38th Bombardment Group

The 38th Bombardment Group is an inactive unit of the United States Air Force. It was most recently assigned as the operational (flying) component of the 38th Bombardment Wing, stationed at Laon-Couvron Air Base, France, where it was inactivated on 8 December 1957.

During World War II the 38th Bomb Group was a medium bombardment group operating in the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) as a B-25 Mitchell unit assigned to Fifth Air Force. It was one of the first combat organizations of the United States Army Air Forces to be deployed to the Pacific Theater when elements took part in the June 1942 Battle of Midway using the Martin B-26 Marauder medium bomber. 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 (later B-26) Invader medium bomber.

The 38th Bomb Group was awarded four Distinguished Unit Citations for its combat service in Papua (Buna and Gona, 23 July 1942 to 23 January 1943); New Britain (Cape Gloucester, 24–26 December 43); New Guinea (Jefman-Samate-Sorong, 16–17 June 1944); and Leyte (Ormoc Bay, 10 November 1944). 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 several air shows in Western Europe, including the 1957 Paris Air Show. The Black Knights were the only tactical bomber show team in the world.

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