from a/p/e of inactivated 467th Bombardment Group
Smoky Hill AFB, Kansas
Tail Code: Square-A
32d Bombardment Squadron
352d Bombardment Squadron
353d Bombardment Squadron
Group assigned to 301st Bombardment Wing, June 1952

307th Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1947–1952)
Activated in August 1946 from a/p/e of inactivated 498th Bombardment Group
MacDill AFB, Florida Yokota AB, Japan
Tail Code: Square-Y
370th Bombardment Squadron
371st Bombardment Squadron
372d Bombardment Squadron
Group assigned to 307th Bombardment Wing, June 1952

448th Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1945–1946)
Reassigned from Eighth Air Force (ETO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, August 1945
Fort Worth Army Airfield, Texas
Tail Code: Triangle-N
712th Bombardment Squadron
713th Bombardment Squadron
714th Bombardment Squadron
715th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated August 1946

449th Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1945–1946)
Reassigned from Fifteenth Air Force (MTO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, May 1945
Fort Worth Army Airfield, Texas
716th Bombardment Squadron
717th Bombardment Squadron
718th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated August 1946, Aircraft Reassigned to 28th Bombardment Group

458th Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1945–1946)
Reassigned from Eighth Air Force (ETO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, August 1945
March Field, California
752d Bombardment Squadron
753d Bombardment Squadron
754th Bombardment Squadron
755th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated in July 1946

485th Bombardment Group, (B-29, 1945–1946)
Reassigned from Fifteenth Air Force (MTO)
Redesignated Very Heavy BG, August 1945
Smoky Hill Army Airfield, Kansas
506th Bombardment Squadron
828th Bombardment Squadron
829th Bombardment Squadron
830th Bombardment Squadron
Inactivated August 1946

SAC Reconnaissance Squadrons

9th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range), (F-13A, 1949)
Assigned to: 314th Composite Wing, 20 June 1946-20 October 1947

16th Photographic Squadron, (F-13A 1947)
Assigned to: 55th Reconnaissance Group, 1 June-16 December 1947

31st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range), (F-13A, 1947–1948)
Assigned to: 71st Reconnaissance Group

46th/72d Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Photographic), (F-13A, 1946–1947)
Assigned to: Strategic Air Command, 1 May 1946-13 October 1947
Attached entire time to: Yukon Sector, Alaskan Air Command

United States Air Force

Strategic Air Command (Wings)

The B-29 was the mainstay of Strategic Air Command after World War II until the Korean War. B-29 "Very Heavy" bomber units were redesignated "Medium" with the introduction of the B-36 Peacemaker into the inventory in 1948, with some units transitioning to the B-36/RB-36 beginning in 1949. The B-50 Superfortress, an advanced version of the B-29 was also introduced in 1949.

SAC deployed non nuclear-capable B-29 groups to Far East Air Forces in 1950 to conduct strategic bombardment missions over the skies of North Korea, however the aircraft was made obsolete by the development of Soviet jet-powered interceptors such as the MiG-15. The B-29 soldiered on for a more few years in the strategic bombardment role, but by 1955 was replaced by the B-47 Stratojet medium bomber.

In 1950, conversions of B-29s to KB-29P aerial tankers began to reach SAC squadrons. KB-29s were in service with SAC until being replaced by the KC-97 Stratofreighter (which was itself based on the B-29) by 1955.

1st Fighter Wing, (B-29, 1949)
March AFB, California
Assigned to Headquarters 1st FW while attached to 22d Bombardment Wing

5th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing (B-29, 1949 RB-29, 1949–1951 KB-29 1949-1951)
Activated in July 1949
Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
Tail Code: Circle-X
23d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
31st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
72d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
Replaced by RB-36D Peacemaker in 1951

6th Bombardment Wing (B-29, 1951–1952)
Activated in January 1951
Walker AFB, New Mexico
Tail Code: Empty Triangle
24th Bombardment Squadron
39th Bombardment Squadron
40th Bombardment Squadron
6th Air Refueling Squadron (KB-29, 1951-1952)
Replaced by B-36D Peacemaker in 1951

9th Bombardment Wing (B-29, 1949–1954 RB-29, 1949–1951)
Activated in May 1949
Mountain Home AFB, Idaho
Tail Code: Circle-R
1st Bombardment Squadron
5th Bombardment Squadron
99th Bombardment Squadron
9th Air Refueling Squadron (KB-29, 1953)
Replaced by B-47 Stratojet in 1954

22nd Bombardment Wing (B-29, 1949–1954)
Activated in July 1948
Combat in Korean War, Jul-Oct 1950
March AFB, California
Tail Code: Circle-E
2d Bombardment Squadron
19th Bombardment Squadron
33d Bombardment Squadron
Replaced by B-47 Stratojet in 1954

27th Strategic Fighter Wing
Bergstrom AFB, Texas
27th Air Refueling Squadron (KB-29, 1953-1957)

