Halifax Squadrons of World War II , Jon Lake

Halifax Squadrons of World War II , Jon Lake

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Halifax Squadrons of World War II, Jon Lake

Halifax Squadrons of World War II , Jon Lake

This is a interesting, inclusive well written book on the Handley Page Halifax, the second most important Bomber Command aircraft of the Second World War.

Lake starts with a good introduction to the bombing war, and a comparison between the Halifax and the Avro Lancaster. He follows with two chapters on the Halifax's role in the main bomber offensive, then moves on to look at its many other roles with the Pathfinders, SOE, No.100 Group carrying out Electronic Counter Measures, as a glider tug and with Coastal Command. What emerges is a picture of a versatile aircraft well suited to its multiple roles.

The book is well illustrated, with some very good pictures of the Halifax and excellent plans. Two appendixes provide a complete list of Halifax units and a series of RAF orders of battle giving snapshots what the Halifax was doing at several key moments.,

This book will be of use to anyone with an interest in the Halifax or in the air war during the Second World War. It gives a good feel of the wide range of duties that an aircraft could be asked to perform, and how well the Halifax was adapted to these multiple duties.

Author: Jon Lake
Edition: Paperback
Pages: 112
Publisher: Osprey
Year: 1999

Handley Page Halifax

The Handley Page Halifax is a British Royal Air Force (RAF) four-engined heavy bomber of the Second World War. It was developed by Handley Page to the same specification as the contemporary twin-engine Avro Manchester.

Handley Page Halifax B.III showing the later rectangular fins and Bristol Hercules radial engines
Role Heavy bomber
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer Handley Page
First flight 25 October 1939
Introduction 13 November 1940
Retired 1961 (Pakistani Air Force)
Status Retired
Primary users Royal Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
Royal Australian Air Force
Free French Air Force
Produced 1940–1946
Number built 6,176 [1] + 2 HP.57 Prototypes

The Halifax has its origins in the twin-engine HP56 proposal of the late 1930s, produced in response to the British Air Ministry's Specification P.13/36 for a capable medium bomber for "world-wide use." The HP56 was ordered as a backup to the Avro 679, both aircraft being designed to use the underperforming Rolls-Royce Vulture engine. The Handley Page design was altered at the Ministry to a four-engine arrangement powered by the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine the rival Avro 679 was produced as the twin-engine Avro Manchester which, while regarded as unsuccessful mainly due to the Vulture engine, was a direct predecessor of the famed Avro Lancaster. Both the Lancaster and the Halifax would emerge as capable four-engined strategic bombers, thousands of which would be built and operated by the RAF and several other services during the War.

On 25 October 1939, the Halifax performed its maiden flight, and it entered service with the RAF on 13 November 1940. It quickly became a major component of Bomber Command, performing routine strategic bombing missions against the Axis Powers, many of them at night. Arthur Harris, the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Bomber Command, described the Halifax as inferior to the rival Lancaster (in part due to its smaller payload) though this opinion was not shared by many of the crews that flew it, particularly for the MkIII variant. [2] Nevertheless, production of the Halifax continued until April 1945. During their service with Bomber Command, Halifaxes flew a total of 82,773 operations and dropped 224,207 tons of bombs, while 1,833 aircraft were lost. The Halifax was also flown in large numbers by other Allied and Commonwealth nations, such as the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), Free French Air Force and Polish forces.

Various improved versions of the Halifax were introduced, incorporating more powerful engines, a revised defensive turret layout and increased payload. It remained in service with Bomber Command until the end of the war, performing a variety of duties in addition to bombing. Additionally, specialised versions of the Halifax were developed for troop transport and paradrop operations. Following the end of the Second World War, the RAF quickly phased the Halifax out of service, after the type was succeeded in the strategic bombing role by the Avro Lincoln, an advanced derivative of the Lancaster. During the post-war years, the Halifax was operated by the Royal Egyptian Air Force, the French Air Force and the Royal Pakistan Air Force. The type also entered commercial service for a number of years, used mainly as a freighter. A dedicated civil transport variant, the Handley Page Halton, was also developed and entered airline service. 41 civil Halifax freighters were used during the Berlin Airlift. In 1961, the last remaining Halifax bombers were retired from operational use.


