Constituted as 3rd Photographic Group on 9 Jun 1942 and activated on 20 Jun. Redesignated 3rd Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group in May 1943, 3rd Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) in Nov 1943, and 3rd Reconnaissance Group in May 1945. Moved, via England, to the Mediterranean theater, Nov-Dec 1942, and assigned to Twelfth AF. Used F-4 and F-5 aircraft. Provided photographic intelligence that assisted the campaigns for Tunisia, Pantelleria, Sardinia, and Sicily. Reconnoitered airdromes, roads, marshalling yards, and harbors both before and after the Allied landings at Salerno. Covered the Anzio area early in 1944 and continued to support Fifth Army in its drive through Italy by determining troop movements, gun positions, and terrain. Flew reconnaissance missions in connection with the invasion of Southern France in Aug 1944. Received a DUC for a mission on 28 Aug 1944 when the group provided photographic intelligence that assisted the rapid advance of Allied ground forces. Also mapped areas in France and the Balkans. Inactivated in Italy on 12 Sep 1945. Disbanded on 6 Mar 1947.
Squadrons. 5th: 1942-1945. 12th: 1942-1945. 13th: 1942-1943. 14th: 1942-1943. 15th: 1942-1944. 23d: 1944-1945.
Stations. Colorado Springs, Colo, 20 Jun-13 Aug 1942; Membury, England, 8 Sep 1942; Steeple Morden, England, 26 Oct-22 Nov 1942; La Senia, Algeria, 10 Dec 1942; Algiers, Algeria, 25 Dec 1942; La Marsa, Tunisia, 13 Jun 1943; San Severo, Italy, 8 Dec 1943; Pomigliano, Italy, 4 Jan 1944; Nettuno, Italy, 16 Jun 1944; Viterbo, Italy, 26 Jun 1944; Corsica, c. 14 Jul 1944; Rosia, Italy, c. Sep 1944; Florence, Italy, 17 Jan 1945; Pomigliano, Italy, 26 Aug-12 Sep 1945.
Commanders. Capt George H McBride, 20 Jun 1942; Maj Harry T Eidson, 25 Jun 1942; Maj Elliott Roosevelt, 11 Jul 1942; Lt Col Furman H Limeburner, 13 Aug 1942; Col Elliott Roosevelt, 30 Sep 1942; Lt Col Frank L Dunn, c. Mar 1943; Lt Col James F Setchell, c. 4 Nov 1943; Maj Hal C Tunnell, 19 Jan 1944; Maj Thomas W Barfoot Jr, c. 29 May 1944; Col Duane L Kime, 17 Sep 1944; Lt Col Oscar M Blomquist, 29 May 1945; Lt Col James E Hill, 2 Aug-c. Sep 1945.
Campaigns. Air Combat, EAME Theater; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Po Valley.
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: MTO, 28 Aug 1944.
Insigne. Shield: Per chevron or and azure, in center chief point a stylized camera, lens to base sable. Motto: Archez Bien - Shoot Well. (Approved 29 Oct 1942.)
Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986
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