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319th Bombardment Group

Constituted as 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 19 Jun 1942 and activated on 26 Jun. Trained with B-26's. Moved via England to the Mediterranean theater, Aug-Nov 1942, with part of the group landing at Arzeu beach during the invasion of North Africa on 8 Nov. Operated with Twelfth AF until Jan 1945, except for a brief assignment to Fifteenth, Nov 1943-Jan 1944. Began combat in Nov 1942, attacking airdromes, harbors, rail facilities, and other targets in Tunisia until Feb 1943. Also struck enemy shipping to prevent supplies and reinforcements from reaching the enemy in North Africa.

After a period of reorganization and training, Feb-Jun 1943, the group resumed combat and participated in the reduction of Pantelleria and the campaign for Sicily. Directed most of its attacks against targets in Italy after the fall of Sicily in Aug 1943.

319th Bombardment Group DVD
DVD Video with Combat Film footage of 319th BG in WW2.

Hit bridges, airdromes, marshalling yards, viaducts, gun sites, defense positions, and other objectives. Supported forces at Salerno in Sep 1943 and at Anzio and Cassino during Jan-Mar 1944. Carried out interdictory operations in central Italy to aid the advance to Rome, being awarded a DUC for a mission on 3 Mar 1944 when the group, carefully avoiding religious and cultural monuments, bombed rail facilities in the capital. Received another DUC for striking marshalling yards in Florence on 11 Mar 1944 to disrupt rail communications between that city and Rome. Received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for action in preparation for and in support of the Allied offensive in Italy, Apr-Jun 1944. From Jul to Dec 1944, bombed bridges in the Po Valley, supported the invasion of Southern France, hit targets in northern Italy, and flew some missions to Yugoslavia, converting in the meantime, in Nov, to B-25 aircraft. Returned to the US in Jan 1945. Redesignated 319th Bombardment Group (Light) in Feb. Trained with A-26 aircraft. Moved to Okinawa, Apr-Jul 1945, and assigned to Seventh AF. Flew missions to Japan and China, attacking airdromes, shipping, marshalling yards, industrial centers, and other objectives. Returned to the US, Nov-Dec 1945. Inactivated on 18 Dec 1945.

Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 27 Dec 1946. Inactivated on 2 Sep 1949.

Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 10 Oct 1949. Ordered to active duty on 10 Mar 1951. Inactivated on 22 Mar 1951.

Redesignated 319th Fighter-Bomber Group. Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 18 May 1955.

Squadrons. 46th: 1947-1949; 1949-1951; 1955-. 50th: 1947-1949; 1949-1951. 51st: 1947-1949; 1949-1951. 59th: 1947-1949; 1949-1951. 437th: 1942-1945. 438th: 1942-1945. 439th: 1942-1945. 440th: 1942-1945.

Stations. Barksdale Field, La, 26 Jun 1942; Harding Field, La, 8-27 Aug 1942; Shipham, England, 12 Sep 1942; Horsham St Faith, England, c. 4 Oct 1942; St-Leu, Algeria, c. 11 Nov 1942; Tafaraoui, Algeria, 18 Nov 1942; Maison Blanche, Algeria, 24 Nov 1942; Telergma, Algeria, c. 12 Dec 1942; Oujda, French Morocco, 3 Mar 1943; Rabat Sale, French Morocco, 25 Apr 1943; Sedrata, Algeria, 1 Jun 1943; Djedeida, Tunisia, 26 Jun 1943; Sardinia, c. 1 Nov 1943; Corsica, c. 21 Sep 1944-1 Jan 1945; Bradley Field, Conn, 25 Jan 1945; Columbia AAB, SC, c. 28 Feb-27 Apr 1945; Kadena, Okinawa, c. 2 Jul 1945; Machinato, Okinawa, 21 Jul-21 Nov 1945; Ft Lewis, Wash, 17-18 Dec 1945. Mitchel Field, NY, 27 Dec 1946; Reading Mun Aprt, Pa, 27 Jun-2 Sep 1949. Birmingham Mun Aprt, Ala, 10 Oct 1949-22 Mar 1951. Memphis Mun Aprt, Tenn, 18 May 1955-.

Commanders. Lt Col Alvord Rutherford, 26 Jun 1942; Lt Col Sam W Agee Jr, 27 Nov 1942; Maj Joseph A Cunningham, 5 Dec 1942; Lt Col Wilbur W Aring, c. 11 Jan 1943; Col Gordon H Austin, 6 Jul 1943; Col Joseph R Holzapple, 13 Aug 1943-1945.

Campaigns. Air Combat, EAME Theater; Algeria-French Morocco; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; North Apennines; Air Offensive, Japan; Ryukyus; China Offensive.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Rome, Italy, 3 Mar 1944; Florence, Italy, 11 Mar 1944. French Croix de Guerre with Palm: Apr, May, and Jun 1944.

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


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