These notes, which are designed as an aid to the use of this volume, are keyed to the
various kinds of information presented in the historical sketches of the combat
Heading. The heading gives the numerical and general functional designation of the
organization at the end of World War II.
Insigne. The insigne is the last one approved prior to the end of World War II if such an
insigne was available. If the organization had no insigne at that time but had one
approved after the war, the latter is shown. A regulation issued in 1953 required each
combat group to use the insigne of the combat wing of the same number; consequently, in
this book wing insignia are given for some groups.
Lineage. The lineage, which was traced through official documents, is
presented in a narrative that also covers the major activities of the organization.
Organizational actions (e.g., activation, redesignation, etc.) relating to lineage are
highlighted by means of italics. Minor redesignations (e.g., a change from Bombardment
Group, H to Bombardment Group, Heavy), as well as organizational changes that had no
effect on lineage, were omitted. The terms used to describe actions that establish the
lineage of Air Force organizations are defined in Appendix I: Organizational Terms.
Operations. The narrative for each group gives a brief summary of the
organization's major activities, especially its combat operations. A general statement
concerning major functions or area of operations is provided for organizations above the
Assignments. The narrative includes information concerning the
organization's assignments, or its attachments for operational control. For World War II,
this information is generally restricted to the numbered air forces with which the
organization operated; for the post-World War II period, it is usually confined to the
major command. Because of peculiarities and changes in the Air Force structure between
1946 and 1950, assignments to Air Defense, Tactical Air, and Continental Air Command
during that time are, as a general rule, not shown. In references to Air National Guard
(ANG) organizations, names of states, shown as abbreviations in parentheses, indicate
allotments of headquarters.
Aircraft. The narrative for each group supplies information concerning
the aircraft used by the organization.
Organizational Components. The major combat elements are listed
immediately following the narrative. The list shows only the components at the first
subordinate echelon in any particular period. Components were omitted in some cases in
which the structure of the subject organization changed frequently and the assignments of
components usually were of brief duration. Attached components, as well as service and
support elements, were omitted. Components of national guard organizations are given only
for those periods in which the guard organizations were on extended active service.
Only numerical designations are shown if the functional designations (e.g., fighter,
bomber) of the components and subject organization were similar. For components assigned
during World War II, the numerical designation shown is the one in use at the end of the
war. If the numerical designation of a component changed during the period of assignment
to the subject organization, the former or later designation is supplied in parentheses.
A semicolon separating dates indicates that the subject organization was inactivated. A
comma indicates that the component was relieved of assignment and later reassigned during
a period in which the subject organization remained active.
Stations. The list of stations shows the locations and movements of the
organization. Temporary stations are not listed. The name given for each base is the one
in use at the time the organization arrived. Webster's Geographical Dictionary was used as
the primary authority for the spelling of place names. For places not listed there, the
NIS Gazetteers were used. For places not given in either of those sources, it was
necessary to rely on station lists and other Air Force documents. Geographical place
names, rather than base names, are generally shown for stations overseas. If the
organization moved frequently, as some organizations did in the Mediterranean and Pacific
areas during World War II, countries, rather than specific places, are shown. Stations for
national guard organizations are given only for those periods in which the guard
organizations were on extended active service.
A single date indicates the arrival of the organization's headquarters or, if that could
not be determined, the arrival of the first major element of the organization. Where
double dates are given, the second date, if followed by a semicolon, shows when the
organization (or the first major element) began an extended movement either overseas or
within a theater; if followed by a period, the second date indicates that the organization
Commanders. The list of commanders gives the names of the organization's
commanding officers, the highest rank held by each during the period of command, and the
date each assumed command. As a general rule, temporary or acting commanders are not
shown. Because of difficulties encountered in obtaining data concerning commanders of
reserve and national guard organizations, commanders of such organizations are shown only
for those periods the organizations were on extended active service.
Where double dates are shown, the second date, if followed by a period, indicates that the
organization was inactivated; if followed by a semicolon, the second date indicates that
there is, or may be, a gap in the list of commanders.
Campaigns. The campaigns listed are those in which the organization
participated, the determination in each instance being based upon a careful analysis of
the organization's operations. If the listing shows Asiatic-Pacific Theater or
European-African-Middle Eastern Theater, the organization served, but was not engaged in
combat, in the theater. If the listing includes American Theater, the organization either
served in the theater area outside the United States, or was stationed in the United
States for a total time of one year or more. The theater is not shown if any campaign in
the theater is listed. When some components of the organization were engaged in activities
that could not be attributed to the entire organization, those activities are not covered
by the list of the organization's campaigns. For example, if a squadron on detached
service from a group in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater served in combat in
the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, the campaigns listed for the group do not include the
Asiatic-Pacific campaigns in which the squadron participated. A list of all the campaigns
in which Air Force organizations have participated is provided in Appendix II: Theaters
It should be emphasized that the listings in this book are for groups, wings, divisions,
commands, and air forces rather than for the headquarters of these organizations or for
the squadrons. Consequently, units are cautioned not to use the listings in this volume as
the basis or authority for claiming or displaying service streamers. The Awards Branch,
Personnel Services Division, Directorate of Military Personnel, Headquarters USAF is
responsible for determining what service streamers each unit is entitled to display.
Decorations. Under decorations are listed the citations and other awards
made to the organization. In cases where citations were found to be suitable for such
treatment, they are mentioned in the narrative in connection with operations (as well as
listed under "Decorations") in order to provide additional data about the
activities covered by the citations. In many instances dates for citations have been
omitted or have been revised and set in brackets because the dates given in orders
pertaining to the citations are obviously incorrect. For example, the dates given in an
order may extend over a period before or after the organization was engaged in the
activity for which it was cited. Information concerning the various citations and other
awards that have been bestowed on organizational elements of the Air Force is provided in
Appendix III: Decorations.
As in the case of the campaigns, the listings in this volume are not to be used by units
as the basis or authority for claiming or displaying streamers and other devices that
represent awards. The Awards Branch determines the awards to which each unit is entitled.
Air Force Combat Organization
At the peak of its strength in World War II, the United States Army Air Forces (AAF) had
more than 2,400,000 men and women in uniform. There were pilots, navigators, bombardiers,
gunners, and radio operators, clerks and typists, artists and flautists, teachers,
mechanics, statisticians, and engineers - for it took many talents and skills to conduct
and support the war in the air. All these persons, from privates to generals, had to be
welded into an organization capable of giving direction and coordination to their diverse
activities. For combat the men were formed into squadrons, and squadrons into groups.
Above the groups were wings, and wings were organized into commands, and commands into the
16 air forces of the AAF. The upper part of the structure had to be built while the war
was on, but the foundation was old. Some of the squadrons, two of the groups, and one wing
had combat records from the First World War. One squadron, the oldest in the Air Force,
could trace its history back to 1913.
The Army had established an Aeronautical Division in the Signal Corps on 1 August 1907 and
had acquired its first plane in 1909. Army men had learned to fly, but for some time the
aviators were not organized into units for operations. Consequently in 1913, when
relations between the United States and Mexico were strained as a result of a revolution
in Mexico, there was no aviation unit for service along the Mexican border. The Army,
however, sent some of its flyers and planes to Texas, and on 5 March 1913 these were
formed into the 1st Aero Squadron, a provisional organization made up of two companies.
Later that year, in December, after the provisional unit had moved to San Diego for
training, it was organized officially as an Army squadron. Following Pancho Villa's raid
on Columbus, New Mexico, in March 1916, the squadron joined the force that Brig. Gen. John
J. Pershing organized to try to capture the Mexican bandit. Thus the 1st Aero Squadron,
which provided communication and reconnaissance services during the Mexican expedition,
was the first American aviation unit to take the field for a military campaign.
Meanwhile, although war had broken out in Europe, little progress had been made toward
expanding the Army's air arm. Congress created an Aviation Section in the Signal Corps by
an act approved on 18 July 1914, but the legislators provided little money for the new
service. Moreover, the Signal Corps naturally used the meager resources to develop
aviation as a means of communication, observation, and reconnaissance, rather than as an
instrument for combat. One company of the 2nd Aero Squadron was organized in 1915 and sent
to the Philippines. The following year plans were made for five more squadrons. One, the
7th, was formed in February 1917 for duty in the Panama Canal Zone. Another, the 6th, was
organized in Hawaii in March 1917. Three others, the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, were being formed
in the United States at the time the nation entered World War I in April 1917.
World War I
Pershing, who became commander of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) soon developed a
plan for the deployment of 260 combat squadrons to France. Later the plan was revised with
the number of squadrons reduced to 202, all of which were to be at the front by 30 June
1919. In Pershing's view, the main functions of the AEF's Air Service were to drive off
hostile aircraft and to obtain information about enemy movements. Half of the 202
squadrons, therefore, were to be observation units assigned to 3 armies and 16 corps. Of
the remainder, 60 were to be pursuit squadrons. But the plan also provided for 27
night-bombardment and 14 day-bombardment squadrons.
The first American aviation unit to reach France was the 1st Aero Squadron, an observation
organization, which sailed from New York in August 1917 and arrived at Le Havre on 3
September. As other squadrons were organized at home, they too were sent overseas, where
they continued their training. It was February 1918 before any American aviation squadron
entered combat, but by Armistice Day, 11 November 1918, 45 combat squadrons (20 pursuit,
18 observation, and 7 bombardment) had been assigned to the front. During the war the aero
squadrons played important roles in such famous battles as the Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel,
and the Meuse-Argonne. Some, like the 94th Squadron that had Captain Eddie Rickenbacker
for its commander, or the 27th that had "balloon buster" Frank Luke as one of
its aviators, made distinguished records in combat.
Observation planes frequently operated individually, and pursuit pilots often went out
alone to attack a balloon or to meet the enemy in a dogfight. But the tendency was toward
formation flying for pursuit as well as for bombardment operations. The dispersal of
squadrons among the various army organizations made it difficult, however, to obtain
coordination of aerial activities. Some higher organization was required. Squadrons with
similar functions were formed into groups, the first of these being the 1st Corps
Observation Group, organized in April 1918. The following month the 1st Pursuit Group was
formed, and by 11 November 1918 the AEF had 14 groups (7 observation, 5 pursuit, and 2
bombardment). In July 1918 the AEF organized its first wing, made up of the 2d and 3rd
Pursuit Groups and, later, the 1st Day Bombardment Group.
