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29th Bombardment Group

Constituted as 29th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 22 Dec 1939. Activated on 1 Feb 1940. Equipped with B-17's and B-18's. Trained and took part in aerial reviews. Flew patrol missions in the Caribbean area, Dec 1941-Jun 1942. Equipped with B-24's in 1942. Functioned as an operational training and later as a replacement training unit. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1944.

Redesignated 29th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Activated on 1 Apr 1944. Prepared for overseas duty with B-29's. Moved to Guam, Dec 1944-Feb 1945, and assigned to Twentieth AF. Flew its first mission against Japan with an attack on Tokyo on 25 Feb 1945. Conducted a number of missions against strategic targets in Japan, operating in daylight and at high altitude to bomb factories, refineries, and other objectives. Beginning in Mar 1945, carried out incendiary raids on area targets, flying at night and at low altitude to complete the assignments. S/Sgt Henry E Erwin was awarded the Medal of Honor for action that saved his B-29 during a mission over Koriyama, Japan, on 12 Apr 1945. When a phosphorus smoke bomb exploded in the launching chute and shot back into the plane, Sgt Erwin picked up the burning bomb, carried it to a window, and threw it out. During the Allied assault on Okinawa, the group bombed airfields from which the enemy was sending out suicide planes against the invasion force. Received a DUC for an attack on an airfield at Omura, Japan, on 31 Mar 1945. Received second DUC for strikes on the industrial area of Shizuoka, the Mitsubishi aircraft plant at Tamashima, and the Chigusa arsenal at Nagoya, in Jun 1945. After the war, dropped food and supplies to Allied prisoners and participated in several show-of-force missions over Japan. Inactivated on Guam on 20 May 1946.

Squadrons. 6th: 1940-944; 1944-1946. 43rd (formerly 29th) 1940-1944; 1944-1946. 52d: 1940-1944; 1944-1946. 411th: 1942-1944. 761st (later 9th Reconnaissance): 1945-1946.

Stations. Langley Field, Va, 1 Feb 1940; MacDill Field, Fla, 21 May 1940; Gowen Field, Idaho, 25 Jun 1942-1 Apr 1944. Pratt AAFld, Kan, 1 Apr-7 Dec 1944; North Field, Guam, 17 Jan 1945-20 May 1946.

Commanders. Maj Vincent I Meloy, 1 Feb 1940; Maj Charles W Lawrence, 15 Jan 1941; Lt Col James P Hodges, 1 Feb 1941; Maj Frank H Robinson, 1 Oct 1941; Lt Col James M Fitzmaurice, 1 Dec 1941; Lt Col Robert F Travis, 30 Mar 1942; Lt Col William B David, 28 Aug 1942; Maj Henry H Covington, 2 Feb 1943; Lt Col Walter E Arnold Jr, 20 Feb 1943; Lt Col Horace M Wade, 20 Sep 1943-1 Apr 1944. 2d Lt Philip J Lamm, 21 Apr 1944; Capt Samuel W Bright, 28 Apr 1944; Maj Quinn L Oldaker, 2 May 1944; Col Carl R Storrie, 28 May 1944; Col Robert L Mason, 23 Jul 1945; Lt Col Loran D Briggs, 9 Oct 1945-unkn; Col Vincent M Miles Jr, 1946.

Campaigns. Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Offensive, Japan; Western Pacific.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Japan, 31 Mar 1945; Japan, 19-26 Jun 1945.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, a drop bomb and lightning flash saltirewise or. Motto: Power For Peace. (Approved 14 Oct 1940.)

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


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