6th Bombardment Group

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The 6th Bombardment Group had two separate existences. From 1919 until 1943 it was based around the Panama Canal, operating a mix of aircraft to protect the canal against any possible attack. This version of the group was disbanded in November 1943.

The second version of the group was constituted on 28 March 1944 in the United States as a Very Heavy group. After training with B-17 Flying Fortresses it was equipped with B-29 Superfortresses and posted to Tinian as part of the Twentieth Air Force.

The new unit began operations in February 1945 with raids against targets on Iwo Jima and Truk. It then moved on to attack the Japanese Home Islands. It carried out its flirt incendiary raid on Japan in March 1945. In April it helped protect the troops attacking Okinawa by launching a series of attacks on Kamikaze bases on Kyushu. In July 1945 it took part in the campaign to blockade Japan by dropping mines to block the countries remaining harbours.




Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, B-18, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, Consolidated LB-30 Liberator and L-4E: 1941-1943
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress: 1944
Boeing B-29 Superfortress: 1944-1945


30 September 1919 Organised as 3rd Observation Group in Panama Canal Zone
1937 Redesignated 6th Bombardment Group
1939 Redesignated 6th Bombardment Group (Medium)
1940 Redesignated 6th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
1 November 1943 Disbanded
28 March 1944 New 6th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) constituted in United States
19 April 1944 New group activated
29 June 1944 Old group reconstituted and merged with new group
November 1944-February 1945 Based on Tinian with Twentieth Air Force
March 1945 First incendiary raid over Japan

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Lt. Colonel Edwin J House: 1939-1940
Major Samuel M Connell: September 1940-February 1941
Colonel Henry K. Mooney: 15 September 1941-20 January 1943
Major William E. Taylor: 19 April 1944
Lt. Colonel Howard D. Kenzie: 28 April 1944
Colonel Kenneth H. Gibson: 17 June 1944
Lt. Colonel Theodore W. Tucker: 31 August 1945

Main Bases

France Field, Panama Canal Zone: 30 September 1919
Rio Hato, Panama: 9 December 1941
Albrook Field, Canal Zone: 14 January 1943
Howard Field, Canal Zone: October-November 1943
Dalhart Field, Texas: 19 April 1944
Grand Island Field, Nebraska: 19 May-18 November 1944
North Field, Tinian: 28 December 1944-1946

Component Units

To 1943

3rd Bombardment Squadron: 1940-1942
25th Bombardment Squadron: 1922-1943
29th Bombardment Squadron: 1943
74th Bombardment Squadron: 1940-1942, 1943
395th Bombardment Squadron: 1942-1943
397th Bombardment Squadron: 1919-1940, 1942-1943

From 1944

24th Bombardment Squadron: 1944-1948
39th Bombardment Squadron: 1944-1948
40th Bombardment Squadron: 1944-1948

Assigned To

1931-41: IX Bomber Command
Panama Canal Air Force: 1940-1941
VI Bomber Command; Caribbean Air Force: 1941-1942
VI Bomber Command; Sixth Air Force, Panama: 1942-1944
1944: 313rd Bombardment Wing; XXI Bomber Command; Second Air Force (training in US).
313th Bombardment Wing, XXIth Bomber Command, Twentieth Air Force: 1944-1945

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 December 2007), 6th Bombardment Group, http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/6th_Bombardment_Group.html

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