Groups and Squadrons, Unit type, What does it all mean?

Discussion in 'Ground Commands, Stations, & Bases' started by Michael, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. Michael

    Michael New Member

    Hi All,

    I'm trying to figure this all out. What is the difference between a Group and a Squadron?

    Would a Squadron been part of a group of a different unit type. Meaning... Could a Fighter Squadron be part of a Service Group? Or, were they always the same unit type? i.e. Service Group and Service Squadron or Fighter Group and Fighter Squadron but NOT Service Group and Fighter Squadron.

    I was told that my Grandfather was part of the 315th Service Group and the 354th Service Squadron but cant find much info about these guys.

    Thanks for any insight
     
  2. RSwank

    RSwank Well-Known Member

    Don't know if you have seen this on the 315th Service Group. There was a 358th Service squadron within it that repaired fighter planes.

    http://www.cbi-history.com/part_iii_asg.html#52

    The 354th Service Squadron was in the Mediterranean Theater, ending in Italy. It was, I think part of the 515th Service Group.
     
  3. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Michael,

    What is the difference between a Group and a Squadron?

    In general the Group was the overall umbrella organization with either 3 or 4 Squadrons operating under that umbrella. Fighter Group, Fighter Squadrons, Bomb Group, Bomb Squadrons, etc. In addition to the Squadrons each Group also had a number of non-combat support units attached to it, as many as a dozen support units might be attached to any given Group. Depending on where in the world the Group was operating the support units would vary based on local needs. Attached is a list of some of the support units at a Bomb Group in the 8th Air Force in England.

    Do you have a particular Group or Squadron that you are working on? This can go a LOT easier if we know the Group or Squadron number.


    support units.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  4. Michael

    Michael New Member

    Yes. I do know that he was in Italy and Northern Africa. He was awarded the EAME with 4 bronze stars for 4 campaigns. Maybe the info that we have is not correct about the 315th Service Group. Maybe he was part of the 515th. Thank you.
     
  5. Michael

    Michael New Member

    He was in Italy and earned the EAME as an aircraft welder. I was told that he was part of the 315th service group, 354th service squadron. I don't know if that's 100% correct though.
     
  6. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Do you have any photos of him in uniform or letters that he wrote home during the war? What is his full name? His Discharge papers or any other documentation would be helpful too.
     
  7. Michael

    Michael New Member

    upload_2016-11-22_16-19-33.png upload_2016-11-22_16-20-19.png


    His name was Cpl. Edard Adkins from Pikeville Kentucky. He enlisted (Selectee) in 1942 and honorable dischared on July 7 1945.
    His Army service number was 35266334
     
  8. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Just found these pictures that state that the 315th Air Service Group was located in Libya in 1943. A lot closer to Italy than China! Obviously this will take more work to resolve but if he enlisted in 1942 this might be where he was stationed. Either he stayed with the 315th and went to China with them or was transferred to another outfit and stayed in the vicinity of Italy.


    315TH AIR SERVICE GROUP.jpg


    315th.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  9. 25Kingman49

    25Kingman49 Well-Known Member

    Hal,
    Interesting info on the 315th Air Service Group in N. Africa, might we know the source of this information? Regarding Service Group/Squadron information I have just enough data to be dangerous provided to me by Mark Boland before his passing. As a result I have requested air support from Bernie Shearon directing him to this thread. In the meantime here is what can be offered from my files thru Mark Boland from the ARMY AIR FORCES OVERSEAS STATION LIST ON 1 MAY 1945, which may or may not be pertinent to this study by Michael. In Italy during this late war time frame the 354th Air Service Group was operating:

    559th Air Service Squadron [354th Air Service Group], Lecce, Italy
    560th Air Service Squadron [354th Air Service Group] Giuilia, Italy.

    In this May 1945 time frame I see no reference to the 315 Service Group in this theater. Hopefully Bernie will come to the rescue here with this MTO history and detail.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  10. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Pictures came from fold3. However I later noticed that Rolland's link also notes that they were stationed in
    Libia as well as Sicily later in 1943. See below from that link:

    Stations: Key Fld, MS 5 May-21 Sep 42; Abu Sueir, Egypt 1 Nov 42; Gambut Main, Egypt -Feb 43; Tripoli, Libya -Jul 43; Sicily -Oct 43; Italy -Feb 44; Kurmitola, India by 1944; Hsingching, China Apr 44-Oct 45; Shanghai, China Oct 45-Jan 46. At beginning of Jan 46 Group on board ship bound for Seattle, WA. Docked at Tacoma, WA on 3 Jan 46. Inactivated immediately after return to United States.

    My question at this point is did he transfer to another outfit when the 315th left the MTO or did he go to India and then China as the 315th moved along.

    Also noticed that someone has created a Memorial page to Adkins on fold3. Could it have been the person who opened this thread? From his post above it appears that he has found the enlistment records on NARA so he may have been working on this for a while.

