Constituted as 364th Fighter Group on 25 May 1943. Activated on 1 Jun 1943. Trained with P-38's. Moved to England, Jan-Feb 1944. Began operations with Eighth AF in Mar. Flew escort, dive-bombing, strafing, and patrol missions in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany. At first, operated primarily as escort for heavy bombers. Patrolled the English Channel during the Normandy invasion in Jun 1944, and, while continuing escort operations, supported ground forces in France after the invasion by strafing and bombing locomotives, marshalling yards, bridges, barges, and other targets. Converted from P-38's to P-51's in the summer of 1944 and from then until the end of the war flew many long-range escort missions for B-17's that attacked oil refineries, industries, and other strategic objectives at Berlin, Regensburg, Merseburg, Stuttgart, Brussels, and elsewhere. Received a DUC for an escort mission on 27 Dec 1944 when the group dispersed a large force of German fighters that attacked the bomber formation the group was escorting on a raid to Frankfurt. Also flew air-sea rescue missions, engaged in patrol activities, and continued to support ground forces as the battle line moved through France and into Germany. Took part in the effort to invade Holland by air, Sep 1944; the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945; and the assault across the Rhine, Mar 1945. After the war, remained in England until Nov 1945. Returned to the US. Inactivated on 10 Nov 1945.
Redesignated 131st Fighter Group. Allotted to ANG (Mo) on 24 May 1946. Extended federal recognition on 15 Jul 1946. Redesignated 131st Composite Group in Nov 1950, and 131st Fighter Group in Feb 1951. Ordered into active service on 1 Mar 1951. Assigned to Strategic Air Command. Redesignated 131st Fighter-Bomber Group in Apr 1951. Assigned to Tactical Air Command in Nov 1951. Trained with F-51's. Relieved from active duty and returned to ANG (Mo), on 1 Dec 1952. Redesignated 131st Bombardment Group (Light).
Squadrons. 110th: 1951-1952. 170th: 1951-1952. 192d: 1951-1952. 383d: 1943-1945. 384th: 1943-1945. 385th: 1943-1945.
Stations. Glendale, Calif, 1 Jun 1943; Van Nuys, Calif, 12 Aug 1943; Ontario AAFld, Calif, II Oct 1943; Santa Maria AAFld, Calif, c. 7 Dec 1943-c. 11 Jan 1944; Honington, England, Feb 1944-c. Nov 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 9-10 Nov 1945. Lambert Field, Mo, 1 Mar 1951; Bergstrom AFB, Tex, 10 Mar 1951; George AFB, Calif, 7 Aug 1951-1 Dec 1952.
Commanders. Lt Col Frederick C Grambo, 12 Jun 1943; Col Roy W Osborn, c. Mar 1944; Lt Col Joseph B McManus, c. 9 Sep 1944; Lt Col John W Lowell, c. 23 Oct 1944; Col Roy W Osborn, 2 Nov 1944; Lt Col Eugene P Roberts, 3 Jan-Nov 1945. Lt Col Val W Bollwerk, Mar 1951; Col Donald J M Blakeslee, c. Apr 1951; Cal Woodrow W Ramsey, c. Dec 1951-1 Dec 1952.
Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Frankfurt, Germany, 27 Dec 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Azure, on a pile issuing from sinister chief argent an aircraft rocket sable banded of the second leaving a trail gules between two general purpose aerial bombs in bend sinisterwise of the third. Motto: Parati Ad Agendum - Ready for Action. (Approved 29 Mar 1954.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986
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