333rd Bombardment Group, USAAF

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The 333rd Bombardment Group, USAAF, had two incarnations during the Second World War, first as a training unit and then as a B-29 group in the Eighth Air Force in the Far East.

The group was activated in July 1942 and joined the Second Air Force. At first it was used as an Operational Training Unit, preparing B-17 groups for combat. It later became a Replacement Training Unit, training individual crews to fill gaps in existing combat units. This version of the group was inactivated on 1 April 1944.

The group was reactivated on 7 July 1944 as the 333rd Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). It trained with the B-29 and prepared for combat in the Far East. After the end of the war in Europe work began on moving the Eighth Air Force from Europe to the Far East, and the 333rd was allocated to the re-located air force.

The first aircrews from the 333rd began to fly into Kadena on Okinawa on 7 August 1945, but the war ended before the group could enter combat. After the end of the fighting it was used to ferry Allied POWs from Japan to the Philippines, before it was inactivated on Okinawa on 28 May 1946.


To Follow


July 1942-April 1944: Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
July 1944-May 1946: Boeing B-29 Superfortress


9 July 1942 Constituted as 333rd Bombardment Group (Heavy)
15 July 1942 Activated and assigned to Second Air Force
1 April 1944 Inactivated
7 July 1944 Activated as 333rd Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) and assigned to Second Air Force
June-August 1945 To Pacific theatre and Eighth Air Force
28 May 1946 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Unkn: Jul-Aug 1942
Col Leo W De Rosier: c. 25 Aug 1942
Lt Col Ted Faulkner: 1943
Lt Col Donald W Saunders: Sep 1943
Maj Walter D Atkins: 3 Jan 1944-unkn
Capt Harry J Whelchel: 26 Jul 1944
Col Milton F Summerfelt: 11 Aug 1944
Lt Col Ray H Martin: 15 Aug 1g45-unkn

Main Bases

Topeka, Kan: 15 Jul 1942
Dalhart AAFld, Tex: 22 Feb 1943-1 Apr 1944
Dalhart AAFld, Tex: 7 Jul 1944
Great Bend AAFld, Kan: 13 Jan-18 Jun 1945
Kadena, Okinawa: 5 Aug 1945-28 May 1946.

Component Units

435th Bombardment Squadron: 1944-1946
460th Bombardment Squadron: 1944-1946
466th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1944
467th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1944
468th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1944
469th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1944
507th Bombardment Squadron: 1944-1946

Assigned To

1944-45: 316th Bombardment Wing
1945-46: 316th Bombardment Wing; Eighth Air Force (Far East)

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 October 2013), 333rd Bombardment Group, USAAF, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/333rd_Bombardment_Group.html

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