6th Bombardment Group
Organized as 3rd Observation Group in the Panama Canal Zone on 30
1919. Redesignated 6th Group (Observation) in 1921, 6th Group
1922, 6th Bombardment Group in 1937, 6th Bombardment
Group (Medium) in 1939,
and 6th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in 1940.
Operations, which were concerned
chiefly with defense of the canal,
included training, participating in
maneuvers, flying patrol missions,
photographing the canal area, staging
aerial reviews, making good-will
flights to Central and South American
countries, and flying mercy
missions in Jan 1939 to earthquake victims at
Santiago, Chile. Equipped
with R-4's and DH-4's in 1919; used SE-5A, MB-3A,
and P-12B aircraft in
the period 1922-1929; received B-10's in 1936 and B-18's
in 1939; used
B-17, B-18, B-24, LB-30, and L-4E aircraft after the US entered
War II. Disbanded in the Canal Zone on 1 Nov 1943.
Reconstituted on 29 Jun 1944 and consolidated with 6th Bombardment
(Very Heavy), which had been constituted on 28 Mar 1944 and
activated in the
US on 19 Apr 1944. Equipped first with B-17's; later
trained for combat with
B-29's. Moved to Tinian, Nov 1944-Feb 1945.
Assigned to Twentieth AF.
Commenced operations by attacking Iwo Jima
and the Truk Islands in Feb 1945.
Afterward, struck industrial targets
in Japan, flying in daylight and at high
altitude to carry out these
missions. Began incendiary raids on area targets
in Japan in Mar 1945
and was awarded a DUC for action on 25 May when the group
flew at night
and at low altitude through alerted enemy defenses to drop
on Tokyo. Participated in mining operations in the Shimonoseki
and received second DUC for contributing to the blockade of
Japanese Empire by mining harbors in Japan and Korea in Jul 1945.
the invasion of Okinawa in Apr 1945 with strikes on Kyushu,
that were used by kamikaze pilots. After the war,
dropped food and supplies
to Allied prisoners and took part in
show-of-force flights over Japan. Moved
to the Philippines in Jan 1946
and to the Ryukyus in Jun 1947. Inactivated on
Okinawa on 18 Oct
Redesignated 6th Bombardment Group (Medium). Activated in the US on
Jan 1951. Assigned to Strategic Air Command and equipped with
Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952.
Squadrons. 3d: 1940-1942. 24th: 1922-1929; 1944-1948;
25th: 1922-1943. 29th: 1943. 39th: 1944-1948; 1951-1952.
1944-1948; 1951-1952. 44th: 1930-1937. 74th: 1940-1942, 1943.
1942-1943. 397th (formerly 7th): 1919-1940, 1942-1943.
Stations. France Field, CZ, 30 Sep 1919; Rio Hato, Panama, 9 Dec
Albrook Field, CZ, 14 Jan 1943; Howard Field, CZ, Oct-1 Nov 1943.
AAFld, Tex, 19 Apr 1944; Grand Island AAFld, Neb, 19 May-18 Nov
Field, Tinian, 28 Dec 1944; Clark Field, Luzon, 28 Jan
1946; Kadena, Okinawa,
1 Jun 1947-18 Oct 1948. Walker AFB, NM, 2 Jan
1951-16 Jun 1952.
Commanders. Unkn, 1919-1923; Maj Follett Bradley, 1923-1926; Lt
Lewis H Brereton, Aug 1931-c. Jun 1935; Lt Col William O Butler, c.
1937-Jul 1939; Lt Col Edwin House, 1939-1940; Maj Samuel M
Connell, c. Sep
1940-Feb 1941, Col Henry K Mooney, 15 Sep 1941-20 Jan
1943; unkn, 20 Jan-1 Nov
1943. Maj William E Taylor, 19 Apr 1944; Lt
Col Howard D Kenzie, 28 Apr 1944;
Col Kenneth H Gibson, 17 Jun 1944; Lt
Col Theodore W Tucker, 31 Aug 1945; Col
John P Kenny, 29 Aug 1946; Col
Frank P Sturdivant, 4 Dec 1946-unkn. Col
William K Martin, 15 Jan
1951-16 Jun 1952.
Campaigns. Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Offensive,
Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Tokyo, Japan, 25 May
Japanese Empire, 9-19 Jul 1945.
Insigne. Shield: Per fess debased or and azure issuant against the
of the setting sun a full rigged ship (black hull and white
sails), in the
gaillard cut (light and dark green), in chief a biplane
(black) diving bend
sinisterwise all proper. Crest: On a wreath of the
colors (or and azure) a
pirate's head and shoulders tattooed on the
chest with skull and bones proper,
garbed and coifed or and sable.
Motto: Parati Defendere - Ready to Defend.
(Approved 22 Jan 1924.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986