345th Bombardment Group

Constituted as 345th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 3 Sep 1942 and activated on 8 Sep. Trained for overseas duty with B-25's. Moved to New Guinea, via Australia, Apr-Jun 1943, and assigned to Fifth AF. Entered combat on 30 Jun 1943. Operations until Jul 1944 included bombing and strafing Japanese airfields and installations in New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago; attacking shipping in the McCluer Gulf, Ceram Sea, and Bismarck Sea; supporting ground forces in the Admiralties; dropping supplies to ground troops; and flying courier and reconnaissance missions in the area. Received a DUC for a series of attacks against flak positions, shore installations, and barracks at Rabaul, New Britain, on 2 Nov 1943. Operated from Biak, Jul-Nov 1944, striking airfields and shipping in the southern Philippines and the Celebes. In Nov 1944 moved to the Philippines where targets included Japanese airfields and communications on Luzon, industries and communications on Formosa, and shipping along the China coast. After moving to Ie Shima in Jul 1945, flew some missions over Kyushu and the Sea of Japan. Returned to the US in Dec 1945. Inactivated on 29 Dec 1945.

Redesignated 345th Bombardment Group (Tactical). Activated on 19 Jul 1954. Assigned to Tactical Air Command. Equipped with B-26's and later with B-57's.

Squadrons. 498th: 1942-1945; 1954-. 499th: 1942-1945; 1954-. 500th: 1942-1945; 1954-. 501st: 1942-1945.

Stations. Columbia AAB, SC, 8 Sep 1942; Walterboro AAFld, SC, 6 Mar-16 Apr 1943; Port Moresby, New Guinea, 5 Jun 1943; Dobodura, New Guinea, 18 Jan 1944; Nadzab, New Guinea, c. 16 Feb 1944; Biak, Jul 1944; Leyte, 12 Nov 1944; Dulag, Leyte, Dec 1944; Tacloban, Leyte, c. 1 Jan 1945; San Marcelino, Luzon, 1 Feb 1945; Clark Field, Luzon, 12 May 1945; Ie Shima, 25 Jul-10 Dec 1945; Camp Stoneman, Calif, 27-29 Dec 1945. Langley AFB, Va, 19 Jul 1954-.

Commanders. Col Jarred V Crabb, 11 Nov 1942; Col Clinton U True, 19 Sep 1943; Col Chester A Coltharp, 24 Jun 1944; Col Glenn A Doolittle, 28 Jun 1945-unkn. Col John G Napier, 19 Jul 1954-.

Campaigns. Air Offensive, Japan; China Defensive; New Guinea; Bismarck Archipelago; Western Pacific; Leyte; Luzon; Southern Philippines; China Offensive.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Rabaul, New Britain, 2 Nov 1943. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.

Insigne. On a disc azure, an orle argent, surmounting all the head, in profile, of an Apache, proper, wearing a feathered headdress of the second, with markings gules, and a string of animal's teeth of the second. Motto: Air Apaches. (Approved 1 May 1954.)

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986

Army Air Forces Airplane Insignia

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