2d Operations Group: Wikis


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2d Operations Group
Active 1918; 1919-1946; 1947-1952; 1991-Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Bombardment
Garrison/HQ Barksdale Air Force Base
B-52H Stratofortress of the 20th Bomb Squadron

The 2d Operations Group (2 OG) is the flying component of the United States Air Force 2d Bomb Wing, assigned to the Air Combat Command Eighth Air Force. The group is stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

The 2d OG is one of two Air Combat Command groups to fly the B-52H Stratofortess. Its mission is to protect the United States and further its global interests by providing devastating combat capability

The group is a successor organization to 2nd Bombardment Group, one of the 15 original combat air groups formed by the Army before World War II. It is the oldest bomb group of the Air Force, having fought on the Western Front during World War I, entering combat on 12 September 1918. After the war, it participated in Brigadier General Billy Mitchell's 1921 off-shore bombing test. During World War II the group engaged in combat from bases in North Africa and Italy flying B-17 Flying Fortress.

On 1 July 1947, the 2th became one of the original ten bombardment groups of Strategic Air Command.



The 2d OG (Tail Code: LA) consists of the following squadrons:


See 2d Bomb Wing for additional history and lineage information


  • Organized as 1 Day Bombardment Group on 10 Sep 1918
Demobilized in Nov 1918 [after 11 Nov 1918]
  • Consolidated (8 Apr 1924) with the 1 Day Bombardment Group, which was organized on 18 Sep 1919
Redesignated: 2 Group (Bombardment) on 31 Mar 1921
Redesignated: 2 Bombardment Group on 25 Jan 1923
Redesignated: 2 Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 6 Dec 1939
Redesignated: 2 Bombardment Group, Heavy on 20 Aug 1943
Inactivated on 28 Feb 1946
  • Redesignated 2 Bombardment Group, Very Heavy on 1 May 1946
Activated on 1 Jul 1947
Redesignated 2 Bombardment Group, Medium on 12 Jul 1948
Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952
  • Redesignated 2 Operations Group on 29 Aug 1991
Activated on 1 Sept 1991.
  • Designated 2d Air Expeditionary Group in December 1998 when wing elements deployed to combat areas.


Attached to 43d Bombardment Wing, 5 Nov 1947 – 31 Dec 1948
Attached to 3d Air Division, 18 Feb – 16 May 1950


  • 2d Air Refueling Squadron: 1 Jan 1949 – 16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Feb 1951 – 16 Jun 1952); 1 Sept 1991 – 1 Jun 1992
  • 11 Aero (later, 11 Squadron; 11 Bombardment; 11 Bomb): 10 Sept – Nov 1918; 18 Sept 1919 – c. 3 Jun 1927; 1 Jul 1994 – Present
  • 20 Aero (later, 20 Squadron; 20 Bombardment; 20 Bomb): 10 Sept – Nov 1918; 18 Sept 1919 – 28 Feb 1946; 1 Jul 1947 – 16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Feb 1951 – 16 Jun 1952); 18 Dec 1992 – Present
  • 32d Air Refueling Squadron: 1 Sept 1991 – 1 Jun 1992
  • 41 Reconnaissance (later, 429 Bombardment): attached c. Dec 1940 – 24 Feb 1942, assigned 25 Feb 1942 – 28 Feb 1946 (detached 3 Sept 1941 – 29 Oct 1942)
  • 54 Bombardment: 1 Mar 1935 – 1 Sept 1936 (detached entire period)
  • 62 Bomb: 1 Sept 1991 – 18 Jan 1993
  • 71 Air Refueling: 1 Sept 1991 – 1 Oct 1993
  • 96 Aero (later, 96 Squadron; 96 Bombardment; 96 Bomb): 10 Sept – Nov 1918; 18 Sept 1919 – 28 Feb 1946 (detached 12 Nov 1919 – 10 Jan 1921 and May – Oct 1921); 1 Jul 1947 – 16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Feb 1951 – 16 Jun 1952); 1 Oct 1993 – Present
  • 166 Aero (later, 49 Squadron; 49 Bombardment): c. 21 Sept – Nov 1918; 18 Sept 1919 – 28 Feb 1946 (detached May – Oct 1921, Aug 1922 – Jan 1928, and Dec 1941 – Jun 1942); 1 Jul 1947 – 16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Feb 1951 – 16 Jun 1952)
  • 596 Bomb: 1 Sept 1991 – 1 Oct 1993.


