Constituted as 381st Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Oct 1942. Activated on 3 Nov 1942. Used B-17's in preparing for duty overseas. Moved to England, May-Jun 1943, and assigned to Eighth AF. Served in combat from Jun 1943 to Apr 1945, operating chiefly against strategic objectives on the Continent. Specific targets included an aircraft assembly plant at Villacoublay, an airdrome at Amiens, locks at St Nazaire, an aircraft engine factory at Le Mans, nitrate works in Norway, aircraft plants in Brussels, industrial areas of Munster, U-boat yards at Kiel, marshalling yards at Offenberg, aircraft factories at Kassel, aircraft assembly plants at Leipzig, oil refineries at Gelsenkirchen, and ball-bearing works at Shweinfurt. Received a DUC for performance on 8 Oct 1943 when shipyards at Bremen were bombed accurately in spite of persistent enemy fighter attacks and heavy flak. Received second DUC for similar action on 11 Jan 1944 during a mission against aircraft factories in central Germany. Participated in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against enemy aircraft factories during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944. Often supported ground troops and attacked targets of interdiction when not engaged in strategic bombardment. Supported the Normandy invasion in Jun 1944 by bombing bridges and airfields near the beachhead. Attacked enemy positions in advance of ground forces at St Lo in Jul 1944. Assisted the airborne assault on Holland in Sep. Struck airfields and communications near the battle zone during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Supported the Allied crossing of the Rhine in Mar 1945 and then operated against communications and transportation in the final push through Germany. Returned to the US, Jun-Jul 1945. Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945.
Redesignated 381st Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 24 Jul 1947. Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949.
Squadrons. 509th: 1948-1949. 510th: 1948-1949. 532d: 1942-1945; 1947-1949. 533d: 1942-1945. 534th: 1942-1945; 1947-1948. 535th: 1942-1945; 1947-1949.
Stations. Gowen Field, Idaho, 3 Nov 1942; Ephrata, Wash, c. 1 Dec 1942; Pyote AAB, Tex, c. 3 Jan 1943; Pueblo AA B, Colo, c. 5 Apr-c. 9 May 1943; Ridgewell, England, Jun 1943-Jun 1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, Jul-28 Aug 1945. Offutt Field, Neb, 24 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949.
Commanders. Col Joseph Nazzaro, Jan 1943; Col Harry P Leber Jr, c. 9 Jan 1944; Lt Col Conway S Hall, 6 Feb 1945-unkn.
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Germany, 8 Oct 1943; Germany, 11 Jan 1944.
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986