10th Reconnaissance Group

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The 10th Reconnaissance Group served with the Ninth Air Force in Europe from May 1944 until the end of the fighting, helping to support the D-Day landings, the advance across France and the invasion of Germany.

The group was originally formed as the 73rd Observation Group in August 1941. It spent several years based in the United States, taking part in the Tennessee Manoeuvres of 1943 and preparing for action overseas. During this period the group changed name several times, becoming the 10th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) in December 1943.

In January-February 1944 the group moved to Europe to join the Ninth Air Force, entering combat in February. At that stage it contained the 30th and 39th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadrons, but it quickly expanded. In March the 31st and 34th joined although the 39th left. In May the 33rd and 155th joining, bringing it up to five squadrons.

In June 1944 the group lost the 30th and 33rd but gained the 12th and 15th. The 34th went in October 1944, reducing to four squadrons. In February 1945 it gained the 39th but lost the 155th. In March it lost the 39th and in April it briefly gained the 162nd.

The group was heavily involved in the preparations for the D-Day landings. In May it flew ten particularly dangerous missions to take very low level photos of the landing beaches and nearby shallow waters, in an attempt to map out the underwater obstacles being built. These were flow from as little as 15ft, and won the unit a Presidential unit citation (as well as costing the life of one pilot). The group also photographed German installations along and just behind wide areas of the French coast.

During the D-Day assault itself the group helped direct naval gunfire and also covered vital German transport links.

By the end of July 1944 the group had completed the move to France.

The unit took part in the siege of Brest (August-September 1944), helping to direct the Allied artillery fire.

During the breakout from Normandy the group helped support the advancing troops, once again directly artillery fire onto German targets.

In September-December 1944 the group was used to support the Third Army as it attacked the German western fortifications of the Siegfried Line.

In the period before the battle of the Bulge the group spotted some German movement behind their lines, but not enough to reveal the upcoming attack. Poor weather limited their efforts in early December, stopping all flying on four days. Once the attack began the group was used over the battle area.

By 1945 the group's main task was to direct the fighter-bombers and medium bombers that were roaming behind German lines, supporting the advance of the Third Army into southern Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia.

The group remained in Europe until 1947, and was finally inactivated in 1949.




During operational period: Feb 1944-May 1945
Douglas F-3 Havoc
Lockheed F-5 Lightning
North American F-6 Mustang
Stinson L-1 Vigilant
Piper L-4 Grasshopper
Stinson L-5 Sentinel


21 August 1941 Constituted as 73rd Observation Group
1 September 1941 Activated
April 1943 Redesignated 73rd Reconnaissance Group
August 1943 Redesignated 73rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group
December 1943 Redesignated 10th Photographic Group (reconnaissance)
Jan-Feb 1944 To European Theatre
Feb 1944 Combat debut
May 1945 Combat ends
Jun 1945 Redesignated 10th Reconnaissance Group
Jun 1947 To US without equipment or people
June 1948 Redesignated 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Group
1 April 1949 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)

Maj Edgar M Scattergood Jr: 1 Sep 1941
Lt Col John C Kennedy: c. 6 Nov 1941
Capt Phillip H Hatch: c. 24 Jan 1942
Lt Col Robert M Lee: c. 9 Feb 1942
Maj Burton L Austin: c. 26 Dec 1942
Lt Col Bernard C Rose: c. 19 Jan 1943
Lt Col Crawford H Hollidge: c. 28 Jan 1943
Maj William A Daniel: c. 4 Aug 1943
Col William B Reed: 9 Sep 1943
Col Russell A Berg: 20 Jun 1944-unkn
Lt Col W D Hayes Jr: 1945

Main Bases

Harrisburg, Pa: 1 Sep 1941
Godman Field, Ky: c. 7 Nov 1941
Camp Campbell AAFld, Ky: c. 23 Jun 1943
Key Field, Miss: Nov 1943-Jan 1944
Chalgrove, England: Feb 1944
Rennes/St- Jacques, France: c. 11 Aug 1944
Chateaudun, France: c. 24 Aug 1944
St-Dizier/ Robinson, France: Sep 1944
Conflans/ Doncourt, France: Nov 1944
Trier/Evren, Germany: Mar 1945
Ober Olm, Germany: c. 5 Apr 1945
Furth, Germany: c. 28 Apr 1945;

Component Units

1st Photographic Reconnaissance: Late 1945-1949
12th Tactical Reconnaissance: Sep 1941-Jan 42, June 1944-Feb 46
14th Liaison: 1943
15th Tactical Reconnaissance (formerly Observation): 1942-43, June 1944-June 45
16th Reconnaissance: 1941-42
22nd Tactical Reconnaissance: 1941-42
30th Photographic Reconnaissance: Feb-June 1944
31st Photographic Reconnaissance: March 1944-November 45
33rd Photographic Reconnaissance: May-June 1944
34th Photographic Reconnaissance: March-October 1944, July-November 1945
36th (formerly 28th): 1942-43
39th Photographic Reconnaissance: Feb-March 1945
91st Reconnaissance: 1941-42, 1942-43
111st Tactical Reconnaissance: July-December 1945
152nd (late 37th Photographic Reconnaissance): 1943
155th Photographic Reconnaissance (formerly 423rd, later 45th): May 1944-February 45
160th Tactical Reconnaissance: November 1945-47
162nd Tactical Reconnaissance: April 1945

Of which the following were with the group during its operational period (bold shows longer serving units)
12th Tactical Reconnaissance: June 1944-Feb 46
15th Tactical Reconnaissance (formerly Observation): 1942-43, June 1944-June 45
30th Photographic Reconnaissance: Feb-June 1944
31st Photographic Reconnaissance: March 1944-November 45

33rd Photographic Reconnaissance: May-June 1944
34th Photographic Reconnaissance: March-October 1944
39th Photographic Reconnaissance: Feb-March 1945
155th Photographic Reconnaissance (formerly 423rd, later 45th): May 1944-February 45
162nd Tactical Reconnaissance: April 1945

Assigned To

1944-1945: Ninth Air Force

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 December 2014), 10th Reconnaissance Group , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/10th_Reconnaissance_Group.html

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