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452d Operations Group
Emblem of the 452d Operations Group
Active 1943-1945; 1947-1952; 1952-1959; 1992-Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
C-17 of the 729th Airlift Squadron being refueled by a KC-135R of the 336th Air Refueling Squadron

The 452d Operations Group (452 OG) is the flying component of the 452d Air Mobility Wing, assigned to the United States Air Force Reserve. The group is stationed at March Air Reserve Base, California.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 452d Bombardment Group (Heavy) was a Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England, stationed at RAF Deopham Green. 1st Lieutenant Donald J. Gott and 2d Lieutenant William E. Metzger, Jr were both awarded the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions.

The present day 452d works to maintain a special relationship with the 452d Bomb Group Memorial Association to keep its proud heritage alive.



The 452d Operations Group includes a C-17 Globemaster III flying squadron and a KC-135R Stratotanker flying squadron as well as an aeromedical evacuation squadron:


Emblem of the 452d Bombardment Group
B-17s of the 452d Bomb Group.

World War II

The 452 Bombardment Group (Heavy) was established on 14 May 1943 and activated on 1 Jun 1943 at Geiger Field, Washington.

Activated 1 June 1943 Unit was transferred to Rapid City AAB, South Dakota on 15 June 1943 and trained there until early October 1943. It had been redesignated as 452 Bombardment Group, Heavy on 20 August 1943. The unit was moved to Pendleton Field Oregon on 11 October 1943 and to Walla Wallla AAFd Washington on the 4th of November 1943.

Ground unit left for Camp Shanks New York on the 23rd of December 1943 and sailed on the Queen Elizabeth on the 2nd of January 1944, and arrived in Clyde on the 8th of January 1944. The air echelon began overseas movement in early December 1943 via the southern ferry route. Most of the aircraft reached England a few days before the ground units arrived. The 452d was assigned to the 45th Combat Bombardment Wing, and the group tail code was a "Square-L".

the 452nd entered combat on 5 Feb with an attack against aircraft assembly plants at Brunswick. Throughout combat, engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets, including marshalling yards at Frankfurt, aircraft assembly plants at Regensburg, aircraft component works at Kassel, the ball-bearing industry at Schweinfurt, a synthetic rubber plant at Hanover, and oil installations at Bohlen.

In addition to strategic missions, the 452d supported ground forces and carried out interdictory operations. Helped prepare for the invasion of Normandy by hitting airfields, V-weapon sites, bridges, and other objectives in France. The group struck coastal defenses on D-Day, 6 June 1944. Bombed enemy positions in support of the breakthrough at St Lo in July and the offensive against Brest in August and September 1944. Later in September, assisted the airborne attack on Holland. Hit enemy communications in and near the combat zone during the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Bombed an airfield in support of the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945.

The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for action on 7 April 1945 when, despite vigorous fighter attacks and heavy flak, it accurately bombed a jet-fighter base at Kaltenkirchen. The 452d Bomb Group flew its last combat mission of World War II [in Europe] on 21 April, striking marshalling yards at Ingolstadt.

The group flew a total of 250 missions from Deopham Green during the war, losing 110 of its bombers in the course of these operations. Indeed, the group suffered particularly heavy losses during the spring of 1944, at that time sustaining one of the highest rates of loss of any Fortress equipped unit in the Eighth Air Force.

Redeployed to the US June/August 1945. The air echelon departed the United Kingdom late June 1945. Ground echelon sailed on the Queen Elizabeth from Greenock on the 5th of August 1945, and arrived in New York on the 11th of August 1945. The unit established at Sioux Falls AAFd, South Dakota where the Group was inactivated on the 28th of August 1945.

Cold War

Redesignated 452 Bombardment Group, Very Heavy on 11 March 1947. Activated in the Reserve on 19 April 1947. Redesignated 452 Bombardment Group, Light on 27 June 1949 Trained as a bombardment group under supervision of the 2347th Air Force Reserve Training Center. Ordered to active duty effective 10 August 1950 for duty in the Korean War. Moved to Japan, Oct-Nov 1950, and entered combat with B-26s against communist forces late in Oct, operating first from bases in Japan and later from South Korea. Flew armed reconnaissance, intruder, and interdiction missions, and provided support for ground troops. Bombed and strafed buildings, tunnels, rail lines, switching centers, bridges, vehicles, supply dumps, and airfields until May 1952. Received two DUCs for actions during the Korean War. Remanned and trained as a tactical reconnaissance group, (452 Tactical Reconnaissance Group) 1952-1955; as a tactical bombardment group (452 Bombardment Group, Tactical), 1955-1957; and as a troop carrier group, (452 Troop Carrier Group, Medium) 1957-1959.

Modern era

Redesignated: 452 Air Refueling Group, Heavy on 31 July 1985 but remained inactive. * Redesignated: 452 Operations Group on 1 August 1992 and activated in the Reserve. On 1 August 1992, the 452d Operations Group (452d OG) was activated as a result of the 452d Refueling Wing implementing the USAF objective wing organization. Upon activation, the 452 OG was bestowed the lineage and history of the 452 Air Refueling Group and all predecessor organizations. the 452d OG was assigned the flying squadrons of the 452d Refueling Wing.

In 1993, March AFB was selected for realignment. As part of the Air Force's realignment the 452nd ARW was deactivated and their personnel and equipment joined under the 452nd Air Mobility Wing on April 1, 1994. On April 1, 1996, March officially became March Air Reserve Base. In 2005, the Group retired its C-141 fleet. A year later, the wing began to receive its eight C-17s.


Component units


Aircraft operated

  • B-17, 1943-1945
  • C-45, c. 1948-1949
  • C-47, c. 1948-1949; 1957-1958
  • B/TB/FB-26, 1948-1957
  • Primarily flew F/TF-51, 1953-1954
  • F/TF-80, 1954-1955
  • C-46, 1957-1958; 1952-1954
  • C-119, 1958-1959
  • C-45, 1953-1955, 1957-1958
  • TB-25, 1954-1955
  • KC-135, 1992-Present
  • KC-10, 1992-1995
  • C-141, 1994-2005
  • C-17, 2006-Present

See also



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

  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Rogers, Brian. United States Air Force Unit Designations since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.

External links


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