Squadrons in Bold Type are currently active

Nos. 1–50 Edit

  • No. 1 (Fighter) Squadron RAF (Typhoon FGR4) [2]
  • No. II (Army Cooperation) Squadron RAF (Typhoon FGR4) [2]
  • No. 3 (Fighter) Squadron RAF (Typhoon FGR4) [2]
  • No. IV Squadron RAF (Hawk T2) [3]
  • No. 6 Squadron RAF (Typhoon FGR4) [2]
  • No. 7 Squadron RAF (Chinook HC4) [4]
  • No. 8 Squadron RAF (Sentry AEW1) [5]
  • No. IX (Bomber) Squadron RAF (Typhoon FGR4) [2]
  • No. 10 Squadron RAF (Voyager KC2/KC3) [6]
  • No. XI (Fighter) Squadron RAF (Typhoon FGR4) [2]
  • No. 12 (Bomber) Squadron RAF (Typhoon T3 and FGR4) [7]
  • No. 13 Squadron RAF (MQ-9A Reaper) [8]
  • No. 14 Squadron RAF (Shadow R1) [9]
  • No. 16 Squadron RAF (Tutor T1) [10]
  • No. XVII Test and Evaluation Squadron RAF (F-35B LightningOEU) [11]
  • No. 18 (Bomber) Squadron (Chinook HC2) [4]
  • No. 22 Squadron RAF (Joint Helicopter CommandOEU) [12]
  • No. 23 Squadron RAF[13]
  • No. XXIV (Commonwealth) Squadron RAF (Hercules C4/5, C-17 Globemaster & Atlas C1OCU) [14]
  • No. XXV (Fighter) Squadron RAF (Hawk T2) [3]
  • No. 27 Squadron RAF (Chinook HC2) [4]
  • No. 28 Squadron RAF (Chinook HC4/6 and Puma HC2 OCU) [15]
  • No. 29 Squadron RAF (Typhoon T3 and FGR4 OCU) [2]
  • No. 32 (The Royal) Squadron RAF (BAe 146 & AW109) [16]
  • No. 33 Squadron RAF (Puma HC2) [17]
  • No. 39 Squadron RAF (MQ-9A Reaper) [8]
  • No. 41 Test and Evaluation Squadron (Typhoon T3 and FGR4) [2]
  • No. 45 Squadron RAF (Phenom T1) [18]
  • No. 47 Squadron RAF (Hercules C4/5) [19]

Nos. 51–66 Edit

  • No. 51 Squadron RAF (RC-135W Rivet Joint) [20]
  • No. 54 Squadron RAF (Sentry/Sentinel/Rivet Joint/Reaper ISTAR OCU) [21]
  • No. 56 (Punjab) Squadron RAF (Air C2ISR Test & Evaluation Squadron) [22]
  • No. LVII Squadron RAF[23] (Prefect T1) [24]
  • No. 60 Squadron RAF (Juno HT1) [25]

Nos. 67–71 Edit

During the First World War, in order to avoid confusion with similarly-numbered British flying squadrons, units of the separate Australian Flying Corps were known for administrative purposes as 67, 68, 69, and 71 squadrons. Since the Second World War these numbers have always been used by RAF units.

However, the designation 70 (or LXX) Squadron has always been used for RFC/RAF units.

  • No. 67 Squadron
    • 1916–18: No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
    • From 1941: No. 67 Squadron RAF
    • 1916–18: No. 2 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps
    • From 1941: No. 68 Squadron RAF
    • 1916–18: No. 3 Squadron Australian Flying Corps
    • From 1941: No. 69 Squadron RAF
    • 1916–18: No. 4 Squadron Australian Flying Corps
    • From 1940: No. 71 Squadron RAF (staffed by US volunteers in 1940–42)

    Nos. 72–100 Edit

    • No. 72 (Basutoland) Squadron RAF (Texan T1) [27]
    • No. 84 Squadron RAF (Griffin HAR2) [28]
    • No. 92 (East India) Squadron RAF Tactics and Training Squadron [29]
    • No. 99 (Madras Presidency) Squadron RAF (C-17 Globemaster) [30]
    • No. 100 Squadron RAF (Hawk T1) [31]

    Nos. 101–150 Edit

    Nos. 151–200 Edit

    Nos. 201–250 Edit

    The first squadrons to carry numbers above 200 were former RNAS squadrons that were renumbered upon amalgamation with 200 added to their RNAS squadron number. Independent flights of the RNAS were grouped together in squadrons and given numbers in the 200 series.

