Constituted as 453rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 May 1943. Activated on 1 Jun 1943. Trained with B-14's. Moved to England, Dec 1943-Jan 1944, and assigned to Eighth AF. Began combat on 5 Feb 1944 with an attack against an airfield at Tours. Throughout combat, served chiefly as a strategic bombardment organization. Targets included a fuel depot at Dulmen, marshalling yards at Paderborn, aircraft assembly plants at Gotha, railroad centers at Hamm, an ordnance depot at Glinde, oil refineries at Gelsenkirchen, chemical works at Leverkusen, an airfield at Neumunster, a canal at Minden, and a railroad viaduct at Altenbeken. Took part in the concentrated attack against the German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944. Besides strategic operations, engaged in support and interdictory missions. Bombed V-weapon sites, airfields, and gun batteries in France prior to the invasion of Normandy in Jun 1944; on 6 Jun hit shore installations between Le Havre and Cherbourg and other enemy positions farther inland. Attacked enemy troops in support of the Allied breakthrough at St Lo in Jul. Bombed German communications during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Ferried cargo on two occasions: hauled gasoline, blankets, and rations to France in Sep 1944; dropped ammunition, focal, and medical supplies near Wesel during the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Flew last combat mission in Apr. Returned to the US in May. Inactivated on 12 Sep 1945.
Squadrons. 732d: 1943-1945. 733d: 1943-1945. 734th: 1943-1945. 735th: 1943-1945.
Stations. Wendover Field, Utah, 1 Jun 1943; Pocatello AAFld, Idaho, 29 Jul 1943; March Field, Calif, 30 Sep-2 Dec 1943; Old Buckenham, England, 23 Dec 1943-9 May 1945; New Castle AAFld, Del, 25 May 1945; Fort Dix AAB, NJ, 18 Jun-12 Sep 1945.
Commanders. Col Joseph A Miller, 29 Jun 1943; Col Ramsay D Potts Jr, 19 Mar 1944; Col Lawrence M Thomas, 7 Jul 1944; Lt Col Edward F Hubbard, 25 Jan 1945-unkn.
Campaigns. 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