Constituted as 465th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943. Activated on 1 Aug 1943. Prepared for duty overseas with B-24's. Moved to the Mediterranean theater, Feb-Apr 1944; the air echelon received additional training in Tunisia before joining the ground echelon in Italy. Assigned to Fifteenth AF. Entered combat on 5 May 1944 and served primarily as a strategic bombardment organization until late in Apr 1945. Attacked marshalling yards, dock facilities, oil refineries, oil storage plants, aircraft factories, and other objectives in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans. On two different missions - to marshalling yards and an oil refinery at Vienna on 8 Jul 1944 and to steel plants at Friedrichshafen on 3 Aug 1944 - the group bombed its targets despite antiaircraft fire and fighter opposition, being awarded a DUC for each of these attacks. Other operations included bombing troop concentrations and bivouac areas in May 1944 to aid the Partisans in Yugoslavia; attacking enemy troops and supply lines to assist the drive toward Rome, May-Jun 1944; striking bridges, rail lines, and gun emplacements prior to the invasion of Southern France in Aug 1944; bombing rail facilities and rolling stock in Oct 1944 to support the advance of Russian and Rumanian forces in the Balkans; and hitting troops, gun positions, bridges, and supply lines during Apr 1945 in support of Allied forces in northern Italy. Moved to the Caribbean area in Jun 1945. Assigned to Air Transport Command. Inactivated in Trinidad on 31 Jul 1945.
Redesignated 465th Troop Carrier Group (Medium). Activated in the US on 1 Feb 1953. Trained with C-119's. Moved to France in Dec 1953 to become part of United States Air Forces in Europe.
Squadrons. 780th: 1943-1945; 1953-. 781st: 1943-1945; 1953-. 782d: 1943-1945; 1953-. 783d: 1943-1945.
Stations. Alamogordo AAFld, NM, 1 Aug 1943; Kearns, Utah, Sep 1943; McCook AAFld, Neb, c. 5 Oct 1943-1 Feb 1944; Pantanella Airfield, Italy, Apr 1944-Jun 1945; Waller Field, Trinidad, 15 Jun-31 Jul 1945. Donaldson AFB, SC, 1 Feb-30 Nov 1953; Toul/Rosiere AB, France, Dec 1953; Evreux AB, France, c. 20 May 1955-.
Commanders. Col Elmer Rogers Jr, 24 Aug 1943; Col Charles A Clark Jr, 13 Mar 1944; Lt Col Joshua H Foster, 1 Dec 1944; Lt Col William F Day Jr, 26 Apr 1945-unkn. Maj Clifford F Harris, Feb 1953; Col Earl W Worley, c. Mar 1953; Lt Col James D Barlow, 10 May 1954; Col James A Evans Jr, 19 Sep 1954; Col James D Barlow, 7 Apr 1955-.
Campaigns. American Theater; Air Combat, EAME Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Po Valley.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Vienna, Austria, 8 Jul 1944; Germany, 3 Aug 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Per bend gules and vert, a bend argent charged with a bendlet azure, between a wing of the third and a compass proper (bezant, with diapering green, bordered argent, thereover a four-pointed star compass, gules and azure). Motto: Onus Ferens Vitam - Cargo Carrying Life. (Approved 1 Jun 1955.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986