    Nos. 251–299 Edit

    Squadrons in the 300–352 series were staffed during the Second World War by volunteers from countries in occupied Europe. In some cases, these RAF squadrons and personnel were regarded by a relevant government-in-exile as serving concurrently with its air force.

    Polish (300–309) Edit

      (Ziemi Mazowieckiej) (Ziemi Pomorskiej) (Poznański) (Warszawski im. Tadeusza Kościuszki) (Ziemi Śląskiej im. Ks. Józefa Poniatowskiego) (Ziemi Wielkopolskiej im. Marszałka Józefa Piłsudskiego) (Toruński) (Lwowskich Puchaczy) (Krakowski) (Ziemi Czerwieńskiej)

    Czechoslovakian (310–313) Edit

    (Note: the RAF has never had a flying unit named 314 Squadron, although it has used the number for No. 314 Technical Services Unit. A proposed 314 Squadron was allocated squadron code "UY" during the period April to September 1939, [38] but was never formed.)

    Polish (315–318) Edit

    Note: the RAF never had a No. 319 Squadron the "Polish Fighting Team" was attached to No. 145 Fighter Squadron. A proposed 319 Squadron was allocated squadron codes VE for the period April to September 1939. [38] There was also 663 Artillery Observation Squadron No. 138 Special Duty Squadron Polish Flight "C" and No. 1586 Polish Special Duty Flight.

    Dutch (320–325) Edit

    Note: Nos. 323 to 325 Squadrons were not formed, but allocated Squadron Codes GN, PQ and EA respectively for the period April to September 1939. [38] However these numbers were used for post-war Royal Netherlands Air Force squadrons.

    French (326–329) Edit

    Norwegian (330–334) Edit

    Greek (335–339) Edit

    Note: Nos: 337–339 never formed, [39] but were allocated Squadron Codes OK, ML and KN respectively for the period April to September 1939. [38] The Royal Hellenic Air Force 13th Light Bomber Squadron was also under RAF command in World War II.

    French (340–347) Edit

    Note: No. 348 Squadron was not formed, [40] but Squadron codes letters FR were allocated for the period April to September 1939. [38]

    Belgian (349–350) Edit

    Yugoslavian (351–352) Edit

    Note: Nos. 362–399 Squadrons were not formed. [41]

    Under Article XV of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, the air forces of Australia, Canada and New Zealand formed squadrons for service under RAF operational control. Most were new formations, however some had already existed prior to the creation of Article XV and had already been operational during the war, including combat operations.

    Royal Canadian Air Force (400–443) Edit

      (City of Toronto) (Ram) (City of Winnipeg) (Wolf) (Buffalo) (Vancouver) (Lynx) (Demon) (Goose) (Nighthawk) (Cougar) (Grizzly Bear) (Falcon) (Tusker) (Sarnia Imperials) (Swordfish) (City of Oshawa) (City of Windsor) (City of Edmonton) (Moose) (Snowy Owl) (Red Indian) (Flying Yachtsman) (Bald Eagle) (Tiger) (Alouette) (Thunderbird) (Lion) (Ghost) (Bison) (City of Sudbury) (Iroquois) (Leaside) (Porcupine) (Bluenose) (Chinthe) (Elephant) (Husky) (Wildcat) (Westmount) (City of Ottawa and Beaver) (Silver Fox) (Caribou) (Hornet)

    Note: Although squadron numbers 444 to 449 were also reserved for the RCAF, it did not use them during the Second World War.

