Historic Markers Across Florida

320th Bombardment Group (M)

Marker ID:  
Location: Lakeland Regional Airport, Lakeland, FL
County: Polk
Coordinates: N 27° 59.695    W 082° 00.755
  27.99491666    -82.01258333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: WMKMZ9


When Drane Field opened during World War II, the first combat-bound Air Force unit to train here was the 320th Bombardment Group (M), flying B-26 Marauder medium bombers. The Group arrived here August 7, 1942, after having been activated at MacDill Field, Tampa, on June 17, 1942, Commanding Officer was Lt. Col. John A. Hilger, who had just returned from the mission with the "Doolittle Raiders" bombing Tokyo. Squadrons assigned to the 320th were the 441st, 442nd, 443rd and 444th. First personnel left Drane on August 28, 1942. The Group compiled a heroic record overseas in the Mediterranean Theatre and earned the Presidential Distinguished Unit Citation.

The City of Lakeland, Florida, in Cooperation with The 320th Bombardment Group (M) Reunion Association