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16th Bombardment Group

Constituted as 16th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) on 28 Mar 1944. Activated on 1 Apr 1944. Trained for combat with B-29's. Moved to Guam, Mar-Apr 1945, and assigned to Twentieth AF. Entered combat on 16 Jun 1945 with a bombing raid against an airfield on Moen. Flew first mission against the Japanese home islands on 26 Jun 1945 and afterwards operated principally against the enemy's petroleum industry. Flying unescorted in the face of severe enemy attack, the 16th bombed the oil refinery at Shimotsu, the Mitsubishi refinery and oil installations at Kawasaki, and the coal liquefaction plants at Ube, Jul-Aug 1945, and was awarded a DUC for the missions. After the war the group dropped food and supplies to Allied prisoners of war in Japan, Manchuria, and Korea, and participated in several show-of-force missions over Japan. Inactivated on Guam on 15 Apr 1946.

Squadrons. 15th: 1944-1946. 16th: 1944-1946. 17th: 1944-1946. 21st: 1944.

Stations. Dalhart AAFld, Tex, 1 Apr 1944; Fairmont AAFld, Neb, 15 Aug 1944-7 Mar 1945; Northwest Field, Guam, 14 Apr 1945-15 Apr 1946.

Commanders. Unkn, Apr-Jun 1944; Capt William W Hosler Jr, 24 Jun 1944; Maj Richard W Lavin, 1 Jul 1944; Col Samuel C Gurney Jr, 11 Jul 1944; Lt Col Andre F Castellotti, 11 Jul 1945-1946.

Campaigns. Air Offensive, Japan; Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Japan, 29 July Aug 1945.

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


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