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Location: /Squadron Patches/Army Air Force Squadrons/AAF units #'d 500-up

WWII Patch, AAF, 501BS 345BG 5AF Black Panthers

WWII Patch, AAF, 501BS 345BG 5AF  Black Panthers

Product Information
WWII US Army Air Force Squadron Patch
501th Bomb Squadron, 345th Bomb Group, 5th Army Air Force
USAAF   501BS 345BG  5AF
501st Bombardment Squadron, 345th Bombardment Group, Fifth AF
"Black Panthers"
Walt Disney Design?
4.75 inches

Bomb Bombing Bomber Bombardment squadron.

The 501st Bombardment Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 345th Bombardment Wing, based at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. It was inactivated on 25 June 1959.

Established as a B-25 Mitchell medium bomber group in late 1942; trained under Third Air Force in the southeast United States. Deployed to the Pacific Theater of Operations (PTO), in June 1943 being assigned to Fifth Air Force in the Southwest Pacific Area.

Engaged in combat operations initially during the New Guinea Campaign, attacking enemy targets in New Guinea in support of General MacArthur's campaign, using B-25s for low-level strafing attacks. B-25s were modified with extra fuel tanks to increase range with extra .50 caliber machine guns installed in the noses of the aircraft. Squadron engaged in combat over New Guinea, the Bismark Archipelago, Northern Solomon Islands, the Southern Philippines and Leyte. Also flew long-distance attacks over Southeastern China and Formosa before the Japanese Capitulation in August 1945. Squadron demobilized on Okinawa during the fall of 1945, inactivated on 19 December 1945.

 * Constituted 501st Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 3 September 1942
    Activated on 8 September 1942
    Inactivated on 19 December 1945


    * 345th Bombardment Group, 8 September 1942-19 December 1945


    * Columbia Army Air Base, South Carolina, 8 September 1942
    * Walterboro Army Airfield, South Carolina, 6 March-16 April 1943
    * Jackson Airfield (7 Mile Drome), New Guinea, 5 June 1943
    * Dobodura Airfield Complex, New Guinea, c. 9 January 1944
    * Nadzab Airfield Complex, New Guinea, 20 February 1944
    * Mokmer Airfield, Biak, Netherlands East Indies, C. 13 July 1944
    * Dulag Airfield, Leyte, Netherlands East Indies
        Operated from Mokmer Airfield, Biak, 12 November 1944
    * Tacloban Airfield, Leyte, Philippines, 27 December 1944
    * San Marcelino Airfield, Luzon, Philippines, 12 February 1945
    * Clark Field, Luzon, Philippines, 11 May 1945
    * Ie Shima Airfield, Okinawa, c. 20 July-1 December 1945
    * Fort Lewis, Washington, 17-19 December 1945

    * B-25 Mitchell, 1942–1945

 The 345th Bomb Group - The Air Apaches
498th Bomb Squadron "Falcons"
499th Bomb Squadron "Bats outa Hell"
500th Bomb Squadron "Rough Raiders"
501st Bomb Squadron "Black Panthers"

The 345th Bomb Group was activated on November 11, 1942, in Columbia, South Carolina, by Third Air Force order #275, and four squadrons designated 498, 499, 500, 501 assigned to it. The 345th started with 40 officers and 350 enlisted men, commanded by Jarred V. Crabb. Full strength, the 345th would contain 250 officers and 1250 enlisted men. The first two weeks were spent on paperwork and administrative details. The first B-25 arrived in late November, 1942, which enabled the 345th to start training right away. From Columbia they moved to Aiken and then Walterboro, SC. The group was originally trained as a Medium Bomb Squadron, which should have relegated it to bombing enemy targets from 8,000-12,000 feet. However, events in the Pacific were to dramatically change the 345th's missions. In Australia, at a rear base of the Fifth Air Force, Major Paul "Pappy" Gunn was experimenting on B-25's. Gunn removed the bombardier-navigator from the greenhouse nose, covered it with metal plates and mounted eight .50 caliber guns. The B-25 "Strafer" had been born. The strafer was a brilliant weapon for use against enemy airbases and sea power, so vital to the war in the Pacific. The 345th's original destination was England, but on April 6, 1943, these orders were canceled, as Fifth Air Force commander Major General George C. Kenny had come to Washington to plead for more B-25's, backed up by recent strafer successes in the Bismarck Sea. The 345th picked up new aircraft in Savannah (Hunter Field) then back to Walterboro, where names were chosen for the squadrons. The 498th became the "Falcons," the 499th the "Bats outa Hell," the 500th the "Rough Raiders," and the 501st called themselves the "Black Panthers." The group then flew to El Paso, Texas and then on to McClellan. At the end of April, they moved to Hamilton Field north of San Francisco, and on May 1 they made the thirteen hour flight to Hickam and Bellows Fields in Hawaii. From there they flew to Christmas Island (7hours), then some flew to American Somoa while others flew to Canton Island. Then on to Fiji (5hours), New Caledonia (5hours) and then to Australia. By June, 1943, the 345th had moved to Port Moresby, New Guinea and had entered combat.

Price: $120.00

Product Code: PatchAAF.0501.501BS.345BG
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