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12th Bombardment Group

Constituted as 12th Bombardment Group (Light) on 20 Nov-1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Trained with B-18, B-23, and PT-17 aircraft. Patrolled the west coast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Redesignated 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) in Dec 1941. Using B-25's, began training early in 1942 for duty overseas. Moved to the Middle East, Jul-Aug 1942, and assigned to Ninth AF. Attacked storage areas, motor transports, troop concentrations, airdromes, bridges, shipping, marshalling yards, and other targets in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Pantelleria, Lampedusa, Crete, Sicily, and Italy, Aug 1942-Jan 1944. Supported the Allied drive from Egypt to Tunisia, Oct 1942-Apr 1943.

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DVD Video with Combat Film footage of 12th BG in WW2.

Early in 1943 two squadrons operated with Twelfth AF, assisting Allied forces moving eastward across North Africa, while the other squadrons continued operations with Ninth AF, bombing enemy defenses along the Mareth Line. Received a DUC for action against the enemy in North Africa and Sicily from Oct 1942 to Aug 1943. While attached to Twelfth AF, Jun-Aug 1943, the group operated from bases in Tunisia and Sicily against targets in Pantelleria, Lampedusa, Sicily, and Italy. Assigned to Twelfth AF in Aug 1943 and operated primarily against targets in Italy until Jan 1944. Flew some missions to Albania and Yugoslavia.

Moved to India, Feb-Apr 1944, and assigned to Tenth AF. Engaged chiefly in missions against the enemy in Burma, Apr 1944-May 1945. Bombed communications, military installations, and other objectives. Delivered ammunition to Allied forces at Imphal. Also attacked some targets in China. Began training with A-26 aircraft in the summer of 1945. Returned to the US, Dec 1945-Jan 1946. Inactivated on 22 Jan 1946.

Redesignated 12th Bombardment Group (Light). Activated on 19 May 1947. Not manned during 1947-1948. Inactivated on 10 Sep 1948.

Redesignated 12th Fighter-Escort Group. Activated on 1 Nov 1950. Assigned to Strategic Air Command. Trained with F-84's. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952.

Squadrons. 81st: 1941-1946; 1947-1948. 82d: 1941-1946; 1947-1948. 83d: 1941-1946; 1947-1948. 434th (formerly 94th): 1941-1942, 1942-1946. 559th: 1950-1952. 560th: 1950-1952. 561st: 1950-1952.

Stations. McChord Field, Wash, 15 Jan 1941; Esler Field, La, c. 21 Feb-3 Jul 1942; Deversoir, Egypt, c. 31 Jul 1942; Egypt and Libya, Oct 1942; Medenine, Tunisia, 3 Apr 1943; Sfax, Tunisia, c. 15 Apr 1943; Hergla, Tunisia, 2 Jun 1943; Ponte Olivo, Sicily, c. 2 Aug 1943; Gerbini, Sicily, c. 22 Aug 1943; Foggia, Italy, c. 2 Nov 1943; Gaudo Airfield, Italy, 19 Jane Feb 1944; Tezgaon, India, c. 21 Mar 1944; Pandaveswar, India, 13 Jun 1944, Fenny, India, 16 Jul 1944; Pandaveswar, India, 8 Jun 1945; Karachi, India, 15 Nov-24 Dec 1945; Ft Lawton, Wash, 21-22 Jan 1946. Langley Field, Va, 19 May 1947-10 Sep 1948. Turner AFB, Ga, 1 Nov 1950; Bergstrom AFB, Tex, Dec 1950-16 Jun 1952.

Commanders. Unkn, Jan-May 1941; Col Charles G Goodrich, 6 May 1941; Col Edward N Backus, 16 Sep 1942; Lt Col William W Wilcox, 21 Sep 1943; Col Lloyd H Dalton Jr, c. 29 Sep 1944; Lt Col Samuel C Galbreath, 4 Sep 1945; Lt Col Lewis B Wilson, 23 Sep 1945-22 Jan 1946. Capt H Carney, Nov 1950; Col Charles A Gayle, 20 Nov 1950; Col Cy Wilson, Feb 1951; Col Charles A Gayle, Apr-16 Jun 1952.

Campaigns. Air Combat, EAME Theater; Egypt-Libya; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Rome-Arno; India-Burma; China Defensive; Central Burma.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: North Africa and Sicily, Oct 1942-17 Aug 1943.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, a sword point to base or, hilt flamant proper; a bordure gyronny of twelve of the second and the first. Motto: Spiritus Omnia Vincit - Spirit Conquers All. (Approved Feb 1942.)

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


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