A HISTORY

OF THE

16th BOMBARDMENT GROUP (VH)

FROM

1 SEPTEMBER 1944 TO 30 SEPTEMBER 1944



I N D E X

 Page
Organization------------------------- 1
Personnel---------------------------- 1
Supply & Equipment------------------- 2
Training----------------------------- 2 & 3
Maintenance-------------------------- 3
Facilities--------------------------- 3
Morale------------------------------- 3
Biographies-------------------------- 4
Pictures-----------------------------Last 4
Pages



HEADQUARTERS
16TH BOMBARDMENT GROUP (VH)
Army Air Field, Geneva, Nebraska

                                         1 October 1944

THE HISTORY


ORGANIZATION

      The consolidation of the 16th Bomb Group (VH) into a cohesive organ-
ization ready for training, took place at FAAF, Geneva, Nebr., during the
month of September. The Air Echelon, which had been stationed at AAFTAC,
Orlando, Fla. returned to Dalhart, Tex., (*1) and then proceeded to
FAAF on 17 September (*2).

      The 504th Bomb Group (VH) was still at FAAF at the end of the month
but problems of office space and living quarters were partially solved.
Group headquarters was moved into a sizable building near the flight
line and it was possible to take some of the enlisted men out of the
tents and quarter them in barracks.

      The three squadrons were able to set up orderly rooms in barracks
and BOQs, thus alleviating problems of administration which had arisen
from lack of working space.

PERSONNEL

       The strength table at the end of the month was as follows:

           Actual Strength           Authorized Strength
                1156                          2031

      The actual strength was considerably below the authorized strength
but the group had yet to begin training as an organization.


*1--Op. Cit.
*2--SO #257, Paragraph 6, Headquarters Dalhart Army Air Field,
Dalhart, Texas, dd 14 September 44.

-1-



SUPPLY & EQUIPMENT

     The problem of supply continued to hinge about the presence of
the 504th Group but there was a considerable improvement over the previous
month. Despite shortages of office furniture and equipment, improvised
facilities made it possible to function on a much larger scale.

     Safes were obtained for the storage of confidential and secret
material and publications of various types were requisitioned for the
training program. The severest shortage was in field transportation and
less than half of the vehicles authorized were on hand at the end of the
month.

TRAINING

      Major Lavin, who had been absent with the Air Echelon, reassumed direct-
ion of ground training upon his return from AAFTAC. A program consisting
of practical work was considered the best under the circumstances and
maintenance men were assigned to assist the 504th Group wherever possible.

      A tabulation prepared at the end of the month disclosed the following
percentages of completion in ground training for those men physically
present upon the field:

    
         Basic Training      95
         Weapons Qualification      66
         Chemical Warfare Training     93
         Medical Training      87
         Camouflage Training      93
         Bivouac Training      82
         Processing      95

      The variation between these figures and those of the previous month
was attributed to the fact that a considerable number of men had joined
the organization since the preceding report. It was planned to finish
these subjects at classes to be held later in the training period.

      The tent, which had served as a "war room" during the first few weeks
at FAAF, was replaced by adequate space in Group headquarters where large
scale maps posted upon the wall accurately followed the progress of the
war in various theaters. This room served to assemble the officers and
small groups of enlisted men for orientation classes.

      During the first two weeks of the month, a series of intelligence
lectures was held covering the functions of intelligence, briefing and
interrogation, censorship and aircraft identification. Due to unavoid-
able circumstances, a considerable number of the newer men did not attend
these classes which were rescheduled for a later date.


-2-



      Physical training continued on the basis originally set up by Lt.
Thompson and a program of inter-squadron competition in athletics was
started. The first tournament was in softball and was won by the officers'
team

MAINTENANCE

      The group was assigned one B-29 for maintenance and continued to
assist the 504th group. Therefore, there were no real maintenance problems.

FACILITIES

      As in the previous month, most of the facilities at FAAF were of
necessity, in use by the 504th Group. Nevertheless, the assignment of
buildings and barracks to the 16th Bomb Group eased a difficult situation.

MORALE

      The problem of morale was that always encountered in an organization
still in a formative stage. There was a noticable lift in the spirit of
the men whenever the 16th Group moved closer to full time training.

      Colder weather increased the discomfort of the men living in tents.
Those men who were able to move into barracks obviously had an improved
mental outlook.

      Only four men were listed as AWOL during the entire month--a good
statistical index of the state of morale.

BIOGRAPHIES

      See previous installment of history.

       For the Commanding Officer:



                                         GEORGE E. REEDY,JR
                                         1st Lt., Air Corps
                                         Group Historian

Incl 1

       All special orders pertaining to footnotes herein
       unless otherwise noted.

-3-


Editorial Notes:

Several photos are included in the history, but have not yet been reproduced for inclusion on this web page.

There also exists several pages of documents, that have yet to be transcribed. This data consists of special orders, memorandum, report forms and copies of TWX messages. This will take a long time to transcibe and I wanted to focus on transcription of the unit history first. Hopefully, my fingers will be able to stand this.


Content 2005, Larry Miller
September 20, 2005