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Flyover of a 7th Operations Group B-1
Rockwell B-1B Lancer Lot IV 85-069 taking off
The 7th Operations Group is the operational flying component of the United States Air Force 7th Bomb Wing, stationed at Dyess Air Force Basemarker, Texasmarker.

The 7th Operations Group is a direct successor organization of the 7th Bombardment Group, one of the 15 original combat air groups formed by the United States Army before World War II.

Activated in 1921, it inherited the lineage of the 1st Army Observation Group, which was established and organized, on 6 Sep 1918. The 7th Bombardment Group was deploying to the Philippinesmarker when the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service attacked Pearl Harbormarker on 7 December 1941. Six of the group's B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft which had left Hamilton Field, Californiamarker on 6 December 1941 reached Hawaiimarker during the enemy attack, but were able to land safely. The unit later served in Indiamarker during World War II, then as a Strategic Air Command bombardment group during the Cold War. Reactivated in 1992, the 7th Operations Group currently flies the B-1 Lancer and is engaged in the Global War on Terrorism


The 7th Operations Group is responsible for flying and training future pilots in the B-1B Lancer.

Assigned Units

The 7 OG (Tail Code: DY) consists of the followoing units:

Both the 9th and 28th Bomb Squadrons fought in combat on the Western Front of World War I, and histories predate that of the Operations Group.


For additional history and lineage, see 7th Bomb Wing


The group's emblem, approved in 1933, features three crosses symbolizing its squadrons' battle honors. The diagonal stripe was taken from the coat of arms of Province of Lorraine which France took back from Germany in World War I.


  • Established as First Army Observation Group, and organized, on 6 Sep 1918
Demobilized in Apr 1919
  • Reestablished, consolidated (13 Jan 1994) with the organization established as 1 Army Observation Group, and organized, on 1 Oct 1919
Redesignated 7 Group (Observation) on 26 Mar 1921
Inactivated on 30 Aug 1921
Redesignated: 7 Observation Group on 25 Jan 1923
Redeisgnated: 7 Bombardment Group on 24 Mar 1923
  • Activated on 1 Jun 1928
Redesignated: 7 Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 6 Dec 1939
Redesignated: 7 Bombardment Group, Heavy on 15 Oct 1944
Inactivated on 6 Jan 1946
  • Redesignated 7 Bombardment Group, Very Heavy, and activated, on 1 Oct 1946
Redesignated 7 Bombardment Group, Heavy on 20 Jul 1948
Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952
  • Redesignated 7 Operations Group on 29 Aug 1991
Activated on 1 Sep 1991
Inactivated on 1 Jan 1993
  • Activated on 1 Oct 1993.


  • Army Air Forces, India-Burma Theater, 12 Jun-c. 7 Dec 1945
Attached to India China Division, Air Transport Command, 15 Jun-18 Sep 1945


