Organization of the 6th Bomb Group
The 6th Bomb Group was part of the 313th Bombardment Wing of the 21st Bomber Command of the 20th Air Force. The 20th Air Force was the first Air Force not put under the command of a Theater Commander, such as Eisenhower, McArthur or Nimitz. Instead, General Curtis LeMay assumed direct command of the 20th Air Force. The mission of the 20th was to engage in the strategic destruction of Japan by air.
The 6th Bomb Group played a significant role in winning the war against Japan. This was due not only to the bravery of the air crews, but to the tireless efforts of the folks on the ground. It is significant that both of the Distinguished Unit Citations mention not only the risks involved in the missions, but the critical role played by the ground personnel. In the month of July, when all eyes were focused on the War in the Pacific, the 6th Bomb group led the Wing in hours flown and tonnage dropped, both in total and per aircraft. This kind of success required a constant, coordinated and dedicated effort by every member of the Group.
The 20th Air Force was originally intended to include several Bomber Commands, based in several locations: the 20th (based in India), the 21st (based in the Marianas), the 22nd (based in the Philippines or Formosa) and the 23rd (based in the Aleutians). 1 The Marianas proved to be the best location. The 22nd and 23rd Bomber Commands were never activated. The 20th Bomber Command was activated in 1943 and included the 58th Bombardment Wing. However, operations out of China proved impractical since all supply was from the air. The 20th Bomber Command was eventually deactivated and all Bombardment Wings were assigned to the 21st Bomber Command.
The 21st Bomber Command included the 58th, 73rd, 313th, 314th and 315th Bombardment Wings. (For a full listing, see the Table at the bottom of this page). The 313th Bombardment Wing included the 6th, 9th, 504th, 505th Bomb Groups and, later, the 313th Composite Squadron (the “Atom Bombers”). The 6th Bomb Group included the 24th, 39th and 40th Bombing Squadrons. The 313th Bombardment Wing also included several Service Groups (probably the 72nd, 77th, 358th and 359th Service Groups). The 6th Bomb Group also includes several Service Squadrons.
THE 72nd AIR SERVICE GROUP
Each Bomb Group was supported by an Air Service Group (ASG), which handled the big repair and maintenance jobs. Each ASG included a Headquarters and Base Services Unit (HQ), an Air Engineering Squadron (AE), and an Air Material Squadron (AM). The 6th Bomb Group was supported by the 72nd ASG, which included the 535th AE and the 579th AM. They were located on the northeast corner of North Field. Most of the personnel in the ASG were formerly members the 6th BG. They were assigned to the ASG in an effort to centralize the maintenance function. The 72nd ASG included the following units:
- Headquarters and Base Services Unit
- 535th Air Engineering Squadron
- 579th Air Material Squadron
OTHER 20th AIR FORCE B-29 GROUPS & WINGS
Other B-29 Groups and Wings were located on Tinian, Saipan and Guam. They were all part of the 21st Bomber Command of the 20th Air Force. The 58th Bombardment Wing was originally part of the 20th Bomber Wing, which was deactivated in March 1945.
|Bomb Wing||Bomb Group||Squadrons||Stationed at:||Tail Marking|
|58th||40th||25th, 44th, 45th||Tinian, West Field||Triangle S|
|444th||676th, 677th, 678th||Tinian, West Field||Triangle N|
|462nd||768th, 769th, 770th||Tinian, West Field||Triangle U|
|468th||792nd, 793rd, 794th||Tinian, West Field||Triangle I|
|73rd||497th||869th, 870th, 871st||Saipan, Isley Field||A Square|
|498th||873rd, 874th, 875th||Saipan, Isley Field||T Square|
|499th||877th, 878th, 879th||Saipan, Isley Field||V Square|
|500th||881st, 882nd, 883rd||Saipan, Isley Field||Z Square|
|313th||6th||24th, 39th, 40th||Tinian, North Field||Circle R|
|9th||1st, 5th, 99th||Tinian, North Field||Circle X|
|504th||398th, 421st, 680th||Tinian, North Field||Circle E|
|505th||482nd, 483rd, 484th||Tinian, North Field||Circle W|
|509th||393rd||Tinian, North Field||Circle Arrow|
|314th||19th||28th, 30th, 93rd||Guam, North Field||Square M|
|29th||6th, 43rd, 52nd||Guam, North Field||Square O|
|39th||60th, 61st, 62nd||Guam, North Field||Square P|
|330th||457th, 458th, 459th||Guam, North Field||Square K|
|315th||16th||15th, 16th, 17th||Guam, West Field||Diamond B|
|331st||355th, 356th, 357th||Guam, West Field||Diamond L|
|501st||21st, 41st, 485th||Guam, West Field||Diamond Y|
|502nd||402nd, 411th, 430th||Guam, West Field||Diamond H|
|3rd Photo Recon|
|4th Emergency Rescue|
|41st Photo Recon|
|55th Recon (LRW)|
Additional Air Service Groups were assigned to the 21st Bomber Command of the 20th Air Force. They were located on Tinian, Saipan and Guam.