Some airmen, including William Mitchell, were advocating the formation of an air force
that would concentrate control over military aviation for heavy blows against the enemy.
In September 1918, for the Allied assault against the German salient at St. Mihiel,
Mitchell brought together almost 1,500 American and French planes for coordinated
operations in which observation and pursuit supported ground forces, while the other
two-thirds of the air force bombed and strafed behind the lines. Later, during the
Meuse-Argonne offensive, Mitchell attained a somewhat smaller concentration of air power
for use in keeping the enemy on the defensive.
In France the Air Service was part of Pershing's expeditionary force. In the United States
the Chief Signal Officer was responsible for organizing, training, and equipping aviation
units until 21 May 1918. At that time the President created a Bureau of Aircraft
Production and made it responsible for aeronautical equipment; training of personnel and
units was the responsibility of the Division of Military Aeronautics, which had been
created by the War Department on 27 April 1918. Although the bureau and division were
recognized by the War Department on 24 May 1918 as forming the Army's Air Service, no
Director of Air Service was appointed until 27 August 1918.
After the war the Army quickly demobilized most of its air arm, including the wing, all of
the groups, and most of the squadrons. Almost immediately, however, it began to create new
organizations for peacetime service. In many instances these new organizations had no
connection with those that had been active during the war. For example, at Selfridge Field
in August 1919 the Army organized a 1st Pursuit Group that was in no way related to the
AEF's 1st Pursuit Group, which had been demobilized in France in December 1918. A little
later, however, the Army began a series of organizational actions that eventually enabled
many active organizations to trace their histories back to World War I. In the case of the
1st Pursuit Group, for instance, the Army reconstituted the World War I group of that name
and consolidated it with the active group. This process of reconstituting old units and
consolidating them with active units has continued up to the present time.
In 1920 an act of Congress (approved on 4 June) created the Air Service as a combatant arm
of the United States Army. But the Air Service and the Air Corps that replaced it in 1926
(act of 2 July) did not control the combat units, for their training and operations came
under the jurisdiction of ground forces. With this arrangement the Air Service and Air
Corps were responsible for matters relating to personnel and materiel logistics,
particularly training individual pilots and other specialists, and developing, procuring,
storing, and distributing aeronautical equipment.
The composition, organization, and command of the combat elements of the air arm during
the 1920's and early 1930's were based on principles laid down by the War Department
General Staff in 1920. These principles, as they related to military aviation, were
reflected in a war plan that called for the following aviation organizations as part of an
expeditionary force: one observation squadron for each of divisions and one for each of 18
corps; one observation group (four squadrons), plus one attack wing (one attack and two
pursuit groups), for each of 6 armies; one attack wing, one observation group, and one
bombardment group for General Headquarters (GHQ). Thus the war plan placed the greatest
emphasis on observation aviation. It gave lesser roles to pursuit aviation, which was to
destroy enemy planes and assist in attacking enemy troops and other objectives, and to
attack aviation, which was to harass the enemy's ground forces. It assigned a minor place
to bombardment aviation, with the mission of destroying military objectives in the combat
theater and in the enemy's zone of interior. Furthermore, it placed aviation under the
command of ground officers at division, corps, army, and GHQ levels. As a result, the
structure was condemned by Billy Mitchell and other Air Service officers who discounted
the importance of observation aviation, sought recognition for bombardment as a major
instrument of warfare, desired a greater proportion of pursuit units for counter-air
operations, and wanted aviation units organized as an air force under the command of
airmen. One of the important facets of the history of the Army's air arm during the 1920's
and 1930's was the conflict between air and ground officers over the composition,
organization, and command of military aviation. While this is not the place for a detailed
review of that subject, the progress that the airmen made toward gaining acceptance for
their point of view is reflected in organizational changes mentioned in subsequent
The principles behind the war plan were applied to the smaller peacetime organization that
was to be capable of rapid expansion in an emergency. For several years the striking force
based in the United States consisted of three groups, the 1st Pursuit, the 2nd
Bombardment, and the 3rd Attack. There also was one observation group (the 9th), and there
was one observation squadron for each of the Army corps. During the same period there were
three composite groups on foreign service, the 4th being in the Philippines, the 5th in
Hawaii, and the 6th in Panama.
In 1926 the Army began to expand its air arm, and in the years that followed new groups
were activated: the 18th Pursuit (in Hawaii) in 1927; the 7th Bombardment in 1928; the
12th Observation and 20th Pursuit in 1930; the 8th and 17th Pursuit in 1931; and the 16th
Pursuit (in the Canal Zone) and the 19th Bombardment in 1932. Consequently by the end of
1932 there were 15 groups (45 squadrons). The distribution of the squadrons by function is
significant. The number of attack squadrons (4) was the same as it had been a decade
earlier, while the strength in observation aviation had decreased from 14 to 13 squadrons.
The growth had, therefore, been in other types of aviation, the number of bombardment
squadrons having increased from 7 to 12, and pursuit squadrons from 7 to 16. Five more
pursuit squadrons were activated in 1933, bringing the total strength to 50 squadrons.
The most important change in the combat organization of the air arm in the two decades
between World Wars I and II came on 1 March 1935. At that time the War Department
established General Headquarters Air Force (GHQAF) and placed it under the command of an
air officer to serve as an air defense and striking force. Some observation units remained
assigned to corps areas, but all the pursuit, bombardment, and attack units in the United
States became part of the new combat organization. The combat elements of GHQAF were
organized into three wings: the 1st Wing (with headquarters at March Field) had two
bombardment groups, one attack group, and three observation squadrons; the 2nd Wing
(Langley Field) had two bombardment and two pursuit groups, plus three observation
squadrons; the 3rd Wing (Barksdale Field) had an attack and a pursuit group, plus one
bombardment, one attack, and two pursuit squadrons. The commanding general of GHQAF, who
reported to the Army's Chief of Staff and was to report to the commander of the field
force in time of war, was responsible for the organization, training, and operations of
this air force. The Chief of the Air Corps still retained the responsibilities associated
with personnel and materiel logistics.
The change of the 9th Group from observation to bombardment in 1935 should be noted
because that redesignation was an indication of the decline of observation and the growth
of bombardment aviation. Two years later the 12th Observation Group was inactivated. And
the same year (1937) the 10th Transport Group, the first group of its kind, was activated.
But there were no other significant changes, the number of groups remaining at 15 (10 in
the United States and 5 on foreign service), until 1939.
World War II
In January 1939 President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to strengthen America's air
power, which, the President said, was "utterly inadequate." On 1 September 1939
Hitler attacked Poland, and the Second World War began. In the months that followed, as
Axis forces won one victory after another, the Army's air arm expanded rapidly. By the end
of 1940 there were 30 groups. Within another year, that is, by the time the Japanese
attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States entered the war, the number of active groups
had increased to 67, but many of them were still in the process of being organized and few
had aircraft suitable for combat.
The air arm grew even more rapidly in the months following Pearl Harbor, and by the end of
1943 there were 269 groups. At that time 133 of the groups were in the United States: 77
were being manned or trained; 56, which provided the strategic reserve, served as part of
the defense force, as operational training units (OTU's) that prepared new units for
combat, or as replacement training units (RTU's) that trained replacements for
organizations overseas. Early in 1944 most of the OTU's and RTU's were inactivated or
disbanded, the training activities being given to base units. As a result the number of
combat groups fell to 218, but the formation of new groups brought the figure up to
another peak of 243 in February 1945. When Allied forces landed on the beaches of Normandy
on 6 June 1944, the United States had 148 combat groups in the European-African-Middle
Eastern Theater for the war against Germany. By August 1945, when combat operations in the
Asiatic-Pacific Theater came to an end, the United States had 86 groups in the war against
In addition to the expansion, other important changes had taken place in the air arm. By 7
December 1941 more emphasis was being placed on bombardment. Of the 67 groups active at
that time, 26 were bombardment organizations; half of the 26 were heavy and the other half
were medium and light bombardment groups, the light groups having replaced the attack
organizations of an earlier time. There also were 26 pursuit, 9 observation, and 6
transport groups. During the war, pursuit units were redesignated fighter, observation
became reconnaissance, and transport became troop carrier. With the development of B-29
aircraft, very heavy bombardment organizations were added to the combat force. In the
spring of 1945, when America's air strength in the overseas theaters of operations reached
its peak, the 243 combat groups of the AAF were divided as follows: 25 very heavy, 72
heavy, 20 medium, and 8 light bombardment groups; 71 fighter groups; 29 troop carrier
groups; 13 reconnaissance groups; and 5 composite groups. At the same time there were 65
separate squadrons, mostly reconnaissance and night fighter, which were not assigned to
groups but to higher echelons of organization.
As the number of groups increased, the number of wings multiplied. Earlier, during World
War I and in GHQAF, wings had been composite organizations, that is, had been made up of
groups with different kinds of missions. Most of the wings of World War II, however, were
composed of groups with similar functions.
The growth of the air arm resulted in important organizational changes and developments
above the group and wing levels. The separation of the combat organization (GHQAF) from
the logistic organization (Air Corps) created serious problems of coordination. To correct
this condition, GHQAF was placed under the Chief of the Air Corps, Maj. Gen. Henry H.
Arnold, in March 1939. The two organizations were separated again in November 1940, but
about the same time Arnold joined the War Department General Staff as Deputy Chief of
Staff for Air, a position that enabled him to coordinate the two sections of the air arm.
