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319th Bomb Group: Facts

319th in Mediterranean
  • Activated in June, 1942 as the 319th Bombardment Group
  • Assigned to the 12th Air Force
  • Trained in Martin B-26 Maurders and moved via England to N. Africa, participated in landing at Arzeu beach
  • Became known as the "Big Tail Birds"
  • Briefly assigned to the 15th Air Force, Nov. 1943 - Jan. 1944
  • Action in Tunisia: attacking airdromes, harbors and rail facilities
  • Action in Sicily: the reduction of Pantelleria
  • Action in support of ground forces at Solarno and Anzio
  • The reduction of Monte Cassino
  • Awarded Distinguished Unit Citation for a mission on March 3, 1944 bombing rail facilities in Rome
  • Awarded second DUC for striking marshalling yards in Florence on March 11, 1944
  • Awarded French Croix de Guerre with Palm for action in preparation for and support of Allied offensive in Italy
  • Bombed targets in the Po Valley and in Yugoslavia July-Dec 1944
  • Converted to B-25s and later A-26s without interrupting combat
319th in the Pacific and After
  • First complete AAF unit sent from Europe to the Pacific.
  • Reached Okinawa on July 1945
  • Flew 22 mission over China and Japan
  • 6-abreast A-26 take-offs earned the 319th the name,"Colonel Randy's Flying Circus"
  • Astronaut Deke Slayton served with the 319th.
  • On August 9, crews on mission to Kanoya Airfield saw atomic cloud over Nagasaki
  • Awarded 3 Battle Stars: Air Offensive Japan, Air Offensive China, and the Ryukyus Campaign.
  • 515 missions and awarded 12 Battle Streamers by War's end.
  • After the war, became the SAC 319th Bomb Wing: flying B-52s and B-1Bs based in Grand Forks, North Dakota.

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