    Royal Australian Air Force (450–467) Edit

    Note: Although squadron numbers 465 and 468 to 479 were also reserved for the RAAF during the Second World War, it did not use them.

    Royal New Zealand Air Force (485–490) Edit

    Note: Although the squadron numbers 491 to 499 were reserved for RNZAF units during the Second World War, no such squadrons were formed.

    Formed as "Special Reserve" squadrons but absorbed into the Royal Auxiliary Air Force

    Note: No. 505, 506, 507, 508 and 509 Squadrons allocated Squadron codes YF, FS, GX, DY and BQ respectively for the period April to September 1939, but were never formed. [38]

    Note: No No. 599 Squadron seems to have been formed. [41] There were to have been Reserve squadrons using numbers 551–566 which would have been created by adding 500 to existing Operational Training Unit designations. [42] In the event the plan was never put into effect, although there was some desultory use of some of the numbers by some of the OTUs for a short period. Despite their lack of formal activation, this block of numbers has never been re-allocated for use by other units.

    In the event of a German Invasion the Operational Training Units would have been re-formed into the Squadrons below, under plans as part of Operation Saracen, formulated in Spring 1940, which were later revised as Operation Banquet. Some reserve Squadron numbers were used by their respective OTU's during operational tasks until at least May 1944. [38]

      – Air Fighting Development Unit (Banquet) – 51 Operational Training Unit (Saracen and Banquet) – 51 Operational Training Unit (Saracen and Banquet) – 53 Operational Training Unit (Saracen and Banquet) – 53 Operational Training Unit (Saracen and Banquet) – 55 Operational Training Unit (Saracen and Banquet) – 56 Operational Training Unit (Saracen and Banquet) – 57 Operational Training Unit (Saracen and Banquet) – 58 Operational Training Unit (Saracen and Banquet) – 59 Operational Training Unit (Saracen and Banquet) – 56 Operational Training Unit (Banquet) – 61 Operational Training Unit (Saracen and Banquet) – 57 Operational Training Unit (Banquet) – 58 Operational Training Unit (Banquet) – 59 Operational Training Unit (Banquet) – 61 Operational Training Unit (Banquet)
    • No. 600 (City of London) Squadron
    • No. 601 (County of London) Squadron[43]
    • No. 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron
    • No. 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron
    • No. 605 (County of Warwick) Squadron
    • No. 606 (Chiltern) Squadron
    • No. 607 (County of Durham) Squadron
    • No. 609 (West Riding) Squadron
    • No. 611 (West Lancashire) Squadron
    • No. 612 (County of Aberdeen) Squadron
    • No. 614 (County of Glamorgan) Squadron
    • No. 616 (South Yorkshire) Squadron[44]

    Note: No. 606 Squadron RAF was allocated Squadron codes BG for the period April to September 1939, but was not formed. [38] A non-flying No. 606 Helicopter Support Squadron of the RAuxAF was later formed in 1999. [45]

    Note: Nos. 629, 632–634, 636–638, 641–643 and 645–649 were never formed, [46] but some were allocated Squadron codes for the period April to September 1939 – 629 (LQ), 632 (LO), 636 (VZ), 637 (UK), 638 (PZ), 641 (EV), 645 (KF), 646 (YG), 647 (ZS), 648 (YT) and 649 (HA). [38] However a fictitious "633 Squadron" was featured in the eponymous novel and film. In addition, a fictitious 641 Squadron featured in the film "Mosquito Squadron". Also, RAF Volunteer Gliding Squadrons (formerly Volunteer Gliding Schools until 2005) have been numbered in the range 611 to 671 since 1955.

    These squadrons were formed during the Second World War to perform artillery spotting and liaison roles, in co-operation with Army units. Most AOP squadron aircrew were provided by the Army. Nos. 661–664 and 666 Squadron were re-formed as Royal Auxiliary Air Force units in 1949. Nos. 651, 652 and 656 Squadron were transferred to the Army Air Corps in 1957. [47]

    Note: Nos. 693–694 and 696–699 Squadrons were never formed. [46]

    While still under the control of the RAF, flights of the Fleet Air Arm were organized into squadrons with numbers in the 700 and 800 range. The range 700 to 750 had been previously used for Fleet Air Arm Catapult Flight numbers. [48]

    These squadrons were transferred to the Royal Navy in 1939, becoming Naval Air Squadrons (NAS). [49] The 700 and 800 range of squadron numbers continued to be used by the Royal Navy for newly formed Naval Air Squadrons.

