Constituted as 16th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) on 28 Mar
Activated on 1 Apr 1944. Trained for combat with B-29's. Moved to Guam,
Mar-Apr 1945, and assigned to Twentieth AF. Entered combat on 16 Jun 1945
with a bombing raid against an airfield on Moen. Flew first mission against
the Japanese home islands on 26 Jun 1945 and afterwards operated principally
against the enemy's petroleum industry. Flying unescorted in the face of
severe enemy attack, the 16th bombed the oil refinery at Shimotsu, the
Mitsubishi refinery and oil installations at Kawasaki, and the coal
liquefaction plants at Ube, Jul-Aug 1945, and was awarded a DUC for the
missions. After the war the group dropped food and supplies to Allied
prisoners of war in Japan, Manchuria, and Korea, and participated in several
show-of-force missions over Japan. Inactivated on Guam on 15 Apr 1946.
Squadrons. 15th: 1944-1946. 16th: 1944-1946. 17th: 1944-1946.
Stations. Dalhart AAFld, Tex, 1 Apr 1944; Fairmont AAFld, Neb, 15
1944-7 Mar 1945; Northwest Field, Guam, 14 Apr 1945-15 Apr 1946.
Commanders. Unkn, Apr-Jun 1944; Capt William W Hosler Jr, 24 Jun
Maj Richard W Lavin, 1 Jul 1944; Col Samuel C Gurney Jr, 11 Jul 1944; Lt Col
Andre F Castellotti, 11 Jul 1945-1946.
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Japan; Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Japan, 29 July Aug 1945.
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986