Constituted as 416th Bombardment Group (Light) on 25 Jan 1943. Activated on 5 Feb 1943. Used A-20's in preparing for duty overseas. Moved to England, Jan-Feb 1944, and assigned to Ninth AF. Entered combat in Mar 1944, and during the next several weeks directed most of its attacks against V-weapon sites in France. Flew a number of missions against airfields and coastal defenses to help prepare for the invasion of Normandy. Supported the invasion in Jun 1944 by striking road junctions, marshalling yards, bridges, and railway overpasses. Assisted ground forces at Caen and St Lo in Jul and at Brest later in the summer, by hitting transportation facilities, supply dumps, radar installations, and other targets. In spite of intense resistance, the group bombed bridges, railways, rolling stock, and a radar station to disrupt the enemy's retreat through the Falaise gap, 6-9 Aug 1944, and received a DUC for the missions. Assisted the airborne attack on Holland in Sep. Supported the assault on the Siegfried Line by pounding transportation, warehouses, supply dumps, and defended villages in Germany. Converted to A-26 aircraft in Nov. Attacked transportation facilities, strong points, communications centers, and troop concentrations during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Aided the Allied thrust into Germany by continuing its strike against transportation, communications, airfields, storage depots, and other objectives, Feb-May 1945. Bombed flak positions in support of the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Returned to the US, Jul-Oct 1945. Inactivated on 24 Oct 1945.
Squadrons. 668th: 1943-1945. 669th: 1943-1945. 670th: 1943-1945. 671st: 1943-1945.
Stations. Will Rogers Field, Okla, 5 Feb 1943; Lake Charles AAFld, La, 4 Jun 1943; Laurel AAFld, Miss, Nov 1943-c. 1 Jan 1944; Wethersfield, England, Feb 1944; Melun, France, Sep 1944; Laon/Athies, France, Feb 1945; Cormeilles-en-Vexin, France, May-Jul 1945; Camp Myles Standish, Mass, c. 23-24 Oct 1945.
Commanders. Lt Col Richard D Dick, Feb 1943; Col Harold L Mace, Oct 1943; Col Theodore R Aylesworth, 3 Aug 1944-1945.
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: France, Aug 1944.
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986