    Training Depot Stations (TDS) were still in use after the formation of the RAF in 1918. [50]

    The majority of Universities in the United Kingdom are, or have been, represented by University Air Squadrons where under-graduates can sample the Royal Air Force and learn to fly, as well as take advantage of scholarship schemes. They operate the Tutor T.1.

    Initially formed as Volunteer Gliding Schools, these squadrons retained their gliding school numbers when reformed as squadrons. Conflicts with the main Squadron numbers resolved by the VGS suffix. These Squadrons operate the Viking TX.1 glider.

      formerly 102 GS formerly 104 GS formerly 122 GS
  • 614 Volunteer Gliding Squadron formerly 142 GS, 146 GS and 147 GS - (MDPGA Wethersfield)
  • 615 Volunteer Gliding Squadron formerly 141 GS and 168 GS - (RAF Kenley) formerly 106 GS formerly 146 GS and 168 GS
  • 621 Volunteer Gliding Squadron - (RAF Hullavington)
  • 622 Volunteer Gliding Squadron formerly 89 GS - (Trenchard Lines) formerly 84 GS formerly 83 GS
  • 626 Volunteer Gliding Squadron formerly 82 GS - (RNAS Predannack)
  • 631 Volunteer Gliding Squadron formerly 186 GS - (RAF Woodvale)
  • 632 Volunteer Gliding Squadron formerly 45 GS - (RAF Ternhill) formerly 68 GS
  • 637 Volunteer Gliding Squadron - (RAF Little Rissington) formerly 23 GS formerly 107 EGS (merged with 644 VGS)
  • 644 Volunteer Gliding Squadron formerly 29 EGS - (RAF Syerston)
  • 645 Volunteer Gliding Squadron formerly 26 GS - (RAF Topcliffe)
  • 661 Volunteer Gliding Squadron formerly 1 EGS - (RAF Kirknewton) formerly 2 GS and 5 GS
  • The RAF maintains a number of independent flights, some on a permanent basis, others on an ad-hoc basis as required. For a full list, see List of Royal Air Force aircraft independent flights.

    • Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - 6 x Spitfire (various Marks), 2 x Hurricane, 1 x Lancaster, 1 x Dakota, 2 x Chipmunk - (RAF Coningsby)
    • 1310 Flight - 2 x Chinook HC.2s - (RAF Mount Pleasant)
    • 1312 Flight - 1 x Voyager KC.2, 1 x Hercules C.3 - (RAF Mount Pleasant)
    • 1435 Flight - 4 x Typhoon FGR.4 - (RAF Mount Pleasant)

    Air Experience Flights Edit

    These units are co-located with UAS units (or regular Air Force units) to pool resources and share aircraft. Air Experience Flights provide flying experience to Royal Air Force Air Cadets and other air-minded youth groups such as Air Scouts and the Girls Venture Corps Air Cadets.

    • No. 1 Air Experience Flight - (MOD St Athan) - Wales UAS
    • No. 2 Air Experience Flight - (RAF Boscombe Down) - Southampton UAS
    • No. 3 Air Experience Flight - (RAF Colerne) - Bristol UAS
    • No. 4 Air Experience Flight - (Glasgow Airport) - Glasgow & Strathclyde UAS
    • No. 5 Air Experience Flight - (RAF Wittering) - London/Cambridge/East Midlands UAS
    • No. 6 Air Experience Flight - (RAF Benson) - Oxford UAS
    • No. 7 Air Experience Flight - (RAF Cranwell) - East Midlands UAS
    • No. 8 Air Experience Flight - (RAF Cosford) - Birmingham UAS
    • No. 9 Air Experience Flight - (RAF Leeming) - Yorkshire UAS
    • No. 10 Air Experience Flight - (RAF Woodvale) - Liverpool/Manchester UAS
    • No. 11 Air Experience Flight - (RAF Leeming) - Northumbrian UAS
    • No. 12 Air Experience Flight - (RAF Leuchars) - East of Scotland UAS

