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USAAF 86th OS <sic> - 9/3/2016 10:38:44 AM   
el cid again

 

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Air Group slot 3553 in stock and every mod I know of - including RHS until the
next update - is described as the 86th Observation Squadron. It renames itself as the 86th RS and then the 43rd RS for reasons unknown. It starts with the O-47A and
upgrades to the B-18. It was never named an observation squadron, but instead bombardment squadron (Light) followed by Bombardment Squadron (Tactical) in 1954.

In fact this unit never served in PTO. Rather it went to ETO. It returned to the US on 15 July 1945 (Seymoure Johnson Field, NC) outfitted with the A-20G and upgraded to the A-26 in 1945. When it returns to the US, it could be nominally be available for PTO service - presumably in non-strictly historical scenarios - or scenarios extending after the end of the historical war.

The unit indeed operated the B-18 - since it was formed in 1940 - at McChord Field in Tacoma, Washington. Although it then moved to Fresno on 11 Aug 1941 (no field given), by February it was at Will Rogers Field, OKlahoma, beginning an Eastward journey that ended in Italy via Morocco. It is wholly unclear how "historical" scenarios have this unit operating for the entire war in PTO.


< Message edited by el cid again -- 9/3/2016 10:40:48 AM >
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RE: USAAF 86th OS <sic> - 9/3/2016 4:05:10 PM   
US87891

 

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Because the unit was ‘historical’, viz an excerpt from an email communication from Cadet MSgt David Linn USAFA, Colorado Springs, CO. I am thrilled the Academy teaches the Cadets to make historical points with references.

‘There were four different 86 Squadrons in the WW-II era; Fighter, Bomber, Transport, Reconnaissance. 86 was also a Fighter Group and Bombardment Group … I am not surprised that your civilian friend is confused.

86 Observation Squadron was an amalgamation of 43rd and 86th Aero Squadrons. Each half kept their original designation so it is referenced by both or either style. The squadron as a whole was officially redesignated the 86 Observation Squadron, Bellows AAF, Oahu, February 1942 … 86 was redesignated as a Reconnaissance and then a Combat Mapping Squadron in 1943 … The squadron served in the Pacific theater for the entire period … 86 Squadron was responsible for photo mosaics of Saipan, Guam and Iwo Jima and produced the first photo mosaics of Tokyo …

History and honors of 86 Observation/Recon Squadron are continued with 43rd Electronic Combat Squadron …

Command and General Staff College, USAAF Unit Histories 1941-1945, College Park, MD, 1952.’


On a side note, and because I am from Texas and because Phil sat in the Legislature, I thought this might be relevant to the issue. Lt. Phillip B. Willis, pilot with 86th Observation Squadron, Bellows Field, Oahu, received a citation for his capture of a surviving Japanese crewmember of a minisub on Dec. 8, 1941.

Matt.

(in reply to el cid again)
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RE: USAAF 86th OS <sic> - 9/3/2016 4:06:34 PM   
US87891

 

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Whoops, sorry, Matt.


< Message edited by US87891 -- 9/3/2016 4:08:38 PM >

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RE: USAAF 86th OS <sic> - 9/3/2016 4:57:32 PM   
witpqs


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Very nice little story - and confusing = yes! - without the whole story.

I think it also illustrates the complexities a computer program would have to be set up for to handle 'real' organizations. And throw in squadrons that had mixed aircraft types, etc...

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RE: USAAF 86th OS <sic> - 9/3/2016 8:21:03 PM   
el cid again

 

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I am not confused. I am working from the official USAAF record. It indeed lists several 86th Squadrons -
but not one of them is an Observation Squadron. Because the 86th in the database upgrades to B-18s I assume
the 86th Bomb Squadron was intended. Indeed, the listed 86th OS is stated to rename twice - and neither
rename ever appears in the official listing either. There is also the indicator that the 86th BS appears to
be missing, which combines with bomber equipment to imply that may be the intended unit.

