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7th Reconnaissance Group

Constituted as 7th Photographic Group on 5 Feb 1943. Activated on 1 May 1943. Redesignated 7th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group in May 1943, 7th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) in Nov 1943, and 7th Reconnaissance Group in Jun 1945. Transferred, without personnel and equipment, to England on 7 Jul 1943 and assigned to Eighth AF. Used Spitfires and L-5's to obtain information about bombardment targets and damage inflicted by bombardment operations; provide mapping service for air and ground units; observe and report on enemy transportation, installations, and positions; and obtain data on weather conditions. Prior to Jun 1944, photographed airfields, cities, industrial establishments, and ports in France, the Low Countries, and Germany. Received a DUC for operations during the period, 31 May-30 Jun 1944, when its coverage of bridges, marshalling yards, canals, highways, rivers, and other targets contributed much to the success of the Normandy campaign. Covered missile sites in France during Jul, and in Aug carried out photographic mapping missions for ground forces advancing across France. Provided reconnaissance support for the airborne attack on Holland in Sep and for the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945. Used P-51's to escort its own reconnaissance planes during the last months of the war as the group supported the Allied drive across the Rhine and into Germany. Took part in the final bomb-damage assessment following V-E Day. Inactivated in England on 21 Nov 1945. Disbanded on 6 Mar 1947.

Squadrons. 13th: 1943-1945. 14th: 1943-1945. 22d: 1943-1945. 27th: 1943-1945. 28th: 1943. 29th: 1943. 30th: 1943.

Stations. Peterson Field, Colo, 1 May-7 Jul 1943; Mount Farm, England, 7 Jul 1943; Chalgrove, England, Mar 1945; Hitcham, England, Oct-21 Nov 1945.

Commanders. Col James G Hall, 7 Jul 1943; Col Homer L Saunders, Sep 1943; Col Paul T Cullen, 1 Jan 1944; Lt Col George A Lawson, 17 Feb 1944; Lt Col Norris E Hartwell, 7 May 1944; Lt Col Clarence A Shoap, 9 Aug 1944; Col George W Humbrecht, Oct 1944; Maj Hubert M Childress, 18 Jun 1945-unkn.

Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: France, 31 May-30 Jun 1944. French Croix de Guerre With Palm: 1944.

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986


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