38TH BOMB GROUP
"THE SUN SETTERS"
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WW2
|- 69th Squadron (eventually transferred to
42nd Bomb Group)
- 70th Squadron (eventually transferred to another bomb group)
- 71st Squadron - "The Wolf Pack"
- 405th Squadron - "The Green Dragons"
- 822nd Squadron - "The Black Panthers"
- 823rd Squadron - "The Terrible Tigers"
Report on the October 2000 Re-union
Report on September 2006 Reunion
The 38th Bomb Group was initially constituted on 20 November 1940 and brought into active service on 15 January 1941.
The 69th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) was constituted on 20 November 1940 and activated on 15 January 1941. The 69th Bomb Squadron was assigned to the 38th Bomb Group, FEAF on 15 January 1941. The ground echelon of the 69th Bomb Squadron arrived at Doomben Airfield on 25 February 1942, with its Air Echelon remaining n USA until 22 May 1942. The 69th Bomb Squadron moved to Ballarat in Victoria on 8 March 1942 and then to Amberley Airfield west of Brisbane in Queensland on 30 April 1942. The 69th Bomb Squadron moved to New Caledonia on 20 May 1942. The 69th Bomb Squadron was reassigned to the 42nd Bombardment Group on 26 February 1943.
The 70th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) was constituted on 20 November 1940 and activated on 15 January 1941. The 70th Bomb Squadron was assigned to the 38th Bomb Group, FEAF on 15 January 1941. The 70th Bomb Squadron arrived at Doomben Airfield on 25 February 1942, with its Air Echelon remaining in USA until 2 June 1942. The 70th Bomb Squadron moved to Ballarat in Victoria on 8 March 1942 and then to Amberley Airfield west of Brisbane in Queensland on 20 April 1942. The 70th Bomb Squadron moved to Fiji on 23 May 1942. The 70th Bomb Squadron was reassigned to the 42nd Bombardment Group on 26 February 1943.
The 69th and 70th Squadrons, were equipped with B-26 Marauders but they were diverted to Midway and then to the New Caledonia and Fiji Islands. As a result, they were eventually transferred to the 42nd Bomb Group.
Another reference states that the 70th Bombardment Squadron arrived at Wagga Wagga on 21 April 1942 under the command of Captain J.S. Shockley. They stayed there until 16 May 1942. They returned again in August 1942 and stayed for a further month to carry out practice on the Big Spring bombing range.
The 405th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) had its beginnings with the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium) which was constituted on 20 November 1940. The 15th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium) was attached to the 38th Bombardment Group on 15 January 1941 and then assigned to the 38th Bombardment Group on 25 February 1942. The 15th Recce Squadron was redesignated as the 405th Bombardment Squadron on (Medium) on 22 April 1942. The 15th Recce Squadron arrived at Doomben Airfield on 25 February 1942. The 15th Recce Squadron moved to Ballarat in Victoria on 8 March 1942. After being redesignated as the 405th Bomb Squadron in April 1942 they relocated to Breddan, near Charters Towers in north Queensland on 7 August 1942. They relocated to Townsville on about 30 September 1942 and then moved to Port Moresby, New Guinea on about 25 October 1942.
NARA Reference Number:- 342-FH-3A29920-77814AC
38th Bomb Group
mechanics changing an engine on B-25 Mitchell
"Scat" at Garbutt airfield in Townsville on 11 November 1942
NARA Reference Number:- 342-FH-3A30009-117682AC
Group leaving Townsville by ship for New
Guinea. Magazine Hill can be seen in the background.
The ground echelon of the 38th Bomb Group had sailed for Australia on 31 January 1942 arriving in Melbourne. As there was no scheduled arrival for their aircraft, they were dispersed to Amberley and Eagle Farm to assemble P-39 and P-40 aircraft.
An APO list that I have shows the following units of the 38th Bomb Group at Batchelor Field in the Northern Territory in June 1942:-
38 Bomb Group (M), USAAF
- Det Hq & Hq Sq
- 71 Bomb Sqn (30 Apr - 12 Aug 42)
- 1st Plat 445th Ord Co (Avn) B
- 2nd Plat 445th Ord Co (Avn) B
- 3rd Plat 445th Ord Co (Avn) B
Two squadrons of B-25 Mitchell's of 38 Bomb Group, the 71st and 405th squadrons, eventually arrived at Breddan, near Charters Towers on 22 August 1942. One flight of five B-25's became lost in northern New South Wales and two crashed as follows:-
Crash of four B-25 Mitchells in the Casino - Grafton areas of NSW on 14 August 1942
OTHER CRASHES IN AUSTRALIA
|Langley Field, VA||15 Jan 1941|
|Jackson AAB, MS||June 1941 - 18 Jan 1942|
|Doomben Field, Brisbane, Australia||25 Feb 1942|
|Ballarat, Australia||8 Mar 1942|
|Amberley Field, Australia||30 Apr 1942|
|Eagle Farm, Brisbane, Australia||7 Aug 1942|
|Breddan Field, near Charters Towers, Australia||7 Aug 1942|
|Townsville, Australia||30 Sep 1942|
|Port Moresby, New Guinea||Oct 1942|
|Nadzab, New Guinea||4 Mar 1944|
|Biak||1 Oct 1944|
|Morotai||15 Oct 1944|
|Lingayen, Luzon, Philippines||29 Jan 1945|
|Okinawa||25 Jul 1945|
|Itazuke, Japan||22 Nov 1945|
|Itami, Japan||26 Oct 1945 - Apr 1949 *|
* The 38th Bomb Group was de-activated in April 1949
E-mails from persons interested in the 38th Bomb Group
Secretary/Treasuer of the 38 BG Assoc'n
|Chris Guest||Harry E. "Terry" Terrell|
|Terry Boccia||Bryan Elliott||Jack deTour|
|Ray Stout||Joseph Perret||David
405th Bomb Squadron
on Lt. James Henderson
of 71st Bomb Squadron
Daughter of Fred Rogers, a pilot 405th Bomb Squadron
son of ? Jackson of the 405th Bomb Squadron
President of the 38th Bomb Group Association WW2
"Units of the Royal Australian Air Force -
A Concise History"
Volume 7 - Maintenance Units
38th Bomb Group Association
Can anyone help me with more information?
"Australia @ War" Research Products
© Peter Dunn 2015
This page first produced 18 February 1999
This page last updated 07 July 2018