The 69th Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) spent most of the Second World War operating as a training unit, but did reach Europe in time to take part in the last few weeks of the war against Germany.
The group was activated in the United States in September 1941 and was equipped with a wide range of aircraft, from slower liaison and observation types to modern fighters such as the P-39 and P-40 and the B-25 Mitchell.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the group was used to fly anti-submarine patrols off the US Pacific Coast. After this scare was over it was used as a training unit, focusing on air to ground cooperation.
In January 1945 the group concentrated on the F-6 Mustang and began to prepare for a move to Europe. It moved to France in February-March 1945 and joined the Ninth Air Force.
The group entered combat in the last few weeks of the war in Europe, flying visual and photographic reconnaissance missions in support of the American advance into Central Europe from its base in France.
After the end of the fighting the group returned to the United States where it flew a mix of the F-6 Mustang and the A-26. It was inactivated on 29 July 1946.
Douglas O-38, Douglas O-46 , North American O-47 , Curtiss O-52 Owl, Stinson L-1 Vigilant, Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper, Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper, Piper L-4 Grasshopper, Stinson L-5 Sentinel, Bell P-39 Airacobra, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, North American B-25 Mitchell, Douglas A-20 Boston/ Havoc
North American F-6 Mustang
|21 August 1941||Constituted as 69th Observation Group|
|3 September 1941||Activated|
|April 1943||Redesignated 69th Reconnaissance Group|
|August 1943||Redesignated 69th Tactical Reconnaissance Group|
|January 1945||Prepares to move overseas|
|Feb-March 1945||To France and Ninth Air Force|
|June 1945||Redesignated 69th Reconnaissance Group|
|29 July 1946||Inactivated|
Maj William C Sams:
3 Oct 1941
Col John N Jeffers: 9 Dec 1941
Col Kenneth R Crosher: 8 Nov 1942
Maj Cecil E West: 12 May 1943
Lt Col Eugene C Woltz: 29 Sep 1943
Lt Col Arthur Fite Jr: 26 Oct 1944
Col John T Shields: 21 Jan 1945
Lt Col Richard A Morehouse: c. 20 Feb 1946
Col Russell A Berg: c. 10 Mar- 29 Jul 1946.
Paso Robles, Calif: 3 Sep
Salinas, Calif: c. 3 Oct 1941
San Bernardino, Calif: Dec 1941
Ontario, Calif: c.1 Jun 1942
Laurel, Miss: Nov 1942
Esler Field, La: Mar 1943
Abilene AAFld, Tex: Sep 1943
Esler Field, La: Nov 1943
Key Field, Miss: Jan-Feb 1945
Nancy, France: c. 22 Mar 1945
Haguenau, France: c. 2 Apr-c. 30 Jun 1945
Drew Field, Fla: Aug 1945
Stuttgart AAFld, Ark: Nov 1945
Brooks Field, Tex: Dec 1945-29 Jul 1946
31st: 1942-45, 1945-46
101st (formerly 39th): 1944-45
March 1945 onwards: Ninth Air Force