7th Bomb Group continued.
During the past months, the total number of bridges destroyed had mounted considerably and by April 1 had reached a total of 98 knocked out since November 1, 1944. During the past three weeks of April, a new technique of bombing was under development by the Group, using a B-24 as a dive bomber. On two different missions Lt. Col. William B. Kyes, Group Operations Officer, and his assistant, Capt. Edward Theilen, knocked out nine bridges on the Burma-Siam railroad, practically the only line of supply the retreating Japanese in Burma had to depend upon. On April 24, a day that will long be remembered by all who fought in the Burma war, all planes of the Group that were fit to fly, set out to virtually destroy for all time the Burma-Siam railroad. Using the new technique of dive bombing, the 41 B-24's flew up and down the railroad, hitting bridges at tree-top level by swooping down upon the enemy and knocking out the bridge. When all planes had returned safely and the count of bridges damaged and destroyed had been verified by reconnaissance photos, it was shown that a grand total of 37 had been lost to the enemy for a long time to come. One high American officer was quoted as saying, "This one mission alone did more to hinder the Japanese and make possible the destruction of his forces in Burma than any other."
The Group did not stop at this mission, but continued to strike the enemy and participated in the invasion of Akyab, the Ramaree Islands, and the final goal of the Allied forces in Burma - Rangoon, which was occupied early in May. Upon the capture of this vital city, 17 men from the 7th Bomb Group were rescued from the clutches of the enemy. These men had gone down in November and December of 1943, during which time the Group suffered their heaviest losses.
In June, 1945, the Group is again on the move, this time to Tezpur, India, where they will again supply high octane gasoline to the 14th Air Force in China. But not all of the Group are included in the move, as due to the success attained with Azon bombing, and the new technique of dive-bombing, the 493d Bomb Squadron is being sent to China to hit the enemy at that point. In the middle of August, peace rumors were heard daily and it seemed that the end of the war was definitely in sight. Fighting ceased on all fronts during the latter part of the month. The gas haul over "The Hump" continued, though at a much smaller rate. No planes were dispatched unless all conditions were favorable. On Sept. 9, 1945, the Group was given orders to haul a specified amount of gasoline to China, and then the Group's job was done. The gas haul was concluded Sept. 18, 1945, upon orders from the theater commander.
The 490th Bomber Squadon was known as "The Burma Bridge Busters."