III Reconnaissance Command

Summary

III Reconnaissance Command
A New F-S-E (BOND 0324).jpg
A Lockheed F-5 Lightning as used by photographic reconnaissance units training under III Reconnaissance Commband
Active1941-1946
Country United States
Branch United States Army
 United States Air Force
Rolereconnaissance training
Commanders
Notable
commanders
William E. Kepner
Insignia
III Reconnaissance Command Distinctive Unit Insigne (approved 23 July 1942)[1]I Air Support Cd emblem.png

The III Reconnaissance Command was a United States Army Air Forces unit. Its last assignment was with Third Air Force stationed at Rapid City Army Air Base, South Dakota, where it was inactivated on 8 April 1946.

The command was organized in September 1941 as the 1st Air Support Command as an element of 1st Air Force.

History

General Headquarters Air Force (GHQ AF) reorganized its four regional air districts as Numbered Air Forces in the spring of 1941. By the fall of that year, each of these had organized as a support command and three combat commands.[2]

In the summer of 1941 GHQ AF had decided to establish commands to direct its air support mission in each numbered air force, plus one additional command reporting directly to GHQ AF. These commands would be manned from inactivating wings, and would initially control only observation squadrons, which would be transferred from the control of the corps and divisions, although they would remain attached to these ground units.[3] 1st Air Force organized 1st Air Support Command at Mitchel Field, New York in September 1941, drawing its personnel and equipment from the 7th Pursuit Wing, which was simultaneously inactivated.[1][3]

New observation groups were formed, with a cadre drawn from National Guard squadrons that had been mobilized in 1940 and 1941.[3] During the Carolina Maneuvers of 1941, the command was attached to First Army. Unlike the opposing force, the command posts of the air and ground elements were located together, and the commander of the air support command doubled as the air staff officer of the ground force commander. The opposing force command posts were separated by sixty miles, which enabled greater freedom of action and use of airpower more aggressively.[4]

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor the command came under the control of the Eastern Theater of Operations[3] and flew antisubmarine patrols off the east coast. However, by early 1942, the command's first commander William E. Kepner, like two of the other commanders of air support commands had moved overseas, and similar demands led GHQ AF to believe it had little more than the "remnants" of the command remaining.[3] However, in May, the Army Air Forces (AAF) reaffirmed that each of the continental numbered air forces would have an air support command and the command's manning was brought back up.[5] Although most of the command's observation units were withdrawn form antisubmarine operations in June 1942, the command continued limited antisubmarine patrols until 15 October 1942, when Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command took over the mission.[1][5][6]

The AAF determined that its continental air forces would specialize in their training operations and that all their air support commands would be reassigned to Third Air Force.[5] In August 1942, the command was one of the first reassigned to Third Air Force.[7][8]

It trained light bombardment crews, participated in air-ground maneuvers, and demonstrated air support techniques, September 1941-May 1944. Trained reconnaissance personnel and organizations, May 1944 – 1946.[1]

Lineage

  • Constituted as the 1st Air Support Command on 21 August 1941
Activated on 4 September 1941
Redesignated 1st Ground Air Support Command c. 30 April 1942
Redesignated I Air Support Command c. 18 September 1942
Redesignated I Tactical Air Division on 28 August 1943
Redesignated III Tactical Air Division c. 15 April 1944
Redesignated III Reconnaissance Command c. 1 June 1945
Inactivated on 9 April 1946
Disbanded on 8 October 1948[1][9]

Assignments

  • 1st Air Force, 4 September 1941[7]
  • 3rd Air Force (later Third Air Force), 17 August 1942 – 9 April 1946[8]

Components

Groups

Squadrons

Stations

References

Notes

  1. ^ a b c d e f Maurer, Combat Units, pp. 440-441
  2. ^ Cate & Williams, p. 152, 155
  3. ^ a b c d e Futrell, p 13
  4. ^ Futrell, p. 19
  5. ^ a b c Futrell, p. 15
  6. ^ Maurer, Combat Units, p. 437
  7. ^ a b Kane, Robert B. (11 June 2009). "Factsheet First Air Force (Air Forces Northern) (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  8. ^ a b Haulman, Daniel L. (4 April 2019). "Factsheet Third Air Force (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  9. ^ Some details from Futrell, Kane and Haulman.
  10. ^ Robertson, Patsy (27 December 2007). "Factsheet 350 Electronic Systems Wing (AFMC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  11. ^ Robertson, Patsy (9 September 2008). "Factsheet 45 Operations Group (AFSPC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  12. ^ Robertson, Patsy E. (7 July 2017). "Factsheet 48 Operations Group (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  13. ^ Robertson, Patsy E. (21 June 2017). "Factsheet 59 Medical Wing (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  14. ^ Robertson, Patsy (10 July 2017). "Factsheet 69 Reconnaissance Group (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  15. ^ Bailey, Carl E. (20 May 2019). "Factsheet 1 Air Support Operations Group (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  16. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 11
  17. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 24
  18. ^ Dollman, TSG David (15 May 2017). "Factsheet 5 Air Support Operations Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 17 July 2018.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 13
  20. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 21
  21. ^ Dollman, TSG David (27 March 2017). "Factsheet 9 Air Support Operations Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 14 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  22. ^ Robertson, Patsy (27 March 2018). "Factsheet 14 Air Support Operations Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 15 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  23. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 78
  24. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 80
  25. ^ Dollman, TSG Davis (31 August 2012). "Factsheet 18 Air Support Operations Group (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  26. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 103
  27. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 173
  28. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 177
  29. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 184
  30. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 188
  31. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 191
  32. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 229
  33. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 231
  34. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 266
  35. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 188
  36. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 590
  37. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 344
  38. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 348
  39. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 351
  40. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 357
  41. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 361-362
  42. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 363

Bibliography

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

  • Cate, James L.; Williams, E. Kathleen (1948). "Prelude to War, Chapter 4, The Air Corps Prepares for War, 1939-41". In Craven, Wesley F.; Cate, James L. (eds.). The Army Air Forces in World War II (PDF). Vol. I, Plans and Early Operations. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. LCCN 48003657. OCLC 704158. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • Futrell, Robert F. (September 1956). "Command of Observation Aviation: A Study in Control of Tactical Airpower, USAF Historical Study No. 24" (PDF). Research Studies Institute, USAF Historical Division, Air University. Retrieved 23 January 2022.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. Retrieved 17 December 2016.