737th Bomb SquadronSquadron
B-24G-15-NT #42-78458 no name Code: #46
454th Bomb Group - 737th Bomb Squadron - 15th AF
Roger Freeman Collection
The squadron was first activated at Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico in mid-1943 as the 737th Bombardment Squadron, one of the four Consolidated B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment squadrons assigned to the 454th Bombardment Group. The unit trained under Second Air Force. After training in the United States, the squadron deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in late 1943 and was stationed at San Giovanni Airfield under Fifteenth Air Force.
The unit engaged in very long range strategic bombardment of enemy military, industrial and transportation targets. It initially flew some interdiction and ground support missions, participating in the drive to Rome. Most operations included attacks against such objectives as marshalling yards, aircraft factories, railroad bridges, and airdromes in Italy, Austria, and Romania. The squadron was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for an attack on an airfield at Bad Voslau, Austria on 12 April 1944. It helped to prepare the way for and supported Operation Dragoon, the invasion of southern France, during July and August 1944. At the same time, expanded previous operations to include attacks on oil refineries and storage facilities, locomotive works, and viaducts in France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, and in the Balkans. It earned a second Distinguished Unit Citation on 25 July when the 454th Group led the 304th Bombardment Wing through severe opposition in an attack on steel factories at Linz, Austria.
The squadron returned to the United States after VE Day in May 1945. It began to reorganize as a Boeing B-29 Superfortress very heavy bombardment squadron. Began training under Second Air Force in August 1945, however was inactivated in October after VJ Day
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