Deployed at Alpena Airport, Michigan, 5-8 Aug 1940
Deployed at RAF Lakenheath, England, 10 Aug-c. 22 Nov 1948
Deployed at RAF Marham, England, 18 Feb – 16 May 1950

Aircraft assigned

The 2 Operations Group's squadrons flew a variety of aircraft, and records do not always allow determining the exact dates the planes were received and lost. The following tabulation is as accurate as sources permit.

Operational History

World War I

USAAC Roundel.svg

The history of the 2d Bomb Wing is nearly as old as that of American air power itself. Equipped with DH-4 and Breguet aircraft, the Group entered combat on 12 Sept 1918. As the 1st Day Bombardment Group during World War I, it attacked troop concentrations and communications to interfere with the enemy's movement of reinforcements and supplies to the front during the Allied offensive at St. Mihiel. Also took part in the Meuse-Argonne campaign, attacking the enemy behind the line, and conducting bombing operations that helped to protect Allied ground forces by diverting German pursuit planes from the battle zone.

On 9 October 1918, it participated in one of the largest bombing raids of the war, when 353 Allied planes commanded by Gen. Billy Mitchell struck German troop concentrations in the Meuse-Argonne area where German troops were preparing for a counterattack against the Allied offensive.

In more than two months of combat, the group delivered more than 111 tons of bombs on German targets. Demobilized in France in Nov, soon after the armistice.

Interwar years

NBS-1 of the 96th Bomb Squadron, April 1926

On 18 September 1919, at Kelly Field, Texas, the group was re-organized and formally established as part of the Air Service. On 31 March 1921, the 1st Day Bombardment Group was re-designated the 2d Group (Bombardment), and on 25 January 1923, as the 2d Bombardment Group.

From 13 to 21 July 1921, the 2d Group’s four bombardment squadrons were detached to General Mitchell’s 1st Provisional Air Brigade to conduct controversial tests to determine the efficiency of aircraft against naval warships. The aircraft successfully bombed and sank three ex-German warships, including the formidable 22,437-ton battleship Ostfriesland, off the coast of Virginia. From 23 to 26 September 1921, the group’s bombardment squadrons, again under the direction of General Mitchell, bombed and sank the ex-Navy battleship USS Alabama (BB-8) in yet another test of aircraft bombardment efficiency.

On 1 July 1922, the 2d Bomb Group relocated to Langley Field, Virginia, where it would remain for the next twenty years. On 5 September 1923, the group, operating from an improvised aerodrome on the sands near Cape Hatteras, N.C., bombed and sank the ex-Navy battleships USS Virginia and USS New Jersey.

To further attest the group’s capabilities, three 97th Bombardment Squadron Martin B-10B aircraft commanded by Capt. Richard E. Nugent departed Langley Field, Va., and successfully bombed a target 600 miles away in Michigan during the Second Army Maneuvers. This mission, flown almost entirely in inclement weather, garnered the squadron the 1936 Mackay Trophy.

On 4 March 1937, the group received the first of 12 B-17 Flying Fortresses delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps. A goodwill tour to Argentina by six B-17s in February 1938 and a flight to Colombia by three B-17s in August of the same year highlighted the late 1930s. The trip to Buenos Aires represented the longest distance performance of its kind on record and won the group the Mackay Trophy in 1938. A second MacKay trophy was won in February of the following year when a crew flew medical supplies aboard the XB-15 to Chile following a catastrophic earthquake.

The group also achieved a well-publicized success on 12 May 1938, when three B-17s, led by group commander Lt. Col. Robert Olds and navigated by 1st Lt. Curtis E. LeMay, intercepted the Italian ocean liner Rex over 600 miles at sea during a training exercise.

On 6 December 1939, the group was redesignated the 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy).

World War II

Emblem of the 2d Bomb Group
A B-17G of the 96th BS, 2nd BG, dropping its bombs.

Served on antisubmarine duty for several months after the U.S. entered World War II. In October 1942 was redesignatred as 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy) and earmarked for combat. The group was transferred on paper to Geiger Field, Washington, where it was re-organized and trained with new personnel. The group was made up of four Squadrons, the 20th, 49th, 96th, and the 429th. In November 1942, the squadrons were sent to satellite bases in Montana for additional training as units, the 20th to Great Falls, the 49th to Lewistown, the 96th to Glasgow, and the 429th to Cut Bank. This was the third and final phase of training.

