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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

HIstory of 30th Reconnaissance Squadron (Beast of Kandahar handlers)










30th RECONNAISSANCE SQUADRON (ACC)

Lineage. Constituted 30 Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on 5 Feb 1943. Redesignated 30 Photographic Squadron (Light) on 6 Feb 1943. Activated on 1 May 1943. Redesignated 30 Photo Reconnaissance Squadron on 11 Aug 1943. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945. Redesignated 30 Reconnaissance Squadron, Photo, on 11 Mar 1947. Activated in the Reserve on 25 Jul 1947. Redesignated 30 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Electronics, on 27 Jun 1949. Ordered to Active Service on 1 May 1951. Inactivated on 16 May 1951. Redesignated 30 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night-Photo, on 15 Nov 1952. Activated on 1 Jan 1953. Redesignated: 30 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photo-Jet, on 8 Jan 1957; 30 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 1 Oct 1966. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1976. Redesignated 30 Reconnaissance Squadron on 17 Jun 2005. Activated on 1 Sep 2005.

Assignments. 7 Photographic (later, Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping) Group, 1 May 1943; Third Air Force, 21 Jun 1943; III Reconnaissance Command, 12 Oct 1943; Ninth Air Force, 4 Feb 1944; 10 Photographic Group, 21 Feb 1944 (attached to 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group after 9 Jun 1944); 67 Tactical Reconnaissance (later, Reconnaissance) Group, 13 Jun 1944-7 Nov 1945. 66 Reconnaissance (later, Strategic Reconnaissance) Group, 25 Jul 1947-16 May 1951. 66 Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 1 Jan 1953; 66 Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, 8 Dec 1957 (attached to 10 Tactical Reconnaissance Wing from 8 Jan 1958); 10 Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, 8 Mar 1958-1 Apr 1976. 57 Operations Group, 1 Sep 2005-.

Stations. Peterson AAFld, CO, 1 May 1943; Will Rogers Field, OK, 10 Oct 1943; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 3-17 Jan 1944; Chalgrove, England, 1 Feb 1944; Middle Wallop, England, 17 May 1944; Le Molay, France, 3 Jul 1944; Toussus Le Noble, France, 31 Aug 1944; Charleroi-Gosselies, Belgium, 22 Sep 1944 (operated from Florennes Juzaine, Belgium, 8-18 Dec 1944); Vogelsang, Germany, 24 Mar 1945; Limburg, Germany, 2 Apr 1945; Eschwege, Germany, 11 Apr-Jul 1945; Drew Field, Fla, 20 Sep-7 Nov 1945. Newark AAB, NJ, 25 Jul 1947; McGuire AFB, NJ, 27 Jun 1949; Barksdale AFB, LA, 10 Oct 1949-16 May 1951. Shaw AFB, SC, 1 Jan 1953; Sembach AB, Germany, 8 Jul 1953; Spangdahlem AB, Germany, 8 Jan 1958; RAF Station (later, RAF) Alconbury, England, 25 Aug 1959 (operated from Moron AB, Spain, 9 May-10 Jun 1968)-1 Apr 1976. Tonopah Test Range, NV, 1 Sep 2005-.

Commanders. 1Lt William D. Mitchell, 1 May 1943; Major Richard S. Leghorn, 21 Aug 1943; Lt Col William D. Mitchell, 23 Jul 1944; Unkn, Jul-Nov 1945. Unkn, Jul 1947-May1951. Lt Col Clason B. Saunders, by Mar 1953; Maj Oliver T. Hayes, Jr., 16 Nov 1953; Maj Harold E. Grant, 9 Jul 1956; Maj Warren A. Williams, 22 Jul 1957; Maj Robert L. Hopkins, Feb 1958; Lt Col Steven R. Wilkerson, 13 Dec 1958; Lt Col Chester B. Hackett, 12 Jul 1960; Maj Philip V. Howell Jr., 1 May 1961; Maj Richard J. Saile, 4 Jan 1963; Lt Col Delbert C. Hainley, 15 Jan 1964; Lt Col Austin C. Ayotte, 26 Jun 1966; Lt Col Frank M. Kelley, 10 Feb 1967; Lt Col Bill M. Davies, 11 May 1967; Lt Col Robert C. Caudry, 10 Aug 1970; Lt Col Norman P. Huggins, 27 Jul 1971; Lt Col Curtis L. Behrend, 15 Mar 1972; Lt Col Thomas J. Wicker, 31 Oct 1972; Lt Col Alexander M. Milligan IV, 22 Jul 1974-1 Apr 1976.

Aircraft. P-38/F-4, 1943; P-38/F-5, 1943-1945. RB-26, 1953-1955;
B/RB-57, 1955-1957; RB-66, 1957-1965; RF-4, 1965-1976.

Operations. Trained in U.S., May-Dec 1943. Began flying photo reconnaissance in ETO on 25 Feb 1944. Mapped 6,000 square miles of the Netherlands and flew bomb-damage assessment missions over marshalling yards and gun emplacements in Belgium, Holland, and France, in Apr 1944. Earned DUC for participation with 10th Photographic Group, 7-20 May 1944, in photo reconnaissance of Normandy invasion beaches. The citation read, in part: "Employing specially modified equipment installed in unarmed P-38 type aircraft, the intrepid pilots of the 10th Photographic Reconnaissance Group undertook the most hazardous missions. Flying unarmed and unescorted and at altitudes as low as twenty-five feet, they fearlessly piloted their aircraft over the difficult photographic runs in the face of intense fire from some of the strongest anti-aircraft installations in western Europe." Flew sorties over France on D-Day making visual and photographic reconnaissance of bridges, artillery, road and rail junctions, traffic centers, airfields, and other targets. Flew weather missions, made visual reconnaissance for ground forces, and photographed enemy positions to assist the First and Third Armies, Twelfth Army Group, and other Allied forces in the drive to Germany. Flew its first mission over Germany on 24 Aug 1944. Took part in the offensive against the Siegfried Line, Sep-Dec 1944, and in the Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes-Alsace), Dec 1944-Jan 1945. From then until the close of the war in Europe, the squadron photographed dams and bridges on the Roer River in preparation for the ground offensive to cross the river, and aided the Allied assault across the Rhine River and into Germany. Flew its 2,000th operational mission on 22 Mar 1945. Flew missions to Berlin on 8 April and to Dresden on 10 Apr 1945. From 1947 to 1951, the squadron served as an Air Reserve corollary unit under the guidance of active duty units in order to train and maintain currency in reconnaissance operations for its reserve personnel. Provided tactical reconnaissance for USAFE and NATO, 1953-1976.

Service Streamers. None.

Campaign Streamers. World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France, Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air Combat, EAME Theater.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: [7]-20 May 1944. Citation in the Order of the Day, Belgian Army, [10] Jun-[29] Sep 1944; [17] Dec 1944-25 Jan 1945. Belgian Fourragere. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 31 Dec 1959-1 Jan 1962; 15 Jul 1968-15 Jul 1969; 1 Jun 1972-1 Jun 1973.

Lineage, Assignments, Stations, and Honors through 1 Sep 2005.

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 30 Sep 1976.

Supersedes statement prepared on 24 Oct 1969.

Emblem. Approved on 17 Jul 2007.

Prepared by William M. Butler.

Reviewed by A. Timothy Warnock.

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