16th Bombardment Group

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The 16th Bombardment Group was a B-29 group that took part in the last few months of the strategic bombing campaign against Japan.

The group was constituted in March 1944 and activated on 1 April. After a year of training it moved to Guam in March-April 1945, where it joined the Twentieth Air Force.

The group made its combat debut on 16 June 1945 in an attack against a Japanese airfield on Moen. Its first mission over the Japanese Home Islands came on 26 June, and the group was largely used against the petrol industry.

The group was awarded a Distinquished Unit Citation for a series of attacks on Shimotsu, a Mitsubishi oil refinery at Kawasaki and coal liquification plants at Ube.

After the end of the fighting the group was used to drop food to Allied POWs in Japan, Korea and Manchuria. It was inactivated on Guam in April 1946.


To follow


1944-1946: Boeing B-29 Superfortress


28 March 1944 Constituted as 16th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy)
1 April 1944 Activated
March-April 1945 To Guam and Twentieth Air Force
16 June 1945 Combat Debut
26 June 1945 First attack on Japan
15 April 1946 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Unkn: Apr-Jun 1944
Capt William W Hosler Jr: 24 Jun 1944
Maj Richard W Lavin: 1 Jul 1944
Col Samuel C Gurney Jr: 11 Jul 1944
Lt Col Andre F Castellotti: 11 Jul 1945-1946.

Main Bases

Dalhart AAFld, Tex: 1 Apr 1944
Fairmont AAFld, Neb: 15 Aug 1944-7 Mar 1945
Northwest Field, Guam: 14 Apr 1945-15 Apr 1946

Component Units

15th Bombardment Squadron: 1944-46
16th Bombardment Squadron: 1944-46
17th Bombardment Squadron: 1944-46
21st Bombardment Squadron: 1944

Assigned To

1944-March 1945: 315th Bombardment Wing; XXI Bomber Command; Second Air Force (for training in US)
April 1945-1946: 315th Bombardment Wing; XXI Bomber Command; Twentieth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (13 March 2013), 16th Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/16th_Bombardment_Group.html

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