Constituted as 379th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Oct 1942. Activated on 3 Nov 1942. Moved to England, with the air echelon flying B-17's via the North Atlantic route in Apr 1943 and the ground echelon crossing by ship in May. Began operations with Eighth AF on 19 May, and received a DUC for operations over Europe, May 1943-Jul 1944. Engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets such as industries, oil refineries, storage plants, submarine pens, airfields, and communications centers in Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Norway, and Poland. Specific targets included a chemical plant in Ludwigshafen, an aircraft assembly plant in Brunswick, ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt and Leipzig, synthetic oil refineries at Merseburg and Gelsenkirchen, marshalling yards at Hamm and Reims, and airfields in Mesnil au Val and Berlin. Received another DUC for flying without fighter protection into central Germany to attack vital aircraft factories on 11 Jan 1944. On several occasions attacked interdictory targets and operated in support of ground forces. Bombed V-weapon sites, airfields, radar stations, and other installations before the Normandy invasion in Jun 1944; bombed defended positions just ahead of the Allied landings on 6 Jun; and struck airfields, rail choke points, and gun emplacements during the campaign that followed. Bombed enemy positions to assist ground troops at St Lo during the breakthrough, 24-25 Jul 1944. Attacked German communications and fortifications during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Bombed bridges and viaducts in France and Germany to aid the Allied assault across the Rhine, Feb-Mar 1945. Moved to French Morocco in Jun 1945. Inactivated on 25 Jul 1945.
Squadrons. 524th: 1942-1945. 525th: 1942-1945. 526th: 1942-1945. 527th: 1942-1945.
Stations. Geiger Field, Wash, 3 Nov 1942; Wendover Field, Utah, 19 Nov 1942; Sioux City AAB, Iowa, 3 Feb-Apr 1943; Kimbolton, England, 21 May 1943-12 Jun 1945; Casablanca, French Morocco, 17 Jun-25 Jul 1945.
Commanders. Col Maurice A Preston, 26 Nov 1942; Col Lewis E Lyle, 11 Oct 1944; Lt Col Lloyd C Mason, 6 May 1945; Lt Col Horace E Frink, 23 May-Jun 1945.
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Continental Europe, 29 May 1943-31 Jul 1944; Germany, 11 Jan 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Per bend azure and gules, on a lightning bolt per bend throughout, or, seven stars per bend throughout, or, seven stars per bend argent; all between a dart, with three stars arched and an atomic symbol encircled by nine stars, all of the last. Motto: Diligentia Et Accuratio - Precision and Accuracy. (Approved 23 Aug 1958.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986