40th Bombardment Wing (B-29, 1953)
Activated in May 1952
Shilling AFB, Kansas
Tail Code: Triangle-S
25th Bombardment Squadron
44th Bombardment Squadron
45th Bombardment Squadron
Replaced by B-47 Stratojet in 1953

44th Bombardment Wing (TB-29, 1951 B-29, 1951–1953)
Activated in January 1951
Lake Charles AFB, Louisiana
Tail Code: Triangle-S
66th Bombardment Squadron
67th Bombardment Squadron
68th Bombardment Squadron
Replaced by B-47 Stratojet in 1953

55th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, (B/RB-29, 1951)
Activated in June 1948
Forbes AFB, Kansas
Tail Code: Square-V
38th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
338th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
343d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
Replaced by RB-50 Superfortress in 1951

68th Bombardment Wing, (B-29, 1952–1953)
Activated in October 1951
Lake Charles AFB, Louisiana
Tail Code: Unknown
27th Bombardment Squadron
51st Bombardment Squadron
52d Bombardment Squadron
Replaced by B-47 Stratojet in 1953

90th Bombardment Wing, (B-29, 1951–1954 RB-29, 1951–1954 TB-29, 1951–1952)
Activated in January 1951
Fairchild AFB, Washington
Tail Code: Circle-Z
319th Bombardment Squadron
320th Bombardment Squadron
321st Bombardment Squadron
Replaced by RB-47 Stratojet in 1954

91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, (B-29, 1948–1949 RB-29, 1948–1951 TB-29, 1948–1949 TRB-29, 1949)
Activated in October 1948
McGuire AFB, New Jersey Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, Lockbourne AFB, Ohio
Tail Code: Square-I
322d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
323d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
324th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron
91st Air Refueling Squadron, (KB-29, 1950-1953)
Replaced by RB-50 Superfortress in 1951

301st Bombardment Wing, (B-29, 1951–1953)
Activated in November 1947
Barksdale AFB, Louisiana
Tail Code: Square-A
32d Bombardment Squadron
352d Bombardment Squadron
353d Bombardment Squadron
301st Air Refueling Squadron (KB-29, 1949-1953)
Replaced by B-47 Stratojet in 1953

303rd Bombardment Wing, (B-29, 1951–1953)
Activated in September 1951
Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona
Tail Code: Square-A
358th Bombardment Squadron
359th Bombardment Squadron
360th Bombardment Squadron
9th Air Refueling Squadron (KB-29, 1952-1953)
Replaced by B-47 Stratojet in 1953

305th Bombardment Wing, (B-29, 1951–1953)
Activated in January 1951
MacDill AFB, Florida
Tail Code: Unknown
364th Bombardment Squadron
365th Bombardment Squadron
366th Bombardment Squadron
Replaced by B-47 Stratojet in 1952

310th Bombardment Wing, (B-29, 1952–1954)
Activated in March 1952
Forbes AFB, Kansas Shilling AFB, Kansas
Tail Code: Unknown
379th Bombardment Squadron
380th Bombardment Squadron
381st Bombardment Squadron
Replaced by B-47 Stratojet in 1954

320th Bombardment Wing, (B-29, 1952–1953)
Activated in December 1952
March AFB, California
Tail Code: Circle-A
441st Bombardment Squadron
442d Bombardment Squadron
443d Bombardment Squadron
444th Bombardment Squadron
Replaced by B-47 Stratojet in 1953

376th Bombardment Wing, (B-29, 1951–1954)
Activated in May 1951
Forbes AFB, Kansas Barksdale AFB, Louisiana
Tail Code: Unknown
512th Bombardment Squadron
513th Bombardment Squadron
514th Bombardment Squadron
Replaced by B-47 Stratojet in 1954

506th Strategic Fighter Wing
Dow AFB, Maine
506th Air Refueling Squadron (KB-29, 1954-1955)

Tactical Air Command

After the Korean War and the phaseout of the B-29/KB-29 from SAC, KB-29s were acquired by Tactical Air Command to serve as dedicated aerial refueling tankers for Tactical Fighter aircraft to give TAC a worldwide deployment capability separate from SAC. However, it was found that the KB-29 was totally unsuitable for the refuelling of jet fighters because they were too slow. The KB-29s were replaced beginning in 1956 with faster KB-50s.

• 420th Air Refueling Squadron, (KB-29M, 1954–1955) (USAFE)
• 421st Air Refueling Squadron, (KB-29M, 1954–1955) (PACAF)
• 427th Air Refueling Squadron, (KB-29M, 1956–1959)
• 429th Air Refueling Squadron, (KB-29M, 1954–1958)
• 431st Air Refueling Squadron, (KB-29M, 1957)
• 622d Air Refueling Squadron, (KB-29M, 1955–1957)

Air Resupply And Communications Service

During the Cold War, the Military Air Transport Service the controlling command for Air Commando units which performed special operations during the 1950s, including during the Korean War. As part of the equipment used by the Air Resupply And Communications Service (ARCS) were B-29s modified for special operations missions.