On 20 June 1941 the War Department created the Army Air Forces with the Air Corps and
GHQAF, the latter redesignated Air Force Combat Command, as its major components and with
Arnold as chief. In an Army reorganization on 9 March 1942 the Air Corps and Air Force
Combat Command were discontinued and Arnold was made Commanding General of Army Air
During the war most of the AAF's combat groups and wings were assigned to numbered air
forces. The first four of these air forces had their origins late in 1940 when GHQAF was
becoming so large that its headquarters could not exercise adequate control over the
training and operations of the various GHQAF organizations. General Headquarters Air Force
was subdivided, therefore, into four air districts (Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and
Southwest), which were redesignated First, Second, Third, and Fourth Air Forces early in
1941. These four air forces remained in the United States throughout the war, but others
were established for service overseas: the Fifth, Seventh, Tenth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth,
and Twentieth served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater; the Eighth, Ninth, Twelfth, and
Fifteenth operated in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater, the Eighth being
redeployed to the Pacific after the war ended in Europe; the Sixth was in the Panama Canal
Zone and the Eleventh in Alaska.
Some air forces, particularly the larger ones, had subordinate commands (or sometimes
divisions) that provided an additional echelon of organization, by bringing together wings
(or groups) with similar functions. An air force, such as the Ninth, could have a bomber,
a fighter, a troop carrier, and a tactical air command, the number and kind depending upon
the size, functions, and peculiar needs of the air force. There also were some separate
commands, such as the Antisubmarine Command, which were not assigned to numbered air
The arrangement of the various layers of organization is best seen by looking at the
organizational position of some particular squadron, such as the 93rd Bombardment
Squadron, which took part in the B-29 offensive against Japan in 1945. That squadron was
assigned to the 19th Bombardment Group, of the 314th Bombardment Wing, of the XXI Bomber
Command, of the Twentieth Air Force. But the organization was much more complex than is
indicated by such a chain, for operational and administrative requirements resulted in the
establishment of organizations above the numbered air forces. There was, for example, the
U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe, which had some administrative control over both the
Eighth and Ninth Air Forces (the one engaged primarily in strategic and the other in
tactical operations), and which exercised some operational control over the two strategic
air forces in Europe (the Eighth in England and the Fifteenth in Italy). Furthermore,
American organizations sometimes became part of combined (i.e., Allied) commands. In April
1942, for instance, an organization called Allied Air Forces was created in Australia to
control operations of Australian, Dutch, and American air forces; and in February 1943
American, British, and French elements in North Africa were combined to form the Northwest
African Air Forces. The complexity of these organizational arrangements was compounded by
the assignment of AAF units overseas to United States Army organizations, and by the
relationships of those Army organizations to joint (i.e., Army-Navy) and combined
This volume is not concerned with all of this vast organization but with the AAF structure
from groups to numbered air forces. Within those limits, the major attention is focused on
the groups, the basic operational organizations in the aerial war that America fought in
the years between the attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 and the Japanese surrender
on 2 September 1945.
Once the victory had been gained, the United States plunged into demobilization, just as
it had done at the end of the First World War. Officers and men were sent home. Bases were
closed. Airplanes were stored or sold. And by July 1946 the Air Force had only 2 groups
that were ready for combat, although 52 were carried on the list of active organizations. A
new Air Force had to be built on the ruins of demobilization, the goal being 70 groups,
the strength that was authorized for peacetime. In addition, reserve and national guard
forces would be available for active duty in an emergency. There was much opposition,
however, to a large military establishment in peacetime, and to the financial burden such
an establishment placed on the nation. Consequently, the Air Force had to cut to 48
Then came the Korean War, precipitated by the Communist attack on the Republic of Korea on
25 June 1950. The United States rushed combat forces across the Pacific to strengthen
those already present in the Far East. Others were sent to Europe to meet the increasing
threat of Communist aggression in that part of the world. At home the air defense force
was expanded. Under these conditions the number of groups jumped from 48 to 87 within a
year. In June 1952, when the strength was stated in terms of wings rather than groups, the
Air Force had 95. By the end of the Korean War on 27 July 1953 the number of wings had
increased to 106. The expansion had been accomplished in part by ordering reserve and
national guard organizations to active duty. Those organizations were called for 21
months, but some were relieved before the end of that period. In fact, some reserve
organizations were in active service for only a few days, just long enough to assign their
personnel to other organizations. Most of the reserve and guard elements that served the
full term of 21 months were replaced by newly-activated organizations of the regular Air
The program for expansion had first provided for 95 wings, but that goal was revised in
November 1951 when the Joint Chiefs of Staff authorized a force of 143 wings to be
attained by mid-1955. In 1953 the goal was reduced temporarily to 120 wings by June 1956,
but later the same year it was changed to provide for 137 wings by June 1957. Under these
changing programs the strength of the Air Force, in terms of the number of active wings,
increased steadily. By he beginning of 1956 there were 127 wings, made up of 392 combat
There had been many organizational changes in the period from 1946 to 1956, but the most
important one in the view of the professional airmen was that which gave the Air Force its
independence. Congress provided the necessary legislation in 1947 when it created a
Department of the Air Force and established the United States Air Force as a separate
service equal to the Army and the Navy in the nation's military establishment. On 18
September 1947, W. Stuart Symington became the first Secretary of the Air Force. And a
week later, on 26 September, Gen. Carl Spaatz, who had succeeded Arnold as Commanding
General of the Army Air Forces, became the first Chief of Staff, United States Air Force.
Earlier, on 21 March 1946, Spaatz had undertaken a major reorganization that had included
the establishment of three new combat commands in the United States: Strategic Air Command
(soon known everywhere as SAC), to provide a long-range striking force capable of
bombardment operations in any part of the world Air Defense Command (ADC), to defend the
United States against attack from the air; and Tactical Air Command (TAC), to support the
operations of ground forces. TAC and ADC were reduced from major commands to operating
commands when they were assigned to the Continental Air Command (ConAC) at the time the
latter was established on 1 December 1948. ADC was discontinued on 1 July 1950 but
re-established as a major command on 1 January 1951. A month earlier, on 1 December 1950,
TAC had been removed from the control of ConAC and again made a major command. As a result
of these changes ConAC became responsible mainly for supervising reserve and national
guard affairs. In addition to its commands in the United States, the Air Force had combat
forces stationed overseas, with Far East Air Forces, United States Air Forces in Europe,
Caribbean Air Command, and Alaskan Air Command as the major commands for the various areas
The World War II commands, which had been subordinate to the numbered air forces, were
eliminated in the reorganization of 1946, and the numbered air forces were made components
of the major commands at home and overseas. The new organizational hierarchy thus
contained the following levels: squadron, group, wing, air force, command. In 1948, and
afterward, wings were redesignated divisions, and placed immediately below the numbered
air forces in the organizational pyramid, new wings being constituted and activated to
take the place of the ones that had been elevated to the division level. In addition to
support and service elements, each of these new wings, as a general rule, had one combat
group, which carried the same numerical designation as the wing itself. In 1952, however,
the Air Force began to inactivate the combat groups and assign their combat squadrons
directly to the wings. Consequently no organizations in the Air Force perpetuated the
histories of the World War II combat groups that had been inactivated. The Air Force
decided, therefore, to bestow the histories of combat groups on like-numbered wings. For
example, the 9th Bombardment Wing, created after World War II, received the history of the
9th Bombardment Group, together with the Campaign credits and decorations that had been
earned by the group during the war.
Despite all the changes that had taken place since V-J Day, the Air Force in 1956 was to a
large extent made up of elements that carried on the traditions of organizations that had
been active during World War II. The history of each of those organizations had been
shaped by many forces. Domestic politics, the national economy, and international affairs
were important factors in fixing the size, and hence the number of active groups or wings,
of the Air Force. Science and technology determined the kind of equipment available at any
particular time. Fortune, too, had a part in forming the histories of the various
organizations. It is evident, for example, that chance, rather than design, sometimes
decided which organizations would be kept active and which would be retired. The results
are reflected in the historical sketches presented in this book. Some groups, for
instance, have lengthy records of service; others were created at a relatively late date
or have been inactive for long periods. Some were sent overseas for combat; others were
kept at home. Some received the newest planes from he production lines; others were forced
to use old, worn-out craft.
But no organization had its life shaped entirely by forces beyond its control, for its own
people, the men and women who gave the organization a living existence, made history in
many ways. A fighter pilot flew out to battle and came back an ace. A gunner returned from
a bombing mission to be decorated for bravery above and beyond the call of duty. But one
did not have to be a hero to have a place in history. The mechanic armed with his wrench,
the clerk with his typewriter - each had his own important part to play. And at their head
to lead them was a commander who, by virtue of his authority and responsibility, had a
special role in the historical process.
Thus, through the workings of numerous and diverse forces, each organization acquired a
historic character and personality of its own. At the same time, each contributed to the
development of a larger history that goes back to a day in 1907 when the Army named a
captain to take "charge of all matters pertaining to military ballooning, air
machines, and all kindred subjects."
I. Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps
Officer in Charge: Capt Charles DeF Chandler, 1 Aug 1907; Capt A S Cowan, 1 July 1910;
Capt Charles DeF Chandler, 20 Jun 1911; Lt Henry H Arnold, 18 Nov 1912; Maj Edgar Russell,
15 Dec 1912; Lt Col Samuel Reber, 10 Sep 1913-18 Jul 1914.
II. Aviation Section, Signal Corps
Officer in Charge: Lt Col Samuel Reber, 18 Jul 1914; Lt Col George O Squier, 20 May 1916;
Lt Col J B Bennett, 19 Feb 1917; Maj Benjamin D Foulois, 30 Jul 1917; Brig Gen A L Dade,
12 Nov 1917; Col Laurence Brown, 28 Feb 1918-21 May 1918.
III a. Division of Military Aeronautics
Director: Maj Gen William L Kenly, 27 Apr 1918 - (under Director, Air Service after 27 Aug
III b. Bureau of Aircraft Production
Director: Mr John D Ryan, 21 May 1918 - (under Director, Air Service after 27 Aug 1918).
IV. Air Service
Director: Mr John D Ryan, 27 Aug 1918; Maj Gen Charles T Menoher, 23 Dec 1918-4 Jun 1920.
