308th Bombardment Group






Constituted as 308th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 15 Apr 1942. Trained with B-24's. Moved to China early in 1943, with the air echelon flying its planes by way of Africa, and the ground echelon traveling by ship across the Pacific. Assigned to Fourteenth AF. Made many trips over the Hump to India to obtain gasoline, oil, bombs, spare parts, and other items the group needed to prepare for and then to sustain its combat operations. The 308th Group supported Chinese ground forces; attacked airfields, coalyards, docks, oil refineries, and fuel dumps in French Indochina; mined rivers and ports; bombed shops and docks at Rangoon; attacked Japanese shipping in the East China Sea, Formosa Strait, South China Sea, and Gulf of Tonkin. Received a DUC for an unescorted bombing attack, conducted through antiaircraft fire and fighter defenses, against docks and warehouses at Hankow on 21 Aug 1943. Received second DUC for interdiction of Japanese shipping during 1944-1945. Maj Horace S Carswell Jr was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on 26 Oct 1944 when, in spite of intense antiaircraft fire, he attacked a Japanese convoy in the South China Sea; his plane was so badly damaged that when he reached land he ordered the crew to bail out; Carswell, however, remained with the plane to try to save one man who could not jump because his parachute had been ripped by flak; before Carswell could attempt a crash landing, the plane struck a mountainside and burned. The group moved to India in Jun 1945. Ferried gasoline and supplies over the Hump. Sailed for the US in Dec 1945. Inactivated on 6 Jan 1946.

Redesignated 308th Reconnaissance Group (Weather). Activated on 17 Oct 1946. Assigned to Air Weather Service and equipped with B-29's. Inactivated on 5 Jan 1951.

Redesignated 308th Bombardment Group (Medium). Activated on 10 Oct 1951. Assigned to Strategic Air Command and equipped with B-29 aircraft. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952.

Squadrons. 53d: 1946-1947. 59th: 1946-1947. 373d: 1942-1945; 1951-1952. 374th: 1942-1946; 1947-1950; 1951-1952. 375th: 1942-1946; 1951-1952. 425th: 1942-1946. 512th: 1947-1948, 1949. 513th: 1947-1948, 1949-1950.

Stations. Gowen Field, Idaho, 15 Apr 1942; Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz, 20 Jun 1942; Wendover Field, Utah, 1 Oct-28 Nov 1942; Kunming, China, 20 Mar 1943; Hsirching, China, 10 Feb 1945; Rupsi, India, 27 Jun-15 Oct 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 5-Jan 1946. Morrison Field, Fla, 17 Oct 1946; Fairfield-Suisun AAFld, Calif, 1 Jul 1947; Tinker AFB, Okla, 10 Nov 1949-5 Jan 1951. Forbes AFB, Kan, 10 Oct 1951; Hunter AFB, Ga, 11 Apr-16 Jun 1952.

Commanders. Capt Harris K McCauley, 11 May 1942; Col Fay R Upthegrove, 5 Jun 1942; Maj Leroy A Rainey, 15 Jul 1942; Col Eugene H Beebe, 16 Sep 1942; Col William P Fisher, c. 3 Nov 1943; Col John G Armstrong, 19 Oct 1944; Col William D Hopson, 1 Jul 1945-unkn. Col Richard E Ellsworth, 17 Oct 1946-unkn; Col Hervey H Whitfield, Apr 1946-unkn. Col George L Newton Jr, 5 Nov 1951; Col Maurice A Preston, 10 May-16 Jun 1952.

Campaigns. India-Burma; China Defensive; New Guinea; Western Pacific; China Offensive.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: China, 21 Aug 1943; East and South China Seas, Straits of Formosa, and Gulf of Tonkin, 24 May 1944-28 Apr 1945.

Insigne. Shield: Azure, between a pale argent thereon three pallets gules, on the dexter a star of twelve points white, charged with an annulet azure; on the sinister a thundercloud proper with three lightning flashes or; in chief per chevron, inverted and enhanced sable, three bombs points downward or, between a semee of fifteen stars argent. Motto: Non Sibi, Sed Aliis - Not for Self, But for Others. (Approved 29 Aug 1952.)

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




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