That said, I am perfectly prepared to believe the official listing might be incomplete. It is rare, but it
does happen that compilers do not have all the data available to them. The official listing provides dates,
bases, aircraft, commanders and sometimes other information - but quite often with holes in it - in this
case the name of the field in Fresno is not given for example. Absent data is a pervasive problem in the records.
It could conceivably include an entire missing squadron. But the existing game record is incorrect - an OS
would not upgrade to bombers and not be renamed in general for example. If a comprehensive record exists I will
be happy to use it. If the record cited below can be found, hopefully it will include the bases and dates.
I find the AE data set is quite terrible in not having correct names, dates and bases of entry to PTO and if
one is going to correct a record, one should do so comprehensively - not assume the old one is right at any point.
Ideally one also wants the name of the commander. [I need names, dates and locations for Dec 1941 and February
1945 because of different scenario start dates. Aircraft data is similar, but only the primary type - we normally
do not list secondary equipment.]

My listing is from

World War II Combat Squadrons of the United States Air Force
The Official Military Record of Every Active Squadron

[In spite of its title, it includes records until the unit disappears altogether -
even if it reforms post war more than once.]

This is an official publication of

The USAF Historical Division
Air University
Department of the Air Force
1992
ISBN 0-8317-1501-4



quote:

ORIGINAL: US87891

Because the unit was ‘historical’, viz an excerpt from an email communication from Cadet MSgt David Linn USAFA, Colorado Springs, CO. I am thrilled the Academy teaches the Cadets to make historical points with references.

‘There were four different 86 Squadrons in the WW-II era; Fighter, Bomber, Transport, Reconnaissance. 86 was also a Fighter Group and Bombardment Group … I am not surprised that your civilian friend is confused.

86 Observation Squadron was an amalgamation of 43rd and 86th Aero Squadrons. Each half kept their original designation so it is referenced by both or either style. The squadron as a whole was officially redesignated the 86 Observation Squadron, Bellows AAF, Oahu, February 1942 … 86 was redesignated as a Reconnaissance and then a Combat Mapping Squadron in 1943 … The squadron served in the Pacific theater for the entire period … 86 Squadron was responsible for photo mosaics of Saipan, Guam and Iwo Jima and produced the first photo mosaics of Tokyo …

History and honors of 86 Observation/Recon Squadron are continued with 43rd Electronic Combat Squadron …

Command and General Staff College, USAAF Unit Histories 1941-1945, College Park, MD, 1952.’


On a side note, and because I am from Texas and because Phil sat in the Legislature, I thought this might be relevant to the issue. Lt. Phillip B. Willis, pilot with 86th Observation Squadron, Bellows Field, Oahu, received a citation for his capture of a surviving Japanese crewmember of a minisub on Dec. 8, 1941.

Matt.



(in reply to US87891)
Post #: 5
RE: USAAF 86th OS <sic> - 9/3/2016 9:50:16 PM   
Don Bowen


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From: Georgetown, Texas, USA
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You have the book. Good. Look at Page 197.

(in reply to el cid again)
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RE: USAAF 86th OS <sic> - 9/3/2016 10:26:45 PM   
DD696

 

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Don!!!!!

You know, some of us old farts - even USMC types - have missed your input and expertise for a hell of a long while.
From a Marine guy to an old naval fart - Welcome back!

We have missed your input!

_____________________________

USMC: 1970-1977. A United States Marine.
We don't take kindly to idjits.

(in reply to Don Bowen)
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RE: USAAF 86th OS <sic> - 9/4/2016 2:42:39 PM   
m10bob


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quote:

ORIGINAL: DD696

Don!!!!!

You know, some of us old farts - even USMC types - have missed your input and expertise for a hell of a long while.
From a Marine guy to an old naval fart - Welcome back!

We have missed your input!


+1

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RE: USAAF 86th OS <sic> - 9/4/2016 2:48:29 PM   
Don Bowen


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Thanks m10bob, but I guess I'm not really back. Off doing my own thing and just came across an old link. Y'all enjoy the game!

Here are some more of my old links: PDFs of 2 US Air Force historical books for WWII. Free downloads:

http://www.afhso.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100921-044.pdf

http://www.afhso.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-101202-002.pdf

The key to using these books, and the trouble that Sid ran into, is to use the index. Each squadron is only listed once, even if it changed names multiple times. Which squadron incarnation that is used in the main part of the book is not overly logical, as is the case for the 86th Obs. Sqn. But all incarnations of all squadrons are given in the index.

