308th Armament Systems Group
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|308th Armament Systems Group|
Emblem of the 308th Bombardment Group
|Branch||United States Army Air Forces|
|Engagements||World War II|
The unit's mission is to equipp warfighters with long range, precision attack capabilities.
- For additional lineage and history, see 308th Armament Systems Wing
- See also: Horace S. Carswell, Jr., Medal of Honor recipient
Constituted as 308th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 January 1942, and activated on 15 April. Assigned to II Bomber Command for training. Received deployment orders for the China-Burma-India Theater (CBI) in February 1943.
Deployed to Kunming Airport, China in March 1943, becoming the heavy bombardment arm of the new Fourteenth Air Force. Air echelon deployed to the CBI via the South Atlantic Transport route via Brazil, then across central Africa and Middle East to Karachi, India. Ground echelon traveling by ship across the Pacific via Australia.
Once established in India, group aircraft made many trips over the Himalayan Mountains (The Hump) to Southeastern China from the Assam Valley of India airlifting obtain gasoline, oil, bombs, spare parts, and other items the group needed to prepare for and then to sustain its combat operations. In addition to the B-24 heavy bombers, group utilized C-87 Liberator transports for logistical support.
From its main base at Kunming and later Hsinching Airfield, the 308th carried out long range strategic bombardment of enemy targets in China in support of Chinese ground forces. The group attacked airfields, coalyards, docks, oil refineries, and fuel dumps in French Indochina; mined rivers and ports; bombed shops and docks at Rangoon; attacked Japanese shipping in the East China Sea, Formosa Strait, South China Sea, and Gulf of Tonkin.
Received a Distinguished Service Cross for an unescorted bombing attack, conducted through antiaircraft fire and fighter defenses, against docks and warehouses at Hankowon 21 August 1943. Received second DUC for interdiction of Japanese shipping during 1944–1945.
Major Horace S Carswell Jr. was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on 26 October 1944 when, in spite of intense antiaircraft fire, he attacked a Japanese convoy in the South China Sea; his plane was so badly damaged that when he reached land he ordered the crew to bail out; Carswell, however, remained with the plane to try to save one man who could not jump because his parachute had been ripped by flak; before Carswell could attempt a crash landing, the plane struck a mountainside and burned.
The group moved to India in June 1945. Ferried gasoline and supplies over the Hump. After the Japanese Capitulation in August, the group remained in India in support United States forces in the CBI. Personnel sailed for the United States in December, leaving B-24s to the colonial Indian forces. The unit inactivated as a paper unit in January 1946.
From October 1946 through January 1951, served with Air Weather Service; supervised training and operation of weather reconnaissance units. Not operational 10 October 1951 – 16 June 1952.
Beginning in November 2004 reactivated; mission to equip warfighters with long range, precision attack capabilities.
- Established as 308th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
- Activated 15 April 1942
- Inactivated 6 January 1946
- Redesignated 308th Reconnaissance Group, Weather, on 27 September 1946
- Activated 17 October 1946
- Inactivated 5 January 1951
- Redesignated 308th Bombardment Group, Medium, on 4 October 1951
- Activated 10 October 1951
- Inactivated 16 June 1952
- Consolidated (3 May 2006) with Long Range Missile Systems Group, which was established on 23 November 2004.
- Activated 27 January 2005
- Redesignated 308th Armament Systems Group on 15 May 2006.
- Second Air Force, 15 April 1942
- Fourteenth Air Force, 10 March 1943
- United States Forces India-Burma Theater, August–December 1945
- Air Transport Command, Air Weather Service, 17 October 1946
- Military Air Transport Service, Air Weather Service, 1 June 1948 – 5 January 1951
- 308th Bombardment Wing, 10 October 1951 – 16 January 1952
- Air to Ground Munitions Systems (later, 308th Armament Systems) Wing, 27 January 2005–present
- 36 Reconnaissance (later, 425 Bombardment) Squadron: 15 April 1942 – 6 January 1946
- 53d Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather): attached 17 October 1946 – 15 October 1947
- 54th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather): 17 October 1946 – 15 October 1947
- 55th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather): 17 October 1946 – 15 October 1947
- 59th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather): attached 17 October 1946 – 15 October 1947
- 373d Bombardment Squadron: 15 April 1942 – 21 July 1945; 10 October 1951 – 16 June 1952 (detached 10 October 1951 – 17 April 1952).
- 374th (later, 374 Reconnaissance) Squadron: 15 April 1942 – 6 January 1946; 15 October 1947 – 19 December 1950; 10 October 1951 – 16 June 1952 (detached 10 October 1951 – 17 April 1952)
- 375th Bombardment Squadron: 15 April 1942 – 6 January 1946; 10 October 1951 – 16 June 1952 (detached 10 October 1951 – 17 April 1952).
- 512th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather): 15 October 1947 – 20 September 1948; 13 February-14 November 1949
- 513th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather): 15 October 1947 – 20 September 1948; 10 August 1949 – 19 December 1950
- 2078th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron: 1 June 1948 – 20 March 1950.
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- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- USAF 308th Armament Systems Group factsheet