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474th Fighter Group

Constituted as 474th Fighter Group on 26 May 1943. Activated on 1 Aug 1943. Trained for combat with P-38's. Moved to England, Feb-Mar 1944. Assigned to Ninth AF. Flew first combat mission, an area patrol along the coast of France, on 25 Apr 1944. Attacked bridges and railroads in France in preparation for the Normandy invasion. Provided cover for the invasion force that was crossing the Channel on the night of 5/6 Jun and flew bombing missions to support the landings on the following day. Began armed reconnaissance missions after D-Day to assist ground forces, and attacked highways and troops to aid the Allied breakthrough at St Lo, 25 Jul. Moved to the Continent in Aug 1944 for continued operations in support of ground forces. Bombed and strafed such targets as airfields, hangars railroads, bridges, highways, barges, fuel dumps, ammunition depots, gun emplacements, and troop concentrations until the end of the war; also escorted bombers that struck marshalling yards, factories, cities, and other objectives. Received a DUC for a mission in France on 23 Aug 1944: participating in a joint air-ground attack against retreating enemy forces in the Falaise-Argentan area, the group discovered an immense quantity of enemy equipment massed along the Seine River; despite severe fire from small arms and from antiaircraft guns that the Germans had placed at two bridges to protect the materiel and cover the retreat, the group repeatedly bombed and strafed the enemy, knocking out motor transports, barges bridges, and other objectives, thereby disrupting the evacuation and enabling Allied ground forces to capture German troops and equipment. Other operations included bombardment of flak positions near Eindhoven in advance of British 1 Airborne Division during the attack on Holland in Sep 1944; participation in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945; and patrols along the route of the airborne assault across the Rhine in Mar 1945. Continued operations until V-E Day. Returned to the US, Nov-Dec 1945. Inactivated on 8 Dec 1945.

Redesignated 474th Fighter-Bomber Group. Activated in Japan on 10 Jul 1952. Assigned to Tactical Air Command but attached to Far East Air Forces for duty in the Korean War. Served in combat from Aug 1952 until the armistice in Jul 1953, operating from Korea and using F-84 aircraft. Bombed and strafed such targets as bunkers, troops, artillery positions, bridges, vehicles, airfields, and power plants, and sometimes escorted bombers that attacked munitions factories and other objectives. After the armistice, trained with F-84 and F-86 aircraft. Moved to the US, Nov-Dec 1954, and continued training with F-86's.

Squadrons. 428th: 1943-1945; 1952-. 429th: 1943-1945; 1952-. 430th: 1943-1945; 1952-.

Stations. Glendale, Calif, 1 Aug 1943; Van Nuys Metropolitan Aprt, Calif, 11 Oct 1943; Oxnard Flight Strip, Calif, 5 Jan-6 Feb 1944; Moreton, England, 12 Mar 1944; Neuilly, France, 6 Aug 1944; St Marceau, France, 29 Aug 1944; Peronne, France, 6 Sep 1944; Florennes, Belgium, 1 Oct 1944; Strassfeld, Germany, 22 Mar 1945; Langensalza, Germany, 22 Apr 1945; Schweinfurt, Germany, 16 Jun 1945; Stuttgart, Germany, 25 Oct-21 Nov 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 6-8 Dec 1945. Misawa, Japan, 10 Jul 1952; Kunsan, Korea, 10 Jul 1952; Taegu, Korea, 1 Apr 1953-22 Nov 1954; Clovis AFB, NM, 13 Dec 1954-.

Commanders. Col Clinton C Wasem, 1 Aug 1943; Lt Col Earl C Hedlund, c. 17 Feb 1945; Lt Col David L Lewis, Apr 1945-unkn. Lt Col William L Jacobsen, 10 Jul 1952; Lt Col Francis J Vetort, 29 Aug 1952; Col Joseph Davis Jr, 16 Dec 1952; Col Richard N Ellis, 1953; Col John S Loisel, May 1953-unkn; Col Franklin H Scott, May 1954-.

Campaigns. World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe. Korean War: Korea Summer-Fall, 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1953.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: France, 23 Aug 1944; Korea, 1 Dec 1952-30 Apr 1953. Cited in the Order of the Day, Belgian Army: 6 Jun-30 Sep 1944; 16 Dec 1944-25 Jan 1945. Belgian Fourragere. Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation: 10 Jul 1952-30 Mar 1953.

Insigne. Shield: Per bend azure and or in bend a lightning bolt throughout bendwise gules, fimbriated or, between a sphere argent, grid lines sable, and a stylized jet tail pipe vert, emitting eight fire blasts gules, the pipe charged with an annulet of the first, fimbriated or, a semee of stars of the fourth on the azure field. (Approved 22 Jun 1955.)

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


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