Constituted as 391st Bombardment Group (Medium) on 15 Jan 1943 and activated on 21 Jan. Trained with B-26's for duty in Europe with Ninth AF. Moved to England, Jan-Feb 1944. Entered combat on 15 Feb 1944 and during the ensuing weeks bombed targets such as airfields, marshalling yards, bridges, and V-weapon sites in France and the Low Countries to help prepare for the invasion of Normandy. Attacked enemy defenses along the invasion beaches on 6 and 7 Jun 1944. From Jun to Sep, continued cross-Channel operations, which included attacks on fuel dumps and troop concentrations in support of Allied forces during the breakthrough at St Lo in Jul 1944, and strikes on transportation and communications to block the enemy's retreat to the east. Began flying missions from bases on the Continent in Sep 1944, extending its area of operations into Germany and continuing its attacks against enemy railroads, highways, troops, bridges, ammunition dumps, and other targets. Contributed vital assistance to ground forces during the Battle of the Bulge by attacking heavily defended positions such as bridges and viaducts, 23-26 Dec 1944; for these missions, performed without fighter escort in the face of intense flak and overwhelming attacks by enemy aircraft, the group was awarded a DUC. From Jan to May 1945, and using A-26's beginning in Apr, the group concentrated its attacks on the German transportation and communications system. Flew its last mission on 3 May. Redesignated 391st Bombardment Group (Light) in Jul. Returned to the US in Oct. Inactivated on 25 Oct 1945.
Redesignated 111th Bombardment Group (Light). Allotted to ANG (Pa) on 24 May 1946. Extended federal recognition on 20 Dec 1948. Redesignated 111th Composite Group in Nov 1950, and 111th Bombardment Group (Light) in Feb 1951. Ordered to active service on 1 Apr 1951. Assigned to Strategic Air Command. Trained with B-26 and B-29 aircraft. Redesignated 111th Strategic Reconnaissance Group (Medium) in Aug 1951. Converted to RB-29's. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952. Returned to ANG (Pa), redesignated 111th Fighter-Bomber Group, and activated, on 1 Jan 1953.
Squadrons. 103d: 1951-1952. 117th: 1951. 122d: 1951. 129th: 1951-1952. 130th: 1951-1952. 572d: 1943-1945. 573d: 1943-1945. 574th: 1943-1945. 575th: 1943-1945.
Stations. MacDill Field, Fla, 21 Jan 1943; Myrtle Beach Bombing Range, SC, 24 May 1943; Godman Field, Ky, 4 Sep-31 Dec 1943; Matching, England, 25 Jan 1944; Roye/Amy, France, 19 Sep 1944; Assche, Belgium, 16 Apr 1945; Vitry-en-Artois, France, 27 May-27 Jul 1945; Camp Shanks, NY, Oct-25 Oct 1945. Philadelphia Intl Aprt, Pa, 1 Apr 1951; Fairchild AFB, Wash, 10 Apr 1951-16 Jun 1952.
Commanders. Col Gerald E Williams, 23 Jan 1943-1945. Col Joseph B McManus, 1 Apr 1951; Col Edward D Edwards, 24 Jun 1951; Col S E Manzo, 8 Nov 1951-16 Jun 1952.
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Germany, 23-26 Dec 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Per bend or and azure a bend counter compony sable and argent between in chief a Pegasus of the second and in base a cluster of three feathers of the first surmounted by a mullet of the fourth and third. Motto: Virtute Alisque - With Wings and Courage. (Approved 11 Jan 1954.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986