VI BOMBER COMMAND
IN DEFENSE OF THE PANAMA CANAL
1941 - 45
Areas of Interest:
VI Bombardment Command History:
6th BGp (Heavy)
3rd BS (Heavy)
29th BS (Heavy)
74th BS (Heavy)
397th BS (Heavy)
9th BGp (Heavy)
1st BS (Heavy)
5th BS (Heavy)
99th BS (Heavy)
430th BS (Heavy)
25th BGp (Medium)
12th BS (Medium)
35th BS (Medium)
59th BS (Medium)
417th BS (Medium)
40th BGp (Heavy)
25th BS (Heavy)
44th BS (Heavy)
45th BS (Heavy)
395th BS (Heavy)
Units Attached to VI Bomber Command
10th BS (Heavy)
15th BS (Light)
9th Bombardment Group (Heavy)
The 9th Observation Group [later known as the 9th Bombardment Group (Heavy)] was organized at Mitchell Field, NY, on August 1, 1922. The 9th Observation Group was redesignated the 9th Bombardment Group on February 19, 1935; and the 9th Bombardment Group (Medium) on December 6, 1939. The 9th Bombardment Group (Medium), consisting of the Hq. & Hq. Squadron, 1st.Bombardment Squadron, 5th Bombardment Squadron, and the 99th Bombardment Squadron, was assigned to the Panama Canal Department (PDC). Its ground elements began their movement to PDC on September 13, 1940, and the Air Echelon commenced its movement on October 22, 1940. The 9th Bombardment Group arrived in the PCD on November 12, 1940, and was assigned temporary Station at Rio Hato, R. de P. The 44th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium Range), which was attached to the 9th Group, was located at Howard Field.
November 1940 The 9th Bombardment Group (Medium) was redesignated as a "heavy" bombardment unit on November 20, 1940. The 44th Reconnaissance Squadron (Medium Range), an attached unit, was redesignated as the 44th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) on the same date.
The 1st.Bombardment Squadron was relocated from Rio Hato, R. de P., to Piarco Airport, Trinidad, on April 24, 1941.
The 5th Bombardment Squadron was moved from Rio Hato, R. de P., to Beane Field, St. Lucia, on September 28, 1941.
The 9th Bombardment Group was transferred to Trinidad on October 23, 1941, aboard the USAT "Panama." The 1st Bombardment Squadron was moved from Piarco Airport, Trinidad, and assigned to Waller Field, Trinidad, on October 29, 1941.
The 44th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) was relocated from Howard Field, CZ, and assigned duty Station at Atkinson Field, British Guiana, on November 4 1941.
The 99th Bombardment Squadron moved from Rio Hato, R. de P., to Zandrey Field, Surinam, on December 3, 1941.
The 44th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) was assigned to the 9th Bomb. Group on February 25, 1942.
The 44th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy ) was redesignated the 430th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on April 22, 1942.
The Hq. & Hq. Squadron, 9th Group, was disbanded on July 22, 1942.
The 1st Bombardment Squadron was relocated from Waller Field, Trinidad, to Edinburg Field, Trinidad, on August 23, 1942.
The 9th Bombardment Group was assigned to the Antilles Air Task Force on September 18, 1942, and conducted anti-submarine patrols, and Reconnaissance of Vichy French fleet at Martinique, using B-18 type aircraft.
The 9th Bombardment Group was relieved from its assignment, and moved "on paper" to the AAF School of Applied Tactics at Orlando, FL, where it trained cadres for bombardment units, evolved new combat tactics, performed AAF equipment tests, and worked on projects for the Army Air Forces Board. The movement of the 9th Group to Orlando was accomplished without personnel and equipment, these being transferred to the 25th Bombardment Group (Medium).