2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 9, 2021 12:33 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking Presidential Unit Citation for 14th Air Force service in WWII

    Bruce Kitchen Newbie

      Was the 14th Air Force awarded a Presidential Unit Citation for service in the China Burma India Theatre during WWII?  Same question for the 308th Bomb Group and 375th Bomb Squadron....Thanks.

        • Re: Seeking Presidential Unit Citation for 14th Air Force service in WWII
          Elliot Schneider Ranger

          Bruce,

           

          Here is some information on the following. Looks like according to the lineage they received the Distinguished Unit Citation, this was finally changed to the Presidential Unit Citation (PUC)  3 NOV 1966.

           

          308th BG:

           

          Lineage:  Established as 308 Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated 15 Apr 1942. Inactivated 6 Jan 1946. Redesignated 308 Reconnaissance Group, Weather, on 27 Sep 1946. Activated 17 Oct 1946. Inactivated 5 Jan 1951. Redesignated 308 Bombardment Group, Medium, on 4 Oct 1951. Activated 10 Oct 1951. Inactivated 16 Jun 1952. Consolidated (3 May 2006) with Long Range Missile Systems Group, which was established on 23 Nov 2004. Activated 27 Jan 2005. Redesignated 308 Armament Systems Group on 15 May 2006. Inactivated 30 Jun 2010 per DAF/A1M 194t, 19 May 2010; SO #GA-7, HQ AFMC, 28 May 10.

          Assignments:  Second Air Force, 15 Apr 1942; Fourteenth Air Force, 10 Mar 1943; United States Forces India-Burma Theater, Aug-Dec 1945; Air Transport Command, Air Weather Service, 17 Oct 1946; Military Air Transport Service, Air Weather Service, 1 Jun 1948-5 Jan 1951. 308 Bombardment Wing, 10 Oct 1951-16 Jan 1952. Air to Ground Munitions Systems (later, 308 Armament Systems) Wing, 27 Jan 2005-30 Jun 2010.

          Components: 

          Squadrons:  36 Reconnaissance (later, 425 Bombardment): 15 Apr 1942-6 Jan 1946; 53 Reconnaissance: attached 17 Oct 1946-15 Oct 1947. 54 Reconnaissance: 17 Oct 1946-15 Oct 1947. 55 Reconnaissance: 17 Oct 1946-15 Oct 1947. 59 Reconnaissance: attached 17 Oct 1946-15 Oct 1947. 373 Bombardment: 15 Apr 1942-21 Jul 1945; 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Oct 1951-17 Apr 1952). 374 Bombardment (later, 374 Reconnaissance): 15 Apr 1942-6 Jan 1946; 15 Oct 1947-19 Dec 1950; 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Oct 1951-17 Apr 1952). 375 Bombardment: 15 Apr 1942-6 Jan 1946; 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Oct 1951-17 Apr 1952). 512 Reconnaissance: 15 Oct 1947-20 Sep 1948; 13 Feb-14 Nov 1949. 513 Reconnaissance: 15 Oct 1947-20 Sep 1948; 10 Aug 1949-19 Dec 1950. 2078 Weather Reconnaissance: 1 Jun 1948-20 Mar 1950.

          Stations:  Gowen Field, ID, 15 Apr 1942; Davis-Monthan Field, AZ, 20 Jun 1942; Wendover Field, UT, 1 Oct-28 Nov 1942; Kunming, China, 20 Mar 1943; Hsinching , China, 10 Feb 1945; Ruspi, India, 27 Jun-15 Oct 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 5-6 Jan 1946. Morrison Field, FL, 17 Oct 1946; Fairfield-Suisun AAFld, CA, 1 Jul 1947; Tinker AFB, OK, 10 Nov 1949-5 Jan 1951. Forbes AFB, KS, 10 Oct 1951; Hunter AFB, GA, 11 Apr-16 Jun 1952. Eglin AFB, FL, 27 Jan 2005-.

          Commanders:  Capt Harris K. McCauley, 11 May 1942; Col Fay R. Upthegrove, 5 Jun 1942; Maj Leroy A. Rainey, 15 Jul 1942; Col Eugene H. Beebe, 16 Sep 1942; Col William P. Fisher, c. 3 Nov 1943; Col John G. Armstrong, 19 Oct 1944; Col William D. Hopson, 1 Jul 1945-unkn. Col Richard E. Ellsworth, 17 Oct 1946-unkn; Col Hervey H. Whitfield, Apr 1949-unkn; Col George N. Newton Jr., 5 Nov 1951; Col Maurice A. Preston, 10 May-16 Jun 1952. Col James Geurts, Jan 2005; Col John R. Griggs, 4 May 2006-.

          Aircraft:  B-24, 1942-1945. B-29, 1946-1951.

          Operations:  Made many trips over the Hump to India to obtain gasoline, oil, bombs, spare parts, and other items the group needed to prepare for and then to sustain its combat operations. The 308th Group supported Chinese ground forces; 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 DUC for an unescorted bombing attack, conducted through antiaircraft fire and fighter defenses, against docks and warehouses at Hankow on 21 Aug 1943. Received second DUC for interdiction of Japanese shipping during 1944-1945. Maj Horace S Carswell Jr was awarded the Medal of Honor for action on 26 Oct 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 Jun 1945. Ferried gasoline and supplies over the Hump. Sailed for the US in Dec 1945. From Oct 1946 through Jan 1951, served with Air Weather Service; supervised training and operation of weather reconnaissance units. Not operational 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952. Beginning in Jan 2005 equipped warfighters with long range, precision attack capabilities.