• 580th Air Resupply and Communications Wing, (B-29, 1951–1956)
• 581st Air Resupply and Communications Wing, (B-29, 1951–1956)
• 582nd Air Resupply and Communications Wing, (B-29, 1952–1956)

Air Weather Service

Air Weather Service (part of Military Air Transport Service) received their first B-29s in various versions (B-29, RB-29, TB-29, WB-29) in 1946 AWS initially used B-29s in support of the 1946 Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll.

Weather reconnaissance duties required special variant of the B-29. Armament and related equipment was removed and in place of upper forward turret astrodome was installed. Additional radio and specialized meteorological equipment was installed and such refitted aircraft was redesignated WB-29. While the B-29's "public" mission was that of weather reconnaissance, the "covert" mission, that of atmospheric sampling for radiation debris, was perhaps the more critical task.

WB-29s soldiered on through the mid-1950s, providing critical data on tropical storms, nuclear tests, and many other routine but important reconnaissance tasks. But the airplanes were weary, and by 1956 were replaced by a modification of seventy-eight B-50Ds to WB-50 configuration.

53d Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather)
Kindley AFB, Bermuda (B-29, 1946-1947. WB-29, 1951-1956)

54th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather)
Andersen AFB, Guam (B-29, 1946-1947. WB-29, 1951-1956)

55th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather)
Fairfield-Suisun AFB, (later McClellan AFB), CA (B-29, 1946-1947. TB-29/WB-29, 1951-1955)

56th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather)
Yokota AB, Japan (WB-29, 1951-1957)

57th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather)
Hickam AFB, Hawaii Territory (WB-29, 1951–1956)

58th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather)
Eielson AFB, Alaska Territory (WB-29, 1951–1956)

59th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather)
Ladd AFB. Alaska Territory (B-29, 1946-1947. WB-29, 1955-1956)

512th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather)* (B-29, 1949–1954 RB-29/WB-29, 1949–1951)

513th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather)* (B-29, 1951–1954 RB-29/WB-29, 1950–1951)

514th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather)* (B-29, 1951–1954 TB-29/RB-29/WB-29, 1947–1951)

1st Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Special) (later 2078th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron)& (WB-29, 1948–1950)

NOTE: *Under operational control of Far East Air Forces flying combat weather reconnaissance missions over North Korea during the Korean War Weapons Systems Development/Testing

Air Technical Service Command/Air Materiel Command/Air Research and Development Command, Muroc AAF/AFB (later Edwards AFB), California

Air Proving Ground Command, Eglin AFB, Florida

B-29-96-BW serial number 45-21800 was used as the "mother" aircraft for launches of the Bell X-1 rocket-powered research aircraft at Edwards AFB. On October 14, 1947, Capt Charles E. "Chuck" Yeager was dropped in his X-1 from the B-29 and was credited as the first human to pilot an aircraft faster than the speed of sound.

Several B-29s were modified for various experimental purposes under the designation EB-29. Perhaps the best known of these was the EB-29 used as the carrier aircraft for the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter in 1948. The rear bomb bay was modified to carry a special cradle from which the XF-85 could be launched and retrieved in flight.

Other B-29s flown at Eglin/Muroc/Edwards AFB were XB-29E fire control test model XG-29G (44-84043) which served as a flying test bed for J-35, J-47 and J-73 jet engines mounted in the bomb bay the YB-29H used for special armament testing YB-29J used for services testing of improved engine designs QB-29 target drones. The CB-29K was an experimental transport version.

Air Defense Command

Beginning in 1954, the 4754th Radar Evaluation Squadron, Air Defense Command operated B-29s from various bases in the United States to provide ECM training and evaluation services to its radar site personnel. The B-29s contained an assortment of RADAR jamming devices to provide the required training of personnel.

• 4754th Radar Evaluation Electronics Counter-Countermeasure Flight, Hamilton AFB, California
• 4677th Radar Evaluation Electronics Counter-Countermeasure Flight, Hill AFB, Utah
• 4713th Radar Evaluation Flight, Griffiss AFB, New York
• 6023d Radar Evaluation Squadron, Naha AB, Okinawa (attached to Pacific Air Forces)

The last B-29 (a TB-29 radar evaluation aircraft, B-29-15-MO serial number 42-65234) was retired from the USAF inventory at 2010 hours on June 21, 1960, when Major Clarence C. Rarick of the 6023d Radar Evaluation Squadron landed at Naha Air Base, Okinawa, bringing the era of B-29 Superfortress military service to an end.

United States Navy

The United States Navy received four B-29s on April 14, 1947 and redesignated as P2B. Two of these aircraft were in standard configuration (P2B-1S), two another were equipped with test radar and additional fuel tank in bomb bay (P2B-2S).

