867th Bombardment Squadron

History - Aircraft - Books - Time Line - Duties - Campaigns - Main Bases - Assigned To

History

Despite its eventual high number the 867th Bombardment Squadron was in action almost from the start of the American involvement in the Second World War, flying anti-submarine warfare patrols for eighteen months before joining the Seventh Air Force as a heavy bomber squadron.

The squadron had originally been formed as the 92nd Aero Squadron in August 1917, before being demobilized in December 1918. In 1940, while out of service the squadron had been redesignated as the 92nd Reconnaissance Squadron (Light), and had been reactivated in this form on 15 January 1941 as part of the pre-war expansion of the Army Air Force. During 1941 the squadron flew a mix of Douglas B-18 Bolos and Douglas Havocs, but it would enter combat with the Lockheed A-29 Hudson.

The squadron began flying anti-submarine warfare patrols from Dow Field, Bangor, Maine, on 28 February 1942 (as the 92nd Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium). In April it moved to Mitchell Field, New York, where it continued to fly ASW patrols, this time as the 433rd Bombardment Squadron. A third change of name and number came on 29 November 1942 when the bombardment squadrons flying with AAF Antisubmarine Command were redesignated as Antisubmarine Squadrons (3rd to 19th). The 433rd became the 10th Antisubmarine Squadron, by now operating the B-25 Mitchell.

The squadron flew its last ASW patrol from Galveston on 30 September 1943. In the next month it was redesignated as the 867th Bombardment Squadron, converted to the B-24 Liberator and was allocated to the 494th Bombardment Group. The squadron joined the rest of this group at Wendover Field, Utah, on 5 January 1944, one month after the other three squadrons in the group arrived. The new group spent most of 1944 in training, before moving to Anguar at the end of the year.

From then to the end of the war the squadron's history was the same as the groups. On arriving on Anguar the group operated against Japanese held targets on just about every island in range, as well as beginning a campaign against the Japanese on the Philippines that would last until June 1945, when the group moved to Okinawa. On 5 July 1945 the group became the first to operate the B-24 Liberator against the Japanese Home Islands from Okinawa, and for the rest of the war it split its attention between attacks on Japan (focusing on airfields) and on Japanese occupied China and Korea. At the end of the war the group was used to transfer personnel to Japan and to help Allied prisoners of war held near Tokyo.

The 867th Bombardment Squadron's B-24s were left in their all-metal finish, and could be identified by offset quartered black squares painted on the tail.

For more details see the 494th Bomb Group (H) Association website

Aircraft

Douglas B-18 Bolo: 1941
Boeing Stearman PT-17: 1941
Douglas DB-7 Havoc: 1941
Douglas A-20 Havoc: 1941
Lockheed A-29 Hudson: 1942
Lockheed RM-37 (Ventura): 1942-1943
Lockheed B-34 Lexington (Ventura): 1943
North American B-25 Mitchell: 1943
Consolidated B-24 Liberator: 1943-1945

Books

 B-24 Liberator Units of the Pacific War, Robert F. Dorr. The B-24 played a major part in the war in the Pacific, serving as the main heavy bomber for the USAAF in the Pacific from the start of the war until the late arrival of the B-29. The Pacific campaign was fought on a vast scale, over theatres as varied as the jungles of Burma and the icy Aleutian islands. Dorr splits this volume into five parts - one looking at the early period of the war, when small numbers of B-24s took part in desperate attempts to stop the Japanese advance, one chapter each for the Fifth, Seventh and Thirteenth Air Forces, and a final chapter for the combined Far East Air Force.  
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Lockheed Hudson Aircraft in WWII, Andrew Hendrie, Crowood Press. A look at the development of the Hudson, and its career with the RAF, USAAF, RNZAF and RAAF. Covers the anti-submarine and anti-shipping uses of the Hudson, as well at its role in Air-Sea Rescue and special operations. The text is supported by a good collection of first hand accounts.
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Timeline

21 August 1917-21 December 1918 Active as 92nd Aero Squadron
15 January 1941 Activated
14 August 1941 Redesignated 92nd Bombardment Squadron (Light)
30 December 1941 Redesignated 92nd Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium)
22 April 1942 Redesignated 433rd Bombardment Squadron (Medium)
29 November 1942 Redesignated 10th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy)
21 October 1943 Redesignated 867th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy)

Duties

Antisubmarine Patrols: 28 February 1942-30 September 1943
Combat in Western and Southwest Pacific: 3 November 1944-12 August 1945

Campaigns

Antisubmarine, American Theatre
Air Offensive, Japan
Eastern Mandates
Western Pacific
Leyte
Luzon
Southern Philippines
Ryukyus
China Offensive
Air Combat, Asiatic-Pacific Theater

Main Bases

Savannah, Georga: 15 January 1941
Manchester, New Hampshire: 20 June 1941
Dow Field, Maine: 3 February 1942
Mitchel Field, New York: 7 April 1942
  Detachments to Key West, Miami and New Orleans: May-September 1942
Miami: 17 June 1942
Brookley Field Alabama: 25 July 1942
Galveston, Texas: 10 September 1942
Gowen Field, Idaho: 21 October 1943
Wendover Field, Utah: 5 January 1944
Mountain Home Army, Idaho: 14 April-1 June 1944
Barking Sands, Hawaii: 15 June 1944
Angaur: 30 September 1944
Yontan, Okinawa: 24 June-8 December 1945
Fort Lawson, Washington: 2-4 January 1945

Assigned To

45th Bombardment Group: 15 January 1941-22 November 1942
26th Anti-submarine Wing: 22 November 1942-1 December 1943
494th Bombardment Group: 1 December 1943-4 January 1946

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How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 July 2008), 867th Bombardment Squadron , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/867th_Bombardment_Squadron.html

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