312TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP
IN AUSTRALIA DURING WWII

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visits since 31 January 2010

 

  • Headquarters Squadron

  • 386th Bomb Squadron

  • 387th Bomb Squadron

  • 388th Bomb Squadron

  • 389th Bomb Squadron

The 312th Bombardment Group had its final parade at Salinas Army Air base on Sunday 3 October 1943. The 312th then boarded a train for Camp Stoneman located on the east side of San Francisco Bay on 24 October 1943.  For security reasons they were no longer identified as the 312th Bomb Group using the following codes:-

Headquarters Squadron 0445-AA
386th Bomb Squadron 0445-BB
387th Bomb Squadron 0445-CC
388th Bomb Squadron 0445-DD
389th Bomb Squadron 0445-EE

Just before midnight on 31 October 1943 a total of 1174 officers and enlisted men boarded the Dutch Liner S.S. Nieuw Amsterdam which sailed out of port the next morning.

 

386th Bomb Squadron

The 386th Bombardment Squadron (Light) was constituted on 28 to January 1942 and was activated on 15 March 1942 and attached to the 312 Bombardment Group at Bowman Field, Ky on 15 March 1942. It relocated to Will Rogers field, Oklahoma on 12 June 1942.

It was redesignated as the 386th Bombardment Squadron (Dive) on 27 July 1942. It then relocated to Hunter Field, Ga on 18 August 1942. The Squadron then relocated to DeRidder AAB, La, on 18 February 1943. It then moved to Rice AAFld, California on 13 April 1943 then Salinas AAB, California on 13 August 1943.

The Squadron left Salinas AAB on 24 October 1943 and arrived in Port Moresby, New Guinea on 30 November 1943.

It was redesignated as the 386 Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 6 December 1943.

The squadron relocated to Gusap, New Guinea around 25 December 1943 then on to Nadzab, New Guinea on 12 June 1944, followed by Hollandia, New Guinea on 12 July 1944.

The 386th Bomb Squadron then relocated to Tanauan, Leyte on 19 November 1944. It relocated to San Jose, Mondoro on 26 January 1945 and then to Mangaldan, Luzon on about 10 February 1945, and then to Floridablanca, Luzon on about 20 April 1945.

It was redesignated as the 386th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 July 1945.

The 386th Bomb Squadron relocated to Okinawa on about 13 August 1945 and remained there until 28 November 1945. The squadron then moved back to the States arriving at Fort Lewis, Washington from about the 13 - 18 December 1945.

The squadron was then inactivated on 18 December 1945.

 

387th Bomb Squadron

The 387th Bomb Squadron (Light) was constituted on 28 January 1942 and was activated on 15 March 1942 and attached to the 312th Bombardment Group at Bowman Field, Ky on 15 March 1942.  It relocated to Will Rogers field, Oklahoma on 12 June 1942.

It was redesignated as the 387th Bombardment Squadron (Dive) on 27 July 1942.  It then relocated to Hunter Field, Ga on 18 August 1942. The Squadron then relocated to DeRidder AAB, La, on 18 February 1943. It then moved to Rice AAFld, California on 13 April 1943 then Salinas AAB, California on 13 August 1943.

The Squadron left Salinas AAB on 24 October 1943 and arrived in Port Moresby, New Guinea on about 1 December 1943. The squadron relocated to Gusap, New Guinea around 25 December 1943 then on to Nadzab, New Guinea around 10 June 1944, followed by Hollandia, New Guinea on about 10 July 1944.

The 387th Bomb Squadron then relocated to Tanauan, Leyte on 19 November 1944. It relocated to San Jose, Mondoro on about 25 January 1945 and then to Mangaldan, Luzon on 10 February 1945, and then to Floridablanca, Luzon on 16 April 1945.

The 387th Bomb Squadron relocated to Okinawa on 12 August 1945 and remained there until 13 December 1945. The squadron then moved back to the States arriving at Vancouver, Washington around 3 - 6 January 1946.

It was redesignated as the 387th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 6 December 1943.

It was redesignated as the 387th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 July 1945.

The 387th Bomb Squadron was inactivated on 6 January 1946.

 

388th Bomb Squadron

The 388th Bomb Squadron (Light) was constituted on 28 January 1942 and was activated on 15 March 1942  Ky and attached to the 312th Bombardment Group at Bowman Field, Ky on 15 March 1942. It relocated to Will Rogers field, Oklahoma on 12 June 1942.

It was redesignated as the 388th Bombardment Squadron (Dive) on 27 July 1942.  It then relocated to Hunter Field, Ga on 18 August 1942. The Squadron then relocated to DeRidder AAB, La, on 18 February 1943. It then moved to Rice AAFld, California on 13 April 1943 then Salinas AAB, California on 13 August 1943.

The Squadron left Salinas AAB on 24 October 1943 and arrived in Port Moresby, New Guinea on about 30 November 1943.

The Squadron was redesignated as the 388th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 6 December 1943.

The Squadron relocated to Gusap, New Guinea on 3 January 1944 then on to Nadzab, New Guinea on 11 June 1944, followed by Hollandia, New Guinea on 4 July 1944.

The 388th Bomb Squadron then relocated to Tanauan, Leyte on 19 November 1944. It relocated to San Jose, Mondoro on 27 January 1945 and then to Mangaldan, Luzon on 11 February 1945, and then to Floridablanca, Luzon on 20 April 1945.

