Constituted as 340th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 10 Aug 1942 and activated on 20 Aug. Trained with B-25's for duty overseas. Arrived in the Mediterranean theater in Mar 1943. Assigned first to Ninth AF and later (in Aug 1943) to Twelfth. Served in combat from Apr 1943 to Apr 1945. Engaged chiefly in support and interdictory missions, but sometimes bombed strategic objectives. Targets included airfields, railroads, bridges, road junctions, supply depots, gun emplacements, troop concentrations, marshalling yards, and factories in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, France, Austria, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia, and Greece. Also dropped propaganda leaflets behind enemy lines. Participated in the reduction of Pantelleria and Lampedusa in Jun 1943, the bombing of German evacuation beaches near Messina in Jul, the establishment of the Salerno beachhead in Sep, the drive for Rome during Jan-Jun 1944, the invasion of Southern France in Aug, and attacks on the Brenner Pass and other German lines of communication in northern Italy from Sep 1944 to Apr 1945. Received a DUC for the period Apr-Aug 1943 when, although handicapped by difficult living conditions and unfavorable weather, the group supported British Eighth Army in Tunisia and Allied forces in Sicily. Received second DUC for the destruction of a cruiser in the heavily defended harbor of La Spezia on 23 Sep 1944 before the ship could be used by the enemy to block the harbor's entrance. Returned to the US, Jul-Aug 1945. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945.
Redesignated 340th Bombardment Group (Light). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 31 Oct 1947. Inactivated on 19 Aug 1949.
Squadrons. 486th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949. 487th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949. 488th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949. 489th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949.
Stations. Columbia AAB, SC, 20 Aug 1942; Walterboro, SC, 30 Nov 1942-30 Jan 1943; El Kabrit, Egypt, Mar 1943; Medenine, Tunisia, Mar 1943; Sfax, Tunisia, Apr 1943; Hergla, Tunisia, 2 Jun 1943; Comiso, Sicily, c. 2 Aug 1943; Catania, Sicily, 27 Aug 1943; San Pancrazio, Italy, c. 15 Oct 1943; Foggia, Italy, 19 Nov 1943; Pompeii, Italy, c. 2 Jan 1944; Paestum, Italy, 23 Mar 1944; Corsica, c. 14 Apr 1944; Rimini, Italy, c. 2 Apr-27 Jul 1945; Seymour Johnson Field, NC, 9 Aug 1945; Columbia AAB, SC, 2 Oct-7 Nov 1945. Tulsa Mun Aprt, Okla, 31 Oct 1947-19 Aug 1949.
Commanders. Lt Col Adolph E Tokaz, 3 Sep 1942; Col William C Mills, 21 Sep 1942; Lt Col Adolph E Tokaz, 7 May 1943; Col Charles D Jones, 8 Jan 1944; Col Willis F Chapman, 16 Mar 1944-7 Nov 1945.
Campaigns. Air Combat, EAME Theater; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; North Apennines; Central Europe; Po Valley.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: North Africa and Sicily, [Apr]-17 Aug 1943; Italy, 23 Sep 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Per fess nebuly, azure and argent, in chief two cloud formations proper, one issuing from the dexter and one issuing from the sinister, in base three stars of five points, of the first, two and one, all surmounted in fess, with an ear of wheat proper and a lightning flash, gules in saltire, an edge around the shield sable. Motto: Anywhere - Anytime. (Approved 12 Sep 1955.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986