9th Bombardment Group

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History

The 9th Bombardment Group was a bombardment group that spent much of the war in Panama, the Caribbean and the US, before moving to Tinian at the start of 1945 where it spent the last year of the war operating B-29s against Japan.

The group was formed as a reconnaissance unit in 1922 and didn't become a bombardment group until 1935. It was home based until 1940 when it moved to Panama to defend the canal (providing the only heavy bombers in December 1941), and also used its Flying Fortresses for anti-submarine patrols over the Caribbean. In October 1941 the squadron moved to Trinidad, where it remained for the next year.

Between October 1942 and November 1944 the group was based in the US, where it flew a mix of aircraft types and was used as a training unit.

This changed in March 1944 when the group became a Very Heavy bombardment unit and converted to the B-29. It moved to the Pacific at the end of 1944 and joined the Twentieth Air Force on Tinian (where it would be based for the rest of the war). The group was part of the 313th Bombardment Wing, the first B-29 wing to move onto the North Field on Tinian. Operations began in January 1945 with an attack on Maug (in the northern Mariana Islands).

The group spent most of the rest of the war taking part in the heavy bombing campaign against Japan. It was an awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for an attack on Kawasaki in April 1945. At first the group operated as a high altitude daylight unit, but from March night incendiary raids began.

In April-May 1945 the group was diverted to the Okinawa campaign, attacking Japanese airfields that were being used to against the American invasion force. The group also dropped mines in Japanese waters, and received a second DUC for mining dropping in the Inland Sea in 1945.

After the end of the fighting the group dropped food and supplies to Allied POWs, as well as over flying the Japanese home islands. It remained on Tinian until April 1946 when it moved to the Philippines. The group remained in the Far East until it was inactivated on Guam in 1948.

Books

To Follow

Aircraft

1940-1942: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
1942-1944: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator; Martin B-26 Marauder
1944-1948: Boeing B-29 Superfortress

Timeline

19 July 1922 Authorized as 9th Group (Observation)
1 August 1922 Organized
1935 Redesignated as 9th Bombardment Group
1939 Redesignated as 9th Bombardment Group (Medium)
1940 Redesignated as 9th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
November 1940 To Panama
October 1942 To United States
March 1944 Redesignated as 9th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy)
November 1944-February 1945 To Pacific and Twentieth Air Force
January 1945 Combat debut in Pacific
April 1946 To Philippines
June 1947 To Marianas
20 October 1948 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Unkn: 1922-1929
Maj William O Ryan: 1929-unkn
Col Follett Bradley: Jun 1933-May 1934
Col Walter H Frank: Aug 1934-1936
Lt Col Carl W Connell: 1 Sep 1936-unkn
Col Ross F Cole: Apr 1940
Maj Charles F Born: Aug 1941-unkn
Lt Col Stuart P Wright: 1942
Lt Col Gerald E Williams: 1942
Col Harry G Montgomery: 10 Nov 1942
Col James T Connally: 15 Dec 1942
Col Donald W Eisenhart: 1 May 1944
Col Henry C Huglin: 6 Mar-Aug 1945
Col David Wade: Sep 1945-c. 25 Apr 1947
unkn: Apr 1947-20 Oct 1948.

Main Bases

Mitchel Field, NY: 1 Aug 1922-6 Nov 1940
Rio Hato, Panama: 12 Nov 1940
Waller Field, Trinidad: 30 Oct 1941
Orlando AB, Fla: 31 Oct 1942
Dalhart AAFld, Tex: 9 Mar 1944
McCook AAFld, Neb: 19 May-18 Nov 1944
North Field, Tinian: 28 Dec 1944
Clark Field, Luzon: 15 Apr 1946
Harmon Field, Guam: 9 Jun 1947-20 Oct 1948.

Component Units

1st Bombardment Squadron; 1922-23, 1929-48, 1949-52
5th Bombardment Squadron; 1922-23, 1929-48, 1949-52
99th Bombardment Squadron: 1929-1948, 1949-52
430th Bombardment Squadron: 1943-44

Assigned To

1940-41: IX Bomber Command
1941-1942: VI Bomber Command; Sixth Air Force
March-November 1944: 313rd Bombardment Wing; XXI Bomber Command; Second Air Force (training in US)
November 1944-48: 313rd Bombardment Wing; XXI Bomber Command; Twentieth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (11 March 2013), 9th Bombardment Group , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/9th_Bombardment_Group.html

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