Constituted as 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943. Activated on 1 Jul 1943. Trained for combat with B-17's. Moved to England, Jan-Feb 1944, and assigned to Eighth AF. Flew first mission on 21 Feb 1944 during Big Week, taking part in the concentrated attacks of heavy bombers on the German aircraft industry. Until Jun 1944, engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets, such as ball-bearing plants, aircraft factories, and oil refineries in Germany. Bombed targets in France during the first week of Jun 1944 in preparation for the Normandy invasion, and attacked coastal defenses along the Cherbourg peninsula on D-Day. Struck airfields, railroads, fuel depots, and other interdictory targets behind the invasion beaches throughout the remainder of the month. Resumed bombardment of strategic objectives in Jul 1944 and engaged chiefly in such operations until Apr 1945. Sometimes flew support and interdictory missions, aiding the advance of ground forces during the St Lo breakthrough in Jul 1944 and the landing of British 1 Airborne Division during the airborne attack on Holland in Sep 1944; and participating in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945, and the assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Flew last combat mission on 20 Apr 1945. Transported prisoners of war from Austria to France after V-E Day. Returned to the US in Jun 1945. Inactivated on 18 Aug 1945.
Squadrons. 748th: 1943-1945. 749th: 1943-1945. 750th: 1943-1945. 751st: 1943-1945.
Stations. Geiger Field, Wash, 1 Jul 1943; Rapid City AAB, SD, 9 Jul 1943; Ephrata AAB, Wash, 28 Oct 1943; Wendover Field, Utah, 4 Dec 1943-1 Jan 1944; Glatton, England, 22 Jan 1944-1 Jun 1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, 20 Jul-18 Aug 1945.
Commanders. Col Herbert E Rice, 24 Jul 1943; Lt Col Hugh D Wallace, 3 Sep 1943; Col James R Luper, 4 Jan 1944; Col Harris E Rogner, 11 Oct 1944-Aug 1945.
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