Constituted as 499th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) on 19 Nov 1943 and activated on 20 Nov. Trained for combat with B-29's. Moved to Saipan, Jul-Nov 1944, and assigned to Twentieth AF. Began operations with attacks in the Truk Islands and on Iwo Jima, and took part on 24 Nov 1944 in the first strike against Japan by AAF planes stationed in the Marianas. Flew numerous missions in daylight, operating from high altitude to bomb strategic targets in Japan. Received a DUC for striking the Mitsubishi aircraft engine plant at Nagoya on 23 Jan 1945. In Mar 1945 began to conduct night attacks, flying at low altitude to drop incendiaries on area targets in Japan. Completed a series of attacks against enemy airfields on Kyushu to aid the Allied assault on Okinawa in Apr 1945 and received another DUC for this action. Also dropped propaganda leaflets on Japan, and after the war dropped food and supplies to Allied prisoners of war. Returned to the US in Nov 1945. Inactivated on 16 Feb 1946.
Squadrons. 877th: 1943-1946. 878th 1943-1946. 879th: 1943-1946. 880th: 1943-1944.
Stations. Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz, 20 Nov 1943; Smoky Hill AAFld, Kan, 1 Dec 1943-22 Jul 1944; Isley Field, Saipan, 18 Sep 1944-9 Nov 1945; March Field, Calif, c. 25 Nov 1945-16 Feb 1946.
Commanders. Unkn, Nov 1943-Jan 1944; Maj Douglas C Northrup, 22 Jan 1944; Col Thomas C Musgrave, 1 Feb 1944; Col Samuel R Harris, 4 Apr 1944; Col Morris Lee, 17 Mar 1945; Lt Col Walter E Chambers, 13 Aug 1945-unkn.
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Japan; Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Nagoya, Japan, 23 Jan 1945; Japan, 22-28 Apr 1945.
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986