The 2nd Bomb Group and squadrons left their satellite bases on 13-14 March 1943 arriving at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey 17-18 March 1943 for debarkation overseas. The Flight Echelon left the above bases for Morrison Field West Palm Beach, Florida; Natal, Brazil; Marrakech, Morocco and arriving at Navarin, Algeria on 22 April 1943. The Ground Echelon were disbursed at Camp Kilmer in several ships arriving at Casablanca and Port Lyautey in March/April, 1943, thence motor and train convoy to Navarin, Algeria. Was initially assigned to Twelfth Air Force.

It arrived at Chateau D'un, Algeria on 27 April 1943. The first mission on 28 April 1943 was to Terranova, Sardinia. The 2nd Bomb Group departed Chateau D'un after flying 25 missions and arrived at Ain M'Lila, Algeria on 17 June 1943 and flew 25 missions from that base. The 2nd Bomb Group departed for Massicault, Tunisia on 31 July 1943 and flew 56 missions from that base.

Missions flown included bombing such targets as marshalling yards, airdromes, troop concentrations, bridges, docks, and shipping. Participated in the defeat of Axis forces in Tunisia, Apr-May 1943; the reduction of Pantelleria and the preparations for the invasion of Sicily, May-Jul 1943; and the invasion of Italy, Sep 1943.

Moved to Italy in Dec 1943 and continued operations as part of Fifteenth Air Force. Operated primarily from Amendola Air Base in Foggia. Engaged primarily in long-range bombardment of strategic targets in Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Rumania, and Greece. Participated in the drive toward Rome, Jan-Jun 1944; the invasion of Southern France, Aug 1944, and the campaigns against German forces in northern Italy, Jun 1944-May 1945. En route to bomb an aircraft factory at Steyr, Austria on 24 Feb 1944, the group was greatly outnumbered by enemy interceptors, but it maintained its formation and bombed the target, receiving a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for the performance. On the following day, while on a mission to attack aircraft factories at Regensburg, it met similar opposition equally well and was awarded a second DUC.

Served as part of the occupation force in Italy after V-E Day. Inactivated in Italy on 28 Feb 1946. Group gunners claimed 279 victories of German and Italian aircraft.

Cold War

On 1 July 1947, the group was redesignated the 2nd Bomb Group (Very Heavy) and activated at Davis Monthan Field, Arizona. Equipped with B-29 Superfortress bombers, the 2nd BG became part of the Strategic Air Command. Trained for bombardment missions and deployed to England, Aug-Nov 1948 and Feb-May 1950. On 10 Feb 1951 the group became a "paper organization" with its squadron components attached directly to the 2 Bombardment Wing as part of the Air Force tri-deputate reorganization. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952.

Modern era

McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender 79-1713

The group was reactivated in on 1 September 1991 as the 2d Operations Group and assigned to the 2d Wing as part of the "Objective Wing" concept adapted by the Air Force. The 2d OG was bestowed the lineage, honors and history of the 2d Bombardment Group and its predecessor units. The 2d OG took control of the wings bomber and refueling squadrons upon activation.

Trained for global conventional bombardment missions as well as maintaining nuclear operational readiness. Briefly controlled the wing's air refueling mission until it transferred to Air Mobility Command. Provided combat crew training for all USAF B-52 aircrews, beginning Nov 1994. In response to Saddam Hussein's attacks against the Kurdish minority in northern Iraq, aircrews of the 96 Bomb Sq deployed and launched attacks against military targets in Iraq in Sept 1996, actions for which the aircrews received the Mackay trophy as the most meritorious flight of 1996. Continued to deploy aircraft and personnel to southwest Asia to support the Allied watch on the southern and northern "no-fly" zones in Iraq. Flew combat missions against targets in Iraq, 17-18 Dec 1998, in response to Iraq's refusal to allow UN weapons inspectors to continue work. Flew combat missions against targets in Yugoslavia, 24 Mar-9 Jun 1999, in support of NATO Operation Allied Force. In Oct 1999 began deploying personnel in support of aerospace expeditionary forces worldwide and maintaining on-call elements at home.

Global War on Terrorism

After the terrorist attacks against the U.S. on 11 Sept 2001, group elements, including the 20 Bomb Sq, deployed to the island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. On 7 Oct flew early attacks on targets in Afghanistan in Operation Enduring Freedom to rid that country of terrorist bases and its extremist Taliban rulers. Later flew airborne alert missions over Afghanistan and in Operation Anaconda, flew bombing missions against targets in eastern Afghanistan, 1-18 Mar 2002. In the invasion of Iraq beginning Mar 2003, flew missions on 21 Mar in "shock and awe" strikes against command and control targets. Provided bomber combat power and expeditionary combat support for warfighters, 2004-2006.


PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.
  • USAFHRA 2d Operations Group Factsheet

External links


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