Constituted as 388th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 Dec 1942 and activated on 24 Dec. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England in Jun 1943 and assigned to Eighth AF. Began operations on 17 Jul 1943 by attacking an aircraft factory in Amsterdam. Functioned primarily as a strategic bombardment Organization until the war ended. Targets included industries, naval installations, oil storage plants, refineries, and communications centers in Germany, France, Poland, Belgium, Norway, Rumania, and Holland. Received a DUC for withstanding heavy opposition to bomb vital aircraft factory at Regensburg on 1 Aug 1943. Received another DUC for three outstanding missions: an attack against a tire and rubber factory in Hannover on 26 Jul 1943; the bombardment of a synthetic oil refinery in Brux on 12 Ma 1944; and a strike against a synthetic oil refinery at Ruhland on 21 Jun 1944, during a shuttle raid from England to Russia. Attacked many other significant targets, including aircraft factories in Kassel, Reims, and Brunswick; airfields in Bordeaux, Paris, and Berlin; naval works at La Pallice, Emden, and Kiel; chemical industries in Ludwigshafen; ball-bearing plants in Schweinfurt; and marshalling yards in Brussels, Osnabruck, and Bielefeld. Operations also included support and interdictory missions. Helped prepare for the invasion of Normandy by attacking military installations in France, and on D-Day struck coastal guns, field batteries, and transportation. Continued to support ground forces during the campaign that followed, hitting such objectives as supply depots and troop concentrations. Bombed in support of ground forces at St Lo in Jul 1944 and at Caen in Aug. Covered the airborne assault on Holland in Sep 1944 by attacking military installations and airfields at Arnheim. Aided the final drive through Germany during the early months of 1945 by striking targets such as marshalling yards, rail bridges, and road junctions. After V-E Day, flew food to Holland to relieve flood-stricken areas. Returned to the US in Aug. Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945.
Redesignated 388th Fighter-Bomber Group. Activated on 23 Nov 1953. Assigned to Tactical Air Command. Trained with F-86 aircraft. Moved to France, Nov-Dec 1954, and became part of United States Air Forces in Europe.
Squadrons. 560th: 1942-1945. 561st: 1942-1945; 1953-. 562d: 1942-1945; 1953-. 563d: 1942-1945; 1953-.
Stations. Gowen Field, Idaho, 24 Dec 1942; Wendover Field, Utah, 1 Feb 1943; Sioux City AAB, Iowa, c. 29 Apr-10 Jun 1943; Knettishall, England, Jun 1943-Aug 1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, 13-28 Aug 1945. Clovis AFB, NM, 23 Nov 1953-28 Nov 1954; Etain Rouvres AB, France, 12 Dec 1954-.
Commanders. Col William B David, 1 Feb 1943; Col Chester C Cox, 7 Oct 1944-c. 28 Aug 1945. Maj Charles M Read, 23 Nov 1953; Col Clayton L Peterson, 11 Jan 1954-.
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Germany, 17 Aug 1943; Hannover, Germany (26 Jun 1943), Brux, Czechoslovakia (12 May 1944), and from England to Russia (21 Jun 1944).
Insigne. Shield: Per bend azure and gules, on a bend or, a lightning flash sable. Supporters: The shield supported by two wings light blue, feathered and detail black. Motto: Liberias Vel Mors - Liberty or Death. (Approved 11 Mar 1955.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986