Unit Details

3rd Bombardment Group, Light

USAF Organizations in Korea 1950-1953 Judy G. Endicott http://www.afhra.af.mil/index.asp

Unit Info

Unit Info

3d Bombardment Group (Light)

Unit Info
Based at Johnson Air Force Base, Japan, under the 3d Bombardment Wing. Deployed to Korea in August 1951 under the 6133d Bombardment Wing. The 6133d Tactical Support Wing was redesignated the 3d Bombardment Wing in December 1950 and remained in Korea for the duration.

8th, 13th, 90th, and 731st Bombardment Squadrons (Light)
B-26 (731st possessed some C-47s for dropping flares)


The 3rd BG conducted its first combat missions in Korea on June 27, 1950. Its B-26 pilots flew reconnaissance sorties and protected allied shipping in Korean waters. The next day, the group attacked rail and road targets at Munsan. A day later, the B-26s attacked P'yŏngyang Airfield.

On July 1, the group and its squadrons moved with a forward echelon of the wing to Iwakuni AB, Japan to be closer to Korea. Fifth Air Force exercised direct operational control of the group from July 20, 1950, later attaching it to the 6133rd Bomb (later, Tactical Support) Wing.

After September, the 3rd BG flew mostly at night against airfields, vehicles, and railways. Hindered by a lack of light over the target areas, the night Intruders experimented with parachute-dropped flares, wing-mounted naval searchlights, and C-47 "Lightning Bugs." The "bugs," flown by the attached 731st BS, dropped flares from low altitudes, illuminating target areas.

But B-26s soon replaced the C-47s, which flew too slowly to accompany the Intruders to the target area. The 3rd BG moved to Korea in August 1951 to continue combat missions, receiving three Distinguished Unit Citations before the armistice in July 1953.

Combat Components

8th Bombardment Squadron: duration.
13th Bombardment Squadron: duration.
90th Bombardment Squadron: June 25, 1951-.
731st Bombardment Squadron: attached November 1950-June 25, 1951.


Johnson AB, Japan, -July 1, 1950;

Iwakuni AB, Japan, July 1, 1950;

Kunsan AB, South Korea, August 22, 1951-.


Col. Donald L. Clark, -August 5, 1950;

Lt. Col. Leland A. Walker, Jr., August 5, 1950;

Col. Henry G. Brady, Jr., October 17, 1950;

Col. Chester H. Morgan, January 4, 1952;

Col. William G. Moore, Jr., January 17, 1952;

Col. Sherman R. Beaty, by December 1952;

Col. John G. Napier, April 1, 1953; Col. Straughan D. Kelsey, July 22, 1953-.

Medal of Honor Recipient
Capt. John S. Walmsley, Jr. (8th BS) for actions on September 14, 1951.

Campaign Streamers
UN Defensive; UN Offensive; CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive 1952; Second Korean Winter; Korea, Summer-Fall 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea, Summer 1953.

Three Presidential Unit Citations for actions June 27-July 31, 1950; April 22-July 8, 1951; and May 1- July 27, 1953.

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation for period June 27-July 31, 1950.