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7th Bombardment Group

Organized as 1st Army Observation Group on 1 Oct 1919. Redesignated 7th Group (Observation) in Mar 1921. Inactivated on 30 Aug 1921.

Redesignated 7th Bombardment Group in 1923. Activated on 1 Jun 1928. Redesignated 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in 1939. Trained, participated in aerial reviews, dropped food and medical supplies to persons marooned or lost, and took part in maneuvers and experiments. Aircraft included B-12's, B-18's, and B-17's.

The group was on its way to the Philippines when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941. The ground echelon, on board ship, was diverted to Australia and later sent to Java. Six of the group's B-17's, which had left the US on 6 Dec, reached Hawaii during the enemy attack but were able to land safely. Later in Dec the remainder of the air echelon flew B-17's from the US to Java. From 14 Jan to 1 Mar 1942, during the Japanese drive through the Philippines and Netherlands East Indies, the group operated from Java, being awarded a DUC for its action against enemy aircraft, ground installations, warships, and transports.

Moved to India in Mar 1942 and assigned to Tenth AF. Resumed combat with B-17's and LB-30's; converted to B-24's late in 1942. Operations were directed primarily against the Japanese in Burma, with attacks on airfields, fuel and supply dumps, locomotive works, railways, bridges, docks, warehouses, shipping, and other targets. Also bombed oil refineries and railways in Thailand, hit power plants in China, attacked enemy shipping in the Andaman Sea, and ferried gasoline over the Hump to China. Received second DUC for damaging the enemy's line of supply in southeast Asia with an attack against rail lines and bridges in Thailand on 19 Mar 1945. Returned to the US in Dec 1945. Inactivated on 6 Jan 1946.

Redesignated 7th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Activated on 1 Oct 1946. Assigned to Strategic Air Command. Equipped first with B-29's, later with B-36's. Redesignated 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in Jul 1948. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952.

Squadrons. 9th: 1919-1921; 1928-1946; 1946-1952. 11th: 1919-1921; unkn-1942. 22d: 1939-1942. 30th: 1928-1931. 31st: 1919-1921; 1928-[1939?]. 436th (formerly 88th): 1939-1946; 1946-1952. 492d: 1942-1946; 1946-1952. 493d: 1942-1946.

Stations. Park Field, Tenn, 1 Oct 1919; Langley Field, Va, 28 Oct 1919-30 Aug 1921. Rockwell Field, Calif, 1 Jun 1928; March Field, Calif, 30 Oct 1931; Hamilton Field, Calif, 5 Dec 1934; Merced Field, Calif, 5 Nov 1935; Hamilton Field, Calif, 22 May 1937; Ft Douglas, Utah, 7 Sep 1940-13 Nov 1941; Brisbane, Australia, 22 Dec 1941-Feb 1942; Karachi, India, 12 Mar 1942; Dum-Dum, India, 30 May 1942; Karachi, India, 9 Sep 1942; Pandaveswar, India, 12 Dec 1942; Kurmitola, India, 17 Jan 1944; Pandaveswar, India, 6 Oct 1944; Tezpur, India, 7 Jun 1945; Dudhkundi, India, 31 Oct-7 Dec 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 5-6 Jan 1946. Ft Worth AAFld, Tex, 1 Oct 1946-16 Jun 1952.

Commanders. Unkn, 1919-1921. Capt Frank H Pritchard, 1928-unkn; Maj Carl A Spaatz, c. May 1929-c. Oct 1931; Col Clarence I Tinker, c. Dec 1935-1938; Col Ralph Royce, 1938-unkn; Maj Stanley K Robinson, unkn-29 Jan 1942; Maj Austin A Straubel, c. 29 Jan-3 Feb 1942; Col Cecil E Combs, 22 Mar 1942; Col Conrad F Necrason, 1 Jul 1942; Col Aubrey K Dodson, 27 Mar 1944; Col Harvey T Alness, 6 Nov 1944; Col Howard F Bronson Jr, 24 Jun 1945-unkn. Col John G Eriksen, 1 Oct 1946; Col Hewitt T Wheeless, 16 Dec 1946-unkn; Col Alan D Clark, c. Nov 1947-unkn; Col Charles D Farr, 7 Feb 1949; Col John A Roberts, 17 Aug 1949; Col Richard T Black, c. 24 Oct 1950; Col John A Roberts, Feb 1951; Col George T Chadwell, c. May 1951; Col John A Roberts, Apr-Jun 1952.

Campaigns. Burma, 1942; East Indies; India-Burma; China Defensive; Central Burma; China Offensive.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Netherlands Indies, 14 Jan-1 Mar 1942; Thailand, 19 Mar 1945.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, on a bend or three crosses pattee sable. Crest: On a wreath of the colors (or and azure) a drop bomb palewise sable piercing a cloud proper. Motto: Mors Ab Alto - Death from Above. (Approved 30 Jan 1933. This insigne was modified 12 Sep 1952.)

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


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