396th Bombardment Group
|396th Bombardment Group|
B-17 as used by the 396th Group for training
|Branch||United States Army Air Forces|
|Role||heavy bomber training|
The 396th Bombardment Group is a former United States Army Air Forces unit. It was active during World War II as a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress operational training unit, training newly organized units, then as a replacement training unit for aircrews. It was inactivated in 1944 in a general reorganization of Army Air Forces training units..
The 396th Bombardment Group was activated at Mountain Home Army Air Field, Idaho on 16 February 1943 with the 592d, 593d, 594th and 595th Bombardment Squadrons assigned. After initial organization and equipping with Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombers, the group moved to Moses Lake Army Air Base, Washington. There the 396th acted as an Operational Training Unit (OTU) for B-17 units. The OTU program involved the use of an oversized parent unit to provide cadres to "satellite groups" In August 1943, the unit's mission changed to being a Replacement Training Unit (RTU). Like OTUs, RTUs were oversized units. Their mission, however was to train individual pilots or aircrews.
In November 1943, the 396th moved to Drew Field, Florida, where it would remain for the duration of its active service. However, the Army Air Forces was finding that standard military units, based on relatively inflexible tables of organization were not well adapted to the training mission. Accordingly it adopted a more functional system in which each base was organized into a separate numbered unit. The 592d was inactivated on 1 May 1944 at Drew Field, Florida. Its personnel and equipment became part of the 326th AAF Base Unit.
- Constituted as the 396th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 29 January 1943
- Activated on 16 February 1943.
- Inactivated on 1 May 1944
- II Bomber Command, 16 February 1943
- Second Air Force, 6 October 1943
- III Bomber Command, 5 November 1943 – 1 May 1944
- 592d Bombardment Squadron: 19 January 1943 – 1 May 1944
- 593d Bombardment Squadron: 19 January 1943 – 1 May 1944
- 594th Bombardment Squadron: 19 January 1943 – 1 May 1944
- 595th Bombardment Squadron: 19 January 1943 – 1 May 1944
- Mountain Home Army Air Field, Idaho, 16 February 1943
- Moses Lake Army Air Base, Washington, 10 April 1943
- Drew Field, Florida, 5 November 1943 – 1 May 1944
- Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, 1943-1944
|American Theater without inscription||19 January 1943 – 1 May 1944|||
- Maurer, Combat Units, p. 283
- Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 676
- Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 676-677
- Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 677
- Craven & Cate, Introduction, p. xxxvi
- Goss, p. 75
- See Mueller, p. 351 (simultaneous inactivation of 396th Bombardment Group units and organization of 326th Base Unit).
- Craven, Wesley F; Cate, James L, eds. (1955). The Army Air Forces in World War II (PDF). Vol. VI, Men & Planes. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. LCCN 48003657. OCLC 704158. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
- Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. Retrieved 17 December 2016.