Constituted as 417th Bombardment Group (Light) on 23 Mar 1943 and activated on 28 Mar. Trained with A-20's. Moved to New Guinea, Dec 1943-Jan 1944, and assigned to Fifth AF. Began combat in Mar 1944, operating in support of ground forces on New Guinea and striking airfields, bridges, personnel concentrations, installations, and shipping in that area. Operated from Noemfoor, Sep-Dec 1944, attacking airfields and installation on Ceram, Halmahera, and western New Guinea. Moved to the Philippines in Dec 1944, and until Jun 1945 supported ground forces and attacked enemy airfields, transportation, and installations on Luzon, Cebu, Negros, and Mindanao. Received a DUC for attacking Japanese convoys at Lingayen, 30 Dec 1944-2 Jan 1945, action that not only impaired enemy shipping and supply strength, but also helped clear the way for the American invasion of Luzon. Flew its last missions in Jul, dropping propaganda leaflets to Japanese troops on Luzon. Moved to Okinawa in Aug 1945 and to Japan in Nov. Inactivated on 15 Nov 1945.
Squadrons. 672d: 1943-1945. 673d: 1943-1945. 674th: 1943-1945. 675th: 1943-1945.
Stations. Will Rogers Field, Okla, 28 Mar 1943; DeRidder AAB, La, 4 Aug-10 Dec 1943; Cape Sudest, New Guinea, 28 Jan 1944; Dobodura, New Guinea, 7 Feb 1944; Saidor, New Guinea, 8 Apr 1944; Noemfoor, c. 9 Sep 1944; Tacloban, Leyte, 6 Dec 1944; San Jose, Mindoro, 22 Dec 1944; Okinawa, 17 Aug 1945; Itami, Japan, c. 1-15 Nov 1945.
Commanders. Col Jack W Saunder 31 Mar 1943; Lt Col Howard S Ellmor 5 Jul 1944; Lt Col Milton W Johnson, 2 Jan 1945; Lt Col Charles W Johnson, 3 Apr 1945; Lt Col James E Sweeney, 13 Oct-15 Nov 1945.
Campaigns. New Guinea; Leyte; Luzon; Southern Philippines.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Philippine Islands, 30 Dec 1944-2 Jan 1945. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986