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12th Bomb Group


US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

Constituted as 12th Bombardment Group (Light) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Trained with B-18, B-23, and PT-17 aircraft. Patrolled the west coast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Redesignated 12th Bombardment Group (Medium) in Dec 1941. Using B-25's, began training early in 1942 for duty overseas. Moved to the Middle East, Jul-Aug 1942, and assigned to Ninth AF. Attacked storage areas, motor transports, troop concentrations, airdromes, bridges, shipping, marshalling yards, and other targets in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Pantelleria, Lampedusa, Crete, Sicily, and Italy, Aug 1942-Jan 1944. Supported the Allied drive from Egypt to Tunisia, Oct 1942-Apr 1943. Early in 1943 two squadrons operated with Twelfth AF, assisting Allied forces moving eastward across North Africa, while the other squadrons continued operations with Ninth AF, bombing enemy defenses along the Mareth Line.

Received a DUC for action against the enemy in North Africa and Sicily from Oct 1942 to Aug 1943. While attached to Twelfth AF, Jun-Aug 1943, the group operated from bases in Tunisia and Sicily against targets in Pantelleria, Lampedusa, Sicily, and Italy. Assigned to Twelfth AF in Aug 1943 and operated primarily against targets in Italy until Jan 1944. Flew some missions to Albania and Yugoslavia.

Moved to India, Feb-Apr 1944, and assigned to Tenth AF. Engaged chiefly in missions against the enemy in Burma, Apr 19q-May 1945. Bombed communications, military installations, and other objectives. Delivered ammunition to Allied forces at Imphal. Also attacked some targets in China. Began training with A-26 aircraft in the summer of 1945. Returned to the US, Dec 1945-Jan 1946. Inactivated on 22 Jan 1946.


Part of
  • 12th Air Force

    12th Air Force

    The 12th Air Force was established in the USA during the Second World War to provide the Army Air Force component of Operation Torch (the invasion of French North Africa) in 1942. The Air Force initially moved to England for training before...

  • US Army Middle East Air Force

    US Army Middle East Air Force

    US Army Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF) was activated on 28 June 1942 in Cairo, Egypt. It brought together several units which had been operating the area including the HALPRO Detachment, and Lewis Brereton's 9th Bomb Squadron. ...

  • 5th Bomb Wing

    5th Bomb Wing

    The 5th Air Division (5th AD) originated on 19 October 1940 at McChord Field, Washington. Its initial mission was air defense of the northwest United States with three bombardment groups (12th, 17th and 39th) flying early B-17 Flying Fortresses (B-17C...

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Station Location Date
Assigned 9th Air Force July 1942
Assigned 12th Air Force August 1943
Assigned 10th Air Force February 1944



  • Edward Backus

    Military | Brigadier General | Pilot, Commanding Officer | 12th Bomb Group
    Edward N. Backus was born in Vernon, Texas, in 1906. He graduated from Vernon High School in 1924 and attended the University of Oklahoma and Washington and Lee University where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1929. ...

  • Thomas Cahill

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 12th Bomb Group

  • Erskine Hiott

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 47th Bomb Group

  • Clarence Towles

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot - Squadron Commander | 416th Bomb Group



Distinguished Unit Citation: North Africa and Sicily, Oct 1942- 17 Aug 1943.


Date Contributor Update
26 September 2019 14:43:24 Emily Created entry with type, category, name, motto, insignia, us air force combat units of world war ii description, citations, aircraft types and unit encompassing associations

Air Force Combat Units of World War II