< Message edited by Don Bowen -- 9/4/2016 5:51:24 PM >

(in reply to m10bob)
Post #: 9
RE: USAAF 86th OS <sic> - 9/5/2016 12:20:58 AM   
Korvar


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Thanks for sharing, Don.

I would also add that the key combo Ctrl+F to use the search feature in Acrobat Reader is invaluable for use with PDF documents. It's an index on steroids and can be used even when the source material doesn't have an original index.

(in reply to Don Bowen)
Post #: 10
USAAF Listing - 9/6/2016 11:26:38 PM   
el cid again

 

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While the official list does include an 83rd Observation Squadron, it should be in the
game as such, not as the 86th. Granted it does rename to the 86th in 1942. It operated
both the O-47 and B-18 and several other types until finally getting F-7s in 1944. It may
indeed be the unit in the game listed as the 86th OS. I need to see if there is a separate
83rd OS, and if not, add it in as such. The 86th would be available in an extended war situation,
appearing at the US East Coast (South Carolina) about 15 July, 1945. For whatever reason,
the unit is NOT listed as the 86th OS in the record - although it renamed to that in 1942.
A unit is usually listed under its start of war name.

< Message edited by el cid again -- 9/6/2016 11:28:06 PM >

(in reply to el cid again)
Post #: 11
RE: USAAF Listing - 9/7/2016 1:28:43 PM   
Don Bowen


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From: Georgetown, Texas, USA
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quote:

ORIGINAL: el cid again

While the official list does include an 83rd Observation Squadron, it should be in the
game as such, not as the 86th. Granted it does rename to the 86th in 1942. It operated
both the O-47 and B-18 and several other types until finally getting F-7s in 1944. It may
indeed be the unit in the game listed as the 86th OS. I need to see if there is a separate
83rd OS, and if not, add it in as such. The 86th would be available in an extended war situation,
appearing at the US East Coast (South Carolina) about 15 July, 1945. For whatever reason,
the unit is NOT listed as the 86th OS in the record - although it renamed to that in 1942.
A unit is usually listed under its start of war name.


I have no idea where you are getting this. The 83rd Observation did NOT exist in World War II. The 86th did.

From US Army Order of Battle 1919-1941 Volume 3

83rd Observation Squadron

UQ-Not organized 1927-33

Constituted in the Regular Army on 18 October 1927 and allotted to the Eighth Corps Area. San Antonio, TX,
designated as headquarters location on organization, but the unit was never organized at that location. Designated
mobilization training station was Dodd Field, TX, 1927-33. Demobilized on 1 October 1933.








Attachment (1)

(in reply to el cid again)
Post #: 12
RE: USAAF Listing - 9/7/2016 3:46:30 PM   
US87891

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: el cid again

While the official list does include an 83rd Observation Squadron, it should be in the
game as such, not as the 86th. Granted it does rename to the 86th in 1942. It operated
both the O-47 and B-18 and several other types until finally getting F-7s in 1944. It may
indeed be the unit in the game listed as the 86th OS. I need to see if there is a separate
83rd OS, and if not, add it in as such. The 86th would be available in an extended war situation,
appearing at the US East Coast (South Carolina) about 15 July, 1945. For whatever reason,
the unit is NOT listed as the 86th OS in the record - although it renamed to that in 1942.
A unit is usually listed under its start of war name.

I guess Don Bowen beat me to the punch. But since I did the work, I should post it.

Query what the 83rd Observation squadron has to do with the discussion. Do not believe it ever existed, but it certainly was never part of the lineage of 86th Observation Squadron.

Following, are the pages that detail the 86th Observation Squadron, taken from the book that you cite as your source (as Don Bowen notes, it starts at page 197). In case the jpeg text is hard to read, here is a brief synopsis for the WW-II time frame.

Clearly, the 86th Observation Squadron was there from the very beginning, and served very well, as such, until redesignated 43rd Reconnaissance Squadron in mid 1945.