• P2B-1S BuNo 84028 (B-29-95-BW 45-21789)
• P2B-1S BuNo 84029 (B-29-95-BW 45-21787)
• P2B-2S BuNo 84030 (B-29-95-BW 45-21791)
• P2B-2S BuNo 84031 (B-29-90-BW 44-87766)

Naval B-29s were used as test beds and as mother ships in various programs. One P2B-1S was extensively modified to carry the Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket supersonic rocket-powered research aircraft. The first Skyrocket launch took place on September 8, 1950. The Skyrocket exceeded Mach 2 for the first time on November 20, 1953 (piloted by Scott Crossfield). The last Skyrocket flight took place in December 1956.

P2B-1S BuNo 84029 was later transferred to NACA for continuation of high-speed flight tests and was redesignated as NACA-137. It was eventually sold to a civilian owner, a museum in Oakland, California. This was the only example of a flyable B-29 ever being sold to a civilian operator. This B-29 was flown on rare occasions under the civil registration N91329. After many years of inactivity, it was sold to the Kermit Weeks Aviation Museum of Miami, Florida. It was transported there disassembled in 1987. It was registered with the Weeks Museum as N29KW.

Royal Air Force

The Royal Air Force urgently needed interim aircraft for their bomber squadrons briefly as a "stop gap" in the early 1950s, prior to the buildup of the RAF Canberra jet bomber force. This was considered an excellent arrangement from the RAF’s point of view as it provided experience of operating relatively modern equipment without diverting any of the development effort and investment from the Canberra and the V bombers.


3 Boeing Washington B.1s in RAF service, circa 1951
[Source: United States Air Force Historical Research Agency]

A formal agreement with the USA was signed on January 27, 1950 and the USAF loaned the RAF seventy B-29 bombers which received the serials WF434-WF448, WF490-WF-514 and WF545-WF574. Later another 18 were delivered under serials WW342-WW356 and WZ966-WZ968. The aircraft received the service name Boeing Washington B.1 (B.1 from "Bomber Mark 1") with RAF Bomber Command from 1950 as a longer-range nuclear-capable bomber, pending the introduction of the English Electric Canberra in quantity.

Most of the airframes were taken out of USAF storage and many were virtually new, having been delivered at the end of the Pacific War, although a small number came from operational units. The first 4 aircraft were delivered to the Washington Conversion Unit at RAF Marham on March 22, 1950. All B-29s for the RAF were ferried by the crews of the 307th Bombardment Wing USAF. The first unit converted to Washingtons was No. 115 Squadron RAF which flown from USA in June 1950. Two RAF Washingtons took part in the Laurence Minot SAC bombing competition in 1951 alongside USAF B-29s.

Squadrons based at RAF Coningsby were converted to English Electric Canberra bombers in 1953. Squadrons from RAF Marham were converted a year later. Most Washingtons were returned to the United States, being flown by RAF crews to Dover AFB then subsequently to the aircraft storage facility at Davis-Monthan AFB. A small number of Washingtons remained in the United Kingdom, being used by 192 Sq. for Electronic Intelligence operations until 1958 later being used as ground target airframes for RAF combat aircraft.

RAF Marham
• No. 35 Squadron RAF
• No. 90 Squadron RAF
• No. 115 Squadron RAF
• No. 207 Squadron RAF

RAF Coningsby
• No. 15 Squadron RAF
• No. 44 Squadron RAF
• No. 57 Squadron RAF (moved from RAF Waddington in April 1952)
• No. 149 Squadron RAF

RAF Watton
• No. 192 Squadron RAF operated Washingtons between April 1952 and February 1958.

Royal Australian Air Force

Two ex-RAF Washingtons (WW354 and WW353) (former USAAF 44-61963 44-62049) were turned over by the RAF to the Royal Australian Air Force Aeronautical Research and Development Unit in late 1952 and conducted trials for the United Kingdom's Ministry of Supply. They were assigned the RAAF serials A76-1 and A76-2. Both aircraft were retired in 1956 and sold for scrap in 1957.


Lineage [ edit ]

  • Constituted as the 47th Bombardment Group (Light) on 20 November 1940
  • Redesignated 47th Bombardment Group, Light on 20 August 1943
  • Activated on 12 March 1951
  • Redesignated 47th Operations Group on 9 December 1991

Assignments [ edit ]

    (later, Air Force Combat Command), 15 January 1941
    (Light), 14 August 1941 , 1 September 1941
    , 15 February 1942 , 1 May 1942
  • III Ground Air Support Command, 10 August 1942 , 27 September 1942
  • XII Air Support Command, 22 January 1943 , 18 February 1943
    , 11 July 1945 , 7 February 1946 , 21 March 1946 , 29 May 1946
  • Twelfth Air Force, 1 November 1946 , 15 August 1947 – 2 October 1949
  • 47th Bombardment Wing, 12 March 1951 – 8 February 1955
  • 47th Flying Training Wing, 15 December 1991 – present

