The group was activated in January 1943 at Davis-Monthan Field, Tucson, Arizona, equipped with B-24 Liberators, trained at Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas and Alamogordo Army Air Base, New Mexico. The group was moved to England in August 1943 and was assigned to the Eighth Air Force at Wendling Air Base in East Anglia.
The group flew 285 combat missions, suffering 1552 casualties including 835 killed in action or line of duty and 184 aircraft lost. In February 1944 the group was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation for destroying an aircraft factory in Gotha, Germany. In June 1945 the group returned to the United States and was inactivated at Charleston AAF in South Carolina in September of the same year.