48th Fighter Group

Constituted as 48th Bombardment Group (Light) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Redesignated 48th Bombardment Group (Dive) in Sep 1942, and 48th Fighter-Bomber Group in Aug 1943. Used A-20's and B-18's during 1941, and A-20, A-24, A-31, A-35, A-36, P-39, P-40, and other aircraft between 1942 and 1944. Served as a replacement training unit, participated in maneuvers, and for a brief time engaged in coastal patrol work.

Moved overseas, arriving in England in Mar 1944. Assigned to Ninth AF. Trained with P-47's. Began operations on 20 Apr 1944 by making a fighter sweep over the coast of France. Redesignated 48th Fighter Group in May 1944. Flew escort and dive-bombing missions to help prepare for the invasion of Normandy. Bombed bridges and gun positions on 6 Jun and attacked rail lines and trains, motor transports, bridges, fuel dumps, and gun positions during the remainder of the Normandy campaign. Moved to France, Jun-Jul 1944. Helped Allied forces break through the German lines at St Lo in Jul, supported the Allied drive across France in Aug and Sep, and assisted the airborne attack on Holland in Sep. Cited by the Belgian Government for close cooperation with Allied armies during the period Jun-Sep 1944. Moved to Belgium and operated from there in the fall and winter of 1944-1945, being awarded second Belgian citation for operations during that time. Received a DUC for action on 6 Dec 1944: facing intense enemy fire while flying below a heavy overcast, the group struck buildings, entrenchments, and troop concentrations to assist the advance of ground forces against an enemy stronghold north of Julich. Supported ground operations during the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 1944-Jan 1945) and received third Belgian citation for relentless assaults against the enemy during that battle. Continued tactical air operations from bases on the Continent, supporting ground forces until the end of the war. During combat, also flew patrol, escort,weather reconnaissance, and leaflet missions; on one occasion carried blood plasma that was dropped in belly tanks to ground troops. Moved to the US during Aug-Sep 1945. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945.

Redesignated 48th Fighter-Bomber Group. Activated in France on 10 Jul 1952. Assigned to United States Air Forces in Europe. Equipped with F-84's and later with F-86 aircraft.

Squadrons. 492d (formerly 55th): 1941-1945; 1952-. 493rd (formerly 56th): 1941-1945; 1952-. 494th (formerly 57th): 1941-1945; 1952-. 495th (formerly 88th): 1941-1944.

Stations. Savannah, Ga, 15 Jan 1941; Will Rogers Field, Okla, 22 May 1941; Savannah, Ga, 7 Feb 1942; Key Field, Miss, 28 Jun 1942; William Northern Field, Tenn, 20 Aug 1943; Waterboro AAFld, SC, 27 Jan-13 Mar 1944; Ibsley, England, 29 Mar 1944; Deux Jumeaux, France, 18 Jun 1944; Villacoublay, France, 29 Aug 1944; Cambrai/Niergnies, France, 15 Sep 1944; St Trond, Belgium, 30 Sep 1944; Kelz, Germany, 26 Mar 1945; Kassel, Germany, 17 Apr 1945; Illesheim, Germany, 29 Apr 1945; Laon, France, 5 Jul-Aug 1945; Seymour Johnson Field, NC, Sep-Nov 1945. Chaumont AB, France, 10 July 1952-.

Commanders. Lt Col Bernard S Thompson, 1941; Col Norman R Burnett, unkn; Lt Col Preston P Pender, c. 1943; Lt Col Charles C Kegelman, c. Apr 1943; Col Dixon M Allison, c. 8 Nov 1943; Col George L Wertenbaker Jr, 23 Apr 1944; Col James K Johnson, c. Oct 1944; Lt Col Harold L McNeely, 8 Jun 1945; Lt Col Paul P Douglas Jr, 28 Jun 1945-unkn. Col Chesley G Peterson, 10 Jul 1952; Lt Col Arthur D Thomas, c. 1 Jun 1953; Col Frank A Hill, c. Sep 1953; Col Arthur D Thomas, c. Jul 1954; Lt Col John D McFarlane, 1955-.

Campaigns. Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Germany, 6 Dec 1944. Cited in the Order of the Day, Belgian Army: 6 Jun-30 Sep 1944; 1 Oct 1944-; 18 Dec 1944-15 Jan 1945. Belgian Fourragere.

Insigne. Shield: Argent, on a pale engrailed azure a dexter hand couped at the wrist grasping a sword or. Motto: Vulneratus Non Victus - Unconquered even though Wounded. (Approved 12 Jan 1942.)

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986

Army Air Forces Airplane Insignia

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