731st Bombardment Squadron
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|731st Bombardment Squadron|
Emblem of the 731st Bombardment Squadron
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The 731st Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last was assigned to the 452d Bombardment Group, stationed at Iwakuni Air Base, Japan. It was inactivated on 25 June 1951.
Established in mid-1943 as a B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment squadron; assigned to II Bomber Command for training, primarily in the Pacific Northwest. Deployed to the European Theater of Operations (ETO) in January 1944, being assigned to Eighth Air Force in England. Engaged in strategic bombardment operations over Occupied Europe and Nazi Germany, becoming one of the most highly decorated squadron of the Air Offensive. Engaged in strategic bombardment operations until the German Capitulation in May 1945. Returned to the United States and prepared for B-29 transition training, however Japanese Capitulation in August led to unit's inactivation in November.
Reactivated in the reserves in 1947 as a B-26 Invader light bomber squadron, assigned to Long Beach AAF, California. Moved to George AFB in 1950 when Long Beach was closed. Wad deployed to Japan in August 1950 for combat duty during the Korean War, engaged in night bombardment missions over both North and South Korea. Inactivated in June 1951 with assets being reassigned to active-duty units.
- Constituted 731st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 14 May 1943
- Activated on 1 Jun 1943
- Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945
- Redesignated 731st Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy) on 13 May 1947
- Activated in the reserve on 12 Jul 1947
- Redesignated 731st Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 27 Jun 1949
- Redesignated 731st bombardment Squadron (Light, Night Attack) on 1 Aug 1950
- Ordered to active service on 10 Aug 1950
- Inactivated on 25 Jun 1951
- 452d Bombardment Group, 1 Jun 1943-28 Aug 1945; 12 Jul 1947-25 Jun 1951
- Attached to 3d Bombardment Group, Nov 1950-25 Jun 1951
- Geiger Field, Washington, 1 June 1943
- Rapid City Army Air Base, South Dakota, c. 13 June 1943
- Pendleton Field, Oregon, 10 October 1943
- Walla Walla Army Air Base, Washington, c. 4 November–December 1943
- RAF Deopham Green (AAF-142), England, c. 8 January 1944 – 6 August 1945
- Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, c. 12–28 August 1945
- Long Beach AAFld (later, Long Beach Muni Aprt), California, 19 April 1947
- George AFB, California, 10 August–October 1950
- Iwakuni Air Base, Japan, 17 November 1950-25 Jun 1951
- B-17 Flying Fortress, 1943-1945
- B-26 Invader, 1950-1951
- C-47 Skytrain, (used for flare missions), 1951
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, AL: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.