Components [ edit ]

    : attached 15 January-14 August 1941, assigned 14 August 1941 – 31 March 1946 : 15 January 1941 – 2 October 1949 12 March 1951 – 8 February 1955 (detached 17 November 1952 – 8 February 1955) : 15 December 1991 – 1 October 1992 1 October 1998–present : 15 January 1941 – 2 October 1949 12 March 1951 – 8 February 1955 (detached 17 November 1952 – 8 February 1955) 15 December 1991–present : 15 January 1941 – 2 October 1949 23 March 1954 – 8 February 1955 (detached 23 March 1954 – 8 February 1955) 15 December 1991 – 15 September 1992 1 December 1993–present : 15 December 1991–present : 8 May-13 August 1941 14 August 1941 – 31 March 1946
  • 115th Bombardment Squadron: attached 17 May 1951 – 12 February 1952 : 8 February-23 March 1954 (detached 8 February-23 March 1954) : 19 July 2007–present

Stations [ edit ]

    , Washington, 15 January 1941 , California, 14 August 1941 , Oklahoma, c. 16 February 1942 , North Carolina, c. 16 July-18 October 1942 , French Morocco, 18 November 1942 , Algeria, 7 January 1943 , Algeria, 6 March 1943 , Tunisia, 30 March 1943 , Tunisia, 13 April 1943 , Tunisia, c. 1 July 1943 , Malta, 21 July 1943 , Sicily, Italy, 9 August 1943 , Sicily, Italy, 20 August 1943 , Italy, 24 September 1943 , Italy, 15 October 1943 , Italy, c. 10 January 1944 (Naples), Italy, 22 March 1944
    , Italy, 25 April 1944 , Italy, c. 10 June 1944 , Italy, 27 June 1944 , Corsica, France, 11 July 1944 (Y-16), France, 7 September 1944 , Italy, 18 September 1944 , Italy, October 1944 , Italy, 11 December 1944 , Italy, 20–24 June 1945 , North Carolina, 14 July 1945
  • Lake Charles Army Air Field, Louisiana, c. 9 September 1945
  • Biggs Field (later Biggs Air Force Base), Texas, 20 October 1946
  • Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, 19 November 1948 – 2 October 1949
  • Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, 12 March 1951 – 21 May 1952
  • Sculthorpe RAF Station (later, RAF Sculthorpe), England, 1 June 1952 – 8 February 1955 , Texas, 15 December 1991–present

Aircraft assigned [ edit ]

  • Primarily B-18 Bolo, but included DB-7 Boston and LB-30 Liberator, 1941–1942 , 1941–1945
  • Douglas A-26 (later B-26) Invader, 1945–1949
  • North American B-45 Tornado, 1949
  • Primarily B-45 Tornado, 1951–1952, but included Douglas B-26 Invader and F-84 Thunderstreak, 1951 , 1972–2004 , 1972–present , 1993–present , 2002–present

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Imperial Army Aviation as an ‘air force’ in the Malaya offensive

The process of planning the Malaya offensive air operation and the awareness of control of the air

By curious coincidence, the Imperial Army and Navy started to plan the offensive operation of strategic vital areas such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Borneo and Malaya, assuming Great Britain as a hypothetical enemy when ‘Air Troops Operations’ was compiled. At first, this offensive operation was the naval plan. But the Imperial Army took responsibility after the Annual Operation Plan of 1939, and saw difficulties with accomplishing the plan. Although the operational concept of Imperial Army Aviation remained the support of ground operations at that time, they realised from current wisdom that air strikes were indispensable at the beginning of a war. However, they did not have the striking range necessary to conduct ‘aerial exterminating action’ before the landing operation in the Malaya offensive operation. To begin with, Type 97 fighters (Ki-27) of the Imperial Army’s mainstay had only 400 kilometres of combat radius. Therefore, it was not possible to escort amphibious squadrons the distance of 600 kilometres across the Gulf of Thailand, even if they could hold some airfields in southern French Indo-China. Secondly, even Type 97 heavy bombers (Ki-21) could only reach northern Malaya.

