( 10th Air Force )
"Preserving the memory of their sacrifices!"
The 7th Bomb Group traces its history to that of the 1st Army Observation Group during World War I; activated on 6 September 1918. The mission of the group required day and night reconnaissance, photo reconnaissance, command reconnaissance, and artillery adjustment. By April 1919 the group was demobilized and its personnel returned to the United States.
On 1 October 1919, the 1st Army Observation Group was activated at Park Field, Tennessee, and shortly thereafter moved to Langley Field, Virginia. While at Langley, the group's 50th and 88th Observation Squadrons participated in the "Battleship Bombing Trials" conducted by General Billy Mitchell.
In March 1921 the group was redesignated the 7th Group (Observation), and on 30 August it was inactivated. The US Army Air Service redesignated the 7th as a Bombardment Group in 1923, but the unit was not activated until 1 June 1928 and assigned to Rockwell Field, California.
It was Boeing B-17 "Flying Fortress" that carried the men of the 7th Bomb Group to war on 7 December 1941. The group was on its way to a new assignment in the Philippines when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Twelve of the group's B-17s had left the States on 6 December. They reached Hawaii during the enemy attack where some were shot at but all were able to land safely. Meanwhile, the ground echelon, on board ship, was diverted to Australia and later sent to Java. Later in December the remainder of the air echelon flew from the US to Java to enter combat and the remainder of the headquarters was stationed in Brisbane, Australia. From 14 January to 1 March 1942, during the Japanese drive through the Philippines and Netherlands East Indies the group earned a Distinguished Unit Citation for its actions against enemy aircraft, ground installations, warships, and transport ships during the battles for control of Java.
The 7th moved to India in Mar 1942 and was assigned to the Tenth Air Force. The group resumed combat operations from Karachi, India, flying B-17s and Consolidated LB-30s. The entire group had converted to the Consolidated B-24 "Liberator" by late in 1942. Combat operations were directed primarily against the Japanese in Burma, with attacks on airfields, fuel and supply dumps, locomotive works, railways, bridges, docks, warehouses, shipping, and other targets. The 7th also bombed oil refineries andrailways in Thailand, hit power plants in China, attacked enemy shipping in the Andaman Sea, and ferried gasoline over the "Hump" into China.
The 7th received its Second Distinguished Unit Citation for damaging the enemy's line of supply in Southeast Asia with an attack against rail lines and bridges in Thailand on 19 March 1945. After the war, the 7th returned to the US in December 1945 and was inactivated on 6 January 1946.
The 7th Bomb Group was reactivated and established at Dyess AFB, TX. Since then the unit was re-designated the 7th Bomb Wing ( http://www.dyess.af.mil/ ) and is currently at Dyess AFB, operating the B-1 Lancer.
Capt Frank H. Pritchard, 1928;
Ft Douglas, UT, 7 Sep 1940-13 Nov 1941;
Brisbane, Australia, 22 Dec 1941-Feb 1942;
Karachi, India, 12 Mar 1942;
Dum-Dum, India, 30 May 1942;
Karachi, India, 9 Sep 1942;
Pandeveswar, India, 12 Dec 1942;
Kurmitola, India, 17 Jan 1944;
Pandeveswar, India, 6 Oct 1944;
Tezpur, India, 7 Jun 1945;
Dudhkundhi, India, 31 Oct-7 Dec 1945;
Camp Kilmer, NJ, 5-6 Jan 1946.