    RAF College Cranwell stores some Standards for disbanded Squadrons that have the potential to be re-activated in the future, preserving the heritage of historic units. Once a Squadron Standard is 'laid up' in a place of worship, upon the disbandment of the Squadron, that Standard can no longer be reactivated. Many UK churches have Standards from the RAF following a service of Disbandment. However, some Squadrons choose to lay up their Standards in College Hall at RAF Cranwell, the spiritual home of the RAF, and may be reactivated as active Squadrons in the future. Old disbanded squadrons that have laid up their Standards can be presented new Standards to reactivate them, but this is currently extremely rare.

    Squadron Standards (and their last operated aircraft) that are on display in the College Hall Rotunda in order of seniority [51] are:

      Tornado GR.4 (to be reformed as a General Atomics Protector RG1 squadron) [52] Sentinel R1 [53] Tornado F.3 Tornado GR.4 Nimrod MR.2 Vulcan B.2/K.2 Hawk T.1 Vulcan B.2
    • No. 58 Squadron RAF Regiment

    The Royal Air force and Royal flying corps has always comprised a certain number of non-numbered Squadrons to fulfil special duties, experimental or one-off tasks.

    Communication Squadrons Edit

    To allow rapid transport of Air Officers, staff and other important people many units and Headquarters operated communication Sections, Flights, Squadrons or wings.

    Barrage Balloon Squadrons of the Auxiliary Air Force Edit

    Most units of the Royal Air Force are identified by alphabetical (or similar) characters, known as a "squadron code", that is painted on all aircraft belonging to that unit. When individual units are assigned unusually large numbers of aircraft, multiple squadron codes have been used.

    Other air forces, especially those from other Commonwealth countries, have often used similar systems of identification. During the Second World War, when units from other air forces were attached to the RAF – such as the Article XV squadrons (also known as "400 series squadrons") – their squadron codes were often changed, to avoid confusion with RAF units.

    Historically, the codes have usually been two letters of the alphabet, painted on the rear fuselage next to the RAF roundel. These formed a suffix or prefix to the call sign of each aircraft (on the other side of the roundel) which was usually a single letter (e. g. "G for George"). In general, when an aircraft is lost or withdrawn from use, its call sign has been applied to its replacement or another aircraft.

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    Halifax Squadrons of World War 2 (Osprey Combat Aircraft 14)

    By Jon Lake

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    10th Air Force
    5320th Air Defense Wing
    India Air Task Force
    American Volunteer Group
    China Air Task Force
    Eastern Air Command
    North Burma Air Task Force
    1st Air Commando Gp5th Fighter Sq (Commando)
    6th Fighter Sq (Commando)
    10th Air Jungle Rescue Detachment
    72nd Airdrome Sq
    164th Liaison Sq (Commando)
    165th Liaison Sq (Commando)
    166th Liaison Sq (Commando)
    284th Medical Dispensary (Avn)
    285th Medical Dispensary (Avn)
    309th Airdrome Sq
    319th Troop Carrier Sq (Commando)
    326th Airdrome Sq
    1st Liaison Gp (Provisional)5th Liaison Sq
    19th Liaison Sq
    71st Liaison Sq
    115th Liaison Sq
    2nd Air Commando Gp1st Fighter Sq, Commando
    2nd Fighter Sq, Commando
    127th Liaison Sq
    155th Liaison Sq
    156th Liaison Sq
    236th Medical Dispensary (Avn)
    317th Troop Carrier Sq (Commando)
    327th Airdrome Sq
    328th Airdrome Sq
    340th Airdrome Sq
    342nd Airdrome Sq
    7th Bombardment Gp9th Bombardment Sq
    11th Bombardment Sq
    22nd Bombardment Sq
    436th Bombardment Sq
    492nd Bombardment Sq
    493d Bombardment Sq
    8th Photographic Reconnaissance Gp2nd Combat Camera Unit
    3d Photo Technical Unit
    7th Photo Technical Sq
    9th Photographic Reconnaissance Sq
    10th Combat Camera Unit
    17th AAF Photo Intelligence Det
    20th Tactical Reconnaissance Sq
    24th Combat Mapping Sq
    40th Photographic Reconnaissance Sq
    958th Engineer Co (Avn) Topographic
    12th Bombardment Gp81st Bombardment Sq
    82nd Bombardment Sq
    83d Bombardment Sq
    434th Bombardment Sq
    33d Fighter Gp58th Fighter Sq
    59th Fighter Sq
    60th Fighter Sq
    51st Fighter Gp16th Fighter Sq
    25th Fighter Sq
    26th Fighter Sq
    36th Fighter Control Sq
    51st Fighter Control Sq
    322nd Fighter Control Sq
    449th Fighter Sq
    80th Fighter Gp88th Fighter Sq
    89th Fighter Sq
    90th Fighter Sq
    459th Fighter Sq
    311th Fighter Gp385th Fighter Sq
    528th Fighter Sq
    529th Fighter Sq
    530th Fighter Sq
    341st Bombardment Gp11th Bombardment Sq
    22nd Bombardment Sq
    490th Bombardment Sq
    491st Bombardment Sq
    OTHER UNITS:96th Fighter Control Sq
    426th Night Fighter Sq
    427th Night Fighter Sq