Eventually, they tried to overcome their difficulties by using tactics where advance elements executed surprise landings and capture of airfields before ‘aerial exterminating action’. This idea was based on the result of a map manoeuvre exercise at the Army Staff College in January 1941. The purpose of this manoeuvre exercise was to evaluate the plan drafted by Lieutenant-Colonel Tanigawa Kazuo of Military General Staff. Participants were Colonel Miyoshi Yasuyuki, Instructor of Army Staff College, as director of this manoeuvre exercise, and students of Army Aviation as exercise players. Before he wrote the plan, Colonel Kazuo Tanigawa spent nearly one month in 1940 investigating British Malaya, French Indo-China and Thailand for operations against British forces of the southern area. From this experience, he realised the most difficult problem for the execution of this operation was the lack of combat range of Imperial Army fighters. To address this problem, the Imperial Army speeded up the process to adopt the Type 1 fighter (K-43) with a longer combat radius. This new fighter was to have a combat radius of from 600 to 700 kilometres using the same engine as the Imperial Navy Type 0 fighter (A6M). The Type 1 fighter enabled the following: air cover of an anchorage area by fighters, and ‘aerial exterminating action’ to northern Malaya from southern French Indo-China by a strike package of bombers and fighters. Based on using the Type 1 fighter, Tanigawa devised the original plan where a section of ground forces would begin to land in northern Malaya to capture airfields. After ‘aerial exterminating action’, the ground forces’ main body would land in Mersing, in north-east Singapore, with the support carrier group. But Director Miyoshi set the exercise to land at Singora and then go down through the Malay peninsula. He thought Tanigawa’s plan would not guarantee enough control of the air for this operation because he could not count on support from the carrier group at that time. In fact, the Type 1 fighters available for use in the Malaya offensive air operation consisted of only two regiments (60 fighters). The difference in thought came from their operational concept. Tanigawa made much of ‘aerial exterminating action’ at the beginning of a war to gain control of the air. However, Miyoshi considered the long theatre of the Malaya peninsula and instead placed greater importance on ensuring control of the air step by step by gradual advance.

Next is an example of how they actually gained and maintained control of the air in the Malaya offensive air operation. The Imperial Army attached much importance to the speed of offensive action in both the ground and the air operation in Malaya. Imperial Army Aviation perceived that this speed was restricted by the speed of gaining control of the air, and the advance of control of the air was related to the speed of capturing airfields. Imperial Army Aviation adopted tactics to accelerate control of the air by utilising ‘aerial exterminating action’ and capturing airfields for Imperial Army Aviation to use one by one to complement the still-short combat radius of the fighters. In the opening battle that launched this operation, the 5th Division, as advanced elements of the 25th Army, started surprise landings in Singora and Patani. The Takumi Column, commanded by Major-General Takumi Hiroshi, and the Uno Column, led by Colonel Uno Misao, landed in Kota Bharu and Nakhotn, Bandon, before the start of ‘aerial exterminating action’. These landing forces included air section troops such as aircraft maintenance crew, crew for repair and management of airfields, etc. The landing of the Takumi Column was at 2.15 a. m. on 8 December 1941, almost one hour before the attack on Pearl Harbor. ‘Aerial exterminating action’ against the airfields at Sungei Petani and Alor Star in Kedah province began at 8.20 a. m., almost six hours after the Takumi Column landing.

Miyoshi’s plan included a traditional area of conflict in the operational concepts between ground forces and Army Aviation. This conflict was the order of priority between ‘aerial exterminating action’ for gaining control of the air, and the ground support mission. In his plan, the speed of gaining and expanding control of the air would be subject to the speed of the capture of airfields, where the capture of airfields was a ground operation itself. This was the dilemma of Tanikawa. He longed for air operations as an independent ‘air force’ in Malaya.

The endeavor to carry out independent air operations in Malaya
After the map manoeuvre exercise at the Army Staff College, Tanigawa began to devise a full-dress plan of offensive air operations while serving as a staff member of the Army Division of the Imperial General Headquarters from early September 1941. At that time, the ‘Outline of Imperial Policy’ to assume the offensive in the Southern area was decided. At the beginning, the operations area of the Southern area was divided into the Philippines front and the Malaya/Singapore front. After Tanigawa completed the plan, he became the chief of the air staff office at the Southern General Army Headquarters on 13 November 1941. There is evidence showing the essence of Tanigawa’s operational concept as an ‘independent army air force’ in his plan and leadership of the Malaya offensive air operation. This is seen in the concept of ‘independence of aviation units’ and ‘uniqeness of air operations’.

Looking first at ‘independence of aviation units’, Tanigawa tried to gain independence of aviation by giving discretionary powers concerning air operations to the Southern General Army in the Southern offensive campaigns plan of the Army Division of the Imperial General Headquarters. His campaign plan to put whole aviation units under the direct control of the Southern General Army Commander was approved on 5 November. In his plan this operation would initially begin by the landing of advance elements in Malaya and by air attack on the Philippines. Next, major elements of the ground forces would land in the Philippines and Malaya and should quickly capture them based on a successful result of rudimentary air operations. Based on the guidelines of this air operation, Imperial Army Aviation units were expected to gain control of the air by pre-emptive attack on enemy airfields jointly with Imperial Naval air units. This was intended to steer landing operations of major elements to success followed by air support to ground operations. The main body of Imperial Army Aviation advanced to Malaya. The Southern General Army was organised with the 14th Army, primarily consisting of two infantry divisions for the Philippines offensive operation, and the 25th Army of four infantry divisions for Malaya, as the direct control units and the 3rd Air Corps of three air brigades, the 5th Air Corp of two air brigades and other small air units.

