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392d Strategic Missile Wing
Emblem of the 392d Bombardment Group (World War II)
Active 1943–1945, 1949; 1961
Country United States
Branch United States Army Air Forces
United States Air Force
Role Bombardment
Intercontinental Missile
Part of Eighth Air Force
Strategic Air Command
Garrison/HQ European Theatre of World War II
Vandenberg AFB, California

Consolidated B-24 Liberators of the 392d Bomb Group on a mission over enemy-occupied territory.

Consolidated B-24H-15-CF Liberator Serial 41-29433 of the 576th Bomb Squadron on a mission over enemy-occupied territory. This aircraft crash-landed 29 May 1944 at Sporle, near Little Fransham, UK.

The 392d Strategic Missile Wing is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 1st Strategic Aerospace Division, stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. It was inactivated on 20 December 1961.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 392d Bombardment Group was an Eighth Air Force B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment group stationed in England, stationed at RAF Wendling. The group flew 285 combat missions, suffering 1552 casualties including 835 killed in action or line of duty and 184 aircraft lost.

History[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Activated 26 January 1943 at Davis Monthan AAFd, Arizona, and trained there until February 1943. The unit moved to Biggs Field, Texas, and on March 1943, and then to Alamogordo AAB, New Mexico on 18 April 1943. The ground unit left for the port of embarkation on 18 July 1943. The unit sailed out from New York on 25 July 1943, and arrived in England on 30 July 1943. Assigned to the Eighth Air Force at RAF Wendlingin East Anglia. The group was assigned to the 14th Combat Bombardment Wing, and the group tail code was a "Circle-D".

The 392d BG entered combat on 9 September 1943 and engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic objectives on the Continent until April 1945. The group attacked such targets as an oil refinery at Gelsenkirchen, a marshalling yard at Osnabrück, a railroad viaduct at Bielefeld, steel plants at Brunswick, a tank factory at Kassel, and gas works at Berlin.

The group took part in the intensive campaign of heavy bombers against the German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20–25 February 1944, being awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for bombing an aircraft and component parts factory at Gotha on 24 February. The unit sometimes supported ground forces or carried out interdictory operations along with bombing airfields and V-weapon sites in France prior to the Normandy invasion in June 1944 and struck coastal defenses and choke points on D-Day.

The group hit enemy positions to assist ground forces at Saint-Lô during the breakthrough in July 1944. Bombed railroads, bridges, and highways to cut off German supply lines during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945. Dropped supplies to Allied troops during the air attack on Holland in September 1944 and during the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945.

The 392d Bomb Group flew its last combat mission on 25 April 1945, then carried food to the Dutch. The unit returned to Charleston AAF South Carolina on 25 June 1945 and was inactivated on 13 September 1945.

Redeployed to the US May/June 1945. First of the aircraft departed the United Kingdom on 29 May 1945. Ground echelon sailed on Queen Mary on 15 June 1945, arriving in New York on 20 June 1945. Personnel had 30 days R and R with the unit assembling in Charleston AAFd, South Carolina, in late June 1945 for air transport duties but was not fully manned and inactivated on 13 September 1945.

Cold War[edit | edit source]

Reactivated as a reserve corollary of the 47th Bombardment Wing, Light in 1949.

The wing was reformed in 1961 to control missile training operations at Vandenberg AFB, Lompoc, California. It operated the Atlas missile, with the 564th SMS (18 October 1961 – 20 December 1961) and the 565th SMS (1 July 1961 – 1 December 1964)and the Titan. However it was eliminated by a reorganization of 1st Strategic Aerospace Division.

Lineage[edit | edit source]

  • Constituted as 392d Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 15 January 1943
Activated on 26 January 1943
Inactivated on 13 September 1945
  • Wing established as 392d Bombardment Wing, Light, on 16 May 1949
Activated in the Reserve on 27 June 1949
392d Bombardment Group assigned to wing as subordinate unit
Wing and Group inactivated on 10 November 1949
  • Redesignated 392d Fighter-Day Wing on 23 March 1953 (Remained inactive)
  • Redesignated 392d Strategic Missile Wing and activated on 6 October 1961
Organized on 18 October 1961.
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 20 December 1961

Assignments[edit | edit source]

Attached to: 202d Provisional Combat Bombardment Wing, 2 September 1943

Attached to: 47th Bombardment Wing (Light) 27 June-2 October 1949

Components[edit | edit source]

  • 392d Bombardment Group, 27 June-10 November 1949

Stations[edit | edit source]

Elements trained at Albuquerque Army Airbase, New Mexico, 18 March– 18 July 1943

Aircraft and missiles[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

Notes[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Freeman, Roger A. Airfields of the Eighth: Then and Now. After the Battle, 1978. ISBN 0-900913-09-6.
  • Freeman, Roger A. The Mighty Eighth: The Colour Record. Cassell & Co., 1991. ISBN 0-304-35708-1.
  • Hawkins, Ian. 20th Century Crusaders: 392nd Bombardment Group (H): January 1943 – September 1945. True Tales of the Air War Over Europe told by those who lived them. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publications, 1997.
  • Matt, John. Crewdog: A Saga of a Young American. Hamilton, Virginia: Waterford Books, 1992.
  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947–1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Vickers, Robert E., Jr. The Liberators From Wendling: The Combat Story of the 392nd Bombardment Group (H) of the Eighth Air Force During World War Two. Albuquerque, New Mexico: Unit Memorial Collection, Eighth Air Force, World War II (392nd BG), 1972 (republished in 1977 by Military Affairs/Aerospace Historian Publications).

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