  • |1 Aero Squadron: 1 Oct 1919-30 Aug 1921 (detached 6 May-30 Aug 1921)
  • 7 Air Refueling Squadron: 1 Sep 1991-1 Jun 1992
  • 9 Aero Squadron: Sep-Nov 1918; 1 Apr 1931-6 Jan 1946 (detached 28 Jun-c. 4 Oct 1942); 1 Oct 1946-16 Jun 1952 (detached 16 Feb 1951-16 Jun 1952); 1 Sep 1991-15 Aug 1992; 1 Oct 1993-Present
  • 11 Bombardment Squadron: 1 Jun 1928-15 Sep 1942 (detached 26 Apr-2 May 1942)
  • 12 Aero Squadron: 1 Oct 1919-24 Mar 1920 (detached 13 Oct 1919-24 Mar 1920)
  • 13 Bomb Squadron: 14 Jun 2000-9 Sep 2005
  • 14 Bombardment Squadron: 2 Dec 1941-6 Jan 1946 (detached 2 Dec 1941-May 1942; not manned May 1942-6 Jan 1946)
  • 20 Bomb Squadron: 1 Sep 1991-18 Dec 1992
  • 22 Bombardment Squadron: 20 Oct 1939-15 Sep 1942 (detached 26 Apr-28 May 1942)
  • 24 Aero Squadron: 6 Sep 1918-Apr 1919
  • 28 Bomb Squadron: 1 Oct 1994-Present
  • 31 Bombardment Squadron: attached 1 Apr -29 Jun 1931, assigned 30 Jun 1931-1 Feb 1938
  • 32 Bombardment Squadron: apparently attached c. 8-16 Dec 1941
  • 39 Airlift Squadron: 1 Oct 1993-1 Apr 1997
  • 40 Airlift Squadron: 1 Oct 1993-1 Apr 1997
  • 50 Aero Squadron: attached c. Oct 1919-23 Mar 1920, assigned 24 Mar 1920-10 Feb 1921
  • 88 Aero (later, 88 Reconnaissance Squadron; 436 Bombardment): attached c. Oct 1919-23 Mar 1920, assigned 24 Mar 1920-10 Feb 1921; attached 28 Sep 1935-24 Feb 1942 (air echelon detached 10 Dec 1941-14 Mar 1942), assigned 25 Feb 1942-6 Jan 1946; assigned 1 Oct 1946-16 Jun 1952 (detached 16 Feb 1951-16 Jun 1952)
  • 91 Aero Squadron: 6 Sep-Nov 1918
  • 95 Pursuit Squadron: attached 1 Jun 1928-29 Oct 1931
  • 186 Aero Squadron: Unkn [apparently, 1918-1919]
  • 337 Bomb Squadron: 1 Oct 1993-1 Oct 1994
  • 492 Bombardment Squadron: 25 Oct 1942-6 Jan 1946; 1 Oct 1946-16 Jun 1952 (detached 16 Feb 1951-16 Jun 1952)
  • 493 Bombardment Squadron Squadron: 25 Oct 1942-6 Jan 1946.


9th Bombardment and 88th Reconnaissance Squadrons deploying to Clark Fieldmarker, Philippinesmarker on December 6, 1941 delayed enroute by Japanese Attack on Hickam Fieldmarker, Hawaiimarker. 9th Bombardment Squadron returned to United States after attack for defense of west coast. 88th Reconnaissance Squadron moved from Hickam Fieldmarker to Karachi Airport, Indiamarker via Nandi Airportmarker, Fiji Islandsmarker and RAAF Base Townsvillemarker, Australia

9th & 11th Bomb Squadrons operated from: Jogjakarta Airfield Javamarker, January 14 – March 1, 1942


Operational History

World War I

The 7th BW has a long and distinguished history. The First Army Observation Group, made up of the 24th (est: June 14, 1917) and 91st Aero [Observation] (est: August 21, 1917) and the 9th Aero [night observation] (est: June 14, 1917) Squadrons, performed photographic reconnaissance and day and night visual reconnaissance of the battle field area, especially in the enemy's rear areas opposite the area of attack, September – November 1918. Demobilized in France in April 1919.

Between The Wars

The 9th, 11th and 31st squadrons lent their lineage to the group’s emblem as indicated by the three crosses on the shield. In March 1921, the group was redesignated the 7th Group (Observation) and assigned to Langley Fieldmarker, Virginiamarker, until inactivated August 30, 1921. The U.S. Army Air Service redesignated the group as the 7th Bombardment Group in 1923, however the 7th was not activated until June 1, 1928, at Rockwell Field, Californiamarker.

While the group was assigned at Rockwell Field, the fledgling Air Force was testing new theories and ideas. In early 1931, the 7th began training aircrews in radio-controlled interception. A bomber, acting as a target, reported by radio to a ground station, giving location, altitude and course. Armed with this information, ground controllers guided pursuit aircraft to the objective.

