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The 504th Bombardment Group (504th BG) was a World War II United States Army Air Forces combat organization. It was inactivated on June 15, 1946.


The unit served primarily in the Pacific Ocean theater of World War II as part of Twentieth Air Force. The 504th Bomb Group's aircraft engaged in B-29 Superfortress bombardment operations against Japanmarker.

Operational units

  • 393d Bombardment Squadron 1944
  • 398th Bombardment Squadron 1943–1946
  • 421st Bombardment Squadron 1943–1946
  • 507th Bombardment Squadron 1944
  • 680th Bombardment Squadron 1944–1946

Aircraft flown


Operational history

The 504th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) was constituted on February 18, 1944 and activated on activated on March 11, 1944 at Dalhart AAFmarker, near Dallasmarker, Texasmarker. The group was initially equipped with B-17 Flying Fortresses due to a lack of B-29 Superfortress aircraft. The unit was then reassigned for advanced training and received B-29s at Fairmont AAFmarker, Nebraskamarker during the late spring and summer of 1944. While in training status, the 504th was reduced to two squadrons instead of the normal three allocated to B-29 groups. One of the original squadrons, the 393rd, was transferred out for a highly classified mission. It became the nucleus of the 509th Composite Group, the only military unit in history to drop a Atomic Bomb in combat.

After training, the unit was reassigned to the South West Pacific theatre in late in 1944 for service with the Twentieth Air Force. The 504th was assigned to the 313th Bombardment Wing on Tinianmarker. The group began combat operations from Tinian in January 1945 with attacks on Japanese airfields and other installations on Maugmarker and Iwo Jimamarker and in the Trukmarker Islands. Flew its first mission against the Japanese home islands early in February 1945 when the group bombed the industrial area of Kobe. Continued to attack strategic targets in Japanmarker, operating in daylight and at high altitude to bomb such objectives as aircraft factories, chemical plants, harbors, and arsenals.

Received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for striking the industrial center at Yokohama late in May 1945. Began incendiary raids in March 1945, flying at night and at low altitude to strike area targets in Japan. Started mining operations against enemy shipping late in Mar, receiving a 2d DUC for mining Koreanmarker shipping lanes, the Shimonoseki Straitmarker, and harbors of the Inland Sea, July–August 1945. In April and May 1945 the group hit airfields from which the Japanese launched kamikaze planes against the invasion force during the assault on Okinawamarker. During mid June 1945 the 680th Bomb Squadron joined the 504th bomb group bring them up to full strength of 3 squardons.

After the war it dropped food and supplies to Allied prisoners, participated in show-of-force missions, and flew over Japan to evaluate damage inflicted by bombardment operations. Moved to the Philippinesmarker in March 1946. Inactivated at Clark Fieldmarker on Luzonmarker on June 15, 1946.

Historical note: The 504th Bombardment Group flew the last combat mission by the United States Army Air Forces of World War II, its last combat mission being on August 15, 1945.

See also


  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.

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