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444th Bombardment Group

Constituted as 444th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 15 Feb 1943. Activated on 1 Mar 1943. Redesignated 444th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in Nov 1943. Trained with B-17, B-24, and B-16 aircraft, and later with B-19's. Moved to India, via Africa, Mar-Apr 1944. Assigned to Twentieth AF on 29 Jun 1944. Flew supplies over the Hump to Chinese bases that its B-29's were to use for staging attacks on Japan. On 15 Jun 1944 participated in the first AAF strike on the Japanese home islands since the Doolittle raid in 1942. Bombed transportation centers, naval installations, aircraft plants, and other targets in Burma, China, Thailand, Japan, and Formosa. Conducted a daylight raid against iron and steel works at Yawata, Japan, in Aug 1944, being awarded a DUC for the mission. Evacuated staging fields in China in Jan 1945 but continued operations from India, bombing targets in Thailand and mining waters around Singapore. Moved to Tinian in the spring of 1945 for further operations against targets in Japan. Participated in bombardment of strategic objectives and in incendiary raids on urban areas for the duration of the war. Received a DUC for attacking oil storage facilities at Oshima, bombing an aircraft plant near Kobe, and dropping incendiaries on Nagoya, in May 1945. Struck light metal industries at Osaka in Jul 1945, receiving another DUC for this action. Returned to the US late in 1945. Assigned to Strategic Air Command on 21 Mar 1946. Inactivated on 1 Oct 1946.

Squadrons. 344th: 1945-1946. 409th: 1946. 676th: 1943-1946. 677th: 1943-1946. 678th (later 10th): 1943-1946. 679th: 1943-1944. 825th: 1945.

Stations. Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz, 1 Mar 1943; Great Bend AAFld, Kan, 29 Jul 1943-12 Mar 1944; Charra, India, 11 Apr 1944; Dudhkundi, India, 1 Jul 1944-1 Mar 1945; West Field, Tinian, 7 Apr-18 Sep 1945; Merced AAFld, Calif, 15 Nov 1945; Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz, 6 May-1 Oct 1946.

Commanders. Maj Arthur T [?] Snell, 18 Mar 1943; Maj Walter W Cross, 17 Apr 1943; Col Alva L Harvey, 5 Aug 1943; Col Henry R Sullivan, 22 Apr 1945; Col James C Selser Jr, 3 Jun 1945-1 Oct 1946.

Campaigns. American Theater; India-Burma; Air Offensive, Japan; China Offensive; Western Pacific; Central Burma.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Yawata, Japan, 20 Aug 1944; Japan, 10-14 May 1945; Japan, 24 Jul 1945.

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

Museum Collection

   Arrow Otto W. Buenting


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