          Service Streamers:  None.

          Campaign Streamers:  World War II: China Defensive; China Offensive; India-Burma; Western Pacific; New Guinea.

          Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers:  None.

          Decorations:  Distinguished Unit Citations: China, 21 Aug 1943; East and South China Seas, Straits of Formosa, and Gulf of Tonkin, 24 May 1944-28 Apr 1945.

          Emblem:  Azure, between a pale argent thereon three pallets gules, on the dexter a star of twelve points white, charged with an annulet azure; on the sinister a thundercloud proper with three lightning flashes or; in chief per chevron, inverted and enhanced sable, three bombs points downward or, between a semee of fifteen stars argent. Motto: Non Sibi, Sed Aliis - Not for Self, But for Others. (Approved 29 Aug 1952.) Group will use the wing emblem with the group designation in the scroll.

           

           

           

           

           

           

          375th BS:

           

          Lineage:  Constituted 375th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 15 Apr 1942. Inactivated on 6 Jan 1946. Redesignated 375th Reconnaissance Squadron (Very Long Range, Weather) on 16 Sep 1947. Activated on 15 Oct 1947. Inactivated on 21 Feb 1951. Redesignated 375th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 4 Oct 1951. Activated on 10 Oct 1951. Discontinued, and inactivated, on 25 Jun 1961.

          Assignments:  308th Bombardment Group, 15 Apr 1942-6 Jan 1946. 7th Weather Group 15 Oct 47-3 Jun 48, 7th Weather Group (later 2107th Air Weather Group) Jun 48-21 Feb 51. 308th Bombardment Group, 10 Oct 1951 (attached to 21st Air Division, 10 Oct 1951-17 Apr 1952); 308th Bombardment Wing, 16 Jun 1952-25 Jun 1961.

          Stations:  Gowen Field, Idaho, 15 Apr 1942; Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz, 18 Jun 1942; Alamogordo, NM, 24 Jul 1942; Davis-Monthan Field, Ariz, 28 Aug 1942; Wendover Field, Utah, 1 Oct 1942; Pueblo AAB, Colo, 1 Dec 1942-2 Jan 1943; Chengkung, China, 20 Mar 1943; Hsinching, China, 18 Feb 1945; Rupsi, India, 27 Jun-14 Oct 1945; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 5-6 Jan 1946. Ladd Field, Alaska, 15 Oct 1947 (one flight operated from Fairfield-Suisun AAFld, Calif, and later from Shemya AFB, Alaska, 15 Oct 1947-15 May 1949); Eielson AFB, Alaska, 6 Mar 1949-21 Feb 1951. Forbes AFB, Kan, 10 Oct 1951; Hunter AFB, Ga, 17 Apr 1952; Plattsburgh AFB, NY, 15 Jul 1959-25 Jun 1961.

          Aircraft:  B-18, 1942; B-24, 1942-1945. B/RB/WB-29, 1947-1951; C-47, 1947-1951. B-29, 1951-1952; B-47, 1953-1959.

          Operations:  Combat in CBI and Western Pacific, 4 May 1943-19 Apr 1945. Not manned, 15 Jul 1959-25 Jun 1961.

          Service Streamers:  None.

          Campaigns:  India-Burma; China Defensive; New Guinea; Western Pacific; China Offensive; Air Combat, Asiatic-Pacific Theater.

          Decorations:  Distinguished Unit Citations: China, 21 Aug 1943; East and South China Seas, Straits of Formosa, and Gulf of Tonkin, 24 May 1944-[19] Apr 1945. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award: 1 Nov 1956-1 Apr 1957.

          Emblem:  Over and through a white disc, border black, a skeleton in black cloak, wearing black aviator's helmet and white goggles, ear phones and chin strap trimmed black, holding in the right hand a yellow aerial bomb point down, and in the left hand a scythe white trimmed black; inner folds of sleeve magenta. (Approved 11 Jan 1943.)

           

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          • Re: Seeking Presidential Unit Citation for 14th Air Force service in WWII
            Jason Atkinson Guide

            Dear Mr. Kitchen,

             

            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

            According to the A Guide to United States Air Force Lineage and Honors, during World War II, the Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) was used by the US Army and the Army Air Forces (AAF). The Presidential Unit Citation (PUC) was equivalent to the Distinguished Unit Citation, however during World War II, it was only used by the Navy and the Marine Corps.  Some AAF organizations that operated under Navy control or in close support of the Navy also received the PUC. After 1965, the US Air Force adopted the Presidential Unit Citation instead of the Distinguished Unit Citation to recognize outstanding combat performance of its tactical organizations.

             

            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Award Cards, 1942 - 1963 in the Records of the National Archives and Records Administration (Record Group 64) that includes digitized unit awards cards for the 14th Air Force, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, 308th Bomb Group, and the 375th Bomb Squadron, which indicates the 308th Bomb Group and the 375th Bomb Squadron were awarded the DUC. The card for the 14th Air Force Headquarters lists campaign participation awards for the China Burma India (CBI) but does not indicate it was awarded the DUC.

             

            The DUCs for the 308th Bomb Group and the 375th Bomb Squadron were awarded in the War Department General Orders (WDGOs) listed on the cards. WDGOs are located in the “War Department and Defense Department Publications and Issuances, ca. 1941-1970” in the Records of the Adjutant General's Office, 1917-1985 (Record Group 407). These records have not been digitized and are not available online. For more information about these records, please contact the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) via email at Archives2reference@nara.gov.

             

            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.

             

            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!