The 7th trained and participated in aerial reviews, dropped food and medical supplies to people marooned or lost, and took part in massive Army maneuvers during the 1930s. The group flew Martin B-12s, Douglas B-18 Bolos, and the new Boeing B-17C/D Flying Fortress, then in 1941 being upgraded to the B-17E. The B-17E being the first Fortress to introduce a completely new rear fuselage with a manually-operated turret housing two 0.50-inch machine guns fitted in the extreme tail.

World War II

Captured Boeing B-17E Fortress 41-2471 formerly of 7th Bomb Group after being repaired by Japanese in 1942.
The aircraft crash landed on 8 Feb 1942 at Djokjakarta, Java, Netherlands East Indies and was abandoned.
Aircraft was captured and repaired by Japanese and used for training to develop fighter tactics against USAAF B-17s being used in the Pacific.
Eventual fate of this aircraft is unknown
The group was in the process of moving to the Philippinesmarker when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbormarker on December 7, 1941. Six of the Group's B-17 aircraft left Utah on December 5 for deployment to the Far East. Six of them arrived in Hawaii but landed safely at alternate airfields, avoiding destruction by the attacking Japanese aircraft. The rest of them were ordered to defend Californiamarker against the Japanese threat, since in the hysteria of the moment the Japanese fleet was expected to show up off the Pacific Coast at any time.

The ground echelon, on board a ship in the Pacific Oceanmarker, was diverted to Brisbanemarker, Australia. The air echelon moved its B-17Es via North Africa and Indiamarker to Javamarker, where from January 14 to March 1, 1942, it operated against the Japanese advancing through the Philippinesmarker and Netherlands East Indiesmarker. Received the Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for its action against enemy aircraft, ground installations, warships and transports.

The group's B-17Es were distributed to other bomb squadrons in Australia, and the air echelon was reunited with the ground echelon in India in March 1942, being equipped with longer-range B-24 Liberators. From bases in India, the group resumed combat under Tenth Air Force against targets in Burmamarker. It received B-25 Mitchells and LB-30s in early 1942 but by the end of the year had converted entirely to B-24s. From then through September 1945, bombed airfields, fuel and supply dumps, locomotive works, railways, bridges, docks, warehouses, shipping, and troop concentrations in Burma and struck oil refineries in Thailandmarker, power plants in Chinamarker and enemy shipping in the Andaman Seamarker. Ceased bombing operations in late May 1945 and was attached to the Air Transport Command to haul gasoline from India over the Himalayasmarker to Chinamarker. Received second DUC for damaging enemy's line of supply in Southeast Asia with an attack against rail lines and bridges in Thailandmarker on March 19, 1945. Returned to US in December 1945 and inactivated the following month.

Cold War

Arrival of the first B-36A at Carswell "City of Fort Worth" (AF Serial No.
44-92015), in June, 1948 along with a 7th Bomb Wing B-29.
Activated on October 1, 1946 as a B-29 bombardment group and trained with B-29s in global bombardment operations, November 1947 – December 1948. Personnel and aircraft of the new group, consisting of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, were transferred to Fort Worth AAF from the 92nd Bombardment Group at Spokane AAFldmarker, Washingtonmarker.

With its B-29s, the 7th prepared its people for any combat eventuality that might arise, flying simulated bombing missions over various cities. On July 5, 1947, a flight of eight B-29s of the 492nd Bomb Squadron deployed from Fort Worth AAF to Yokota ABmarker, Japanmarker. Shortly after this the detachment received orders to redeploy to Fort Worth AAF via Washington, D.Cmarker. The aircraft left Yokota AB on August 2, flew over the Aleutian Islandsmarker, then into Anchoragemarker, Alaskamarker. From Anchorage the flight flew over Edmontonmarker, Albertamarker, Canadamarker, turned south and flew over Minnesotamarker and Wisconsinmarker. The bombers flew a low-level flight between The Pentagonmarker and Washington Monument in the Capitol on August 3. Completing this aerial demonstration, they headed for Fort Worth, landing 31 hours after launch from Japan and covering 7,086 miles.

