The 38th Bombardment Group is an inactive unit of the United States Air Force. It was most recently assigned as the component of the 38th Bombardment Wing, stationed at Laon-Couvron Air Base, France. During World War II the 38th Bomb Group was a bombardment group operating in the Southwest Pacific Area as a B-25 Mitchell unit assigned to Fifth Air Force. Operating in separated echelons until February 1943, the group was re-organized in April 1943 into a standardized B-25 unit, at the conclusion of World War II, the group converted to the A-26 Invader medium bomber. The 38th Bomb Group was awarded four Distinguished Unit Citations for its service in Papua, New Britain, New Guinea. It also received recognition from the government of the Philippines with an award of the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, during the early years of the Cold War, the unit operated in France as a NATO tactical bombardment group flying Martin B-57B Canberras. The group formed the Black Knights aerial demonstration team that performed at air shows in Western Europe. The Black Knights were the tactical bomber show team in the world.2. Its original cadre consisted of seven officers and 112 enlisted men transferred from the 22d Bombardment Group to administratively organize the group and its original assigned flying squadrons were the 69th, 70th and 71st Bomb Squadrons, with the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron activated at the same time and attached. The next month the group began receiving new B-26 Marauders, the first loss of an aircraft was 69th BS B-26 40-1472 in a landing accident at Jackson AAB, with all six crewmen killed, on 21 December 1941. The German U-boat threat to Allied shipping earmarked the group for assignment to anti-submarine warfare patrols from a base in South America. Orders to transfer the group to Savannah AAB, Georgia, as the first step in the process, were rescinded when the United States was drawn into the war on 7 December 1941. Instead the group remained at Jackson until 18 January when its ground echelon entrained for movement to a port of embarkation at San Francisco, California, on 29 January the ground echelon boarded the Army transport USAT Tasker H. Bliss, formerly the Dollar Liner SS President Cleveland. The Bliss left in convoy from San Francisco on the 31st and arrived at Brisbane, on that date the 15th Reconnaissance Squadron was assigned as the groups fourth squadron, and re-designated the 405th Bomb Squadron on 22 April 1942. The ground personnel of the group were employed as service and construction troops, the advance party, however, found that the 3rd Bomb Group and its A-20 Havocs occupied all the desirable space and established a camp at Breddan on 7 August. On 12 August it rejoined the group at Breddan, the air echelon did not accompany the sea movement and was quartered at Fort McDowell, California, until 6 April, when it moved by train to Patterson Field, Ohio, to continue B-26 training. On 8–7 May, the 69th and 70th BS flew new B-26Bs to California for movement to Hawaii, while the 71st and 405th began receiving B-25 Mitchell bombers for training. The 71st moved to MacDill AAB where it exchanged its experienced B-26 crews for those of the 21st Bomb Group, which were entirely newly graduated pilots from Shafter Field Pilot Training Class 42-E
North American B-25C Mitchell medium bomber
Martin B-26 Marauder
B-26 crew at Midway Island
B-25 engaged in "mast head" bombing in New Guinea.