This plan gave priority to the ground support mission, but Tanigawa, as air staff officer of the Southern General Army, took direct control of aviation units to pursue the plan for independent air operations. In the plan of Southern General Army, Tanigawa attached the 5th Air Corps to the Commander of the 14th Army, but he left the 3rd Air Corps under direct control of Southern General Army. By not attaching the 3rd Air Corps to the 25th Army, the organisation of the task force placed the 3rd Air Corps on an equal basis with the 25th Army. In addition, he reinforced the 3rd Air Corps by attaching one air brigade of the 5th Air Corps. The 3rd Air Corps was composed of the 3rd, 7th 10th and 12th Air Brigades. Thus the 3rd Air Corps had a total of 612 aircraft, and was the main force of Imperial Army Aviation. This source of air power was used to capture Malaya as the main air operation of the Southern General Army. The reason for this quantity of aircraft was based on the following estimate. The Imperial Army projected that British Air Force aircraft were around 200 to 250 in Malaya, 200 in India and 50 in Burma. The Imperial Army planned to deploy two or three times that number to achieve superior air power potential in the main theatre.

The issue concerning attachment of air troops was the most difficult and anguishing issue for Tanigawa. He finally came to a conclusion that did not attach air troops to ground forces, but had air troops supporting the ground forces. He had anxiety about the ground forces’ lack of understanding concerning the uniqueness of air operations, and he was furthermore apprehensive about possible obstructions to progress in overall Army operations by the feud within the Imperial Army between ‘aerial exterminating action’ and the ground support mission that had existed since the compilation of ‘Air Troops Operations’. Tanigawa reasoned that the 3rd Air Corps, who supported not only the 25th Army of Malaya but also the 15th Army of Burma, might have a chance to shift the centre of gravity of ‘aerial exterminating action’ depending on the situation. He also felt that the ground forces did not have staff with experience and expertise to fully realise the complex mechanism and operations of air power operations. Above all, Tanigawa feared that lack of understanding by ground forces could bring about an unnecessary loss of valuable and scarce air assets. Tanigawa thought that control of the air by ‘aerial exterminating action’ contributed more to the overall army operation than just providing ground support mission. He tried to plan air operations mainly to gain control of the air under direct control of the Southern General Army, but Tanigawa understood that attachment to ground forces was also favourable for acquiring enemy airfields.

This issue became apparent during the Malaya offensive operation. The 83rd Independent Flying Regiment was to be attached to the 25th Army in the plan, but deployment of this regiment was delayed at the beginning of the operation. Therefore the staff office of the 25th Army was concerned that there was not enough air support for the landing operation of advance elements and requested the attachment of flying units to provide ground support for exclusive use. Thus, emotional disagreements occurred between the 25th Army and the 3rd Air Corps. A certain air staff officer of Imperial General Head-quarters who visited front-line ground forces on 19 December suggested that the 3rd Air Brigade be attached to the 25th Army temporarily. Tanigawa also investigated the situation, and pointed out that Lieutenant-General Tomoyuki Yamashita, Commander of the 25th Army, did not always want the attachment. The misgiving of the 25th Army’s staff office about this attachment came from an incomplete linkage between air and ground operations during the previous week. He observed the essence of this issue as follows. The 25th Army only discussed whether or not flying units directly supported ground forces without considering the profit from gaining control of the air. The staff of the ground forces did not understand the complex mechanism of flying units. Tanigawa eventually refused the request of the 25th Army, and kept the 3rd Air Corps under direct control of Southern General Army to maintain the independence of aviation units.

In the operation plan of the Southern General Army, considering the characteristics of the Southern theatre, Tanigawa gave a free hand to the 3rd Air Corps on air operations under direct control of the Southern General Army, and tried to facilitate the unique nature of air operations without having them being dragged into exclusive ground operations. In the first phase of this operation plan, the mission of the 3rd Air Corps was mainly exterminating enemy air power and supporting the 25th Army’s operation using the 3rd Air Corps major elements. Next the 3rd Air Corps supported the 16th Army in the Southern Sumatra operation by trying to cut enemy communication lines and by strategic bombardment. In the second phase, the mission was supporting the 16th Army in the Javanese theatre by a large number of the 3rd Air Corps elements supporting the 25th Army. Tanigawa gave the 3rd Air Corps the primary mission of exterminating enemy air power. This is because it was impossible for the 3rd Air Corps to be exterminating and supporting at the same time while air and ground operations moved simultaneously in the first phase. It seems that the writing together of exterminating and supporting in the Imperial Army Aviation was only a compromise to the conflicts between aviation and ground forces in Imperial Army. In addition, this air operation was planned to ‘exterminate’ and ‘support’ in the vast theatre from Burma to Java. It seems quite natural and reasonable that gaining control of the air should have been the main mission of this air operation in its contribution to the overall campaign.