Chief: Maj Gen Charles T Menoher, 4 Jun 1920; Maj Gen Mason M Patrick, 5 Oct 1921-2 Jul
V a. Air Corps
Chief: Maj Gen Mason M Patrick, 2 Jul 1926; Maj Gen J E Fechet, 14 Dec 1927; Maj Gen
Benjamin D Foulois, 19 Dec 1931; Maj Gen Oscar Westover, 22 Dec 1935; Maj Gen Henry H
Arnold, 22 Sep 1938; Maj Gen George H Brett, 30 May 1941 - (under Chief, AAF after 20 Jun
V b. General Headquarters Air Force, redesignated Air Force Combat Command
Commanding General: Maj Gen Frank M Andrews, 1 Mar 1935; Lt Gen Delos C Emmons, 1 Mar 1939
- (under Chief, AAF after 20 Jun 1941).
VI. Army Air Forces
Chief: Lt Gen Henry H Arnold, 20 Jun 1941-9 Mar 1942. Commanding General: General of the
Army Henry H Arnold, 9 Mar 1942; Gen Carl Spaatz, 15 Feb 1946-26 Sep 1947.
VII. United States Air Force
Chief of Staff: Gen Carl Spaatz, 26 Sep 1947; Gen Hoyt S Vandenberg, 30 Apr 1948; Gen
Nathan F Twining, 30 Jun 1953; Gen Thomas D White, 1 Jul 1957-.
1st Air Commando Group - 2nd Bombardment
1st Air Commando Group
Constituted as 1st Air Commando Group on 25 Mar 1944 and
India on 29 Mar. The group, which began operations immediately, was
to provide fighter cover, bombardment striking power, and air transportation
services for Wingate's Raiders, who were operating behind enemy lines in
Burma. The organization consisted of a headquarters plus the following
sections: bomber (equipped with B-25's); fighter (P-51's); light-plane
(L-1's, L-5's, and helicopters) transport (C-47's); glider (CG-4A's and
TG-5's); and light-cargo (UC-64's). The group supported operations in Burma
by landing and dropping troops, food, and equipment; evacuating casualties;
and attacking airfields and transportation facilities. Received a DUC for
operations against the enemy, Mar-May 1944. Withdrew from the front late in
May 1944 and, with the bomber section eliminated and the P-51's replaced by
P-47's, began a training program. Reorganized later, with the sections being
eliminated and with fighter, liaison, and troop carrier squadrons being
assigned. Transported Chinese troops and supplies from Burma to China in Dec
1944, and carried out supply, evacuation, and liaison operations for Allied
troops in Burma until the end of the war. Attacked bridges, railroads,
barges, troop positions, oil wells, and airfields in Burma and escorted
bombers to Rangoon and other targets during the early months of 1945.
from P-47's to P-51's in May 1945, the fighter squadrons being engaged in
training from then until the end of the war. Moved to the US in Oct 1945.
Inactivated on 3 Nov 1945. Disbanded on 8 Oct 1948.
Squadrons. 5th Fighter: 1944-1945. 6th Fighter: 1944-1945.
Liaison: 1944-1945. 165th Liaison: 1944-1945. 166th Liaison: 1944-1945.
319th Troop Carrier: 1944-1945.
Stations. Hailakandi, India, 29 Mar 1944; Asansol, India, 20
Oct 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 1-3 Nov 1945.
Commanders. Col Philip G Cochran, 29 Mar 1944; Col Clinton B
May 1944; Col Robert W Hall, c. 7 Apr 1945-unkn.
Campaigns. India-Burma; Central Burma.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Burma and India,
[Mar 1944]-20 May 1944.
1st Combat Cargo Group
Constituted as 1st Combat Cargo Group on 11 Apr 1944 and
activated on 15
Apr. Equipped with C-47's. Moved to the CBI theater in Aug 1944. Began
operations in Sep 1944 by transporting supplies and reinforcements to and
evacuating casualties from Imphal, Burma. Continued to support Allied
operations in Burma, flying in men and supplies from India, moving equipment
required to construct and operate airstrips, dropping dummy cargoes to lead
the enemy away from Allied offensives, dropping paratroops for the assault
Rangoon (May 1945), and evacuating prisoners of war who were freed by Allied
advances. Meanwhile, part of the group had been sent to China, and for a
short time (Dec 1944-Jan 1945) the group's headquarters was located there.
Operations in China included helping to evacuate the air base at Kweilin
during a Japanese drive in Sep 1944, moving Chinese troops, and flying many
supply missions, some of which involved ferrying gasoline and materiel over
the Hump from India. The group, partially re-equipped with C-46's in Jun
1945, engaged primarily in transporting men, food, arms, and ammunition
the end of the war. Redesignated 512th Troop Carrier Group in Sep 1945.
Returned to the US in Dec 1945. Inactivated on 24 Dec 1945.
Redesignated 512th Troop Carrier Group (Medium) and allotted
reserve. Activated on 2 Sep 1949. Equipped with C-46's. Ordered to active
service on 15 Mar 1951. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1951.
Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 14 Jun 1952. Equipped
Squadrons. 1st (later 326th): 1944-1945; 1949-1951; 1952-.
327th): 1944-1945; 1949-1951; 1952-. 3rd (later 328th): 1944-1945;
1949-1951; 1952-. 4th (later 329th): 1944-1945; 1949-1951.
Stations. Bowman Field, Ky, 15 Apr-5 Aug 1944; Sylhet,
India, 21 Aug
1944; Tulihal, India, 30 Nov 1944; Tsuyung, China, 20 Dec 1944; Dohazari,
India, 30 Jan 1945; Hathazari, India, 15 May 1945; Myitkyina, Burma, Jun
Liuchow, China, 30 Aug 1945; Kiangwan, China, 9 Oct-3 Dec 1945; Camp Anza,
Calif, 23-24 Dec 1945. Reading Mun Aprt, Pa, 2 Sept 1949; New Castle County
Aprt, Del, 1 May 1950-1 Apr 1951. New Castle County Aprt, Del, 14 Jun 1952-.
Commanders. Lt Col Robert Rentz, 21 Apr 1944; Lt Col Walter
P Briggs, 28
Apr 1945; Maj Samuel B Ward, 18 Aug 1945; Maj Maurice D Watson, 9 Sep 1945;
Maj Wilbur B Sprague, 18 Sep 1945; Col H Snyder, 24 Nov 1945; Capt Dixon M
Jordan, 29 Nov-c. 24 Dec 1945.
Campaigns. India-Burma; China Defensive; Central Burma;
Insigne. Shield: On a shield azure, over a sphere argent,
of the field, a stylized aircraft gules, with highlights of the second, its
road-like jet stream encircling the sphere or, shaded gules, with center
dash-like markings and all outlines of the first. (Approved 21 Jan 1958.)
1st Fighter Group
Organized as 1st Pursuit Group in France on 5 May 1918.
immediately and served at the front until the end of the war, using
Nieuport-28, Spad, and Sopwith Camel aircraft. Protected friendly
balloons and planes, and made strafing attacks on enemy ground forces, but
engaged primarily in counter-air patrols in which the group's pilots gained
many victories over enemy aircraft and destroyed numerous observation
balloons. Two of the group's pilots were awarded the Medal of Honor: 1st Lt
(later Capt) Edward V Rickenbacker - America's World War I "Ace of
served as commander of the 94th (Hat-in-the-Ring) Squadron - received the
medal for action near Billy, France, on 25 Sep 1918 when, disregarding the
heavy odds, he attacked a flight of seven enemy planes and shot down two of
them; 2nd Lt Frank Luke Jr - the "balloon buster" - was awarded
the medal for
attacking and shooting down three German balloons on 29 Sep 1918 before his
plane was hit and forced to land near Murvaux, France, where he died while
defending himself against capture by enemy ground troops. Demobilized in
France on 24 Dec 1918.
Reconstituted in 1924 and consolidated with 1st Pursuit
Group that had
been organized in the US on 22 Aug 1919. Redesignated 1st Pursuit Group
(Interceptor) in Dec 1939, and 1st Pursuit Group (Fighter) in Mar 1941.
Trained, participated in exercises and maneuvers, put on demonstrations,
part in National Air Races, tested equipment, and experimented with tactics,
using Spad, Nieuport, DeHavilland, SE-5, MB-3, PW-8, P-1, P-6, PT-3, P-16,
P-26, P-35, P-36, P-38, P-41, P-43, and other aircraft during the period
1919-1941. Was the only pursuit group in the Army's air arm for several
years; later, furnished cadres for new units. Moved to the west coast
immediately after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and flew patrols for
several weeks. Redesignated 1st Fighter Group in May 1942.
Moved to England, Jun-Jul 1942. Assigned to Eighth AF.
with P-38 aircraft on 28 Aug and flew a number of missions to France before
being assigned to Twelfth AF for duty in the Mediterranean theater. Moved to
North Africa, part of the ground echelon landing with the assault forces at
Arzeu beach on 8 Nov 1942. The air echelon arrived a few days later and the
group soon began operations, attacking enemy shipping, escorting bombers,
flying strafing missions, and performing reconnaissance duties during the
campaign for Tunisia. Participated in the reduction of Pantelleria. Escorted
bombers to targets in Sicily and later aided ground forces during the
of that island by strafing and dive-bombing roads, motor transports, gun
emplacements, troop concentrations, bridges, and railways. Flew missions
against the enemy in Italy and received a DUC for its performance on 25 Aug
1943 when the group carried out a strafing attack on Italian airdromes,
destroying great numbers of enemy aircraft that presented a serious threat
the Allies' plans for landing troops at Salerno. Also escorted bombers to
Italy, receiving another DUC for a mission on 30 Aug 1943 when the group
off enemy aircraft and thus enabled bombers to inflict serious damage on
marshalling yards at Aversa. Supported the invasion at Salerno in Sep and
continued operations with Twelfth AF until Nov 1943. Assigned to Fifteenth
with the primary mission of escorting bombers that attacked targets in
France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Rumania,
Yugoslavia, and Greece. Received third DUC for covering the withdrawal of
B-17's after an attack on Ploesti on 18 May 1944. Also flew strafing and
dive-bombing missions in an area from France to the Balkans. Supported the
landings at Anzio in Jan 1944 and the invasion of Southern France in Aug
Continued operations until May 1945. Inactivated in Italy on 16 Oct 1945.
