Constituted as 66th Observation Group on 21 Aug 1941. Activated on 1 Sep 1941. Redesignated 66th Reconnaissance Group in Apr 1943, and 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Aug 1943. Equipped at various times with O-46, O-47, A-20, P-39, P-40, B-25, L-5, and L-6 aircraft. Supported ground units on maneuvers, including the Carolina Maneuvers of 1942, the Tennessee Maneuvers of 1942 and 1943, and the Second Army Maneuvers of 1943-1944. Trained personnel in aerial reconnaissance and artillery adjustment methods. Also flew antisubmarine patrols off the east coast, Jan-Aug 1942. Disbanded on 20 Apr 1944.
Reconstituted, redesignated 66th Reconnaissance Group, allotted to the reserve, and activated, on 27 Dec 1946. Equipped with RB-26's and RF-80's. Redesignated 66th Strategic Reconnaissance Group in Jun 1949. Called to active duty on 1 May 1951. Inactivated on 16 May 1951.
Redesignated 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Group. Activated on 1 Jan 1953. Assigned to Tactical Air Command. Equipped with RB-26's and RF-80's. Moved to Germany, Jun-Jul 1953, and assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe. Transitioned to RB-57's and RF-84's, 1954-1955.
Squadrons. 18th: 1947-1949. 19th Liaison: 1942-1943. 19th Reconnaissance: 1947-1949. 20th: 1947-1949, 1949-1951. 23d: 1943. 30th: 1947-1951; 1953-. 97th: 1941-1943. 106th: 1941-1943. 118th: 1941-1943. 302d: 1953-. 303d: 1953-.
Stations. Jacksonville, Fla, 1 Sep 1941; Charleston, SC, Jan 1942; Jacksonville Mun Aprt, Fla, Mar 1942; Pope Field, NC, May 1942; Tullahoma, Tenn, Sep 1942; Morris Field, NC, Nov 1942; Camp Campbell, Ky, Apr 1943; Aiken AAFld, SC, Jun 1943; Lebanon, Tenn, Oct 1943-20 Apr 1944. Newark AAB, NJ, 27 Dec 1946; McGuire AFB, NJ, 27 Jun 1949; Barksdale AFB, La, 10 Oct 1949-16 May 1951. Shaw AFB, SC, 1 Jan-1 Jul 1953; Sembach AB, Germany, c. 7 Jul 1953-.
Commanders. Maj Harry W Generous, 4 Nov 1941; Lt Col Charles A Masson, c. 26 May 1942; Lt Col Theron Coulter, 6 Dec 1942; Maj Edward O McComas, c. 31 Aug 1943; Lt Col Frederick L Moore, c. 16 Oct 1943-20 Apr 1944. Lt Col Stanley W Irons, Jan 1953; Col Harvey E Henderson, Jul 1953-.
Campaigns. Antisubmarine, American Theater.
Insigne. Shield: Per bend gules and azure, a bend nebule argent between a sprig of goldenrod or, and a sprig of mountain laurel vert, fimbriated of the fourth. Motto: Omnia Conspicimus - We Observe All. (Approved 5 Jan 1943.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986