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376th Bombardment Group

Constituted as 376th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 Oct 1942 and activated in Palestine on 31 Oct. Began combat immediately, using B-24 aircraft. Operated with Ninth AF from bases in the Middle East, Nov 1942-Sep 1943, and with Twelfth AF from Tunisia, Sep-Nov 1943. Attacked shipping in the Mediterranean and harbor installations in Libya, Tunisia, Sicily, and Italy to cut enemy supply lines to Africa. Struck airdromes, marshalling yards, and other objectives in Sicily and Italy after the fall of Tunisia in May 1943. Received a DUC for action against the enemy in the Middle East, North Africa, and Sicily, Nov 1942-Aug 1943. Participated in the famed low-level assault on oil refineries at Ploesti and received another DUC: nearing Ploesti on 1 Aug 1943 and realizing that it was off course, the group attempted to reach its assigned objective from another direction; by this time, however, enemy defenses were thoroughly alerted and intense opposition forced the 376th to divert to targets of opportunity in the general target area.

Moved to Italy in Nov 1943 and operated with Fifteenth AF until Apr 1945. Engaged primarily in long-range missions to targets in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans to bomb factories, marshalling yards, oil refineries, oil storage facilities, airdromes, bridges, harbors, and other objectives. Received a DUC for attacking the oil industry at Bratislava on 16 Jun 1944. Also flew support and interdictory missions, assisting Allied forces at Anzio and Cassino during Feb-Mar 1944, supporting the invasion of Southern France in Aug 1944, aiding the Russian sweep into the Balkans during the fall of 1944, and assisting Allied troops in northern Italy during Apr 1945.

Moved to the US in Apr. Redesignated 376th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in May 1945. Inactivated on 10 Nov 1945.

Redesignated 376th Reconnaissance Group. Activated on 23 May 1947. Organized as a weather group. Inactivated on 20 Sep 1948.

Redesignated 376th Bombardment Group (Medium). Activated on 1 Jun 1951. Assigned to Strategic Air Command and equipped with B-29's. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952.

Squadrons. 512th: 1942-1945; 1947; 1951-1952. 513th: 1942-1945; 1947; 1951-1952. 514th: 1942-1945; 1951-1952. 515th: 1942-1945.

Stations. Lydda, Palestine, 31 Oct 1942; Abu Sueir, Egypt, 8 Nov 1942; Gambut, Libya, c. Jan 1943; Soluch, Libya, 22 Feb 1943; Bengasi, Libya, c. 6 Apr 1943; Enfidaville, Tunisia, 26 Sep 1943; San Pancrazio, Italy, c. 17 Nov 1943-19 Apr 1945; Harvard AAFld, Neb, 8 May 1945; Grand Island AAFld, Neb, 25 Jun-10 Nov 1945. Gravelly Point, Va, 23 May 1947-20 Sep 1948. Forbes AFB, Kan, 1 Jun 1951; Barksdale AFB, La, c. 1 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952.

Commanders. Col George F McGuire, 1 Nov 1942; Col Keith K Compton, 20 Feb 1943; Col Theodore Q Graff, c. 9 Jan 1944; Lt Col Richard W Fellows, 10 Jul 1944; Col Theodore Q Graff, 29 Sep 1944; Col Robert H Warren, 22 Feb 1945-unkn. Unkn, 23 May 1947-20 Sep 1948. Col Cecil E Combs, 1 Jun 1951; Col Frederick J Sutterlin, May-16 Jun 1952.

Campaigns. Air Combat, EAME Theater; Egypt-Libya; Air Offensive Europe; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe Po Valley.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: North Africa and Sicily, [Nov] 1942-17 Aug 1943; Ploesti, Rumania, Aug 1943; Bratislava, Czechoslovakia, 16 Jun 1944.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, in base, stylized winged sphinx or, shaded tenne and fimbriated azure, on a terra cotta mound sanguine, in dexter chief, a bomb or, point downward, charged with a roundle and a lozenge, sanguine, a triangle azure and a square sanguine, all within a diminutive of a border or. Motto: Liberandos. (Approved Nov 1951.)

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

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