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303 Air Expeditionary Group (USAFE)

In accordance with Chapter 3 of AFI 84-105, commercial reproduction of this emblem is NOT permitted without the permission of the proponent organizational/unit commander.

In accordance with Chapter 3 of AFI 84-105, commercial reproduction of this emblem is NOT permitted without the permission of the proponent organizational/unit commander.

Lineage. Established as 303 Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 3 Feb 1942. Redesignated as 303 Bombardment Group, Heavy on 20 Aug 1943. Inactivated on 25 Jul 1945. Redesignated as 303 Bombardment Group, Very Heavy on 11 Jun 1947. Activated on 1 Jul 1947. Inactivated on 6 Sep 1948. Redesignated as 303 Bombardment Group, Medium on 27 Aug 1951. Activated on 4 Sep 1951. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952. Consolidated (23 Jun 2006) with the Global Hawk Systems Group, which was constituted on 23 Nov 2004. Activated on 18 Jan 2005. Redesignated as 303 Aeronautical Systems Group on 14 Jul 2006. Inactivated on 30 Jun 2010. Redesignated as 303 Air Expeditionary Group, and converted to provisional status, on 8 Mar 2011.

Assignments. Second Air Force, 3 Feb-28 Aug 1942; 1 Bombardment Wing, 10 Sep 1942; 41 Combat Bombardment Wing, 13 Sep 1943; Air Transport Command, North African Division, 15 Jun-25 Jul 1945. Strategic Air Command, 1 Jul 1947-6 Sep 1948. 303 Bombardment Wing, 4 Sep 1951-16 Jun 1952. Reconnaissance Systems (later, 303 Aeronautical Systems) Wing, 18 Jan 2005-30 Jun 2010. United States Air Forces in Europe, to activate or inactivate, at any time on or after, 8 Mar 2011.

Operational Components. Squadrons: 303 Air Refueling: 4 Sep 1951-8 Apr 1952. 358 Bombardment: 3 Feb 1942-25 Jul 1945; 1 Jul 1947-6 Sep 1948; 4 Sep 1951-16 Jun 1952. 359 Bombardment: 3 Feb 1942-25 Jul 1945; 1 Jul 1947-6 Sep 1948; 4 Sep 1951-16 Jun 1952. 360 Bombardment: 3 Feb 1942-25 Jul 1945; 1 Jul 1947-6 Sep 1948; 4 Sep 1951-16 Jun 1952. 38 Reconnaisssance (later, 427 Bombardment): attached c. 13 Mar 1942, assigned 31 Mar 1942-25 Jul 1945.

Stations. Pendleton Field, OR, 3 Feb 1942; Gowan Field, ID, 11 Feb 1942; Alamagordo Field, NM, 12 Jun 1942; Biggs Field, TX, 7-24 Aug 1942; Molesworth, England, 12 Sep 1942; Casablanca, French Morocco, 11 Jun-25 Jul 1945. Andrews Field (later, Andrews AFB), MD, 1 Jul 1947-6 Sep 1948. Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 4 Sep 1951-16 Jun 1952. Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, 18 Jan 2005-30 Jun 2010.

Commanders. Lt Col John R. Sutherland, 3 Feb 1942; Col Ford J. Lauer, 17 Feb 1942; Col Warren H. Higgins, 29 May 1942; Col James H. Wallace, 13 Jul 1942; Col Charles E. Marion, 23 Jan 1943; Col Kermit D. Stevens, 19 Jul 1943; Lt Col Lewis E. Lyle, 1 Sep 1944; Lt Col Richard H. Cole, 11 Oct 1944; Col William S. Raper, 29 Oct 1944; Capt Bernard Thompson, 11 Jun-25 Jul 1945. Probably unmanned, 1 Jul 1947-6 Sep 1948. Maj Joe Maddalena Jr., Sep 1951; Col David Wade, 9 Oct 1951 (additional duty); Col John K. Hester, Jan-16 Jun 1952 (additional duty).

Aircraft. B-17, 1942-1945. None (not manned), 1947-1948. B-29, 1951-1952.

Operations. Prepared for combat Feb-Aug 1942. Moved to England and entered combat in Nov 1942. Raided targets such as airdromes, railroads, and submarine pens in France until 1943. Began bombardment of industries, marshalling yards, cities, and other strategic targets in Germany Jan 1943 through V-E Day. Received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for an operation on 11 Jan 1944, when in spite of attacks by enemy fighters in weather that prevented effective fighter cover from reaching the group, it successfully struck an aircraft assembly plant at Oschersleben, Germany. Attacked gun emplacements and bridges in the Pas de Calais area during the Normandy invasion in Jun 1944. Struck airfields, oil depots and other targets during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Flew last combat mission against armament works in Pilsen on 25 Apr 1945. There is no evidence that the group was manned from 1947-1948. Trained in heavy bombardment to meet Strategic Air Command commitments, Sep 1951- Jun 1952.

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 Theater.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Germany, 11 Jan 1944.
 
Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 17 Mar 2011.

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 16 Jun 1952.

Supersedes statement prepared on 2 Aug 2006.

Emblem. Approved on 9 Jan 1943.
 
Prepared by Patsy Robertson.
 
Reviewed by Daniel Haulman.