Constituted as 390th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 15 Jan 1943 and activated on 26
Jan. Prepared for combat with B-17's. Moved to England in Jul 1943 and assigned to
Eighth AF. Operated chiefly against strategic objectives, flying many missions with
the aid of pathfinders. Began combat on 12 Aug 1943. Five days later, attacked the
Messerschmitt aircraft complex at Regensburg and received a DUC for the mission.
Received another DUC for a mission on 14 Oct 1943 when the group braved unrelenting
assaults by enemy fighters to bomb the antifriction-bearing plants at Schweinfurt.
Participating in the intensive Allied assault on the German aircraft industry during
Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944, the organization bombed aircraft factories, instrument
plants, and air parks. Other strategic missions included attacks on marshalling yards
at Frankfurt, bridges at Cologne, oil facilities at Zeitz, factories at Mannheim,
naval installations at Bremen, and synthetic oil refineries at Merseburg. Sometimes
flew interdictory and support missions.
Bombed the coast near Caen fifteen minutes before the landings in Normandy on 6 Jun
1944. Attacked enemy artillery in support of ground forces during the breakthrough
at St Lo in Jul. Cut German supply lines during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan
1945. Hit airfields in support of the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945.
Flew last combat mission on 20 Apr 1945. Dropped food supplies to the Dutch during
the week prior to V-E Day. Returned to the US in Aug. Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945