Bomb Group History
as the 38th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 20 Nov. 1940
on 15 Jan. 1941
the B-18, B-25, and B-26 aircraft. The ground echelon moved to Australia,
Jan-Feb. 1942, while the air echelon remained in the US for further training.
Air echelons of two squadrons arrived in Hawaii in May 1942 and took part in the
Battle of Midway; they did not rejoin the group and eventually were reassigned.
Air echelons of the other squadrons arrived in Australia in Aug. 1942.
Assigned to Fifth AF and equipped with B-25's, the group operated from
bases in Australia, New Guinea, and Biak, Sept. 1942-Oct. 1944, attacking
Japanese airfields, shipping and supporting ground forces in New Guinea and the
Major Ralph Cheli was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on 18 August,
1943. While leading the 405th Squadron to attack a heavily defended airdrome on
New Guinea, his plane was severely hit by enemy fire. Rather than disrupt the
formation, Major Cheli remained in position and led the attack on the target
before his bomber crashed into the sea. (He was taken prisoner and killed in the
Rabaul area later)
The group was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for bombing and
strafing Japanese troops and fortification on Cape Gloucester, New Britain,
December 1943, preparatory to the Allied invasion. Received another DUC for two
missions over New Guinea, 16 & 17 June, 1944, against Japanese airfields,
merchant ships and naval vessels. Moved to the Moluccas in October 1944 and
bombed airfields, ground installations, harbors, and shipping in the southern
Philippines in support of the US invasion of Leyte. Struck a large enemy convoy
in Ormoc Bay in November 1944 to prevent the landing of reinforcements, being
awarded a DUC for the mission.
After moving to the Philippines in Jan. 1945, supported US ground forces
on Luzon, bombed industries on Formosa, and attacked shipping along the China
coast. Stationed temporarily on
Palawan in June 1945 for participation in the pre-invasion bombing of Japanese
installations on Borneo. Moved to
Okinawa in July 1945 and conducted several attacks on industries, railways and
shipping in southern Japan.
Moved to Japan in Nov. 1945 as part of Far East Air Forces.
Re-designated the 38th Bombardment Group (Light) in May 1945.
Equipped with Douglas A-26 aircraft.
INACTIVATED in the Far East on 1 Jan. 1949.
ACTIVATED in France on 1 Jan. 1953. Assigned
to United States Forces in Europe. Equipped with B-26 and later with B-57 aircraft.
SQUADRONS: 69th: 1941-1943.
70th: 1941-1943. 71st:
1941-1949. 405th: 1942-1949.
822nd: 1943-1946. 823rd: 1943-1946.
STATIONS: Langley Field, VA, 15 Jan. 1941; Jackson
AAB, MS, June 1941 to 18 Jan. 1942; Doomben
Field, Australia, 25 Feb. 1942; Ballarat, Australia, 8 March 1942; Amberley
Field, Australia, 30 April 1942; Eagle Farms, Australia, 7 August 1942; Breddan
Field, Australia, 7 August 1942; Townsville, Australia , 30 September 1942; Port
Morseby, New Guinea, October 1942; Nadzab, New Guinea, 4 March 1944; Biak, 1
October 1944; Morotai, 15 October 1944; Lingayen, Luzon, Philippines, 29 Jan.
1945; Okinawa, 25 July 1945; Itazuke, Japan, 22 November 1945; Itami, Japan, 26
October 1945-inactivated April 1949.
COMMANDERS: Lt. Col. Robert D. Knapp, 15 Jan. 1941;
Col. Fay R. Upthegrove, 18 Jan. 1942-unknown; Lt. Col. Brian O'Neill, 19 Oct.
1942; Lt. Col. Lawrence Tanberg, 1 Oct. 1942; Lt. Col. Carl C. Lausman, July
1944; Maj. Howard M. Paquin, 18 Aug. 1944; Lt. Col. Edward M. Gavin, 9 Nov.
1944; Lt. Col. Edwin H. Hawes, 16 March 1945; Lt. Col. Vernon D. Torgerson, 9
Aug. 1945; Lt. Col. Bruce T. Marston, 12 Sept. 1945.
Offensive, Japan; China Defensive; Papua; New Guinea; Bismarck Archipelago;
Western Pacific; Leyte; Southern Philippines; China Offensive.
Unit Citations: Papua, New Guinea, Sept. 1942,
23 Jan. 1943;
New Britain, 24-26 Dec. 1943; New
Guinea, 16-17 June 1944; Leyte, 10
Nov. 1944; Philippine Presidential