For instance, ‘aerial exterminating action’ to Rangoon was executed twice on 23 December during the Malaya operation. This operation was in order to eliminate the enemy air threat and to apply political pressure by air attack to the heart of Burma as British air activities became conspicuous in Burma. But this air operation ended with an unexpected loss because of insufficient co-ordination between bombers and fighters. In another example, the Singapore operation and the Palembang airborne operation were conducted at almost same time. The 3rd Air Corps launched ‘aerial exterminating action’ on Palembang on 6 February 1942, and supported the Singapore landing operation by the 25th Army from 9 February. The fall of the Singapore fortress was 15 December, and the airborne assault on Palembang was 14 December, the previous day. The Commander of the 3rd Air Corps also led paratroops at that time. This shows how Imperial Army Aviation demonstrated the uniqueness of operations through ‘aerial exterminating action’, ground support operations and airborne operations.

Tanigawa developed planning and operational leadership from a perspective of the ‘independence of aviation units’ and the ‘uniqueness of air operations’ in the Malaya offensive operation. It was his goal to execute air operations as an ‘air force’ for gaining control of the air by ‘aerial exterminating action’ during actual combat operations.


History

Activation and antisubmarine warfare

The squadron was originally constituted as the 32d Reconnaissance Squadron, but was redesignated the 421st Bombardment Squadron before being activated in mid-1942 as one of the 304th Bombardment Group&aposs four Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bomber squadrons. [1] It was initially part of Second Air Force for training, however it also flew antisubmarine patrols over the Pacific Northwest coastline during the fall of 1942. The squadron was renamed the 20th Antisubmarine Squadron and moved to Newfoundland in late 1942 where it continued flying antisubmarine missions over the Northeast coastline from Newfoundland and Long Island, New York during 1943 with Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command. [1]

In July 1943, the AAF and Navy reached an agreement to transfer the coastal antisubmarine mission to the Navy. This mission transfer also included an exchange of AAF long-range bombers equipped for antisubmarine warfare for Navy Consolidated B-24 Liberators without such equipment. [2]

Combat in Europe

In October 1943, the squadron was redesignated the 847th Bombardment Squadron and moved to Wyoming where its personnel formed the cadre for the newly forming 489th Bombardment Group. There the unit re-equipped with Consolidated B-24 Liberators and once again trained with Second Air Force. The squadron completed combat training and departed Wendover Field for overseas on 3 April 1944. [1] The air echelon flew to the United Kingdom via the southern ferry route along the northern coastline of South America and across the Atlantic to Africa before heading north to England. [3] The ground echelon sailed from Boston on board the USS Wakefield on 13 April 1944, reaching Liverpool on 21 April. [4] The squadron arrived at RAF Halesworth, England in April 1944, where it became part of Eighth Air Force. [5]

The squadron entered combat on 30 May 1944 with an attack on Oldenburg, Germany. [4] It then concentrated on targets in France to prepare for Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy. The 847th supported the landings on 6 June 1944, and afterward bombed coastal defenses, airfields, bridges, railroads, and V-1 flying bomb and V-2 rocket launch sites (Operation Crossbow) in the campaign for France. It participated in the saturation bombing of German lines just before Operation Cobra, the breakthrough at Saint-Lô in July. [5]

The 847th began flying strategic bombing missions to Germany in July, and engaged primarily in bombing strategic targets such as factories, oil refineries and storage areas, marshalling yards, and airfields in Ludwigshafen, Magdeburg, Brunswick, Saarbr࿌ken, and other cities until November 1944. [5] The squadron dropped food to liberated French and to Allied forces in France during August and September, and carried food and ammunition to the Netherlands later in September. [5] For these missions, a loadmaster from IX Troop Carrier Command directed the drops from the bombers. [6] On other missions, squadron aircraft flew into Orleans/Bricy Airfield to deliver supplies. [7]

Redeployment for the Pacific

The squadron was part of the first group in Eighth Air Force selected for redeployment to the Pacific theater and became non-operational on 14 November 1944 and most of its B-24s were assigned to other groups in England. It was relieved of assignment to the theater on 29 November 1944, and returned to the United States. [3] [4]

The 847th Squadron returned to Bradley Field Connecticut at the end of December 1944, where most returning personnel were reassigned to other units [3] while the squadron moved to Lincoln Army Air Field, Nebraska. At Lincoln it became part of Second Air Force for the third time. On 22 January 1945, the squadron&aposs personnel were informed that previous plans for refresher training had been cancelled and instead the squadron and its associated 369th Air Service Group were retrained as Boeing B-29 Superfortress combat and support units. However Second Air Force did not receive redesignation orders for the group until 17 March, until which time they were compelled to maintain duplicate rosters and tables of organization, one for a heavy bombardment group of four squadrons (which included the 847th), and one for a very heavy bombardment group of three squadrons (which did not). [ citation needed ] With the new orders in hand, the squadron was inactivated on 28 March. [1]


Watch the video: Tactical assault group 472 intro