Ed Turner, Executive Director, had the great pleasure and opportunity to host 50 members of the 307th Bombardment Group Association during their Jacksonville Reunion on Tuesday July 2nd at the Memorial.

This Association, made up of surviving servicemembers of the Group (of which there are now only two), family members and interested parties, was set up to honor all the men of the 307th Bombardment Group (later becoming the 307th Bomb Wing) for their valiant service to their country during World War II and Korean conflict.

The group was provided a presentation and tour of site with additional assistance from team members Rick Thom and Kathy Cayton.

Here is a little bit about the 307th Bombardment Group

The 307th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was initially activated in 1942 by the Army Air Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor thrust the United States into war with Japan. The 307th  Bomb Group (H) initially flying the B-17, stateside, were then provided the longer range B-24 “Liberators” for deploying in the Pacific Theater.

The Group received their first taste of combat December 27, 1942.  Twenty-seven of the group’s aircraft from Midway Island staged their first attack against an enemy fortress on Wake Island.  The enemy was taken by surprise during the predawn raid.  Before Japanese units responded with a barrage of anti-aircraft fire, 307th bombers had blasted 90 percent of the Wake stronghold.  All aircraft returned safely from what was considered the longest mass raid of that time.  It was from this mission that the 307th Bomb Group became known as the “Long Rangers”.

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