Constituted as 85th Bombardment Group (Light) on 13 Jan 1942. Activated on 10 Feb 1942. Redesignated 85th Bombardment Group (Dive) in Jul 1942, and 85th Fighter-Bomber Group in Aug 1943. Assigned to Third AF, then to Second, and again to Third. Equipped first with V-72 aircraft; converted to A-24's in Aug 1942, A-36's early in 1943, and P-40's early in 1944, receiving a few P-47's in Mar 1944. Participated in maneuvers in California during fall and winter of 1942-1943 and in Kentucky in April 1943. Afterward served as a replacement training unit. Disbanded on 1 May 1944.
Squadrons. 499th (formerly 305th): 1942-1944. 500th (formerly 306th): 1942-1944. 501st (formerly 307th): 1942-1944. 502nd (formerly 308th) 1942-1944.
Stations. Savannah AB, Ga, 10 Feb 1942 Bowman Field, Ky, c. 16 Feb 1942; Hunter Field, Ga, 9 Jun 1942; Waycross, Ga, 15 Aug 1942; Gillespie Field, Tenn, 3 Oct 1942; Blythe AAB, Calif, 2 Nov 1942; Rice, Calif, c. 11 Dec 1942; Harding Field, La, c. 9 Apr 1943; Waycross AAFld, Ga, c. 27 Aug 1943-1 May 1944.
Commanders. 2nd Lt Benson M Sherman, 18 Feb 1942; Capt Orren L Briggs, 23 Feb 1942; Capt Joseph Ralph Deming, 31 Mar 1942; Lt Col Arnold L Schroeder, 13 Jun 1942; Lt Col William R Clingerman Jr, 10 Oct 1943; Col James E Ellison, 13 Nov 1943; Col Joseph S Holtoner, 26 Jan 1944; Lt Col Thomas A Holdiman, 4 Mar 1944; Lt Col Robert C Bagby, 20 Mar 1944; Col Joseph S Holtoner, 1 Apr-1 May 1944.
Campaigns. American Theater.
Insigne. Shield: Azure, five drop bombs or, arranged one large in pale, two to dexter bendwise in pale, and two to sinister bend sinisterwise in pale, a chief indented of eight points of the last. Motto: Coup De Main - A Sudden (Unexpected) Attack. (Approved 6 Nov 1942.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986