Constituted as 492d Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 Sep 1943. Activated on 1 Oct 1943. Trained for combat with B-24's. Moved to England in Apr 1944 and assigned to Eighth AF. Entered combat on 11 May 1944, and throughout the month operated primarily against industrial targets in central Germany. Attacked airfields and V-weapon launching sites in France during the first week in Jun. Bombed coastal defenses in Normandy on 6 Jun 1944 and attacked bridges, railroads, and other interdiction targets in France until the middle of the month. Resumed bombardment of strategic targets in Germany and, except for support of the infantry during the St Lo breakthrough on 25 Jul 1944, continued such operations until Aug 1944. Transferred, less personnel and equipment, to another station in England on 5 Aug 1944 and assumed personnel, equipment, and the Carpetbagger mission of a provisional group that was discontinued. Operated chiefly over southern France with B-24's and C-47's, engaging in Carpetbagger operations, that is, transporting agents, supplies, and propaganda leaflets to patriots. Ceased these missions on 16 Sep 1944 to haul gasoline to advancing mechanized forces in France and Belgium. Intermittently attacked airfields, oil refineries, seaports, and other targets in France, the Low Countries, and Germany until Feb 1945. Meanwhile, in Oct 1944, began training for night bombardment operations; concentrated on night bombing of marshalling yards and goods depots in Germany, Feb-Mar 1945. Ceased these missions on 18 Mar 1945 to engage in Carpetbagger operations over Germany and German-occupied territory, using B-24, A-26, and British Mosquito aircraft to drop leaflets, demolition equipment, and agents. Received a DUC for these operations, performed at night despite adverse weather and vigorous opposition from enemy ground forces, 20 Mar-25 Apr 1945. Also cited by the French government for similar operations over France in 1944. Flew its last Carpetbagger mission in Apr 1945 and then ferried personnel and equipment to and from the Continent until Jul. Returned to the US, Jul-Aug 1945. Redesignated 492d Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) in Aug 1945. Inactivated on 17 Oct 1945.
Squadrons. 406th: 1945. 856th: 1943-1945. 857th: 1943-1945. 858th: 1943-1944, 1944-1945. 859th: 1943-1945.
Stations. Alamogordo AAFld, NM, 1 Oct 1943-1 Apr 1944; North Pickenham, England, 18 Apr 1944; Harrington, England, 5 Aug 1944-8 Jul 1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, 14 Aug 1945; Kirtland Field, NM, 17 Aug-17 Oct 1945.
Commanders. Col Arthur Pierce, 19 Oct 1943; Maj Louis C Adams, 17 Dec 1943; Col Eugene H Snavely, 16 Jan 1944; Col Clifford Heflin, 13 Aug 1944; Lt Col Robert W Fish, 16 Aug 1944; Col Hudson H Upham, 17 Dec 1944; Lt Col Jack M Dickerson, c. 7 Jun 1945; Lt Col Dalson E Crawford, 30 Aug-Oct 1945.
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; Rhineland; Central Europe.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Germany and German-occupied territory, 20 Mar-25 Apr 1945. French Croix de Guerre with Palm.
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986