Constituted as 459th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943. Activated on 1 Jul 1943. Trained for combat with B-24's. Moved to Italy, Jan-Feb 1944, and assigned to Fifteenth AF. Engaged primarily in strategic bombardment, Mar 1944-Apr 1945, attacking such targets as oil refineries, munitions and aircraft factories, industrial areas, airfields, and communications centers in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Rumania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Greece. Received a DUC for leading the 304th Wing through enemy interceptors and intense flak to raid an airfield and aircraft assembly plant at Bad Voslau on 23 Apr 1944. During combat the group also flew some support and interdictory missions. Struck railroads in Mar 1944 to cut enemy supply lines leading to the Anzio beachhead. Participated in the preinvasion bombing of southern France in Aug 1944. Hit railroad bridges, depots, and marshalling yards during Apr 1945 to assist Allied forces in northern Italy. Returned to the US in Aug. Inactivated on 18 Aug 1945.
Redesignated 459th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 19 Apr 1947. Redesignated 459th Bombardment Group (Medium) in Jun 1949. Ordered to active duty on 1 May 1951. Assigned to Strategic Air Command. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1951.
Redesignated 459th Troop Carrier Group (Medium). Allotted to the reserve. Activated on 26 Jan 1955.
Squadrons. 57th: 1947-1949. 756th. 1943-1945; 1947-1949; 1955-. 757th: 1943-1945; 1947-1949; 1955-. 758th: 1943-1945; 1947-1949. 759th: 1943-1945; 1947-1951.
Stations. Alamogordo AAFld, NM, 1 Jul 1943; Kearns, Utah, c. 31 Aug 1943 Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz, c. 20 Sep 1943; Westover Field, Mass, c. 1 Nov 1943-2 Jan 1944; Giulia Airfield, Italy, Feb 1944-c. Jul 1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, c. 16-28 Aug 1945. Long Beach AAFld, Calif, 19 Apr 1947; Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz, 27 Jun 1949-16 Jun 1951. Andrews AFB, Md, 16 Jan 1955-.
Commanders. Col Marden M Munn, 2 Jul 1943; Col Henry K Mooney, 13 Aug 1944; Lt Col William R Boutz, 19 May 1945; Lt Col J C Bailey, 30 May 1945-unkn. Unkn, 1 May-16 Jun 1951.
Campaigns. Air Combat, EAME Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Po Valley.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Bad Voslau, Austria, 23 Apr 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Azure, an American eagle proper flying over clouds in the base argent between two parachutes, one in chief transporting an airman, one in base transporting supplies all of the last; in chief a canton argent charged with the Capitol dome of the second. Motto: In Honor Of Congress. (Approved 17 Jan 1956.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986