Constituted as 34th
Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated
on 15 Jan 1941. Using B—17’s,
trained and participated in maneuvers until Dec 1941.
Flew patrol missions along the east coast after the Japanese attacked
Pearl Harbor. Later became part of
the defense force for the west coast. Served
as a replacement training unit from mid—1942 until the end of 1943, and then
began preparing for overseas duty with B—24’s.
Moved to England in Apr 1944 for operations with Eighth AF.
Entered combat in May 1944. Helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by bombing
airfields in France and Germany, and supported the landing in Jun by attacking
coastal defenses and communications. Continued
to take part in the campaign in France by supporting ground forces at St Lo,
24—25 Jul, and by striking V-weapon sites, gun emplacements, and supply lines
throughout the summer of 1944. Converted to B—17’s and engaged primarily in bombardment
of strategic objectives from Oct 1944 to Feb 1945.
Targets included marshalling yards in Ludwigshaven, Hamm, Osnabruck, and
Darmstadt; oil centers in Bielefeld, Merseburg, Hamburg, and Misburg; factories
in Berlin, Daltein, and Hannover; and airfields in Munster, Neumunster, and
Frankfurt. During this period the
group also supported ground forces during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec
1944—Jan 1945. In Mar 1945, with
few industrial targets remaining and with Allied armies advancing across
Germany, the 34th turned almost solely to interdicting enemy communications and
supporting Allied ground forces. After
V—E Day it carried food to flooded areas of Holland and transported prisoners
of war from German camps to Allied centers.
Returned to the US in the summer of 1945.
Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945.
|Langley Field, Va||15 Jan 1941|
|Westover Field, Mass||29 May 1941|
|Pendleton Field, Ore||27 Jan 1942|
|Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz||13 May 1942|
|Geiger Field, Wash||4 Jul 1942|
|Ephrata, Wash||1 Dec 1942|
|Blythe, Calif||15 Dec 1942 to Apr 1944|
|Mendlesham, England||26 Apr 1944 to 25 Jul 1945|
|Sioux Falls, SD||28 Aug 1945|
|Maj John W Monahan||15 Jan 1941|
|Lt Col Harold D Smith||1 Mar 1941|
|Maj Ford J Lauer||9 Jan 1942|
|Col Ralph E Koon||12 Feb 1942|
|Maj Irvine A Rendel||21 Jul 1942|
|Maj John A Rouse||24 Feb 1943|
|Lt Col John E Carmack||15 Sep 1943|
|Col Ernest F Wackwitz Jr||5 Jan 1944|
|Col William E Creer||Sep 1944|
|Lt Col Eugene B Lebailly||29 May to Aug 1945|
Shield: Azure, a compass rose
VALOR TO VICTORY. (Approved 4 Nov 1941.)