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48 OPERATIONS GROUP (USAFE)

Posted 9/23/2008 Printable Fact Sheet

Lineage. Established as 48 Bombardment Group (Light) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Redesignated: 48 Bombardment Group (Dive) on 28 Aug 1942; 48 Fighter-Bomber Group on 15 Aug 1943; 48 Fighter Group on 30 May 1944. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945. Redesignated 48 Fighter-Bomber Group on 25 Jun 1952. Activated on 10 Jul 1952. Inactivated on 8 Dec 1957. Redesignated: 48 Tactical Fighter Group on 31 Jul 1985; 48 Operations Group on 1 Mar 1992. Activated on 31 Mar 1992. 

Assignments. 15 Bombardment Wing, 15 Jan 1941; II Air Support (later, II Ground Air Support) Command, 1 Sep 1941; XII Bomber Command, 2 May 1942; III Bomber Command, 8 May 1942; III Ground Air Support (later, III Air Support) Command, 10 Aug 1942; III Fighter Command, 6 Aug 1943 (attached to I Air Support Command for operational control, 10 Sep 1943-14 Jan 1944); IX Air Support (later, IX Tactical Air) Command, 31 Mar 1944; XIX Tactical Air Command, 28 Apr-Aug 1945; First Air Force, 9 Sep-7 Nov 1945. 48 Fighter-Bomber Wing, 10 Jul 1952-8 Dec 1957. 48 Fighter Wing, 31 Mar 1992-. 

Operational Components. Squadrons: 55 Bombardment: 15 Jan 1941-20 Aug 1943. 56 Bombardment: 15 Jan 1941-20 Aug 1943. 56 Rescue: 28 Jun 2006-. 57 Bombardment: 15 Jan 1941-20 Aug 1943. 88 Bombardment: 21 Aug 1941-20 Aug 1943. 492 Fighter-Bomber (later, 492 Fighter): 20 Aug 1943-Nov 1945; 10 Jul 1952-8 Dec 1957; 31 Mar 1992-. 493 Fighter-Bomber (later, 493 Fighter): 20 Aug 1943-Nov 1945; 10 Jul 1952-8 Dec 1957; 1 Jan 1994-. 494 Fighter-Bomber (later, 494 Fighter): 20 Aug 1943-Nov 1945; 10 Jul 1952-8 Dec 1957; 31 Mar 1992-. 495 Fighter-Bomber (later, 495 Fighter): 20 Aug 1943-Jan 1944.
 
Stations. Savannah, GA, 15 Jan 1941; Will Rogers Field, OK, 26 May 1941; Savannah, GA, 7 Feb 1942; Key Field, MS, 28 Jun 1942; William Northern AAFld, TN, 20 Aug 1943; Walterboro AAFld, SC, 27 Jan-13 Mar 1944; Ibsley, England, 31 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, 9 Sep-7 Nov 1945. Chaumont AB, France, 10 Jul 1952-8 Dec 1957. RAF Lakenheath, England, 31 Mar 1992-. 

Commanders. Maj Bernard S. Thompson, 15 Jan 1941; Col Norman R. Burnett, Feb 1942; Col Preston P. Pender, c. Feb 1943; Col Robert Selway, unkn; Col Charles C. Kegelman, c. Apr 1943; Col Dixon M. Allison, 8 Nov 1943; Col George L. Wertenbaker Jr., 23 Apr 1944; Col James K. Johnson, 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. 17 May 1953; Col Frank A. Hill, c. Oct 1953; Col Arthur D. Thomas, Jul 1954; Lt Col John D. McFarlane, c. Jul 1955; Lt Col Thomas M. Hergert, by Jun 1956; None (not manned), 15 Mar-8 Dec 1957. Col Patrick F. Nolte, 31 Mar 1992; Col Glen W. Moorhead III, 4 May 1992; Col Kenneth M. DeCuir, 22 Jul 1994; Col Norman R. Seip, 22 Feb 1997; Col Steven R. Eddy, 28 Oct 1997; Col Jack B. Egginton, 3 Nov 1999; Col Benjamin G. Hensley, 28 Nov 2000; Col William J. DelGrego, 19 Jul 2002; Col Ronald K. Laughbaum, 13 Aug 2004; Col Garvin A. McGettrick, 29 Jun 2006-. 

Aircraft. A-20, 1941-1944; A-24, 1941-1944; A-35, 1941-1944; B-18, 1941-1944; P-39, 1941-1944; P-40, 1941-1944; A-31, 1941-1944; A-36, 1941-1944; P-47, 1944-1945. F-84, 1952-1953; F-86, 1954-1957. F-111, 1992; F-15, 1992-; HH-60, 2004-. 

Operations. The 48 Bombardment Group served as a replacement training unit from Jan 1941 through early 1944. It moved to England to serve with Ninth Air Force in Mar 1944. Employing P-47 aircraft, the group began fighter sweeps over the French Coast in Apr 1944. It escorted bombers and conducted dive-bombing missions in northern France in preparation for the allied invasion of Normandy in Jun 1944. On D-Day (6 Jun), it bombed bridges and enemy artillery positions. During the remainder of the Normandy campaign, it attacked railroads, motor transports, bridges, and fuel dumps. Moving to new bases in France, the group supported Allied ground forces as they broke through German lines at St Lo and drove across northern France toward the Rhine River during the summer of 1944. It assisted the Allied airborne attack in the Netherlands in Sep and operated from Belgium in the fall and winter of 1944. The 48th earned a Distinguished Unit Citation for close air support of Allied ground forces advancing against an enemy stronghold north of Julich, Germany on 6 Dec 1944. During the Battle of the Bulge (Dec 1944-Jan 1945) it supported American counterattacks and from Jan-May 1944, provided close air support of advancing ground forces in northwestern Europe. The group flew F-84s and later F-86s in France in support of United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) from Jul 1952-late 1957. When it activated in Mar 1992, it phased out the F-111 aircraft assigned to the 48 Fighter Wing and was equipped with F-15 aircraft. Over the next twelve years, the 48 Operations Group flew missions in support of USAFE and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Throughout the 1990s the group deployed elements to Southwest Asia and to Italy to support the following major combat Operations: NORTHERN WATCH; PROVIDE COMFORT; DENY FLIGHT; DECISIVE ENDEAVOR; DELIBERATE GUARD/FORGE; SKY ANVIL; NOBLE ANVIL. Supported the Aerospace Expeditionary Force (AEF) and provided elements that participated in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM, 2000-. 

Service Streamers. None. 

Campaign Streamers. World War II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air Combat, EAME. Kosovo: Air Campaign. 

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None. 

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Germany, 6 Dec 1944. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Jul 1994-30 Jun 1996; 1 Aug 1996-30 Sep 1998; 1 Oct 1998-30 Sep 2000; [14 Apr]-10 Jun 1999; 1 Oct 2000-24 Sep 2002; 1 Oct 2002-30 Sep 2004; 1 Oct 2004-31 Oct 2005; 1 Nov 2005-31 Dec 2006; 1 Jan-31 Dec 2007. Cited in the Orders of the Day, Belgian Army: 6 Jun-30 Sep 1944; 1 Oct-17 Dec 1944; 18 Dec 1944-15 Jan 1945. Belgian Fourragere. 

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 10 Sep 2008. 

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 29 May 2008. 

Supersedes statement prepared on 28 Jun 2005. 

Emblem. Group will use the wing emblem with group designation in the scroll. 

Prepared by Patsy Robertson. 

Reviewed by Daniel Haulman.







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