Heritage of the 303rd Bomb Group (H)
compiled by Harry D. Gobrecht, 303rd BGA Historian
303rd Bombardment Group (Heavy) [303rd BG(H)]
Group Name "Hell's Angels" - Group Motto "Might in Flight"
303rd BG(H) Transfer:
- Constituted: 28 January 1942 - Savannah Army Air Base, GA
- Activated: 03 February 1942 at Pendleton Army Air Base, OR
- USA Combat Training: Gowen Field, Boise, ID (13 Feb -14 June 42); Alamogordo Field, NM (14 June - 04 Aug 42); EI Paso, TX (8 July - 24 Aug 42).
- Arrival at 8th Air Force Station 107, Molesworth England: Ground Echelon 12 September 1942; Air Echelon B-17s and crews arrived in October 1942.
- Combat Missions: First - 17 Nov 1942; Last (364th) - 25 April 1945
- Assigned Components: 358th, 359th, 360th and 427th Bombardment Squadrons and other Ground Support units.
- Insignia: "Might in Flight" insignia approved 09 January 1943
During this period at Molesworth, England the 303rd BG(H) "Might in Flight" motto was first earned by the Combat Crews and Ground Support personnel.
303rd Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) [303rd BG (VH)]
- On 30 May 1945, with a few other 8th Air Force Groups, from the 8th Air Force in England to the North African Division, Air Transport Command, Cases Air Base, Casablanca, French Morocco as part of the "Green Project - Support".
- ATC Role: To assist in the air evacuation of combat troops from the European and Mid-Eastern Theater in support of regular North African Division, Air Transport Command units. B-17s and C-54s were utilized. Ground personnel were transferred to various ATC bases along the North African coast.
- 303rd BG(H) Inactivated: The ATC decided that the 8th AF support Bomb Groups were no longer required. The 303rd BG(H) and 379th BG(H), on 25 July 1945, became the first 8th Air Force Groups to be inactivated. The Group's B-17s were flown back to the USA.
303rd Bombardment Group (Medium) [303rd BG(M)]
- Redesignation: 303rd BG(H) as 303rd BG(VH) on 11 June 1947.
- Activated: 1 July 1947 at Andrews Field (Camp Springs), MD.
The new SAC organization had token personnel was never fully manned.
- Assigned Components: 358th, 359th & 360th BS (VH)
- Inactivated: 6 September 1948.
303rd Bombardment Wing (Medium) [303rd BW(M)]
- Redesignation 303rd BG(VH) as 303rd BG(M) on 27 August 1951
- Activated: 04 September 1951 at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
- Assigned: To Strategic Air Command [SAC] and equipped with B-29s as a
component of the 303rd BW(M) that was activated on the same date.
- Assigned Components: 358th, 359th & 360 BS (M), 303rd Air Refueling Squadron (M), 303rd Maintenance Squadron, 4303rd Organizational Maintenance Squadron, 4333rd Armament-Electronics Maintenance Squadron. Group.
303rd Air Refueling Squadron (M) inactivated 08 April 1952.
- Inactivated: The Group and all components elements on 10 June 1952
303rd Tactical Missile Wing [303rd TMW] RAF Molesworth, England
- Redesignation: 303rd BG(M) as 303rd BW(M) on 27 August 1951.
- Activiated: 04 September 1951 at Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
- Components included: 358th, 359, 360th BS (Attached 4 Sept 51-15 June 52,
- Assigned 16 June 52 - 15 June 64). 427th BS (Not operational 1 Dec 58 - 1 Jan
62), 303rd Air Refueling Squadron (4 Sept 1951 - 8 April 1952)
- Role: Trained for strategic bombardment and air refueling operations to meet
SAC's global commitments. Had several short time deployments to overseas bases in French Morocco, England and Guam. Received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period 1 January 1961 to 31 March 1962.
- Aircraft: B-29s (1951-1953), KB-29s (1952-1953), B-47s (1953-1964), KC-97s (1953-1956 & 1960)
- Discontinued and Inactivated: 15 June 1964
- Insignia: "Might in Flight" insignia and motto approved on 11 December 1951
Joint Analysis Center [JAC], United States European Command [USEUCOM], RAF Molesworth, England
- Established: 1981. Activated: 12 December 1986
- Redesigation (By Department of the Air Force): 550th TMW as 303rd TMW on 10 July 1986. Part of 3rd Air Force, RAF Mildenhall, England, reported to Headquarters, USEUCOM, Ramstein Air Base, West Germany.
- Activated: on 12 December 1986.
- Missiles employed: Four ground launched Cruise Missiles (GCLMs) in support of NATO objectives. Won best ever ratings of a GCLM missile wing
- Inactivated: 30 January 1989 following the 30 May 1988 ratification of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
- Transfer: Moved from Germany to RAF Molesworth in 1991.
- Role: To process and analyze military information from a variety of sources for the benefit of the United States, United Kingdom and NATO.
- Responsibility area: 77 countries across Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
- Personnel: Four military services (USAF, USA, USN & Marines) and DOD
- Headquarters and Operation Building: Named "Might in Flight" Memorial Building. Dedication 16 August 1994.
Contains numerous 303rd BG(H) Paintings, wood carvings, photographs, etc.
The Heritage of the 303rd BG(H) is still alive today.
The use of "303rd" as a numerical unit designation spanned a forty-seven year period from 28 January 1942 through 30 January 1989. Portions of the original 303rd BG "Might in Flight" insignia were utilized in the approved unit insignia of the 303rd BG(VH), 303rd BG(M), 303rd BW(M), 303rd TMW and JAC. The 303rd BG(H)"Might in Flight" motto was approved for use by the 303rd BG(VH), 303rd BG(M) and the 303rd BW(M).
303rd Tactical Missile Wing and 303rd BW(M) patches courtesy of usafpatches.com