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History of the 29th Bomb Group

The 29th Bomb Group was activated on February 1, 1940 at Langley Field, Virginia. It was comprised of the 6th, 43rd, 52nd, and 411th bomb squadrons. The 411th inactivated on May 20th 1944. On April 1, 1944, the 29th Bomb Group (H) was redesignated as the 29th Bomb Group (VH).

After training at Langley Field, the group moved to MacDill Field, Florida. In conjunction with the U.S. Navy, they flew patrol missions in the Caribbean. On June 20, 1942, the group moved to Govern Field, Idaho to train personnel to become combat crews with ground and air training. After training 22 Bomb Groups, the 29th moved to Pratt, Kansas to begin training as a B-29 combat unit.

On May 29, 1944 Col. Carl R. Storrie assumed command and the air and ground training began. The training was very intense and at Pratt as well as in Puerto Rico and Cuba. The ground crews completed their training and staging, and they arrived on Guam between February 15 and 26, 1945.

A total of 66 combat missions were flown having both day and night raids. In addition, there were flights for air-sea rescue (Dumbo), weather reconnaissance, and radar scope. The targets varied from air fields, aircraft factories, chemical plants, oil refineries, and industrial areas.

The first mission was to Tokyo on February 25, 1945 and the last mission was on August 15, 1945. Then, the group flew supplies on mercy missions to the POW camps in Japan. Finally, and with great honor, the 29th Bomb Group participated in the "Show of Force Mission" over Tokyo Bay and the battleship U.S.S. Missouri.

The men of the 29th Bomb Group served proudly, and their bravery was recognized by many awards. The greatest award, the Medal of Honor, was awarded for bravery on a mission to Koriyama Japan to:

 
Sgt. Henry M. Erwin
April 19, 1945
 

20TH Airforce   -   314th Wing Guam

Other Awards

2 Destinguished Unit Citations
3 Silver Stars
2 Soldier Medals
372 Distinguished Flying Crosses
49 Oak Leaf Clusters to the DFC
1,450 Oak Leaf Clusters to the Air Medals
Many Purple Hearts

The cost to the 29th Bomb Group was enormous in terms of human lives. Two crews were lost in training. an additional crew, which ditched near Japan, was picked up by a U.S. submarine. While in combat, the bomb group lost 18 more crews, and at war's end, there were a handful of men who were POW's.

The men on the following honor list were honored at the Air Force Academy Chapel in Colorado Springs on October 8, 1993. There was a special ceremony held for the dedication of the 29th Bomb Group plaque at the memory wall.

In conclusion let me say, "May our comrads rest in peace," and to all of us who are remaining, may we enjoy peace in our hearts.

Joe Chovolak, 29th Bomb Group Historian

For all of their help, a special thank you to:
Fred Pawlikowski: 29th Bomb Group Secretary
Jim Livingood: 29th Bomb Group Historian



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