72nd Reconnaissance Group

History - Books - Aircraft - Time Line - Commanders - Main Bases - Component Units - Assigned To


The 72nd Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) was a reconnaissance group that was based in the Panama Canal Zone during 1942 and 1943.

The group was activated in the United States in September 1941 and operated a mix of different liaison, observation and reconnaissance aircraft.

In December 1941-January 1942 the group moved to the Panama Canal Zone. It was used to carry out a range of duties including patrol missions over the sea, carrying air mail, searching for aircraft that had gone missing in the area, supporting the US ground forces defending the Canal and carrying out some photographic mapping.

The group was disbanded in place in November 1943.


Lt Col Jasper K McDuffie: Oct 1941
Col Perry B Griffin: c.1 Feb 1942
Col Vernon C Smith: 19 May-1 Nov 1943


North American O-47 , Stinson O-49 Vigilant, Curtiss O-52 Owl, Stinson L-1 Vigilant, Piper L-4 Grasshopper, B-18, Bell P-39 Airacobra


21 August 1941 Constituted as 72nd Observation Group
26 September 1941 Activated
1943 Redesignated as 72nd Reconnaissance Group
1 November 1943 Inactivated

Commanders (with date of appointment)


Main Bases

Shreveport, La: 26 Sep 1941
Little Rock, Ark: Oct 1941
Marshall Field, Kan: 11-c. 27 Dec 1941
Howard Field, CZ: c. 18 Jan 1942-1 Nov 1943.

Component Units

1st: 1941-43
4th: 1942-43
39th: 1942-43
108th: 1941-43
124th: 1941

Assigned To

1942-1943: Panama Canal Zone

How to cite this article: Rickard, J (3 February 2015), 72nd Reconnaissance Group , http://www.historyofwar.org/air/units/USAAF/72nd_Reconnaissance_Squadron.html

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