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392nd Strategic Missile Wing: Wikis

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392d Strategic Missile Wing
392dbombgroup-emblem.jpg
Emblem of the 392d Bombardment Group (World War II)
Active 1943–1945, 1949; 1961
Country United States
Branch United States Army Air Forces
United States Air Force
Role Bombardment
Intercontinental Missile
Part of Eighth Air Force
Strategic Air Command
Garrison/HQ European Theatre of World War II
Vandenberg AFB, California

The 392d Strategic Missile Wing is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 1st Strategic Aerospace Division, stationed at Vandenburg Air Force Base, California. It was inactivated on 20 December 1961.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 392d Bombardment Group was a Eighth Air Force B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment group stationed in England, stationed at RAF Wendling. The group flew 285 combat missions, suffering 1552 casualties including 835 killed in action or line of duty and 184 aircraft lost.

Contents

History

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Lineage

  • Constituted as 392d Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 15 Jan 1943
Activated on 26 Jan 1943
Deactivated on 13 Sep 1945
  • Wing established as 392d Bombardment Wing, Light, on 16 May 1949
Activated in the Reserve on 27 Jun 1949
392d Bombardment Group assigned to wing as subordinate unit
Wing and Group inactivated on 10 Nov 1949
  • Redesignated 392d Fighter-Day Wing on 23 Mar 1953 (Remained inactive)
  • Redesignated 392d Strategic Missile Wing and activated on 6 Oct 1961
Organized on 18 Oct 1961.
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 20 Dec 1961

Assignments

Attached to: 202d Provisional Combat Bombardment Wing, 2 Sep 1943
Attached to: 47th Bombardment Wing (Light) 27 Jun-2 Oct 1949

Stations Assigned

Aircraft and missiles

Operational Units

  • 392d Bombardment Group, 27 Jun-10 Nov 1949
  • 576th Bombardment (later missile) Squadron (CI), 26 Jan 1943-13 Sep 1945; 27 Jun-10 Nov 1949 (Group); 18 Oct-20 Dec 1961
  • 577th Bombardment Squadron (DC), 26 Jan 1943-13 Sep 1945; 27 Jun-10 Nov 1949 (Group)
  • 578th Bombardment Squadron (EC), 26 Jan 1943-13 Sep 1945; 27 Jun-10 Nov 1949 (Group)
  • 579th Bombardment Squadron (GC), 26 Jan 1943-13 Sep 1945; 27 Jun-10 Nov 1949 (Group)

Operational History

World War II

Consolidated B-24 Liberators of the 392d Bomb Group on a mission over enemy-occupied territory.
Consolidated B-24H-15-CF Liberator Serial 41-29433 of the 576th Bomb Squadron on a mission over enemy-occupied territory. This aircraft crash-landed May 29, 1944 at Sporle, near Little Fransham, UK.

Activated 26 January 1943 at Davis Monthan AAFd, Arizona, and trained there until February 1943. The unit moved to Biggs Field, Texas, and on March 1943, and then to Alamogordo AAB, New Mexico on 18 April 1943. The ground unit left for the port of embarkation on 18 July 1943. The unit sailed out from New York on 25 July 1943, and arrived in England on 30 July 1943. Assigned to the Eighth Air Force at RAF Wendlingin East Anglia. The group was assigned to the 14th Combat Bombardment Wing, and the group tail code was a "Circle-D".

The 392d BG entered combat on September 9, 1943 and engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic objectives on the Continent until April 1945. The group attacked such targets as an oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen, a marshalling yard at Osnabruck, a railroad viaduct at Bielefeld, steel plants at Brunswick, a tank factory at Kassel, and gas works at Berlin.

The group took part in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against the German aircraft industry during Big Week, February 20–25, 1944, being awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for bombing an aircraft and component parts factory at Gotha on February 24. The unit sometimes supported ground forces or carried out interdictory operations along with bombing airfields and V-weapon sites in France prior to the Normandy invasion in June 1944 and struck coastal defenses and choke points on D-Day.

The group hit enemy positions to assist ground forces at Saint-Lô during the breakthrough in July 1944. Bombed railroads, bridges, and highways to cut off German supply lines during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945. Dropped supplies to Allied troops during the air attack on Holland in September 1944 and during the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945.

The 392d Bomb Group flew its last combat mission on April 25, 1945, then carried food to the Dutch. The unit returned to Charleston AAF South Carolina on June 25, 1945 and was deactivated on September 13, 1945.

Redeployed to the US May/June 1945. First of the aircraft departed the United Kingdom on 29 May 1945. Ground echelon sailed on Queen Mary on 15 June 1945, arriving in New York on 20 June 1945. Personnel had 30 days R and R with the unit assembling in Charleston AAFd, South Carolina, in late June 1945 for air transport duties but was not fully manned and inactivated on 13 September 1945.

Cold War

Reactivated as a reserve corollary of the 47th Bombardment Wing, Light in 1949.

The wing was reformed in 1961 to control missile training operations at Vandenberg AFB, Lompoc, California. It operated the Atlas missile, with the 564th SMS (October 18, 1961 – December 20, 1961) and the 565th SMS (July 1, 1961 – December 1, 1964)and the Titan. However it was eliminated by a reorganization of 1st Strategic Aerospace Division.

References

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

Notes

Bibliography

  • Freeman, Roger A. Airfields of the Eighth: Then and Now. After the Battle, 1978. ISBN 0-90091-309-6.
  • Freeman, Roger A. The Mighty Eighth: The Colour Record. Cassell & Co., 1991. ISBN 0-304-35708-1.
  • Hawkins, Ian. 20th Century Crusaders: 392nd Bombardment Group (H): January 1943 – September 1945. True Tales of the Air War Over Europe told by those who lived them. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publications, 1997.
  • Matt, John. Crewdog: A Saga of a Young American. Hamilton, Virginia: Waterford Books, 1992.
  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947–1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-91279-912-9.
  • Vickers, Robert E., Jr. The Liberators From Wendling: The Combat Story of the 392nd Bombardment Group (H) of the Eighth Air Force During World War Two. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Unit Memorial Collection, Eighth Air Force, World War II (392nd BG), 1972 (republished in 1977 by Military Affairs/Aerospace Historian Publications).

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