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323d Bombardment Group

Constituted as 323d Bombardment Group (Medium) on 19 Jun 1942. Activated on 4 Aug 1942. Trained with B-26's. Moved to England, Apr-Jun 1943. Assigned first to Eighth AF and, in Oct 1943, to Ninth AF. Began operations in Jul 1943, attacking marshalling yards, air dromes, industrial plants, military installations, and other targets in France, Belgium, and Holland. Then carried out numerous attacks on V-weapon sites along the coast of France. Attacked airfields at Leeuwarden and Venlo in conjunction with the Allied campaign against the German Air Force and aircraft industry during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944. Helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by bombing coastal defenses, marshalling yards, and airfields in France; struck roads and coastal batteries on 6 Jun 1944. Participated in the aerial barrage that assisted the breakthrough at St Lo in Jul. Flew its first night mission after moving to the Continent in Aug, striking enemy batteries in the region of St Malo. Carried out other night missions during the month to hit fuel and ammunition dumps. Eliminated strong points at Brest early in Sep and then shifted operations to eastern France to support advances against the Siegfried Line. Received a DUC for actions (24-27 Dec 1944) during the Battle of the Bulge when the group effectively hit transportation installations used by the enemy to bring reinforcements to the Ardennes. Flew interdictory missions into the Ruhr and supported the drive into Germany by attacking enemy communications. Ended combat in Apr 1945 and moved to Germany in May to participate in the disarmament program. Returned to the US in Dec. Inactivated on 12 Dec 1945.

Redesignated 323d Bombardment Group (Light). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 9 Sep 1947. Ordered to active duty on 10 Mar 1951. Inactivated on 17 Mar 1951.

Redesignated 323d Fighter-Bomber Group. Activated on 8 Aug 1955. Assigned to Tactical Air Command.

Squadrons. 453d: 1942-1945; 1949-1951; 1955-. 454th: 1942-1945; 1949-1951; 1955-. 455th: 1942-1945; 1949-1951; 1955-. 456th: 1942-1945; 1947-1951.

Stations. Columbia AAB, SC, 4 Aug 1942; MacDill Field, Fla, 21 Aug 1942; Myrtle Beach Bombing Range, SC, 2 Nov 1942-25 Apr 1943; Horham, England, 1 May 1943; Earls Colne, England, 14 Jun 1943; Beaulieu, England, 21 Jul 1944; Lessay, France, 26 Aug 1944; Chartres, France, 21 Sep 1944; Laon/Athies, France 13 Oct 1944; Denain/Prouvy, France, Feb 1945; Gablingen, Germany, 15 May 1945; Landsberg, Germany, 16 Jul 1945; Clastres, France, Oct-Dec 1945; Camp Myles Standish, Mass, 11-12 Dec 1941; Tinker Field, Okla, 9 Sep 1947-17 May 1951. Bunker Hill AFB, Ind, 8 Aug 1955-.

Commanders. Col Herbert B Thatcher, Sep 1942; Col Wilson R Wood, c. 13 Nov 1943; Col Rollin M Winingham, 14 Feb 1945; Lt Col George O Commenator, Aug 1945-unkn. Col John C Haygood, 1955-.

Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Belgium and Germany, 24-27 Dec 1944.

Insigne. Shield: Per bend gules and azure, a bend between a mailed dexter gauntlet grasping a dagger and the winged hat of Mercury argent. Motto: Vincamus Sine Timoris - Without Fear We Conquer. (Approved 16 Feb 1943. This insigne was replaced 21 Jun 1957.)

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


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