319bg.org is a project of the Army Air Corps Library and Museum. Volunteers are transcribing servicemen names and their awards from General Orders that we are publishing on this website for enthusiasts, families and researchers of genealogy and World War II history. The names on this honor roll of men assigned to the 319th Bombardment Group is not a complete list of all who served with the 319th, however, we are attempting to locate as many documents that have survived as possible. Sources of material include the US National Archives, Air Force Historical Research Agency and the records donated by individual servicemen and their families. We hope you will find this information useful and enjoyable. We are accepting volunteers help in this very large World War II project as we preserve this history and honor service.
HEADQUARTERS TWELFTH AIR FORCE
14 April 1944
GENERAL ORDERS: 44
Citation of Unit
2. Under the provisions of War Department Circular 333, 22 December 1943, and Circular 26, Hq NATOUSA, 6 March 1944, the 319th Bombardment Group (M) is cited as indicated below:
The 319th Bombardment Group (M) is cited for outstanding performance of duty in action against the enemy. Repeatedly demonstrating superior achievement in precision bombing during critical periods in the Italian campaign, the 319th Bombardment Group was in a large measure responsible for the complete interdiction of rail communication between Florence and Rome which resulted from a supreme effort by our medium bombers. On 11 March 1944, the 319th Bombardment Group distinguished itself by conspicuous battle action when its group formation of twenty-five B-26's excelled others on the same mission by dropping ninety-six 1000 pound bombs with pin-point accuracy on the main marshalling yards at Florence. Of the two hundred and fifty units of rolling stock in the yards, approximately fifty were damaged or derailed. Thirty locomotives in the repair yards were destroyed or damaged. All tracks in the target area were cut and a concentration of craters in the south half of the area completely isolated the Central Station. Heavy damage was inflicted upon buildings of a chemical works, upon repair sheds and warehouses. A string of bombs fell in the Old Fort where sixty motor vehicles had been parked and several adjoining buildings w6re destroyed. Photographic reconnaissance on 16 March confirmed that all the through lines still were cut at many points and that the yards were impassible. Realizing that the carrying of a maximum bomb load on a mission of maximum range, involving a hazardous overwater route under adverse weather conditions, demanded flawless mechanical performance, the ground personnel displayed untiring zeal and devotion to duty in preparing and servicing their aircraft. Despite errorless navigation, two of the bombers were forced to land at friendly airdromes to refuel. All others reached the home base safely. The success of this mission, which struck such a devastating blow to the enemy, exemplifies the highest type of leadership, team work and flying skill and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Military Service of the United States.
By command of Major General CANNON:
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