11th Bombardment Group

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History

The 11th Bombardment Group was activated on Hawaii on 1 February 1940 as a medium bomber group. In November 1940 it was redesignated as a heavy bombardment group, although it would not receive recognisably heavy bombers until the start of 1942. Those B-17s that arrived on Hawaii before the attack on Pearl Harbor went to the 5th Bombardment Group.

In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor the Hawaiian Air Force was reorganised as the Seventh Air Force. The 11th BG was only part of the Seventh from February-July 1942. During that time it carried out patrol and search missions off Hawaii, guarding against a repeat attack, gaining its B-17s during this period.

In July 1942 the group was transferred to the Thirteenth Air Force, moving to the New Hebrides. From there it took part in the campaign in the South Pacific. On 25 August, towards the end of the Battle of the Eastern Solomons, aircraft from the group sank the Japanese destroyer Muzuki. From November 1942 until March 1943 the group concentrated on targets in the Solomon Islands.

In March 1943 the group was transferred back to the Seventh Air Force and equipped with the B-24 Liberator. The Seventh Air Force was about to go onto the offensive as the Americans advanced across the central Pacific. Soon after joining the Seventh Air Force the group moved to Funafuti in the Ellice Islands, from where in June 1943 they made an unsuccessful attempt to attack the Japanese base on Tarawa. In November 1943 the 11th Bombardment Group resumed combat, taking part in the campaigns in the Gilbert, Marshall and Marianas Islands. This period began with a more productive return to Tarawa, where the group played a part in the pre-invasion bombardment of the island.

As the Americans advanced so did the 11th Bombardment Group. In October 1944 it moved to Guam, attacking targets in the Volcano and Bonin Islands. In July 1945 it moved again, this time to Okinawa, from where it attacked targets on the Japanese Home Islands.

Books

 

Aircraft

Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress: From early 1942-March 1943
Consolidated B-24 Liberator: March 1943-May 1946

Timeline

1933 Constituted as 11th Observation Group
1938 Redesignated 11th Bombardment Group (Medium)
1 February 1940 Activated in Hawaii
November 1940 Redesignated 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
February 1942 Assigned to Seventh Air Force
July 1942 Move to New Hebrides with Thirteenth Air Force
March 1943 Back to Seventh Air Force, Hawaii for training
November 1943 Resumed combat with B-24, fighting in Gilberts, Marshalls and Marianas
October 1944 Move to Guam
July 1945 Move to Okinawa

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Lt. Colonel Walter F Kraus: February 1940
Lt Colonel St. Clair Streett: 15 June 1940
Lt Colonel Albert F. Hegenberger: 1 April 1941
Colonel LaVerne G. Saunders: March 1942
Colonel Frank F Everest: December 1942
Colonel William J. Holzapfel Jr: 26 April 1943
Colonel Russell L. Waldron: 7 July 1944
Colonel John J. Morrow: March 1945-December 1945

Main Bases

Hickam Field: 1 February 1940
New Hebrides: July 1942
Hickam Field: 8 April 1943
Funafuti: November 1943 (after a brief visit in June).
Tarawa: 20 January 1944
Kwajalein: 5 April 1944
Guam: 25 October 1944
Okinawa: 2 July 1945
Manila: December 1945

Component Units

14th Bombardment Squadron: 1940-1941
26th Bombardment Squadron: 1940-1948
42nd Bombardment Squadron: 1940-1948
98th Bombardment Squadron: 1941-1948
431st Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1946

Assigned To

1940-42: 18th Bombardment Wing (Hawaii)
to February 1942: 19th Bombardment Wing, Hawaiian Air Force
VII Bomber Command; Seventh Air Force, Hawaii: February 1942 to July 1942
XIII Bomber Command; Thirteenth Air Force: July 1942-March 1943
VII Bomber Command; Seventh Air Force, Central Pacific: March 1943-1945

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 December 2007), 11th Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/11th_Bombardment_Group.html

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