Constituted as 398th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 15 Feb 1943. Activated on 1 Mar 1943. Prepared for combat with B-17's, but interrupted these activities from Jul to Dec 1943 to train replacement crews for other organizations. Moved to England in Apr 1944 and assigned to Eighth AF. Entered combat in May 1944, and until V-E Day operated primarily against strategic objectives in Germany, attacking targets such as factories in Berlin, warehouses in Munich, marshalling yards in Saarbrucken, shipping facilities in Kiel, oil refineries in Merseburg, and aircraft plants in Munster. Temporarily suspended strategic missions to attack coastal defenses and enemy troops on the Cherbourg peninsula during the Normandy invasion in Jun 1944; strike gun positions near Eindhoven in support of the air attack on Holland in Sep 1944; raid power stations, railroads, and bridges during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945; and attack airfields to aid the Allied assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Flew last combat mission, attacking an airfield in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, on 25 Apr 1945. Transported liberated prisoners from Germany to France after V-E Day. Returned to the US, May-Jun 1945. Inactivated on 1 Sep 1945.
Squadrons. 600th: 1943-1945. 601st: 1943-1945. 602d: 1943-1945. 603d: 1943-1945.
Stations. Ephrata AAB, Wash, 1 Mar 1943; Blythe AAFld, Calif, 5 Apr 1943; Geiger Field, Wash, 29 Apr 1943; Rapid City AAB, SD, 20 Jun 1943-4 Apr 1944; Nuthampstead, England, 22 Apr 1944-26 May 1945; Drew Field, Fla, 3 Jul-1 Sep 1945.
Commanders. Col Frank P Hunter Jr, 1 Mar 1943; Lt Col Lewis P Ensign, 29 Jan 1945; Lt Col Arthur F Briggs, 18 Apr 1945-unkn.
Campaigns. American Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986