Douglas A/B-26 Invader

Col. Howard F Bronson

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Michael Bronson, current airline pilot and an eight year veteran of the USAF, flying OV-10 and F-16's and son of Colonel Howard F Bronson on which this feature is based, was good enough to send in some unique history on the Invaders that his father flew whilst on operations in Korea and Japan. I am honoured and privileged to be in a position to share this great piece of history with all of you...........Thanks Mike

Colonel H. F. Bronson assumed command of Ellington Air Force Base and the 2578th Air Base Group April 1, 1958, on which date they were assigned to Continental Air Command. Pre. viously Colonel Bronson was the Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations at Headquarters Fourth Air Force, Hamilton AFB, California.
In 1953 he attended the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, Alabama. Following completion of the course in 1954, Colonel Bronson was assigned as commander of the 3d Bomb Wing in Korea.
He was later assigned to the 17th Bomb Wing in Korea and Japan, and returned to Huriburt Field, Florida, with it in 1955.
Colonel Bronson was born in Hornell, New York. He graduated from high school in Harrisburg, Pa., in 1932, and later attended the Uni. versity of California from 1938 to 1940 while assigned to the 7th Bomb Group at Hamilton AFB.
He graduated from Harvard Business School, Cambridge, Mass., in 1950 with a Master of Business Administration degree. Colonel Bronson was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Corps in 1936 following
completion of flying cadet training and was assigned B-17 and B-18 pilot with Hamilton’s 7th Bomb Group.
His first overseas assignment was as a squadron commander with the 6th Bomb Group in the Panama Canal in 1941. He was transferred to the Operations Directorate Division of Headquarters Army Air Forces in Washington, D.C., where he was promoted to colonel in 1943.
In 1944 Colonel Bronson again joined the 7th Bomb Group, this time as a group commander of B.24 aircraft, while the unit was assigned to the China-Burma-India theater.
Returning to the United States in 1945, he served on the War Department General Staff until his assignment in 1946 as Air National Guard advisor to five New England states.
Col. bronson has been awarded the Medal, Commendation Ribbon with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Air Force Commendation Medal. He Is a rated Command Pilot. During World War II he flew 200 hours of anti-submarine patrol in Panama and 15 combat missions in the CBI theater.



Unit Histories

3rd Wing history

Photos - Korea and Japan

Photos - Hurlburt Field


A synopsis of Howard F Bronsons career:

1935-1936 - Flying Cadet Randolph/Kelly Fields, Tx (class graduates 6/17/36)

1936-1940 - Assigned 88th Recon Sq, 7th Bomb Group, Hamilton Field

1940-1943 - Assigned 6th Bomb Group, France Field, C.Z.

                 - Commander 25 Bomb Sq (1/41- 1/15/42)

                 - Operations Officer, 6th Bomb Group (1/15/42-9/19/43)

1943-1944 - HQ AAF, Operations Directorate Div, Wash DC, Chief of Bombardment Branch of Operations

1944-1945 - 7th Bomb Group, CBI

                 - Deputy Commander ? (9 Dec 44-6/24/45)

                 - Commander (6/24/45-9/29/45)

1945-1946 - War Dept General Staff, Wash DC

1946-1948 - Instructor, 51st Fighter Wing, Mass ANG, Boston

1948-1950 - MBA Program, Harvard Univ

1950-1952 - Deputy Director of Statistical Services, HQ USAF,

DCS/Comptroller (National Security Resources Board)

1952-1953 - Old Executive Office Building, Secret Project to relocate the government in the event of an attack

1953-1954 - Air War College, Maxwell AFB

1954 - Commander 3rd Bomb Wing, Kunson AB, Korea (8/6/54-9/10/54)

1954-1956 - Commander 17th Bomb Wing, Pusan AB, Korea/Miho AB, Japan/ Hurlburt Field, FL

                 - CC 9/10/54-5/19/56

                 - 4/55 opens Hurlburt Field, Fl

                 - 7/30/55 Lands B-26 “Honey Bucket” on new  runway at Hurlburt

                 - 8/1755 Delivers first B-57 to 17th Wing

                 - 3/16/56 Delivers first B-66 to 17th Wing

1956-1958 - Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, HQ 4th Air Force, Hamilton AFB

1958-1960 - Commander 2578 Air Base Group, Continental Air

Command, Ellington AFB, Tx

1960-1961 - Chief of Staff, HQ 2nd Air Force Reserve Region, Andrews AFB

B-26 Timeline


• Aug 6: Assumes command of 3rd Bomb Wing, Kunson Air Base

(K8), Korea

(Commander 8/6/54-9/10/54) B-26 Unit

• Sep 10: Assumes command of 17th Bomb Wing, Pusan Air Base

(K9), Korea

(Commander 9/10/54-5/19/56) 48 B-26s & 1400 personnel

• Oct 10: 17th Bomb Wing moves from Korea to Miho Air Base,



• Apr: 17th Bomb Wing moves to Hurlburt Field, Ft Walton Beach, Fl

• Jul 22: Graduates Senior Officer’s Jet Instrument Familiarization Course,

Moody AFB,

Valdosta, Ga, in preparation to transition to jets from the B-26

• Aug 17: Delivers first B-57 to the 17th Wing, 34th Bomb Squadron


• Mar 16: Delivers first B-66 to the Air Force, 17th Bomb Wing, 37th

Bomb Sq

• Aug: Assigned Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations,

HQ 4th Air

Force, Hamilton AFB, Ca