Constituted as 42nd Bombardment Group (Medium) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Trained with B-18, B-25, and B-26 aircraft. Patrolled the west coast during 1942. Moved to the Pacific theater, Mar-Apr 1943, and assigned to Thirteenth AF. Entered combat in Jun 1943, using B-25's and operating from bases in the Solomon Islands. Attacked Japanese airfields, personnel areas, gun positions, and shipping in the central Solomons. Engaged primarily in the neutralization of enemy airfields and harbor facilities on New Britain from Jan to Jul 1944, but also supported ground forces on Bougainville and attacked shipping in the northern Solomons and the Bismarcks. Later, beginning in Aug 1944, bombed airfields and installations on New Guinea, Celebes, and Halmahera, and flew photographic reconnaissance missions, while operating from bases in New Guinea and Morotai. Moved to the Philippines in Mar 1945. Attacked shipping along the China coast, struck targets in French Indochina, bombed airfields and installations in the Philippines, and supported ground operations on Mindanao. Also supported Australian forces on Borneo during May and Jun 1945, receiving a DUC for its preinvasion bombing of Balikpapan, 23-30 Jun. Brought its combat service to an end, Jul and Aug 1945, by attacking isolated Japanese units on Luzon. Ferried troops and equipment to Manila after the war. Moved to Japan in Jan 1946 as part of the occupation force. Inactivated in Japan on 10 May 1946.
Squadrons. 69th: 1943-1946. 70th: 1943-1946. 75th: 1941-1946. 76th: 1941-1943. 77th: 1941-1942. 100th: 1945. 390th: 1942-1946. 406th: 1942-1943.
Stations. Ft Douglas, Utah, 15 Jan 1941; Boise, Idaho, c. 3 Jun 1941; McChord Field, Wash, c. 18 Jan 1942-15 Mar 1943; Fiji Islands, 22 Apr 1943; Guadalcanal, 6 Jun 1943; Russell Islands, Oct 1943; Sterling, Solomon Islands, 20 Jan 1944; Hollandia, Aug 1944; Sansapor, New Guinea, Sep 1944; Morotai, Feb 1945; Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Mar 1945; Itami, Japan, Jan-10 May 1946.
Commanders. Col John V Hart, 15 Jan 1941; Col Harry E Wilson, Jul 1942; Maj Edwin Latoszewski, 14 Dec 1942; Lt Col Guy L Hudson, Jan 1943; Col Harry E Wilson, 22 Apr 1943; Col Charles C Kegelman, 16 Nov 1944; Lt Col Harry C Harvey, 15 Mar 1945; Col Paul F Helmick, 10 May 1945; Lt Col Harry E Goldsworthy, Sep 1945; Maj Thomas B Waddel, Mario May 1946.
Campaigns. Antisubmarine, American Theater; China Defensive; New Guinea; Northern Solomons; Bismarck Archipelago; Western Pacific; Leyte; Luzon; Southern Philippines; China Offensive.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Balikpapan, Borneo, 23-30 Jun 1945. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
Insigne. Shield: Azure, on a bend engrailed or, four annulets gules, between two aerial bombs palewise of the second. Motto: Aethera Nobis - The Skies for Us. (Approved 11 Mar 1942.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986