Established in mid-1943 as a B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment group; trained under Second Air Force. Deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO), being assigned to Southern Italy at Manduria Airfield under Fifteenth Air Force.
Engaged in very long range strategic bombardment of enemy military, industrial and transportation targets. Operations included attacks against such objectives as marshalling yards, aircraft factories, railroad bridges, and airdromes in Italy, Austria, and Romania. Helped to prepare the way for and supported the invasion of Southern France during Jul and August 1944. At the same time, expanded previous operations to include attacks on oil refineries and storage facilities, locomotive works