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452nd Bombardment Group

Constituted as 452d Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 May 1943. Activated on 1 Jun 1943. Trained with B-17's. Moved to England, Dec 1943-Jan 1944, and assigned to Eighth AF. Entered combat on 5 Feb 1944 with an attack against aircraft assembly plants at Brunswick. Throughout combat, engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets, including marshalling yards at Frankfurt, aircraft assembly plants at Regensburg, aircraft component works at Kassel, the ball-bearing industry at Schweinfurt, a synthetic rubber plant at Hannover, and oil installations at Bohlen. 1st Lt Donald Gott and 2d Lt William E Metzger Jr were each awarded the Medal of Honor for remaining with their aircraft (crippled during a mission over Germany on 9 Nov 1944) in an attempt to save a wounded crew member who was unable to bail out; the men were killed when the B-17 exploded in midair. In addition to strategic missions, the 452d supported ground forces and carried out interdictory operations. Helped prepare for the invasion of Normandy by hitting airfields, V-weapon sites, bridges, and other objectives in France; struck coastal defenses on D-Day, 6 Jun 1944. Bombed enemy positions in support of the breakthrough at St Lo in Jul and the offensive against Brest in Aug and Sep. Later in Sep, assisted the airborne attack on Holland. Hit enemy communications in and near the combat zone during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Bombed an airfield in support of the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Received a DUC for action on 7 Apr 1945 when, despite vigorous fighter attacks and heavy flak, it accurately bombed a jet-fighter base at Kaltenkirchen. Flew last combat mission of World War 11 on 21 Apr, striking marshalling yards at Ingolstadt. Returned to the US in Aug. Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945.

Redesignated 452nd Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 19 Apr 1947. Redesignated 452nd Bombardment Group (Light) in Jun 1949. Ordered to active duty on 10 Aug 1950. Assigned to Tactical Air Command. Trained with B-26 aircraft for duty in the Korean War. Moved to Japan, Oct-Nov 1950, and assigned to Far East Air Forces. Entered combat against communist forces late in Oct, operating first from Japan and later from Korea. Flew armed reconnaissance, intruder, and interdictory missions, and provided support for ground troops. Bombed and strafed buildings, tunnels, rail lines, switching centers, bridges, vehicles, supply dumps, and airfields. Relieved from active duty and inactivated in Korea, on 10 May 1952.

Allotted to the reserve. Redesignated 452nd Tactical Reconnaissance Group. Activated in the US on 13 Jun 1952. Redesignated 452nd Bombardment Group (Tactical) in May 1955.

Squadrons. 703d: 1948-1949. 728th: 1943-1945; 1947-1952; 1952-. 729th: 1943-1945; 1947-1952; 1952-. 730th: 1943-1945; 1947-1952; 1952-. 731st: 1942-1945; 1947-1951.

Stations. Geiger Field, Wash, 1 Ju 1943; Rapid City AAB, SD, 15 Jun 194: Pendleton Field, Ore, c. 11 Oct 1944; Walla Walla AAFld, Wash, c. 4 Nov-c. 22 Dec 1943; Deopham Green, England, c. 3 Jan 1944-c. 6 Aug 1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, c. 12-28 Aug 1945. Long Beach, Calif, 19 Apr 1947; George AFB, Calif, 10 Aug-Oct 1950; Itazuke, Japan, c. 22 Oct 1950; Miho, Japan, 8 Dec 1950; Pusan-East AB, Korea, c. 17 May 1951-10 May 1952. Long Beach Mun Aprt, Calif, 13 Jun 1952-.

Commanders. Lt Col Herbert O Wangeman, c. 15 Jun 1943; Lt Col Robert B Satterwhite, 8 Feb 1944; Lt Col Marvin F Stalder, 28 Feb 1944; Col Thetus C Odom, 30 Mar 1944; Col Archibald Y Smith, c. 24 Jul 1944; Col William D Eckert, c. 1 Aug 1944; Lt Col Charles W Sherburne, 13 Sep 1944; Col Burnham L Batson, c. 25 Sep 1944; Col Jack E Shuck, 6 Jun 1945-unkn. Col Charles W Howe, 10 Aug 1950; Col Frank L Wood Jr, c. May 1951; Lt Col John A Herrington, c. Jun 1951; Lt Col Harry C Mailey c. Dec 1951; Col James D Kemp, c. 28 Mar 1952-unkn.

Campaigns. World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe. Korean War: UN Offensive; CCF Intervention; 1st UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1952.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Germany, 7 Apr 1945; Korea, 9 Jul-27 Nov 1951; Korea, 18 Nov 1951-30 Apr 1952. Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation: 27 Oct 1950-27 Oct 1951.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, a bomb, point downward, in pale, gules, highlighted and fimbriated argent, superimposed over two lightning flashes or, shaded of the second, highlighted and fimbriated of the third; the shield edged argent, gules and or. Motto: Labor Ad Futurum . Work for the Future. (Approved 8 Mar 1956.)

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


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