Activated in the US on 3 Jul 1946. Equipped first with
P-80's and later
(1949) with F-86's. Redesignated 1st Fighter-Interceptor Group in Apr 1950.
Inactivated on 6 Feb 1952.
Redesignated 1st Fighter Group (Air Defense). Activated on
18 Aug 1955.
Assigned to Air Defense Command and equipped with F-86 aircraft.
Squadrons. 17th (formerly 147th): 1918; 1919-1940. 27th:
1919-1945; 1946-1952. 71st: 1941-1945; 1946-1952; 1955-. 94th: 1918;
1919-1945; 1946-1952; 1955-. 95th: 1918; 1919-1927. 185th: 1918.
Stations. Toul, France, 5 May 1918; Touquin, France, 28 Jun
Saints, France, 9 Jul 1918; Rembercourt, France, c. 1 Sep 1918;
Colombey-les-Belles, France, c. 9-24 Dec 1918. Selfridge Field, Mich, 22 Aug
1919; Kelly Field, Tex, c. 31 Aug 1919; Ellington Field, Tex, 1 Jul 1921;
Selfridge Field, Mich, 1 Jul 1922; San Diego NAS, Calif, 9 Dec 1941; Los
Angeles, Calif, 1 Feb-May 1942; Goxhill, England, 10 Jun 1942; Ibsley,
England, 24 Aug 1942; Tafaraoui, Algeria, 13 Nov 1942; Nouvion, Algeria, 20
Nov 1942; Biskra, Algeria, 14 Dec 1942; Chateaudun-du-Rhumel, Algeria, Feb
1943; Mateur, Tunisia, 29 Jun 1943; Sardinia, 31 Oct 1943; Gioia del Colle,
Italy, c. 8 Dec 1943; Salsola Airfield, Italy, 8 Jan 1944; Vincenzo
Italy, 8 Jan 1945; Salsola Airfield, Italy, 21 Feb 1945; Lesina, Italy,
Oct 1945. March Field, Calif, 3 Jul 1946; George AFB, Calif, 18 Jul 1950;
Griffiss AFB, NY, 15 Aug 1950; George AFB, Calif, 4 Jun 1951; Norton AFB,
Calif, 1 Dec 1951-6 Feb 1952. Selfridge AFB, Mich, 18 Aug 1955-.
Commanders. Maj Bert M Atkinson, 5 May 1918; Maj Harold E
Aug-24 Dec 1918. Lt Col Davenport Johnson, 22-29 Aug 1919; Capt Arthur R
Brooks, unkn; Maj Carl Spaatz, c. Nov 1921-Sep 1924; Maj Thomas G Lanphier,
unkn; Maj Ralph Royce, 1928; Lt Col Charles H Danforth, c. 1930; Maj George
Brett, unkn; Lt Col Frank M Andrews, c. Jul 1933; Lt Col Ralph Royce, 1934;
Maj Edwin House, 30 Apr 1937; Col Henry B Clagett, c. 1938; Col Lawrence P
Hickey, c. 1939; Lt Col Robert S Israel, Jul 1941; Maj John O Zahn, 1 May
1942; Col John N Stone, 9 Jul 1942; Col Ralph S Garman, 7 Dec 1942; Maj
S Peddie, 8 Sep 1943; Col Robert B Richard, 19 Sep 1943; Col Arthur C Agan
15 Nov 1944; Lt Col Milton H Ashkins, 31 Mar 1945; Lt Col Charles W Thaxton,
11 Apr 1945; Col Milton H Ashkins, 28 Apr 1945-unkn. Col Bruce K Holloway, 3
Jul 1946; Col Gilbert L Meyers, 20 Aug 1946; Col Frank S Perego, Jan 1948;
Col Jack T Bradley, Jul 1950; Col Dolf E Muehleisen, Jun 1951; Col Walker M
Mahurin, 1951; Capt Robert B Bell, Jan-c. Feb 1952. Col Norman S Orwat,
Campaigns. World War I: Lorraine; Champagne;
Aisne-Marne; Oise-Aisne; St Mihiel; Meuse-Argonne. World War II: Air Combat,
EAME Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Algeria-French Morocco; Tunisia;
Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France;
North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Po Valley.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Italy, 25 Aug
30 Aug 1943; Ploesti, Rumania, 18 May 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Vert five bendlets enhanced sable
fimbriated or, as
many crosses patee in bend debased three and two of the second fimbriated
argent. Crest: Upon a wreath of the colors or and vert upon a hurte wavy an
arrow palewise reversed between two wings displayed conjoined in lure or.
Motto: Aut Vincere Aut Mori - Conquer or Die. (Approved 10 Feb 1924.)
1st Photographic Group
Constituted as 1st Photographic Group on 15 May 1941.
Activated on 10
Jun 1941. Redesignated 1st Mapping Group in Jan 1942, and 1st Photographic
Charting Group in Aug 1943. Charted and mapped areas of the US and sent
detachments to perform similar functions in Alaska, Canada, Africa, the
East, India, the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America, and the
Used a variety of aircraft, including F-2's, F-3's, F-7's, A-29's, B-17's,
B-18's, B-24's, and B-25's. Disbanded on 5 Oct 1944.
Squadrons. 1st: 1941-1943. 2d: 1941-1944. 3d: 1941-1943.
1941-1944. 6th: 1943-1944. 19th: 1943. 91st: 1943-1944.
Stations. Bolling Field, DC, 10 Jun 1941; Peterson Field,
1943; Buckley Field, Colo, Jul-5 Oct 1944.
Commanders. Lt Col Minton W Kaye, 10 Jun 1941; Lt Col George
c. 1 Feb 1942; Col Paul T Cullen, 8 Jul 1942; Col Minton W Kaye, c. 1 Jul
1943; Col George G Northrup, c. 18 Nov 1943; Lt Col Frank N Graves, c. 1 Dec
Campaigns. American Theater.
Insigne. Shield: Per pale, vert and azure, a pile or
debruised by a
barrulet arched of the field upon and over the pile a camera lens proper
rimmed sable. Motto: Fideliter et Diligenter - Faithfully and Diligently.
(Approved 24 Oct 1942.)
1st Search Attack Group
Constituted as 1st Sea-Search Attack Group (Medium) on 8 Jun
activated on 17 Jun. Redesignated 1st Sea-Search Attack Group (Heavy) in Jun
1943, 1st Sea-Search Attack Unit in Sep 1943, and 1st Search Attack Group in
Nov 1943. Assigned directly to AAF in Jul 1942; assigned to First AF in Nov
1943. Tested equipment and developed techniques and tactics for use against
submarines and surface craft; also flew patrol missions and searched for
submarines. Late in 1943 became concerned primarily with radar training for
combat crews. Used B-17, B-18, and B-24 aircraft. Disbanded on 10 Apr 1944.
Squadrons. 2d: 1942-1944. 3d: 1942-1944. 4th (formerly 18th
Stations. Langley Field, Va, 17 Jun 1942-10 Apr 1944.
Commanders. Col William C Dolan, 17 Jun 1942-10 Apr 1944.
Campaigns. Antisubmarine, American Theater.
2nd Air Commando Group
Constituted as 2nd Air Commando Group on 11 Apr 1944 and
activated on 22
Apr. Trained for operations with P-51, C-47, and L-5 aircraft. Moved to
India, Sep-Nov 1944. Between Nov 1944 and May 1945 the group dropped
to Allied troops who were fighting the Japanese in the Chindwin Valley in
Burma; moved Chinese troops from Burma to China; transported men, food,
ammunition, and construction equipment to Burma; dropped Gurkha paratroops
during the assault on Rangoon; provided fighter support for Allied forces
crossing the Irrawaddy River in Feb 1945; struck enemy airfields and
transportation facilities; escorted bombers to targets in the vicinity of
Rangoon; bombed targets in Thailand; and flew reconnaissance missions. After
May 1945 the fighter squadrons were in training; in Jun the group's C-47's
were sent to Ledo to move road-building equipment; during Jun-Jul most of
L-5's were turned over to Fourteenth AF. The group returned to the US during
Oct-Nov 1945. Inactivated on 12 Nov 1945. Disbanded on 8 Oct 1948.
Squadrons. 1st Fighter: 1944-1945. 2nd Fighter: 1944-1945.
Liaison: 1944-1945. 155th Liaison: 1944-1945. 156th Liaison: 1944-1945.
317th Troop Carrier: 1944-1945.
Stations. Drew Field, Fla, 22 Apr-28 Sep 1944; Kalaikunda,
India, 12 Nov
1944-4 Oct 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 11-12 Nov 1945.
Commanders. Capt L H Couch, 22 Apr 1944; Col Arthur R DeBolt,
1944; Col Alfred Ball Jr, 15 May 1945-unkn.
Campaigns. India-Burma; Central Burma.
2nd Bombardment Group
Organized as 1st Day Bombardment Group in France on 10 Sep
Equipped with DH-4 and Breguet aircraft and entered combat on 12 Sep.
Attacked troop concentrations and communications to interfere with the
movement of reinforcements and supplies to the front during the Allied
offensive at St Mihiel. Also took part in the Meuse-Argonne campaign,
attacking the enemy behind the line, and conducting bombing operations that
helped to protect Allied ground forces by diverting German pursuit planes
the battle zone. Participated in one of the great bombing raids of the war
when 353 Allied planes (including 200 bombers) under the command of William
Mitchell struck a concentration point where German troops were preparing for
counterattack against the Allied offensive in the Meuse-Argonne area.
Demobilized in France in Nov 1918, soon after the armistice.
