Constituted as 394th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 15 Feb 1943. Activated on 5 Mar 1943. Trained with B-26's. Moved to England, Feb-Mar 1944, and assigned to Ninth AF. Entered combat in Mar 1944 and helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by hitting V-weapon sites, marshalling yards, bridges, airdromes, and gun emplacements. On D-Day, 6 Jun, bombed gun positions at Cherbourg; afterward, struck communications, fuel supplies, and strong points in support of the Normandy campaign. Aided the breakthrough at St Lo by bombing targets in the area on 25 Jul 1944. Received a DUC for operations from 7 to 9 Aug 1944 when the group made five attacks against strongly fortified targets in northern France, knocking out an ammunition dump and four railroad bridges. Capt Darrell R Lindsey was awarded the Medal of Honor for leading a formation of B-26's over one of these bridges on 9 Aug. During the flight, Lindsey's plane was hit and the right engine burst into flames. Knowing that the gasoline tanks could explode at an moment, he continued to lead the formation until the bomb run had been made, then ordered his crew to bail out. The bombardier, the last man to leave the plane, offered to lower the wheels so that Lindsey might escape through the nose the aircraft, but realizing that this could throw the plane into a spin and hinder the bombardier's chances to escape, Lindsey refused the offer and remained with his B-26 until it crashed. After moving to the Continent late in Aug 1944, the group hit strong points at Brest and then began to operate against targets in Germany. Took part in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945, by hitting communications to deprive the enemy of supplies and reinforcements. Bombed transportation, storage facilities, and other objectives until the war ended; also dropped propaganda leaflets. Remained in the theater to serve with United States Air Forces in Europe as part of the army of occupation. Redesignated 394th Bombardment Group (Light) in Dec 1945. Began training with A-26's. Transferred, without personnel and equipment, to the US on 15 Feb 1946. Inactivated on 31 Mar 1946.
Redesignated 106th Bombardment Group (Light). Allotted to ANG (NY) on 24 May 1946. Extended federal recognition on 21 Mar 1947. Redesignated 106th Composite Group in Nov 1950, and 106th Bombardment Group (Light) in Feb 1951. Ordered to active service on 1 Mar 1951. Assigned to Strategic Air Command. Redesignated 106th Bombardment Group (Medium) in May 1951. Equipped with B-29's. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952. Returned to ANG (NY) on 1 Dec 1952. Redesignated 106th Bombardment Group (Light).
Squadrons. 102d: 1951-1952. 114th: 1951-1952. 135th: 1951-1952. 584th: 1943-1946. 585th: 1943-1946. 586th: 1943-1946. 587th: 1943-1945.
Stations. MacDill Field, Fla, 5 Mar 1943; Ardmore AAFld, Okla, 12 Jul 1943; Kellogg Field, Mich, 19 Aug 1943-15 Feb 1944; Boreham, England, c. 11 Mar 1944; Holmsley, England, 24 Jul 1944; Tour-en-Bassin, France, 25 Aug 1944; Bricy, France, 18 Sep 1944; Cambrai/Niergnies, France, 8 Oct 1944; Venlo, Holland, 2 May 1945; Kitzingen, Germany, Sep 1945-15 Feb 1946; Bolling Field, DC, 15 Feb-31 Mar 1946. Floyd Bennett Field, NY, 1 Mar 1951; March AFB, Calif, 28 Mar 1951-16 Jun 1952.
Commanders. Lt Col Joe W Kelly, c. 20 Mar 1943; Col Thomas B Hall, 6 Apr 1943; Col Gove C Celio Jr, c. 24 Jan 1945-c. Feb 1946. Unkn, Mar-Aug 1951; Col Howell M Estes Jr, 4 Aug 1951; Col Loran D Briggs, 1 Mar-16 Jun 1952.
Campaigns. American Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: France, 7-9 Aug 1944. French Croix de Guerre with Palm: France, 6 Jun-14 Sep 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Azure, a clenched fist terminating in displayed dexter demi-wing of an eagle, the first grasping a torch, all sable fimbriated argent, flames gules fimbriated of the last. Motto: Readiness Strengthens Liberty. (Approved 15 Apr 1954.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986