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20th Air Force

58th Bombardment Wing

468th Bombardment Group - "The General Billy Mitchell Group"


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 Smoky Hill Army Air Field, Salina, KS Minimize
The 468th Bombardment Group was activated on August 1, 1943 by authority of Special Order No. 78, 2nd Air Force, Fort George Wright, Washington.
Actual organization was as of 15 September 1943, on Special Order No. 149, Par. 1, Headquarters, Army Air Base, Great Bend, Kansas. All personnel being drawn from the 678th Bombardment Squadron, 444th Bombardment Group stationed at the Army Air Base, Great Bend.
By same order, this Squadron was ordered to proceed to Smoky Hill Army Air Field, Salina, Kansas as part of the 468th Bombardment Group.

Development of Smoky Hill began in 1942 with the construction of airfields during World War II. The base occupied 2,600 acres southwest of the Salina urbanized area. Construction began in May of 1942 with the aid of nearly 7,000 construction workers. The first B-17's arrived in September of that same year. The B-17's were eventually replaced with B-29's and the base was used as a processing and staging area for heavy bombardment units going overseas.

 “Living off Base was great. The people of Salina were very friendly and shared their homes when space permitted. Some even shared meals with their visitors.”


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