Reconstituted (in 1924) and consolidated with a group that
in the US as 1st Day Bombardment Group on 18 Sep 1919 and redesignated 2d
Bombardment Group in 1921. Used LB-5A, B-10, B-17 (1937-), B-15 (1938-), and
other aircraft during the 1920's and 1930's. Engaged in routine training;
tested and experimented with equipment and tactics; participated in
took part in Mitchell's demonstrations of the effectiveness of aerial
bombardment on battleships; flew mercy missions to aid victims of a flood in
Pennsylvania in 1936 and victims of an earthquake in Chile in 1939; and made
goodwill flights to South America in the late 1930's. Redesignated 2d
Bombardment Group (Heavy) in 1939. Trained with B-17's.
Served on antisubmarine duty for several months after the US
World War II. Moved to North Africa, Mar-May 1943, and remained in the
theater until after V-E Day, being assigned first to Twelfth and later (Dec
1943) to Fifteenth AF. Flew many support and interdictory missions, bombing
such targets as marshalling yards, airdromes, troop concentrations, bridges,
docks, and shipping. Participated in the defeat of Axis forces in Tunisia,
Apr-May 1943; the reduction of Pantelleria and the preparations for the
invasion of Sicily, May-Jul 1943; the invasion of Italy, Sep 1943; the drive
toward Rome, Jan-Jun 1944; the invasion of Southern France, Aug 1944; and
campaigns against German forces in northern Italy, Jun 1944-May 1945.
primarily in long-range bombardment of strategic targets after Oct 1943,
attacking oil refineries, aircraft factories, steel plants, and other
objectives in Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia,
Rumania, and Greece. En route to bomb a vital aircraft factory at Steyr on
Feb 1944, the group was greatly outnumbered by enemy interceptors, but it
maintained its formation and bombed the target, receiving a DUC for the
performance. On the following day, while on a mission to attack aircraft
factories at Regensburg, it met similar opposition equally well and was
awarded a second DUC. Served as part of the occupation force in Italy after
V-E Day. Inactivated in Italy on 28 Feb 1946.
Redesignated 2d Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Activated in
the US on 1
Jul 1947. Assigned to Strategic Air Command and equipped with B-29's.
Redesignated 2d Bombardment Group (Medium) in May 1948. Converted to B-50's
early in 1950. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952.
Squadrons. 11th: 1918; 1919-1927. 20th: 1918; 1919-1946;
49th (formerly 166th): 1918; 1919-1946; 1947-1952. 96th: 1918; 1919-1946;
1947-1952. 429th: 1942-1946.
Stations. Amanty, France, 10 Sep 1918; Maulan, France, 23
Ellington Field, Tex, 18 Sep 1919; Kelly Field, Tex, c. 25 Sep 1919; Langley
Field, Va, 1 Jul 1922; Ephrata, Wash, 29 Oct 1942; Great Falls AAB, Mont, 27
Nov 1942-13 May 1943; Navarin, Algeria, Apr 1943; Chateaudun-du-Rhumel,
Algeria, 17 Jun 1943; Massicault, Tunisia, 31 Jul 1943; Bizerte, Tunisia, 2
Dec 1943; Amendola, Italy, c. 9 Dec 1943; Foggia, Italy, 19 Nov 1945-28 Feb
1946. Andrews Field, Md, 1 Jul 1947; Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz, 24 Sep 1947;
Chatham AFB, Ga, c. 1 May 1949; Hunter AFB, Ga, 22 Sep 1950-16 Jun 1952.
Commanders. Unkn, Sep-Nov 1918. Unkn, Sep 1919-May 1921; Maj
Hanley Jr, May-Sep 1921; Maj Lewis H Brereton, Jun 1925; Maj Hugh Knerr, Jul
1927-Sep 1930; Capt Eugene L Eubank, 26 Dec 1933; Maj Willis H Hale, 1 Jul
1934; Lt Col Charles B Oldfield, 1935; Lt Col Robert C Olds, c. 1937-unkn;
Col Darr H Alkire, 6 Jan 1942; Col Dale O Smith, c. Sep 1942; Col Ford J
Lauer, 29 Oct 1942; Lt Col Joseph A Thomas, 20 Apr 1943; Col Herbert E Rice,
Sep 1943; Col John D Ryan, 8 Jul 1944; Col Paul T Cullen, 25 Sep 1944; Col
Robert K Martin, 23 May 1945-20 Feb 1946. Unkn, Jul-Sep 1947; Col William E
Eubank Jr, 3 Aug 1948; Col James B Knapp, Jan 1950; Col Earl R Tash, Jan
Brig Gen Frederic E Glantzberg, 10 Feb 1951; Col John M Reynolds, c. 14
Campaigns. World War I: St Mihiel; Lorraine; Meuse-Argonne.
II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Combat, EAME Theater; Air
Europe; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern
France; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Po
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Steyr, Austria,
24 Feb 1944;
Germany, 25 Feb 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Or, in fess four aerial bombs dropping bend
sinisterwise azure, on a chief engrailed paly of five vert and sable a
fleur-de-lis argent. Crest: A cloud (gray) rifted disclosing the firmament
(blue) crossed by a bolt of lightning (yellow) striking bend sinisterwise
proper. Motto: Libertatem Defendimus - Liberty We Defend. (Approved 19 Jan
1924. The motto then approved was replaced on 15 Apr 1940 by the one shown
2d Combat Cargo Group - 4th Fighter Group
2d Combat Cargo Group
Constituted as 2nd Combat Cargo Group on 25 Apr 1944.
Activated on 1 May
1944. Trained with C-46 and C-47 aircraft. Moved to the Southwest Pacific,
Oct-Nov 1944, and assigned to Fifth AF. Operated from Biak to fly passengers
and cargo to US bases in Australia, New Guinea, the Admiralties, and the
Philippines. Also dropped supplies to US and guerrilla forces in the
Philippines. Moved to Leyte in May 1945. Maintained flights to bases in
Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines; transported personnel and
to the Ryukyus, and evacuated casualties on return flights. Moved to Okinawa
in Aug 1945. Transported personnel and equipment of the occupation forces to
Japan and ferried liberated prisoners of war to the Philippines. Moved to
Japan in Sep 1945. Inactivated on 15 Jan 1946. Disbanded on 8 Oct 1948.
Squadrons. 5th: 1944-1946. 6th: 1944-1946. 7th: 1944-1946.
Stations. Syracuse AAB, NY, 1 May 1944; Baer Field, Ind,
9-27 Oct 1944;
Biak, Nov 1944; Dulag, Leyte, May 1945; Okinawa, c. 20 Aug 1945; Yokota,
Japan, c. 22 Sep 1945-15 Jan 1946.
Commanders. Col William Bell, May 1944; Maj Arthur D Thomas,
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Japan; New Guinea; Western
Luzon; Southern Philippines; Ryukyus.
Decorations. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
2d Reconnaissance Group
Constituted as 2nd Photographic Group on 1 May 1942 and
activated on 7
May. Redesignated 2nd Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group in May
1943, and 2nd Photographic Reconnaissance Group in Aug 1943. Assigned first
to Second AF, later to Third AF. Trained crews and units for photographic
reconnaissance and mapping; occasionally provided personnel to help man new
groups and squadrons. Aircraft included B-17's, B-24's, B-25's, L-4's,
P-38's, and A-20's. Disbanded on 1 May 1944.
Squadrons. 6th: 1942. 7th: 1942-1944. 10th: 1942-1944. 11th
(formerly 5th): 1942-1944. 29th: 1943-1944.
Stations. Bradley Field, Conn, 7 May 1942; Colorado Springs,
Colo, c. 13
May 1942; Will Rogers Field, Okla, c. 7 Oct 1943-1 May 1944.
Commanders. Capt Paul C Schauer, 9 May 1942; Lt Col Charles
c. 13 May 1942; Lt Col David W Hutchinson, c. 5 Jul 1942; Lt Col Charles P
Hollstein, c. 13 Aug 1942; Lt Col Hillford R Wallace, c. 11 Sep 1942; Lt Col
David W Hutchinson, c. 27 Feb 1943; Lt Col Karl L Polifka, 13 Mar 1943; Lt
Hillford R Wallace, c. 29 Apr 1943; Lt Col Charles P Hollstein, 18 Sep 1943;
Lt Col Frank L Dunn, 4 Dec 1943-unkn.
Campaigns. American Theater.
Insigne. Shield: Per bend nebuly and azure, in sinister
stylized camera, lens to base sable. Motto: In Ardua Petit - He Aims at
Difficult Things. (Approved 12 Nov 1942.)
3rd Air Commando Group
Constituted as 3rd Air Commando Group on 25 Apr 1944.
Activated on 1 May
1944. Moved to the Philippines late in 1944. Assigned to Fifth AF for
operations with P-51, C-47, and L-5 aircraft. Attacked Japanese airfields
installations in the Philippines, supported ground forces on Luzon, provided
escort for missions to Formosa and the China coast, made raids on airfields
and railways on Formosa, and furnished cover for convoys. Also transported
personnel, dropped supplies to ground troops and guerrilla forces, evacuated
casualties from front-line strips, adjusted artillery fire, and flew courier
and mail routes. Moved to the Ryukyus in Aug 1945. Flew some patrols over
Japan, made local liaison flights, and hauled cargo from the Philippines to
Okinawa. Moved to Japan in Oct 1945. Inactivated on 25 Mar 1946. Disbanded
on 8 Oct 1948.
Squadrons. 3rd Fighter: 1944-1946. 4th Fighter: 1944-1946.
Liaison: 1944-1946. 159th Liaison: 1944-1946. 160th Liaison: 1944-1946.
318th Troop Carrier: 1944-1946.
Stations. Drew Field, Fla, 1 May 1944; Lakeland AAFld, Fla,
5 May 1944;
Alachua AAFld, Fla, 20 Aug 1944; Drew Field, Fla, 6-24 Oct 1944; Leyte, Dec
1944; Mangaldan, Luzon, c. 26 Jan 1945; Laoag, Luzon, Apr 1945; Ie Shima,
1945; Chitose, Japan, c. 27 Oct 1945-25 Mar 1946.
