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17th Bombardment Group

Authorized as 17th Observation Group on 18 Oct 1927. Redesignated 17th Pursuit Group in 1929. Activated on 15 Jul 1931. Redesignated 17th Attack Group in 1935, and 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) in 1939. Trained and participated in maneuvers, using P-12 and P-26 (1931-1932), A-17 (1933-1939), and B-18 (1940-1941) aircraft. Used B-25's for patrol duty on the west coast after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and later patrolled the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast. Converted to B-26's in the summer of 1942.

Moved to North Africa late in 1942 and began operations on 30 Dec. Served in combat in the Mediterranean theater until the end of the war, being assigned first to Twelfth AF, then to Fifteenth (Nov 1943), and again to Twelfth (Jan 1944). Flew interdictory and close-support missions, bombing bridges, rail lines, marshalling yards, harbors, shipping, gun emplacements, troop concentrations, and other targets. Helped to bring about the defeat of Axis forces in North Africa in May 1943; assisted in the reduction of Pantelleria and Lampedusa in Jun 1943; participated in the invasions of Sicily in Jul and of Italy in Sep 1943; and took part in the drive toward Rome, receiving a DUC for a bombing attack on airdromes at Rome on 13 Jan 1944. Also received the French Croix de Guerre with Palm for operations in Italy, Apr-Jun 1944. Took part in the invasion of Southern France in Aug 1944, and continued bombardment operations in northern Italy, France, and later in Germany. Received second DUC for bombing attacks on enemy defenses near Schweinfurt on 10 Apr 1945. Assisted in the disarmament of Germany after V-E Day. Returned to the US in Nov. Inactivated on 26 Nov 1945. Redesignated 17th Bombardment Group (Light). Activated on 19 May 1947. Apparently did not become operative. Inactivated on 10 Sep 1948. Activated in Korea on io May 1952. Assigned to Far East Air Forces and equipped with B-26's for service in the Korean War. Engaged in interdiction and provided close support for UN ground forces until the armistice in Jul 1953. Moved to Japan in Oct 1954; returned to the US, Mar-Apr 1955. Assigned to Tactical Air Command and equipped with B-57 aircraft. Redesignated 17th Bombardment Group (Tactical) in Oct 1955.

Squadrons. 34th: 1931-1945; 1947-1948; 1952-. 37th: 1931-1945; 1947-1948; 1952-. 73d: 1947-1948; 1952-. 95th: 1931-1945; 1947-1948; 1952-. 432d: 1942-1945.

Stations. March Field, Calif, 15 Jul 1931; McChord Field, Wash, 24 Jun 1940; Pendleton, Ore, 29 Jun 1941; Lexington County Aprt, SC, 9 Feb 1942; Barksdale Field, La, 23 Jun-Nov 1942; Telergma, Algeria, Dec 1942; Sedrata, Algeria, c. 10 May 1943; Djedeida, Tunisia, 23 Jun 1943; Sardinia, Nov 1943; Corsica, c. 14 Sep 1944; Dijon, France, c. 20 Nov 1944; Horsching, Austria, Jun 1945; Clastres, France, c. 3 Oct-Nov 1945; Camp Myles Standish, Mass, Nov-26 Nov 1945. Langley Field, Va, 19 May 1947-10 Sep 1948. Pusan, Korea, 10 May 1952; Miho, Japan, 10 Oct 1954-16 Mar 1955; Eglin AF Aux Field No 9, Apr 1955-.

Commanders. Capt Frank O'D Hunter, 1931-unkn; Lt Col Walter R Peck, Mar 1941; Lt Col William C Mills, Feb 1942; Lt Col Flint Garrison, 16 Jun 1942; Lt Col Curtis D Sluman, 26 Jun 1942; Lt Col Karl E Baumeister, 11 Mar 1943; Lt Col Charles R Greening, 25 May 1943; Lt Col Robert A Zaiser, 18 Jul 1943; Col Donald L Gilbert, 14 Oct 1943; Col R O Harrell, 21 Jul 1944; Col Wallace C Barrett, 20 Mar 1945; Lt Col Stanford W Gregory, 1 Jun 1945-unkn. Unkn, 1947-1948. Col James D Kemp, 10 May 1952; Col William C Lindley Jr, 11 Jul 1952; Col Robert E Keating, 14 Feb 1953; Col Gordon D Timmons, 8 Apr 1953; Col George D Hughes, 1954; Col Norton W Sanders, 1954-.

Campaigns. World War II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Combat, EAME Theater; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe. Korean War: Korea Summer-Fall, 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1953.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Italy, 13 Jan 1944; Schweinfurt, Germany, 10 Apr 1945; Korea, 1 Dec 1952-30 Apr 1953. French Croix de Guerre with Palm: Apr, May, and Jun 1944. Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation: 24 May 1952-31 Mar 1953.

Insigne. Shield: Or, seven crosses pattee in pale sable. Crest: On a wreath of the colors (or and sable) a griffin rampant of the first, beaked, fore-legged and winged of the second, and langued gules. Motto: Toujours Au Danger - Ever Into Danger. (Approved 19 Jan 1934.)

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986


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