855th Bombardment Squadron
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|855th Bombardment Squadron|
Emblem of the 855th Bombardment Squadron
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The 855th Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 491st Bombardment Group, based at McChord Field, Washington. It was inactivated on 8 September 1945.
Established in 1920 as the 112th Observation Squadron, Ohio National Guard. After the Pearl Harbor Attack, unit was federalized and moved to Dover Field, Delaware in February 1942 found this unit flying Antisubmarine patrols with 0-47s. In the months that followed, the Squadron moved down the Atlantic seaboard and was based at Lantana Airport, Florida, when its designation was changed to the 522nd Bombardment Squadron (H). New equipment in the form of B-24 Liberators was supposed to be forthcoming to justify the (H), but in the meantime the old 0-47s flew on. In January 1943 the Squadron moved to Boca Chica, Florida where it acquired some B-18s and a few B-34’s. Another redesignation (17th Antisubmarine Sq.), a new station (Batista Field, Cuba) and a few new aircraft (B-25s) followed until finally, on 12 August 1943, the unit was ordered to Langley Field, Virginia, for training with B-24s.
Redesignated as B-24 Heavy Bomber Squadron and reassigned on 1 October 1943 to Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona; assigned to II Bomber Command for training. Reassigned to Biggs Field near El Paso, Texas on 11 November 1943 and trained there until January 1944 when, during training, most of ground unit was transferred to Pratt Army Airfield, Kansas, to augment a new B-29 Superfortress group being trained by Second Air Force. Throughout November and December, personnel strength was further reduced by transfer to other B-24 groups of personnel. Reassigned to Pueblo Army Air Base, Colorado in January 1944 to complete training. New B-24s were assigned to the group from Consolidated and training was completed by April.
Redesignated as B-24 Heavy Bomber Squadron and deployed to Eighth Air Force in England. Assigned to RAF North Pickenham. The squadron concentrated its attacks on strategic objectives in Germany, striking communications centers, oil refineries, storage depots, industrial areas, shipyards, and other targets in such places as Berlin, Hamburg, Kassel, Cologne, Gelsenkirchen, Bielefeld, Hanover, and Magdeburg; on one occasion attacked the headquarters of the German General Staff at Zossen, Germany. While on a mission to bomb an oil refinery at Misburg on 26 November 1944, the squadron was attacked by large numbers of enemy fighters; fought off the interceptors, successfully bombed the target.
Although engaged primarily in strategic bombardment, the squadron also supported ground forces at Saint-Lô in July 1944; assaulted V-weapon sites and communications lines in France during the summer of 1944; dropped supplies to paratroops on 18 September 1944 during the airborne attack in the Netherlands; bombed German supply lines and fortifications during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945; supported Allied forces in the airborne drop across the Rhine in March 1945; and interdicted enemy communications during the Allied drive across Germany in April 1945.
Squadron returned to United States and was programmed for B-29 operations in Pacific. End of war with Japan in August 1945 led to squadron demobilization and inactivation in September 1945.
- Constituted 522d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 13 October 1942
- Activated on 18 October 1942
- Redesignated: 17th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy) on 29 November 1942
- Redesignated: 17th Antisubmarine Squadron (Medium) on 3 March 1943
- Redesignated: 17th Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy) on 20 April 1943
- Redesignated: 855th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 24 September 1943
- Inactivated on 8 September 1945.
- Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command, 18 October 1942
- 378th Bombardment Group, 20 November 1942
- 26th Antisubmarine Wing, 14 December 1942
- 491st Bombardment Group, 1 October 1943-8 September 1945.
- Palm Beach County Park (Lantana Airport), Florida, 18 October 1942
- NAS Key West, Florida, 9 January 1943
- Miami AAF, Florida, 3 July 1943
- Alamogordo AAF, New Mexico, 24 September 1943
- El Paso AAF, Texas, 11 November 1943-1 February 1944
- RAF North Pickenham, England, February 1944
- RAF Metfeld, England, April 1944
- RAF North Pickenham, England, 15 August 1944,-5 July 1945
- McChord Field, Washington, 17 July-8 September 1945.
- 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.
- 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.