Commanders. Maj Klem F Kalberer, May 1944; Col Arvid E Olson
1944; Lt Col Walker M Mahurin, Sep 1945; Lt Col Charles H Terhune, 20 Oct
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Japan; China Defensive; Western
Leyte; Luzon; China Offensive.
Decorations. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
3rd Bombardment Group
Organized as Army Surveillance Group on 1 Jul 1919.
Surveillance Group in Aug 1919. Used DH-4B's to patrol the border from
Brownsville, Tex, to Nogales, Ariz, until 1921. Redesignated 3d Attack Group
in 1921, and 3rd Bombardment Group (Light) in 1939. Equipped with O-1, O-2,
A-5, A-12, A-17, A-18, A-20, A-24, and other aircraft, 1921-1941. Trained,
participated in maneuvers, tested new equipment, experimented with tactics,
flew in aerial reviews, patrolled the Mexican border (1929), and carried air
mail (1934). Furnished personnel for and helped to train new organizations,
Moved to Australia early in 1942 and became part of Fifth
Redesignated 3rd Bombardment Group (Dive) in Sep 1942, and 3rd Bombardment
Group (Light) in May 1943. Served in combat from 1 Apr 1942 until V-J Day.
Used A-20, A-24, and B-25 aircraft for operations.
The group had its headquarters in Australia until Jan 1943,
squadrons operated from New Guinea, bombing and strafing enemy airfields,
supply lines, installations, and shipping as the Allies halted the Japanese
drive toward Port Moresby and drove the enemy back from Buna to Lae. At the
end of that campaign in Jan 1943, headquarters moved to New Guinea. For the
next year and a half the group continued to serve in the Southwest Pacific,
where it played an important role in the offensives in which the Allies
along the northern coast of New Guinea, taking Salamaua, Lae, Hollandia,
Wakde, Biak, and Noemfoor. In Mar 1943 it took part in the Battle of the
Bismarck Sea, which ended Japanese attempts to send convoys to Lae. In Aug
1943, when Fifth AF struck airfields at Wewak to neutralize Japanese
that threatened the advance of Allied forces in New Guinea, the group made
attack in the face of intense antiaircraft fire on 17 Aug, destroyed or
damaged many enemy planes, and won a DUC for the mission. In the fall of
the group struck Japanese naval and air power at Rabaul to support the
assaults on Bougainville and New Britain. In an attack on shipping at
Harbor, New Britain, on 2 Nov 1943, the 3rd group encountered heavy
from enemy fighters and from antiaircraft batteries on the ships. In that
attack Maj Raymond H Wilkins, commander of the 8th squadron, sank two ships
before he was shot down as he deliberately drew the fire of a destroyer so
that other planes of his squadron could withdraw safely - an action for
Maj Wilkins was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The group moved to
the Philippines late in 1944. Equipped with A-20's, it bombed and strafed
airfields; supported ground forces on Mindoro, Luzon, and Mindanao; attacked
industries and railways on Formosa; and struck shipping along the China
Moved to Okinawa early in Aug 1945 and flew some missions to Japan before
war ended. Moved to Japan in Sep 1945 and, as part of Far East Air Forces,
became part of the army of occupation.
Served in combat in the Korean War from 27 Jun 1950 until
on 27 Jul 1953. Operated first from Japan and later from Korea, using B-26
aircraft. Flew most of its missions at night to attack such targets as
airfields, vehicles, and railways. Capt John S Walmsley Jr was posthumously
awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on 14 Sep 1944: flyding a night
mission in a B-26, Capt Walmsley discovered and attacked an enemy supply
train, and after exhausting his ammunition he flew at low altitude to direct
other aircraft to the same objective; the train was destroyed but Walmsley's
plane crashed in the target area. The group returned to Japan in 1954.
Redesignated 3rd Bombardment Group (Tactical) in Oct 1955.
Squadrons. 8th: 1919-. 12th: 1919-1921. 13th (formerly
1919-1924; 1929-. 26th: 1921-1929. 51st: 1935-1936. 89th (formerly
10th): 1941-1946. 90th: 1919-.
Stations. Kelly Field, Tex, 1 Jul 1919; Ft Bliss, Tex, 12
Kelly Field, Tex, 2 Jul 1921; Ft Crockett, Tex, 1 Jul 1926; Barksdale Field,
La, 28 Feb 1935; Savannah, Ga, 6 Oct 1940-19 Jan 1942; Brisbane, Australia,
Feb 1942; Charters Towers, Australia, 10 Mar 1942; Port Moresby, New Guinea,
28 Jan 1943; Dobodura, New Guinea, 20 May 1943; Nadzab, New Guinea, 3 Feb
1944; Hollandia, New Guinea, 12 May 1944; Dulag, Leyte, 16 Nov 1944; San
Mindoro, c. 30 Dec 1944; Okinawa, 6 Aug 1945; Atsugi, Japan, c. 8 Sep 1945;
Yokota, Japan, 1 Sep 1946; Johnson AB, Japan, c. 15 Mar 1950; Iwakuni,
1 Jul 1950; Kunsan, Korea, 22 Aug 1951; Johnson AB, Japan, c. 5 Oct 1954-.
Commanders. Maj B B Butler, 1 Jul 1919; Maj William G
Schauffler Jr, 1
Sep 1919; Lt Col Henry B Clagett, 27 Sep 1919; Maj Leo A Walton, 20 Nov
Maj Leo G Heffernan, 10 Oct 1921; Lt Col Seth W Cook, 22 Aug 1922; Maj Lewis
Brereton, 5 Feb 1923; Maj Harvey B S Burwell, 25 Jun 1924; Capt Joseph H
Davidson, Feb 1926; Maj Frank D Lackland, 26 Jun 1926; Maj John H Jouett, 15
Aug 1928; Maj Davenport Johnson, 27 Feb 1930; Lt Col Horace M. Hickam, 18
1932; Lt Col Earl L Naiden, 5 Nov 1934; Col A Rader, Jul 1937; Maj O S
Aug 1938; Col John C McDonnell, Sep 1938; Lt Col R G Breen, Nov 1940; Lt Col
Paul L Williams, Dec 1940; Lt Col Phillips Melville, 18 Aug 1941; 1st Lt
Robert F Strickland, 19 Jan 1942; Col John H Davies, 2 Apr 1942; Lt Col
F Strickland, 26 Oct 1942; Maj Donald P Hall, 28 Apr 1943; Lt Col James A
Downs, 20 Oct 1943; Col John P Henebry, 7 Nov 1943; Lt Col Richard H Ellis,
Jun 1944; Col John P Henebry, 30 Oct 1944; Col Richard H Ellis, 28 Dec 1944;
Col Charles W Howe, 1 May 1945; Lt Col James E Sweeney, 7 Dec 1945; Maj L B
Weigold, c. 7 Feb 1946; Col Edward H Underhill, 23 Apr 1946; Lt Col John P
Crocker, 3 Jan 1947; Col Edward H Underhill, 28 Mar 1947; Col James R Gunn
2 Jun 1947; Lt Col Joseph E Payne, 27 Sep 1948; Col Donald L Clark, 3 Jan
1950; Lt Col Leland A Walker, Jr, 5 Aug 1950; Col Henry C Brady, 17 Oct
Col Chester H Morgan, 4 Jan 1952; Col William G Moore, 17 Jan 1952; Col
Sherman R Beaty, 1952; Col John G Napier, 1 Apr 1953; Col Straughan D
22 Jul 1953; Col William H Matthews, 18 Aug 1953; Col Sam L Barr, 2 Feb
Col Rufus H Holloway, 21 Sep 1954; Lt Col William D Miner, 9 Jun 1955; Lt
Charles E Mendel, 25 Jul 1955; Col Rufus H Holloway, 17 Aug 1955-.
Campaigns. World War II: East Indies; Air Offensive, Japan;
Defensive; Papua; New Guinea; Bismarck Archipelago; Western Pacific; Leyte;
Luzon; China Offensive. Korean War: UN Defensive; UN Offensive; CCF
Intervention; 1st UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall
Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1952; Third Korean
Korea Summer-Fall, 1953.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Papua, 23 Jul
1943; New Guinea, 17 Aug 1943; Korea, 27 Jun-31 Jul 1950; Korea, 22 Apr-8
1951; Korea, 1 May-27 Jul 1953. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation: 27 Jun-31 Jul 1950.
Insigne. Shield: Party per bend vert and sable in chief a
(prickly pear) or, a bend azure fimbriated of the third, all within a
argent charged with nineteen crosses patee of the second. Crest: On a wreath
of the colors an arm couped near the shoulder paleways with hand clenched
proper between two wings conjoined in lure argent. Motto: Non Solum Armis -
Not by Arms Alone. (Approved 17 Jan 1922. This insigne was modified 22 Dec
3rd Combat Cargo Group
Constituted as 3rd Combat Cargo Group on 1 Jun 1944 and
India on 5 Jun. Equipped with C-47's. Supported ground forces during the
battle for northern Burma and the subsequent Allied drive southward. Flew
Allied troops and materiel to the front, transporting gasoline, oil,
engineering and signal equipment, and other items that the group either
or dropped in Burma. Also evacuated wounded personnel to India. Moved to
Burma in Jun 1945. Hauled gasoline and other supplies to bases in western
China. Redesignated 513th Troop Carrier Group in Sep 1945. Moved to China in
Nov. Inactivated on 15 Apr 1946.
Redesignated 513th Troop Carrier Group (Special). Activated
on 19 Nov 1948. Assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe. Using
C-54's, transported food, coal, and other supplies during the Berlin
1948-1949. Inactivated in Germany on 16 Oct 1949.
Redesignated 513th Troop Carrier Group (Assault, Fixed
in the US on 8 Nov 1955. Assigned to Tactical Air Command and equipped with
Squadrons. 9th (later 330th): 1944-1946; 1948-1949; 1955-.
331st): 1944-1945; 1948-1949; 1955-. 11th (late 332nd): 1944-1946;
1948-1949; 1955-. 12th (later 333rd): 1944-1945; 1948-1949.
Stations. Sylhet, India, 5 Jun 1944; Dinjan, India, 2 Aug
Myitkyina, Burma, 3 Jun 1945; Shanghai, China, 1 Nov 1945-15 Apr 1946.
