Constituted as 498th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) on 19 Nov 1943 and activated on 20 Nov. Equipped with B -29's. Moved to Saipan, Jul-Nov 1944, for duty with Twentieth AF. Flew its first combat missions against Iwo Jima and the Truk Islands. On 24 Nov 1944 participated in the first assault on Japan by B-29's operating from the Marianas. Conducted numerous attacks against industrial targets in Japan, flying in daylight and at high altitude to carry out these missions. Received a DUC for striking an aircraft engine plant at Nagoya on 13 Dec 1944. Began flying missions at night in Mar 1945, operating from low altitude to drop incendaries on area targets in Japan; received second DUC for incendiary raids on urban industries near Kobe and Osaka during Jun 1945. Operations also included strikes against Japanese airfields during the Allied invasion of Okinawa in Apr 1945. Returned to the US in Nov 1945. Assigned to Strategic Air Command on 21 Mar 1946. Inactivated on 4 Aug 1946.
Squadrons. 514th: 1945-1946. 873d: 1943-1946. 874th: 1943-1946. 875th: 1943-1946. 876th: 1943-1944.
Stations. Clovis AAFld, NM, 20 Nov 1943; Great Bend AAFld, Kan, 13 Apr-13 Jul 1944; Isley Field, Saipan, 6 Sep 1944-2 Nov 1945; March Field, Calif, Dec 1945; MacDill Field, Fla, 5 Jan-4 Aug 1946.
Commanders. Lt Col Joseph H West, 11 Dec 1943; Maj Crocker Snow, 20 Jan 1944; Col Wiley D Ganey, 14 Mar 1944; Col Donald W Saunders, 10 Aug 1945-unkn; Col Richard T King Jr, unkn-4 Aug 1946.
Campaigns. American Theater; Air Offensive, Japan; Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Japan, 13 Dec 1944; Japan, 1-7 Jun 1945.
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986