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Major Clarence S Towles,12th BG, 81stBS, "Earthquakers" MTO, B-25's '43
Feb.1944 | United Kingdom
12th AF, 12th Bomb Group, (4 Squads, 81stBS, 82ndBS, 83rdBS and 434thBS). "Spottswood's" 1st Assignment was with the 12th Bomb Group whiere he made Captain, Flying Combat Missions in the B-25 Mitchell. He most probably completed his 55 Missions before going on. Letter HOME dated "24 April, 1943"
Constituted as 12th Bombardment Group (Light) on 20 Nov-1940. Activated
on 15 Jan 1941. Trained with B-18, B-23, and PT-17 aircraft. Patrolled the
west coast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Redesignated 12th
Bombardment Group (Medium) in Dec 1941. Using B-25's, began training early in
1942 for duty overseas. Moved to the Middle East, Jul-Aug 1942, and assigned
to Ninth AF. Attacked storage areas, motor transports, troop concentrations,
airdromes, bridges, shipping, marshalling yards, and other targets in Egypt,
Libya, Tunisia, Pantelleria, Lampedusa, Crete, Sicily, and Italy, Aug 1942-Jan
1944. Supported the Allied drive from Egypt to Tunisia, Oct 1942-Apr 1943.
Early in 1943 two squadrons operated with Twelfth AF, assisting Allied forces
moving eastward across North Africa, while the other squadrons continued
operations with Ninth AF, bombing enemy defenses along the Mareth Line.
Received a DUC for action against the enemy in North Africa and Sicily from
Oct 1942 to Aug 1943. While attached to Twelfth AF, Jun-Aug 1943, the group
operated from bases in Tunisia and Sicily against targets in Pantelleria,
Lampedusa, Sicily, and Italy. Assigned to Twelfth AF in Aug 1943 and operated
primarily against targets in Italy until Jan 1944. Flew some missions to
Albania and Yugoslavia.
Next Date, Towles left from SCOTLAND as the Port of Departure, on 4 June, 1943 ..... Destination was La Guardia Airport, NY City, NY.
9th AF USAAF Medium Bomber Group, A-20 havoc's and A-26 Invaders, Spottswood's Next Assignment.
***** FEBURARY, 1944 .....One of the major changes in personnel was the assignment of Major Robert F. Price to the command of the 668th Squadron. Major Clarence S. Towles who was relieved became the Assistant Group Operations Officer.******************
The Ninth Air Force was activated on November 12, 1942 as a successor to the U.S. Army Middle East Air Forces. It originally consisted of the IX Bomber Command; the IX Fighter Command and the 316th Troop Carrier Group. The latter evolved into the IX Troop Carrier Command. The Ninth Air Force moved from the Middle East to the United Kingdom on 16 October 1943. Headquarters for the Ninth AF was established at RAF Burtonwood and the IX Bomber Command was headquartered at Marks Hall on RAF Earls Colne. On the 26th of November, 1943, the 97th Bombardment Wing (Light) was added to the IX Bomber Command with its headquarters initially at Marks Hall as well. The wing moved to Little Walden, Essex on March 13, 1944 and to France on September 13, 1944. The 97th Bomb Wing was comprised of three groups, the 409th, 410th and 416th, initially assigned A-20 Havoc bombers and by the end of 1944 the A-26 Invader. Each Group consisted of four squadrons. The 416th Bomb Group included the 668th, 669th 670th and 671st Bomb Squadrons and was stationed at RAF Wethersfield from February 1st 1944 until the unit moved to France on September 21, 1944. The Ninth AF was deactivated in December 1945 and reactivated in March 1946 as part of the new U.S. Air Force structure. AAF 421 (668th BOMB. SQDN. ) June 3, 1943 Aircraft Markings: History; The 668th Bombardment Squadron (L) was constituted January 25, 1943, by AG 320.2 (1-24-43) OB-I-AF-M, dated January 25,1943, and made active February 5, 1943. By command of General Arnold.
***** FEBURARY, 1944 .....One of the major changes in personnel was the assignment of Major Robert F. Price to the command of the 668th Squadron. Major Clarence S. Towles who was relieved became the Assistant Group Operations Officer.******
12 RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON (ACC)
COMMANDER Lt Col Clarence S. Towles Jr., Jul-3 Dec 1948; Died in a Plane Crash in 1948 at 30 years of age. 1946-1949. RB-26 *****March Field (later, AFB), CA, 29 Jul 1946-28 Mar 1949. ***** 363 Reconnaissance Group (attached to Twelfth Air Force), 29 Jul 1946; 67 Reconnaissance (later, 67 Tactical Reconnaissance) Group, 24 Jul 1947-28 Mar 1949. ******
67th Recon GROUP; Activated on 19 May 1947. Assigned to Tactical Air Command. Equipped with RB-26's and RF-80's. Redesignated 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in June 1948. Inactivated on 28 Mar 1949.