# 1 February, 1940: 86th Observation Squadron activated; Assigned Hawaiian Department; Reassigned Hawaiian (later 7th) Air Force 1 November, 1940; Stationed Wheeler Field, Oahu, TH, relocated Bellows Field, Oahu, TH, 15 March 1941.
# 26 February, 1942: Redesignated 86th Observation Squadron (Medium); Assigned 7th Air Force; Relocated Wheeler Field, Oahu, TH, 17 August, 1942.
# 31 May, 1943: Redesignated 86th Reconnaissance Squadron (Bomber); Assigned 7th Air Force; Stationed Wheeler Field, Oahu, TH.
# 13 November 1943: Redesignated 86th Combat Mapping Squadron; Assigned 7th Air Force; Stationed Wheeler Field, Oahu, TH.
# 1944: Stationed at Wheeler Field, Oahu, TH; Detachments operating from Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Saipan
# 16 June, 1945: Redesignated 43rd Reconnaissance Squadron (Long Range, Photographic); Assigned 20th Reconnaissance Group, 20th Air Force; Detachments operating from Puerto Princessa, Palawan.






Attachment (1)

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RE: USAAF Listing - 9/7/2016 9:09:51 PM   
el cid again

 

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This is a rare but not unheard of issue. One of the "RHS Principles" established in WITP days
is that we use standardized sources whenever possible. We adopted the USAF official history
(cited in full above) as the standard. The official listing does indicate units got renamed,
and I am sure that is part of the confusion. I found two other cases of USAAF recon units of
this kind, one of them very confusing indeed: it takes three slots to model two different 17th
Observation/Recon/Photo Recon Squadrons. And that is the STOCK solution! [Slots 3532, 33 & 34]
Not one of these is perfectly done, with proper dates, renames, locations and/or aircraft, if one
accepts the USAF Historical Division's listings. Most of the time I don't bother to comment in
public, but these sorts of problems are very common in the original data. And part of it, no doubt,
is that we do not all use the same sources. None of us were there. All of us depend on sometimes
imperfect records. As well, how to present the data is often a judgement call. Most of these units
operated more than one type at any given time, for example.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Don Bowen


quote:

ORIGINAL: el cid again

While the official list does include an 83rd Observation Squadron, it should be in the
game as such, not as the 86th. Granted it does rename to the 86th in 1942. It operated
both the O-47 and B-18 and several other types until finally getting F-7s in 1944. It may
indeed be the unit in the game listed as the 86th OS. I need to see if there is a separate
83rd OS, and if not, add it in as such. The 86th would be available in an extended war situation,
appearing at the US East Coast (South Carolina) about 15 July, 1945. For whatever reason,
the unit is NOT listed as the 86th OS in the record - although it renamed to that in 1942.
A unit is usually listed under its start of war name.


I have no idea where you are getting this. The 83rd Observation did NOT exist in World War II. The 86th did.

From US Army Order of Battle 1919-1941 Volume 3

83rd Observation Squadron

UQ-Not organized 1927-33

Constituted in the Regular Army on 18 October 1927 and allotted to the Eighth Corps Area. San Antonio, TX,
designated as headquarters location on organization, but the unit was never organized at that location. Designated
mobilization training station was Dodd Field, TX, 1927-33. Demobilized on 1 October 1933.









(in reply to Don Bowen)
Post #: 14
RE: USAAF Listing - 9/7/2016 9:51:49 PM   
Don Bowen


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From: Georgetown, Texas, USA
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OK, US Army Air Forces in World War II (Office of Air Force History), Volume 3, Plans and Early Operations January 1939 to August 1942, page 170-171:

Air Defenses in the Territory of Hawaii were the result of more than twenty years' development, and their status by 7 December 1941 was relatively imposing.
...
Units of the bombardment wing included the 5th and 11th Bombardment Groups (H), the 58th Bombardment Squadron (L), and the 86th Observation Squadron. The latter unit was stationed at Bellows Field ...


(in reply to el cid again)
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RE: USAAF Listing - 9/8/2016 4:14:12 PM   
m10bob


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I prefer this kind of passion by both sides to honor the historical correctness of "days gone by" if not for the game so much as to (in our own way) honor those who made the history itself.

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