34th Bombardment Group

HISTORY:

Constituted as 34th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Using B-17's, trained and participated in maneuvers until Dec 1941. Flew patrol missions along the east coast after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Later became part of the defense force for the west coast. Served as a replacement training unit from mid-1942 until the end of 1943, and then began preparing for overseas duty with B-24's. Moved to England in Apr 1944 for operations with Eighth AF.

Entered combat in May 1944. Helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by bombing airfields in France and Germany, and supported the landing in Jun by attacking coastal defenses and communications. Continued to take part in the campaign in France by supporting ground forces at St Lo, 24-25 Jul, and by striking V-weapon sites, gun emplacements, and supply lines throughout the summer of 1944. Converted to B-17's and engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic objectives from Oct 1944 to Feb 1945. Targets included marshalling yards in Ludwigshafen, Hamm, Osnabruck, and Darmstadt; oil centers in Bielefeld, Merseburg, Hamburg, and Misburg; factories in Berlin, Dalteln, and Hannover; and airfields in Munster, Neumunster, and Frankfurt. During this period the group also supported ground forces during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. In Mar 1945, with few industrial targets remaining and with Allied armies advancing across Germany, the 34th turned almost solely to interdicting enemy communications and supporting Allied ground forces. After V-E Day it carried food to flooded areas of Holland and transported prisoners of war from German camps to Allied centers. Returned to the US in the summer of 1945. Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945.

Squadrons:

4th: 1941-1945. 7th: 1941-1945. 18th: 1941-1945. 391st: 1942-1945.

Stations:

Langley Field, Va, 15 Jan 1941
Westover Field, Mass, 29 May 1941
Pendleton Field, Ore, c. 27 Jan 1942
Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz, c. 13 May 1942
Geiger Field, Wash, 4 Jul 1942
Ephrata, Wash, 1 Dec 1942
Blythe, Calif, 15 Dec 1942-Apr 1944
Mendlesham, England, c. 26 Apr 1944-c. 25 Jul 1945
Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, Aug-28 Aug 1945.

Commanders:

Maj John W Monahan, 15 Jan 1941
Lt Col Harold D Smith, c. 1 Mar 1941
Maj Ford Lauer, 9 Jan 1942
Col Ralph E Koon, 12 Feb 1942
Maj Irvine A Rendel, 21 Jul 1942
Maj John A Rouse, 24 Feb 1943
Lt Col John E Carmack, 15 Sep 1943
Col Ernest F Wackwitz Jr, c. 5 Jan 1944
Col William E Creer, Sep 1944
Lt Col Eugene B Lebailly, 29 May-c. Aug 1945.

Campaigns:  Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.

34th BG Newsletters - Mendlesham Memories:  -  http://www.johnfunk.com/WWII/MendleshamMemories

Group Website:  -  http://valortovictory.tripod.com/index.html