|SG||Sorted by Bomb Wing||Sorted by Bomb Group||Squadrons:|
HQ = HQ and Base Services
AE = Air Engineering
AM = Air Material
|28th||58th||40th||HQ, 39th AE, 585th AM||Tinian, West Field|
|25th||58th||444th||HQ, 35th AE, 578th AM||Tinian, West Field|
|86th||58th||462nd||HQ, 349th AE, 584th AM||Tinian, West Field|
|HQ, 355th AE, 589th AM||Tinian, West Field|
|31st||73rd||497th||HQ, 5th AE, 574th AM||Saipan, Isley Field|
|69th||73rd||498th||HQ, 305th AE, 575th AM||Saipan, Isley Field|
|89th||73rd||499th||HQ, 502nd AE, 501st AM||Saipan, Isley Field|
|HQ, 508th AE, 507th AM||Saipan, Isley Field|
|72nd||313th||6th||HQ, 535th AE, 579th AM||Tinian, North Field|
|HQ, 534th AE, 576th AM||Tinian, North Field|
|HQ, 568th AE, 567th AM||Tinian, North Field|
|HQ, 570th AE, 569th AM||Tinian, North Field|
|390th||313th||509th||HQ, 603rd AE, 1027th AM||Tinian, North Field|
|31st||314th||19th||HQ, 56th AE, 574th AM||Guam, North Field|
|69th||314th||29th||HQ, 305th AE, 575th AM||Guam, North Field|
|89th||314th||39th||HQ, 502nd AE, 501st AM||Guam, North Field|
|HQ, 508th AE, 507th AM||Guam, North Field|
|24th||315th||16th||HQ, 551st AE, 552nd AM||Guam, West Field|
|73rd||315th||331st||HQ, 586th AE, 580th AM||Guam, West Field|
|75th||315th||501st||HQ, 587th AE, 581st AM||Guam, West Field|
|76th||315th||502nd||HQ, 588th AE, 582nd AM||Guam, West Field|
A CHRONOLOGICAL HISTORY OF THE 6TH BG
313th Bombardment Wing Headquarters on Tinian Island 1944-45
The Headquarters Staff was responsible for coordinating the completion of tasks necessary to accomplish the objectives assigned to the Group. This involved coordinating efforts both inside and outside the Group – cajoling, coercing, phoning, visiting, requisitioning and filling out endless reports and forms in triplicate.
The 22nd Photo Lab
PHOTO: PFC Eugene A. Lenschmidt is in the middle of the back row, arms behind his back. The Commanding Officer, Second Lt George J. Ginosvky, is in the middle of the first row. Service personnel were apparently assigned to different squadrons. The 22nd Photo Lab was attached to the 6th Bomb Group and are responsible for many of the original photos on this website.
NAMES OF THE AIR CREW FOR THE 22nd PHOTO LAB:
Bernardo, Celestine Sgt – Douglas, Vincent R. Cpl – Dysart, Lewis H. T/Sgt – Ermlich, Gustav L. Cpl – Exell, Edward E. Sgt – Fitzmorris, L. R. S/Sgt – Fordham, Elwood J. Sgt – Giaponni, Reno Pfc – Ginovsky, George J. 2/Lt – Lenschmidt, Eugene A. Pfc – Merrill, Elrod F. Sgt – Morgan, John O. Pfc – Nobil, Jerry Pfc – Ryan, John J. S/Sgt – Sanford, James K. Sgt – Schmidt, Rudolph C. Sgt – Simpson, Norman F. Cpl – Toner, Thomas J. Cpl – Valluzzi, Joseph J. Pfc – Vieregg, Edwin R. Cpl
PHOTO: Provided by 6th Bomb Group. All Rights Reserved.