Rhein-Main AB, Germany, 19 Nov 1948-16 Oct 1949. Sewart AFB, Tenn, 8 Nov
Commanders. Col Charles D Farr, 5 Jun 1944; Col Hiette S
Williams Jr, 25
Oct 1944; Col G Robert Dodson, 21 Apr 1945; Col Hugh D Wallace, 17 Jun 1945;
Lt Col George H Van Deusan, unkn-1946. Col John R Roche, 8 Nov 1955-.
1948-1949. Nov 1955-.
Campaigns. India-Burma; Central Burma.
Insigne. Shield: On a shield per fesse dancette azure and
American bald eagle volant, marked with three stars, red, blue, and green,
wings spread upward, carrying with his talons an aircraft wing section
with a gun, supply box, and a combat soldier, all or; in chief a lightning
bolt of the last. Motto: Subsidia Ferimus - We Fly Men and Materiel.
(Approved 3 Apr 1957.)
3rd Reconnaissance Group
Constituted as 3rd Photographic Group on 9 Jun 1942 and
activated on 20
Jun. Redesignated 3rd Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group in May
1943, 3rd Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) in Nov 1943, and 3rd
Reconnaissance Group in May 1945. Moved, via England, to the Mediterranean
theater, Nov-Dec 1942, and assigned to Twelfth AF. Used F-4 and F-5
Provided photographic intelligence that assisted the campaigns for Tunisia,
Pantelleria, Sardinia, and Sicily. Reconnoitered airdromes, roads,
marshalling yards, and harbors both before and after the Allied landings at
Salerno. Covered the Anzio area early in 1944 and continued to support Fifth
Army in its drive through Italy by determining troop movements, gun
and terrain. Flew reconnaissance missions in connection with the invasion of
Southern France in Aug 1944. Received a DUC for a mission on 28 Aug 1944
the group provided photographic intelligence that assisted the rapid advance
of Allied ground forces. Also mapped areas in France and the Balkans.
Inactivated in Italy on 12 Sep 1945. Disbanded on 6 Mar 1947.
Squadrons. 5th: 1942-1945. 12th: 1942-1945. 13th: 1942-1943.
1942-1943. 15th: 1942-1944. 23d: 1944-1945.
Stations. Colorado Springs, Colo, 20 Jun-13 Aug 1942;
8 Sep 1942; Steeple Morden, England, 26 Oct-22 Nov 1942; La Senia, Algeria,
Dec 1942; Algiers, Algeria, 25 Dec 1942; La Marsa, Tunisia, 13 Jun 1943; San
Severo, Italy, 8 Dec 1943; Pomigliano, Italy, 4 Jan 1944; Nettuno, Italy, 16
Jun 1944; Viterbo, Italy, 26 Jun 1944; Corsica, c. 14 Jul 1944; Rosia,
c. Sep 1944; Florence, Italy, 17 Jan 1945; Pomigliano, Italy, 26 Aug-12 Sep
Commanders. Capt George H McBride, 20 Jun 1942; Maj Harry T
Jun 1942; Maj Elliott Roosevelt, 11 Jul 1942; Lt Col Furman H Limeburner, 13
Aug 1942; Col Elliott Roosevelt, 30 Sep 1942; Lt Col Frank L Dunn, c. Mar
1943; Lt Col James F Setchell, c. 4 Nov 1943; Maj Hal C Tunnell, 19 Jan
Maj Thomas W Barfoot Jr, c. 29 May 1944; Col Duane L Kime, 17 Sep 1944; Lt
Oscar M Blomquist, 29 May 1945; Lt Col James E Hill, 2 Aug-c. Sep 1945.
Campaigns. Air Combat, EAME Theater; Tunisia; Sicily;
Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: MTO, 28 Aug 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Per chevron or and azure, in center chief
stylized camera, lens to base sable. Motto: Archez Bien - Shoot Well.
(Approved 29 Oct 1942.)
4th Combat Cargo Group
Constituted as 4th Combat Cargo Group on 9 Jun 1944 and
activated on 13
Jun. Trained with C-46 and C-47 aircraft. Moved to India in Nov 1944. Began
operations with C-46's in Dec 1944. Transported reinforcements and supplies
for Allied forces in Burma until May 1945. Operations included moving
equipment and materials for the Ledo Road in Dec 1944; transporting men,
mules, and boats when the Allies crossed the Irrawaddy River in Feb 1945;
dropping Gurkha paratroops during the assault on Rangoon in May 1945. Moved
to Burma in Jun 1945 and hauled ammunition, gasoline, mules, and men to
until the war ended. Returned to India in Nov 1945. Inactivated on 9 Feb
1946. Disbanded on 8 Oct 1948.
Squadrons. 13th: 1944-1945. 14th: 1944-1946. 15th:
Stations. Syracuse AAB, NY, 13 Jun 1944; Bowman Field, Ky,
1944; Sylhet, India, 28 Nov 1944; Agartala, India, Dec 1944; Chittagong,
India, 5 Jan 1945; Namponmao, Burma, Jun 1945; Pandaveswar, India, Nov 1945;
Panagarh, India, 15 Jan-9 Feb 1946.
Commanders. Col Stuart D Baird, 13 Jun 1944-unkn.
Campaigns. India-Burma; Central Burma; China Offensive.
4th Fighter Group
Constituted as 4th Fighter Group on 22 Aug 1942. Activated
in England on
12 Sep 1942. Former members of RAF Eagle Squadrons formed the nucleus of the
group, which served in combat from Oct 1942 to Apr 1945 and destroyed more
enemy planes in the air and on the ground than any other fighter group of
Eighth AF. Operated first with Spitfires but changed to P-47's in Mar 1943
and to P-51's in Apr 1944. On numerous occasions escorted bombers that
attacked factories, submarine pens, V-weapon sites, and other targets in
France, the Low Countries, or Germany. Went out sometimes with a small force
of bombers to draw up the enemy's fighters so they could be destroyed in
aerial combat. At other times attacked the enemy's air power by strafing and
dive-bombing airfields. Also hit troops, supply depots, roads, bridges, rail
lines, and trains. Participated in the intensive campaign against the German
Air Force and aircraft industry during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944. Received a
DUC for aggressiveness in seeking out and destroying enemy aircraft and in
attacking enemy air bases, 5 Mar-24 Apr 1944. Flew interdictory and
counter-air missions during the invasion of Normandy in Jun 1944. Supported
the airborne invasion of Holland in Sep. Participated in the Battle of the
Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Covered the airborne assault across the Rhine in
Mar 1945. Moved to the US in Nov. Inactivated on 10 Nov 1945.
Activated on 9 Sep 1946. Equipped with P-80's. Converted to
aircraft in 1949. Redesignated 4th Fighter-Interceptor Group in Jan 1950.
Moved to Japan, Nov-Dec 1950, for duty with Far East Air Forces in the
War. Began operations from Japan on 15 Dec 1950 and moved to Korea in Mar
1951. Escorted bombers, made fighter sweeps, engaged in interdiction of the
enemy's lines of communications, flew armed reconnaissance sorties,
counter-air patrols, served as an air defense organization, and provided
support for ground forces. One member of the group, Maj George A Davis Jr,
commander of the 334th squadron, was awarded the Medal of Honor for action
10 Feb 1952 when, leading a flight of two F-86's, Davis spotted twelve enemy
planes (MiG's), attacked, and destroyed three before his plane crashed in
mountains. The group returned to Japan in the fall of 1954. Redesignated 4th
Fighter-Bomber Group in Mar 1955.
Squadrons. 334th: 1942-1945; 1946-. 335th: 1942-1945; 1946-.
Stations. Bushey Hall, England, 12 Sep 1942; Debden,
England, Sep 1942;
Steeple Morden, England, Jul-Nov 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, c. 10 Nov 1945.
Selfridge Field, Mich, 9 Sep 1946; Andrews Field, Md, Mar 1947; Langley AFB,
Va, c. 30 Apr 1949; New Castle County Aprt, Del, Aug-Nov 1950; Johnson AB,
Japan, Dec 1950; Suwon, Korea, Mar 1951; Kimpo, Korea, Aug 1951; Chitose,
Japan, c. 1 Nov 1954-.
Commanders. Col Edward W Anderson, Sep 1942; Col Chesley G
1943; Col Donald M Blakeslee, 1 Jan 1944; Lt Col Claiborne H Kinnard Jr, Nov
1944; Lt Col Harry Dayhuff, 7 Dec 1944; Col Everett W Stewart, 21 Feb
1945-unkn. Col Ernest H Beverly, Sep 1946; Lt Col Benjamin S Preston Jr, Aug
1948; Col Albert L Evans Jr, Jun 1949; Col John C Meyer, c. 1 Sep 1950; Lt
Glenn T Eagleston, May 1951; Col Benjamin S Preston Jr, Jul 1951; Col Walker
Mahurin, 18 Mar 1952; Lt Col Ralph G Kuhn, 14 May 1952; Col Royal N Baker, 1
Jun 1952; Col Thomas D DeJarnette, 18 Mar 1953; Col Henry S Tyler Jr, c. 28
Dec 1953; Lt Col Dean W Dutrack, c. 19 Jul 1954; Col William D Gilchrist, c.
Aug 1954; Col George I Ruddell, c. 4 May 1955-.
Campaigns. World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy;
France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe. Korean War: CCF
Intervention; 1st UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall
Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1952; Third Korean
Korea Summer-Fall, 1953.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: France, 5 Mar-24
Korea, 22 Apr-8 Jul 1951; Korea, 9 Jul-27 Nov 1951. Republic of Korea
Presidential Unit Citations: 1 Nov 1951-30 Sep 1952; 1 Oct 1952-31 Mar 1953.
Insigne. Shield: Azure on a bend or, a spear garnished with
feathers and shaft flammant to base all proper. Crest: On a wreath of the
colors, or and azure, a lion's face or. Motto: Fourth But First. (Approved
26 Sep 1949.)
To Part 2