On September 12, the group deployed 30 B-29s to Giebelstadt Army Airfield, near Würzburgmarker, West Germanymarker. This flight was the largest bomber formation flown from Fort Worth AAF overseas to date, landing in Germany on September 13. During their ten-day stay, the group bombers participated in training operations over Europe, as well as a show-of-force display by the United States in the early part of the Cold War with the Soviet Unionmarker. The flight redeployed from Germany on September 23.

On November 17, 1947, the 7th Bombardment Wing was established to organize and train a force capable of immediate and sustained long range offensive warfare and operations in any part of the world. The 7th Bombardment Group became its operational component. The wing's mission was to prepare for global strategic bombardment in the event of hostilities. Under various designations, the 7th Bomb Wing flew a wide variety of aircraft at the base until its inactivation in 1993.

In June 1948 the first Consolidated B-36A Peacekeeper was delivered. The first B-36 was designated the "City of Fort Worth" (AF Serial No. 44-92015), and was assigned to the 492d Bomb Squadron. With the arrival of the B-36s, the wing was redesignated as the 7th Bombardment Wing, Heavy on August 1. B-36s continued to arrive throughout 1948, with the last B-29 being transferred on December 6 to the 97th Bomb Group at Biggs AFBmarker. For 10 years, the "Peacemaker" cast a large shadow on the Iron Curtain and served as our nations major deterrent weapons system.

As part of the 7th Bomb Wing, the 11th Bomb Group was activated on December 1 with the 26th, 42nd, and 98th Bomb Squadrons, Heavy, were activated and assigned. The 11th Bomb Group was equipped with B-36As for training purposes. A five ship B-36 formation was flown on January 15, 1949, in an air review over Washington, D.C., commemorating the inauguration of the President of the United States, Harry S. Truman.

In February 1949, a B-50 Superfortress (developed from the famed B-29) and named Lucky Lady II took off from Carswell for the first nonstop flight around the world. She returned to Carswell after mid-air refueling, flying 23,108 miles, and remaining aloft for ninety-four hours and one minute.

In January 1951, the 7th took part in a special training mission to the United Kingdom. The purpose of the mission was to evaluate the B-36D under simulated war plan conditions. Also, further evaluate the equivalent airspeed and compression tactics for heavy bombardment aircraft. The aircraft, staging through Limestone AFBmarker, Maine, would land at RAF Lakenheathmarker, United Kingdommarker, following a night radar bombing attack on Helgolandmarker, West Germanymarker. From there the bombers would conduct a simulated bomb run on the Hestonmarker Bomb Plot, London, finally landing at RAF Lakenheath.

This was the first deployment of wing and SAC B-36 aircraft to England and Europe. For the next four days the flight flew sorties out of England. The aircraft redeployed to the states on January 20 arriving at Carswell on January 21.

On 16 Feb 1951 became a paper organization. With all assigned flying squadrons reassigned directly to the 7 Bombardment Wing as part of the Tri-Deputate organization plan adopted by the wing. The group inactivated on 16 Jun 1952.

Modern era

A B-1B from the 7th Operations Group releases a Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile over the White Sands Missile Range, N.M.
As part of a major Air Force-wide reorganization due to the implementation of the Objective Wing organization, the Group was redesignated 7 Operations Group and again became the combat element of the 7 Wing. It controlled two B-52 squadrons and one KC-135 air refueling squadron. When flying operations ended at Carswell AFB, TX in Dec 1992, the group inactivated the following month.

Upon activation of the 7 Wing at Dyess AFB, TX on 1 Oct 1993, the group again activated as the combat element of the wing. Equipped with B-1B and C-130 aircraft, the group's mission included bombardment and tactical airlift. It lost its airlift responsibilities in Apr 1997. At that time it also gained a conventional bombing mission. In Nov 1998, deployed several aircraft to Oman in support of Operation Desert Fox, where the B-1 flew its first combat missions on 17 and 18 Dec 1998.

Since 1999, trained bomber aircrews for global conventional bombing.

See also


  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.

External links

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