Lineage. Established as 492 Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 14 Sep 1943. Activated on 1 Oct 1943. Redesignated as: 492 Bombardment Group, Heavy on 20 Aug 1943; 492 Bombardment Group, Very Heavy on 5 Aug 1945. Inactivated on 17 Oct 1945. Redesignated 492 Air Expeditionary Group, and converted to provisional status, on 12 Jun 2002. Activated on 1 Mar 2003. Inactivated on 27 May 2003. Redesignated as: 492 Bombardment Group, Very Heavy, on 3 May 2017; 492 Special Operations Wing on 4 May 2017. Activated on 10 May 2017.
Assignments. Second Air Force, 1 Oct 1943; Eighth Air Force, Apr 1944; VIII Bomber Command, Apr 1944; 2 Bombardment Division, Apr 1944; VIII Air Force Composite Command, c. 10 Aug 1944; VIII Fighter Command, 1 Oct 1944; 1 Bombardment (later, 1 Air) Division, c. 22 Oct 1944; Second Air Force, c. 14 Aug-17 Oct 1945. Air Mobility to activate or inactivate at any time after 12 Jun 2002. Attached to Twenty-First Air Force, 1 Mar-27 May 2003. Air Force Special Operations Command, 10 May 2017-.
Components. Groups. 492 Special Operations: 10 May 2017-. 492 Special Operations Training: 10 May 2017-. Squadrons. 406 Bombardment: 5 Aug-17 Oct 1945. 856 Bombardment: 1 Oct 1943-17 Oct 1945. 857 Bombardment: 1 Oct 1943-17 Oct 1945 (detached 10 Mar-c. Aug 1945). 858 Bombardment: 1 Oct 1943-21 Jun 1944; 5 Aug 1944-17 Oct 1945. 859: 1 Oct 1943-c. Aug 1945 (detached 17 Dec 1944-c. Aug 1945).
Stations. Alamogordo AAFld, NM, 1 Oct 1943-Apr 1944; North Pickenham, England, 18 Apr 1944 (air echelon), 28 Apr 1944 (ground echelon); Harrington, England, c. 10 Aug 1944-Jul 1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, 14 Aug 1945; Kirtland Field, NM, 17 Aug-17 Oct 1945. Lajes Field, Azores, 1 Mar-27 May 2003. Hurlburt Field, FL, 10 May 2017-.
Commanders. Col Arthur J. Pierce, 19 Oct 1943; Maj Louis C. Adams, Dec 1943; Col Eugene H. Snavely, 26 Jan 1944; Col Clifford J. Heflin, 13 Aug 1944; Lt Col Robert W. Fish, 26 Aug 1944; Col Hudson H. Upham, 17 Dec 1944; Lt Col Robert W. Fish, Apr 1945; Lt Col Jack M. Dickerson, c. 7 Jun 1945; Lt Col Dalson E. Crawford, 30 Aug-Oct 1945.
Aircraft. B-24, 1943-1945; C-47, 1944-1945; A-26, 1945; Mosquito, 1945.
Operations. Trained in the U.S. for combat with B-24s. Moved to England in Apr 1944 for operations with Eighth Air Force. 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 in support of the allied invasion on 6 Jun 1944, then 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 mission of a provisional group that was then discontinued. Operated chiefly over southern France, engaging in “Carpetbagger” operations in conjunction with the OSS, transporting agents, supplies, and propaganda leaflets. 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, then concentrated on night bombing of marshalling yards and depots in Germany, Feb-Mar 1945. On 18 Mar 1945 resumed Carpetbagger operations over Germany and German-occupied territory, dropping leaflets, demolition equipment, and agents. Received a Distinguished Unit Citation (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, then ferried personnel and equipment to and from the Continent until Jul. Returned to the U.S., Jul-Aug 1945 and inactivated on 17 Oct 1945.
Service Streamers. None.
Campaign Streamers. World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; Rhineland; Central Europe; Air Combat, EAME Theater.
Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Germany and German-occupied territory, 20 Mar-25 Apr 1945. French Croix de Guerre with Palm.
Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 16 May 2017.
Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through Oct 1945.
Supersedes statement prepared on 27 May 2003.
Emblem. Approved 13 Jul 2017.
Prepared by Daniel L. Haulman.