It was redesignated as the 388th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 July 1945.

The 388th Bomb Squadron relocated to Okinawa in September 1945 and remained there until 13 December 1945. The squadron then moved back to the States arriving at Fort Lawton, Washington around 1 - 4 January 1946.

The 388th Bomb Squadron was inactivated on 4 January 1946.

 

389th Bomb Squadron

The 389th Bomb Squadron (Light) was constituted on 28 January 1942 and was activated on 15 March 1942  Ky and attached to the 312th Bombardment Group at Bowman Field, Ky on 15 March 1942. It relocated to Will Rogers field, Oklahoma on 12 June 1942.

It was redesignated as the 389th Bombardment Squadron (Dive) on 27 July 1942.  It then relocated to Hunter Field, Ga on 18 August 1942. The Squadron then relocated to DeRidder AAB, La, on 18 February 1943. It then moved to Rice AAFld, California on 13 April 1943 then Salinas AAB, California on 13 August 1943.

The Squadron left Salinas AAB on 24 October 1943 and arrived in Port Moresby, New Guinea on 30 November 1943.

The Squadron was redesignated as the 389th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 6 December 1943.

The squadron relocated to Gusap, New Guinea on 6 January 1944 then on to Nadzab, New Guinea on about 10 June 1944, followed by Hollandia, New Guinea on about 30 June 1944.

The 389th Bomb Squadron then relocated to Tanauan, Leyte on 19 November 1944. It relocated to San Jose, Mondoro on 27 January 1945 and then to Mangaldan, Luzon on about 11 February 1945, and then to Floridablanca, Luzon on about 20 April 1945.

The Squadron was redesignated as the 389th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 July 1945.

The 389th Bomb Squadron relocated to Okinawa in September 1945 and remained there until 9 December 1945. The squadron then moved back to the States arriving at Camp Anza, California around 24 - 26 December 1945.

The 389th Bomb Squadron was inactivated on 26 December 1945.

 


 

Sergeant Edward Parsons, served as an aerial gunner in the 389th Bomb Squadron during the New Guinea, Luzon and Leyte Campaigns during WWII, flying in the back seat of an A-20G Havoc. His unit was in the process of transitioning to the B-32 Dominator when the war ended.

Sgt Edward Parsons, 312th Bomb Group, 5th Air Force, died at home on the 27th of December, 2001. He was 80 years old.

 


 

Francis E. Brown was a gunner in A-20's with the 389th Bomb Squadron of the 312th Bombardment Group. He was an artist and painted the Skull and Bones on the nose of the A-20s in his squadron. His plane had a J on the tail.

Francis E. Brown passed away in 1986. He had painted several very authentic paintings of A-20's in action in the Philippines.

He was a professional photographer by trade, and a very talented artist and sculptor, and an aircraft model builder. His wife was also a pilot.

Francis E. Brown had nothing but praise for the country and the people of Australia, and he cherished the time he spent there. He was planning a trip back just prior to his untimely death in 1986. He had been collaborating with a friend from Sydney, about a book, and was working on his memoirs. His son Pete Brown was hopping to finish of the memoirs for his father.

 


Painting by Francis E. Brown

Francis E. Brown and his A-20G Havoc

 


Painting by Francis E. Brown

Francis E. Brown and his Crew

 


Painting by Francis E. Brown

Francis E. Brown's A-20G Havoc

 


 

Percy Kay contacted me back in September 2002. He told me that he was part of the 895th Chemical Company (Air Operations) at Amberley Field from December 1943 to April 1944. He was stationed there for some training but mostly as a staging area for their move to Finschhafen. During his time at Amberley they trained, drilled and spent some time operating a drill press in a plant (He didn't remember where or why). He had good times visiting Ipswich and Coolangatta when he was off duty. Their training was in case of chemical attack (i.e. mustard gas or similar) or if they called on to use similar Chemical Weapons against the Japanese. Percy Kay said he was assigned to the 312th Bomb Group in Finschhafen, New Guinea.

Percy returned to Brisbane and Ipswich in 1993 as a tourist to show his wife the beauties of Australia. What had been the USO dance hall became a used furniture store and his favourite pub became an army surplus store. They also went up the coast to the Great Barrier Reef and Cairns.

 

Crash of an A-20 Havoc at Mackay,
Queensland on 17 January 1944

 

Forced Landing of two A-20 Havocs on Bountiful Island,
east of Mornington Island, Queensland, on 19 January 1944

 

Crash of a B-25 Mitchell near Almaden, 100kms west
of Atherton, Queensland on 28 March 1944

 

Crash of an A-20G Havoc between
Cairns and Port Moresby on 9 June 1944

 

 

REFERENCE BOOKS

World War II Combat Squadrons of the United Sates Air Force
Edited by Maurer Maurer

Rampage of the Roarin' 20's
The Illustrated History of the 312th Bombardment Group during World War II

Lawrence J. Hickey
Michael H. Levy
with Michael J. Claringbould

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

I'd like to thank Scott Miller, Director of Research for International Historical Research Associates for his assistance with this web page.

I'd like to thank Paul R. Parsons for his assistance with this web page.

I'd like to thank Pete Brown of Gig Harbor, WA, USA for his assistance with this web page.

 

Can anyone help me with more information
on the 312th Bomb Group?

 

 

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 Peter Dunn 2006

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This page first produced 31 January 2010

This page last updated 31 January 2010