Constituted as 438th Troop Carrier Group on 14 May 1943. Activated on 1 Jun 1943. Trained with C-47's. Moved to England in Feb 1944 and assigned to Ninth AF. Until Jun 1945, trained for and participated in airborne operations, flew resupply and reinforcement missions to combat zones, evacuated casualties, and hauled freight. Received a DUC for dropping paratroops in Normandy and towing gliders with reinforcements during the invasion of France in Jun 1944. A detachment went to Italy in Jul 1944 and participated in the invasion of Southern France in Aug by dropping paratroops and towing gliders that carried reinforcements; also hauled freight in Italy before returning to England late in Aug. In Sep the group helped to supply Third Army in its push across France, and transported troops and supplies when the Allies launched the airborne operation in Holland. Flew supply missions to battle areas, including two flights to Bastogne, during the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 1944-Jan 1945). Moved to France, Feb-Mar 1945. Dropped paratroops during the airborne attack across the Rhine in Mar. Evacuated Allied prisoners of war after V-E Day. Returned to the US, Aug-Sep 1945. Inactivated on 15 Nov 1945.
Redesignated 438th Troop Carrier Group (Medium). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 27 Jun 1949. Called to active duty on 10 Mar 1951. Inactivated on 14 Mar 1951.
Redesignated 438th Fighter-Bomber Group. Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 15 Jun 1952.
Squadrons. 87th: 1943-1945; 1949-1951; 1952-. 88th: 1943-1945; 1949-1951; 1952-. 89th: 1943-1945; 1949-1951; 1952-. 90th: 1943-1945; 1949-1951.
Stations. Baer Field, Ind, 1 Jun 1943; Sedalia AAFld, Mo, c. 11 Jun 1943; Laurinburg-Maxton AAB, NC, Oct 1943; Baer Field, Ind, c. 15-c. 28 Jan 1944; Welford, England, Feb 1944; Greenham Common, England, Mar 1944; Prosnes, France, Feb 1945; Amiens/Glisy, France, May-c. 3 Aug 1945; Baer Field, Ind, c. 16 Sep 1945; Lawson Field, Ga, c. 1 Oct-15 Nov 1945. Offutt AFB, Neb, 27 Jun 1949-14 Mar 1951. General Billy Mitchell Field, Wis, 15 Jun 1952; Milwaukee, Wis, Jan 1953-.
Commanders. Lt Col William F Stewart, c. 1 Jun 1943; Col John M Donalson, c. 13 Jul 1943; Col Lucion N Powell, 27 Dec 1944-1945.
Campaigns. Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: France, Jun 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Per bend sinister purpure and argent, fimbriated or, a globe all elements counterchanged, the globe fimbriated or and purpure, surmounting a stylized lashing swirling spear of the first, second and third, the shield fimbriated purpure and or. Motto: Nunquam Non Paratus - Never Unprepared. (Approved 10 Aug 1954.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986