The 66th Reconnaissance Group was a home-based unit that served as a reconnaissance and and artillery spotting training unit as well as flying anti-submarine patrols during the first half of 1942.
The group was formed in August-September 1941 as the 66th Observation Group. Over the course of its existence it used a wide range of aircraft, from slow observation and liaison aircraft to high speed reconnaissance fighters and the B-25 Mitchell.
The group's main role was as a training unit, where it prepared crews for longer aerial reconnaissance and for short range artillery spotting missions.
After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the German declaration of war on the United States the U-boats attacked shipping off the US East Coast (the 'second happy time'). The 66th was pressed into service as a anti-submarine patrol group, a role it performed from January-August 1942, mainly operating in the South Carolina area.
In 1942 the group took part in the Carolina Manoeuvres. In 1942 and 1943 it took part in the Tennessee Manoeuvres.
In April 1943 it became the 66th Reconnaissance Group.
In August 1943 the group was redesignated as the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Group.
In 1943-44 it took part in Second Army Manoeuvres. The group was disbanded on 20 April 1944.
Douglas O-46, North American O-47, Douglas A-20 Boston/ Havoc, Bell P-39 Airacobra, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, North American B-25 Mitchell, Stinson L-5 Sentinel, Interstate L-6 Grasshopper
|21 August 1941||Constituted as 66th Observation Group|
|1 September 1941||Activated|
|April 1943||Redesignated 66th Reconnaissance Group|
|August 1943||Redesignated 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Group|
|20 April 1944||Disbanded|
Maj Harry W Generous:
4 Nov 1941
Lt Col Charles A Masson: c. 26 May 1942
Lt Col Theron Coulter: 6 Dec 1942
Maj Edward 0 McComas: c. 31 Aug 1943
Lt Col Frederick L Moore: c. 16 Oct 1943-20 Apr 1944.
Jacksonville, Fla: 1 Sep 1941
Charleston, SC: Jan 1942
Jacksonville Mun Aprt, Fla: Mar 1942
Pope Field, NC: May 1942
Tullahoma, Tenn: Sep 1942
Morris Field, NC: Nov 1942
Camp Campbell, Ky: Apr 1943
Aiken AAFld, SC: Jun 1943
Lebanon, Tenn: Oct 1943-20 Apr 1944
19th Liaison: 1942-43
I Air Support Command: 1942