Activated as a B-25 reconnaissance squadron in early 1942, it was redesignated a medium bomber unit in April. It trained with the Third Air Force in the southeastern United States. It was deployed initially to England in September 1942 and flew some missions under VIII Bomber Command over German-occupied France; attacking enemy troop formations, bridges and airfields. It was part of the Operation Torch invasion of North Africa in November 1942, being deployed to the new Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO). It was assigned to the Twelfth Air Force in French Morocco in November. The squadron engaged primarily in support and interdictory operations; bombing marshalling yards, rail lines, highways, bridges, viaducts, troop concentrations, gun emplacements, shipping, harbors and other objectives in North Africa.
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