Constituted as 72nd Observation Group on 21 Aug 1941. Activated on 26 Sep 1941. Redesignated 72nd Reconnaissance Group in 1943. Used O-47, O-49, O-52, L-1, L-4, B-18, P-39, and other aircraft. Moved to the Panama Canal Zone, Dec 1941-Jan 1942. Flew patrol missions, carried mail, searched for missing aircraft, provided reconnaissance support to ground forces, and occasionally did photographic-mapping work. Disbanded in the Canal Zone on 1 Nov 1943.
Reconstituted and allotted to the reserve, on 13 May 1947. Activated on 12 Jul 1947. Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949.
Squadrons. 1st: 1941-1943. 4th: 1942-1943. 39th: 1942-1943. 60th: 1947-1949. 73d Fighter: 1947-1949. 108th: 1941-1943. 124th: 1941.
Stations. Shreveport, La, 26 Sep 1941; Little Rock, Ark, Oct 1941; Marshall Field, Kan, 11-c. 27 Dec 1941; Howard Field, CZ, c. 18 Jan 1942-1 Nov 1943. Hamilton Field, Calif, 12 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949.
Commanders. Lt Col Jasper K McDuffie, Oct 1941; Col Perry B Griffin, c. 1 Feb 1942; Col Vernon C Smith, 19 May-1 Nov 1943.
Campaigns. American Theater.
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986
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