501st Bombardment Group

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The 501st Bombardment Group was a B-29 Group that entered the campaign against Japan late in the war and focused its efforts against the Japanese petrol industry.

The group was formed in the US in June 1944. It moved to Guam in March-April 1945, where it joined the Twentieth Air Force. Its first combat mission was a practice run against Japanese held Truk on 19 June 1945. This target was used as the Japanese defenders lacked the ability to hurt the high flying B-29s. The first attack against Japan came on 27 June 1945, and after that the group focuses its efforts against the Japanese petroleum industry on Honshu. It was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for a series of attacks in July 1945 hitting the Maruzen oil refinery at Shimotsu, the Utsubo oil refinery at Yokkaichi and the petroleum industrial centre at Kawasaki.

After the end of the war the group was used to drop food and supplies to Allied POWs across Japan, China, Korea and Manchuria before being inactivated on Guam on 10 June 1946.




June 1944-June 1946: Boeing B-29 Superfortress


25 May 1944 Constituted as 501st Bombardment Group (Very Heavy)
1 June 1944 Activated
Mar-April 1945 To Guam and Twentieth Air Force

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Capt Harry L Young: c. 27 Jun 1944
Lt Col Arch G Campbell Jr: 6 Jul 1944
Col Boyd Hubbard Jr: 11 Aug 1944
Col Vincent M Miles Jr: 15 Apr-20 May 1946.

Main Bases

Dalhart AAFld, Tex: 1 Jun 1944
Harvard AAFld, Neb: 22 Aug 1944- 7 Mar 1945
Northwest Field, Guam: 14 Apr 1945-10 Jun 1946.

Component Units

21st Bombardment Squadron: 1944-1946
41st Bombardment Squadron: 1944-1946
485th Bombardment Squadron: 1944-1946

Assigned To

May 1944-April 1945: 315th Bombardment Wing; XXI Bomber Command; Second Air Force
April 1945-1946: 315th Bombardment Wing; XXI Bomber Command; Twentieth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (9 May 2014), 501st Bombardment Group , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/501st_Bombardment_Group.html

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