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42nd Bombardment Group (42nd BG) "The Crusaders"
U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF), 13th Air Force (13th AF)
Background
The 42nd Bombardment Group (42nd BG) includes Headquarters Squadron (HQ), 70th Bombardment Squadron (70th BS) became part of the squadron in early 1943, 75th Bombardment Squadron (75th BS), 69th Bombardment Squadron (75th BS) and 390th Bombardment Squadron (390th BS). Nicknamed "The Crusaders". Assigned to the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF), 13th Air Force (13th AF).

Headquarters Squadron (HQ)
On April 22, 1943 the 42nd Bombardment Group, Headquarters Squadron arrived on Fiji. On June 6, 1943 transfers to Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. On October 22, 1943 transfers to Renard Field in the Russell Islands. On January 20, 1944 transfers to Sterlling Airfield in the Treasury Islands.

69th Bombardment Squadron (69th BS)
On July 1, 1943 transfers to Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield. On October 20, 1943 ceases operations from Guadalcanal and returns to Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield. On November 10, 1943 transfers from Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield to Renard Field in the Russell Islands.

On July 10, 1943 before dawn B-25s from the 69th BS took off from Carney Field (Bomber 2) on a low altitude search for shipping search for enemy shipping reported in the Kula Gulf off New Georgia. Shortly after take off, B-25C 42-53433 hit a tree that bent the propeller on the right engine and tore off the left tail assembly including the horizontal and vertical stabilizer. Damaged, the B-25 crashed into the sea with one survivor and four MIA. The rest of the formation proceeded to the target area and strafed a beached destroyer [Nagatsuki] at Surumuni Cove [on eastern Kolombangara] and strafed the village of Buri village.

70th Bombardment Squadron (70th BS)
The 70th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) was originally part of the 38th Bombardment Group (38th BG), 5th Air Force. On April 20, 1942 the ground echelon transfers from Ballarat Airfield to Amberley Field.

On June 2, 1942 the 70th BS air echelon departs Hamilton Field on a ferry flight to Hickam Field to join the Hawaiian Defense Command. Each bomber has two 250 gallon auxiliary fuel tanks installed in the bomb bay and reduced crews. The formation was divided into three flights: A, B and C. "A Flight" (Flight A): B-26B "Miss Cookie Lee" 41-17562 pilot Sharp, B-26B "Gallopin' Ghost" 41-17574 pilot Cressy, B-26B "Irene" 41-17564 pilot Morrison and B-26B 41-17576 pilot Larson. "B Flight" (Flight B): B-26B "Queenie" 41-17586 pilot Eddy, B-26B 41-17575 pilot Boden, B-26B 41-17590 pilot Martin and B-26B "Liberty Bell" 41-17584 pilot Durbin. "C Flight" (Flight C) : B-26B "Dixie Belle" 41-17558 pilot Callaham, B-26B 41-17550 pilot Griffith, B-26B 41-17569 pilot Miller and B-26B 41-175547 pilot Smith. All bombers landed safely although some diverted to Hilo Airfield and did not reach Hickam Field until June 4-5, too late to participate in the Battle of Midway but were on standby.

On November 13, 1942 three B-26 Marauders from 70th BS and 69th BS fly from New Hebrides to Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. On January 9, 1943 begins operating from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal while the rest of the squadron is based on Fiji. On February 4, 1943 the squadron departs Henderson Field on Guadalcanal and returns to Fiji. Afterwards, assigned to the 42nd Bombardment Group, 13th Air Force (13th AF).


75th Bombardment Squadron (75th BS)
On April 22, 1943 lost is B-25D piloted by 2nd Lt. Robert T. Brunson ditched off New Caledonia with all but one crew member killed and missing.

On July 17, 1943 transfers to Henderson Field on Guadalcanal. On October 21, 1943 transfers to Renard Field in the Russell Islands.


106th Reconnaissance Squadron (100th RS) / 100th Bombardment Squadron (100th BS)
The 106th Reconnaissance Squadron (Bombardment) was attached to the 42nd Bombardment Group (42nd BG) equipped with B-25 Mitchell. On January 25, 1944 transfers from Henderson Field on Guadalcanal to Stirling Airfield. On May 9, 1944 redesignated the 100th Bombardment Squadron (100th BS). On Augut 6, 1944 transfered to Hollandia while a detachment continued to operate from Sansapor Airfield.

On September 3, 1944 three B-25 strafers took off on a mission to attack targets of opportunity around New Britain. Over Kalai Plantation damaged by small arms fire was B-25H Mitchell 43-4513 pilot Captain Charles W. Wolfendale and force landed at Talasea Airfield with the crew surviving unhurt.

On September 14, 1944 the entire squadron moved to Sansapor Airfield. On February 22, 1945 a B-25 detachment begins operating from Morotai with the rest of the squadron remaining at Sansapor Airfield. On March 15, 1945 transfers to Puerto Princesa Airfield on Palawan Island in the Philippines. On March 22, 1945 the B-25 detachment on Morotai ceases operation and joins the rest of the squadron at Puerto Princesa Airfield until the end of the Pacific War.


390th Bombardment Squadron (390th BS)
On April 15, 1943 arrive at Henderson Field on Guadalcanal and begins flying combat missions. On April 23, 1943 transfers to Fiji. On October 22, 1943 transfers to Renard Field in the Russell Islands.

On January 12, 1944 the 42nd Bombardment Group flew their first bombing mission against the Rabaul bombing Vunakanau Airfield in the early morning.

References
The Crusaders A History of the 42nd Bombardment Group (M) (1946) unit history of the 42nd Bomb Group


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