    And forgot to mention, Mark and Bernie are credited as the source of the info at Rolland's link.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
    25Kingman49 likes this.
  11. Michael

    Michael New Member

    Yes. I've been researching this for a while. I reached out to the National Archives, but Adkins records were destroyed in the fire back in the 70s. I joined Fold3 to get more info as well, but just can't seem to figure it out. Some family members told me that he was part of the 315th Service group and 354th service squadron. I do know that he was in Libya, Naples, Foggia, Rome Arno, Tunisia. He was an Aircraft Welder 573.

    At the the base, he built a car out of some kind of casing or tank (plane parts) for service men to ride around the base.

    The thing I can't figure out is if the 315th service group and 354th service squadron info are correct.

    Thanks for all of your insight and information.
     
  12. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    Michael,

    You can try your luck here but watch carefully because different units are mixed in. The wide column in the center lists the name of the unit. These are microfilm records that you can order.
    http://www.airforcehistoryindex.org/search.php?q=group/0315/service
    http://www.airforcehistoryindex.org/search.php?q=squadron/0354/service&c=u&h=25&F=&L=

    Also check the unit history collection at the Bangor Maine Public Library and the AAF Collection web sites. Might have something. Both sites offer free PDF downloads.
    http://digicom.bpl.lib.me.us/ww_reg_his/
    http://www.aafcollection.info/items/list.php
     
    Parker likes this.
  13. Michael

    Michael New Member

    I was just thinking.... he may have not made it to China because he was discharged July 7 1945 but could have moved to India. I still don't know if the 354th Service Sharron was part of the 315th Service Group.

    Stations: Key Fld, MS 5 May-21 Sep 42; Abu Sueir, Egypt 1 Nov 42; Gambut Main, Egypt -Feb 43; Tripoli, Libya -Jul 43; Sicily -Oct 43; Italy -Feb 44; Kurmitola, India by 1944; Hsingching, China Apr 44-Oct 45; Shanghai, China Oct 45-Jan 46. At beginning of Jan 46 Group on board ship bound for Seattle, WA. Docked at Tacoma, WA on 3 Jan 46. Inactivated immediately after return to United States.
     
  14. Lucky Partners

    Lucky Partners Well-Known Member

    "At the the base, he built a car out of some kind of casing or tank (plane parts) for service men to ride around the base."

    There are photos floating around the web of 'cars' built from fighter plane 'drop' tanks.
     
  15. bernies

    bernies New Member

    First question: Army Air Forces Hierarchy:
    Numbered Air Force (equals Numbered Army)
    Numbered Command (equals Corps)
    Air Division (very few) (equals Division)
    Wing (equals Brigade)
    Group (equals Regiment)
    Squadron (equals Battalion)
    Flight (most were administrative only) (equals Company)

    As for service groups and service squadrons:
    Service Groups were first formed in June 1942, from existing Air Base Groups. They were designed to support two combat groups. Although their makeup varied, the standard organization by late 1942 was:
    2 Service Squadrons
    1 Quartermaster Company, Service Group
    2 Quartermaster Truck Company (Aviation)
    2 Ordnance Supply & Maintenance Companies, Aviation
    1 Signal Company, Service Group
    1 Military Police Company, Aviation

    In early 1945. Service Groups began to be replaced by or converted to Air Service Groups (this had already been done for B-29 units in 1944) Air Service Groups were designed to support a single combat group. Their standard organization was:
    1 Headquarters and Base Service Squadron
    1 Air Engineering Squadron
    1 Air Materiel Squadron

    The two organizations you asked about:
    The 315th Air Base Group was activated on 5 May 1942, redesignated the 315th Service Group 13 June 1942, 315th Air Service Group c. 4 Dec 1944, inactivated 3 January 1946, disbanded 8 Oct 1948, reconstituted as the 415th Combat Support Group on 31 July 1945. It was first stationed at Key Field, MS with Third Air Force, after training it moved overseas, initially to the MTO as part of IX Air Force Service Command, where it was stationed at Abu Sueir, Gambut Main, Tripoli, then Italy. In February 1944 it moved to the CBI Theater, where it was stationed at Bombay, Kurmitola, Hsinching, and Shanghai. I believe it returned to Fort Lawton to be inactivated.

    The 354th Service Squadron was first activated in February 1942 as the 354th Material Squadron at Fort George Wright. I believe it was assigned to the 328th and 34th Service Groups.

    The service squadrons with the 315th Service Group were the 338th Materiel Squadron (later 338th Service Squadron, 338th Air Service Squadron), which was with the group throughout the war. The 358th Service Squadron (later 358th Air Service Squadron), joined the 315th in Italy (probably earlier -- it was at Castel Benito) and moved with it to the CBI theater.
     
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  16. Michael

    Michael New Member

    Thank you for this info. this clears some things up. he was in Egypt, Naples, Foggia, Rome Arno and Lydia. He was discharged in June 1945 without any mention of China, but could have moved. he earned the EAME and some mention of the Asiattic Pacific medal as well. This sounds like the 358th and not the 354th.
     
  17. Michael

    Michael New Member

    Attached is the only history that I have. it sounds like he was part of the 358th instead of 354th. there is mention of the Asiaticpacific Pacific and EAME.
     

    Attached Files:

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