The 344th bomb Group was composed of four squadrons, the 494th, 495th, 496th, and 497th Bomb Squadrons. They operated from Stansted Mountfitchet, England from February through September 1944, where the majority of these color photographs were taken. After the invasion they relocated to Cormeilles-en-Vexin which was just outside Paris until April 1945, finishing the war in Florennes Belguim. The Group was assigned to the Ninth Air Force and operated the Martin B-26 B/C. Most mission assignments were tactical targets in support of ground operations, the Group was very active during the invasion of Normandy and the ensuing breakout. These photographs display a selection of nose art applied to the Marauders.
The 322nd Bombardment Group (Medium) was composed of the 449th, 450th, 451st, and 452nd Bomb Squadrons. Their initial combat operations were as part of the Eighth Air Force operating from Bury St. Edmonds, England. They operated Martin B-26 B & C Marauders during the spring and summer of 1943, when photographers from LIFE Magazine took these color photographs.