The 323d Bombardment Group (Medium) had the 453d, 454th, 455th and 456th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) assigned throughout the war. [NOTE: In the US Army/USAF, any unit number ending in 2 and 3 is written 2d and 3d, not 2nd and 3rd; and effective September 18, 1942, all Air Forces are named instead of using Arabic numbers, e.g., Ninth not 9th Air Force.]
The group and squadrons had been activated in the USA on August 4, 1942, and trained with Martin B-26 Marauders. The ground echelon shipped out for England on the Queen Elizabeth on May 5, 1943 and established the first base at Horham, Suffolk on May 12, 1943. The air echelon flew their new B-26Bs and Cs from Hunter Field, Savannah, Georgia, USA in early May 1943; the 456th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) flew the northern ferry route via Iceland while the other three squadrons flew the southern ferry route via Africa. The group moved to Earls Colne, Essex, England on June 14, 1943 and flew its first mission on July 16, 1943 when 14 Marauders attacked the marshalling yard at Abbeville, France. After D-Day, the group moved to Beaulieu, Hampshire, England on July 21, 1944 and then to France on August 26, 1944 and served at five different bases in France until VE Day.
The 323d was assigned to the following units:
May-June 15, 1943: 3d Bombardment Wing, VIII Bomber Command, Eighth Air Force.
June 15-October 16, 1943: 3d Bombardment Wing, VIII Air Support Command, Eighth Air Force
October 16-November 1943: 3d Bombardment Wing, IX Bomber Command, Ninth Air Force
November 1943-September 16, 1944: 98th Combat Bombardment Wing (Medium), IX Bomber Command, Ninth Air Force
September 16, 1944-May 8, 1945: 98th Combat Bombardment Wing (Medium), 9th Bombardment Division (Medium),
Ninth Air Force
The squadron codes carried on the B-26 fuselage aft of the wing of the four squadrons were:
453rd Bombardment Squadron (Medium)...VT
454th Bombardment Squadron (Medium)...RJ
455th Bombardment Squadron (Medium)...YU
456th Bombardment Squadron (Medium)...WT."
Read the type remarks on page 4594.