    Lineage: Established as 10 Air Force on 4 Feb 1942. Activated on 12 Feb 1942. Redesignated Tenth Air Force on 18 Sep 1942. Inactivated on 6 Jan 1946. Activated on 24 May 1946. Discontinued, and inactivated, on 1 Sep 1960. Activated on 20 Jan 1966. Organized on 1 Apr 1966. Inactivated on 31 Dec 1969. Redesignated Tenth Air Force (Reserve), and activated in the Reserve, on 8 Oct 1976. Redesignated Tenth Air Force on 1 Dec 1985.

    Assignments: Air Force Combat Command, 12 Feb 1942 U.S. Army Forces in China-Burma-India Theater, 5 Mar 1942 Army Air Forces, India-Burma Sector, 21 Aug 1943 (attached to Eastern Air Command, 15 Dec 1943-1 Jun 1945 and further attached to Strategic Air Force, Eastern Air Command, 15 Dec 1943-20 Jun 1944) Army Air Forces, India-Burma Theater, 27 Oct 1944 Army Air Forces, China Theater, 6 Jul 1945 U.S. Army Air Forces, China Theater, 25 Aug 1945 Army Service Forces, Seattle Port of Embarkation, 5-6 Jan 1946. Air Defense Command, 24 May 1946 Continental Air Command, 1 Dec 1948-1 Sep 1960. Air (later, Aerospace) Defense Command, 20 Jan 1966-31 Dec 1969. Air Force Reserve (later, Air Force Reserve Command), 8 Oct 1976-.

    Major Components

    Commands: IX Air Service Area: 19 Mar-1 Jul 1948. X Air Force Service: 1 Feb-20 Aug 1943. XXI Air Force Service: 19 Mar-1 Jul 1948. Karachi American Air Base: 13 Feb-20 Aug 1943.

    Divisions: 20 Air: 1 Apr 1966-31 Dec 1967. 24 Air: 19 Nov-1 Dec 1969. 25 Air: 15 Sep-1 Dec 1969. 26 Air: 19 Nov-1 Dec 1969. 27 Air: 15 Sep-19 Nov 1969. 28 Air: 1 Apr 1966-19 Nov 1969. 29 Air: 1 Apr 1966-15 Sep 1969. 30 Air: 16 Dec 1949-1 Sep 1950 1 Apr 1966-18 Sep 1968. 31 Air: 1 Jul 1968-31 Dec 1969. 73 Air: 1 Jul 1948-27 Jun 1949. 96 Air: 1 Jul 1948-27 Jun 1949. 322 Air: 1 Jul 1948-27 Jun 1949. 323 Air: 1 Jul 1948-27 Jun 1949.

    District: 2 Air Reserve: 1 Dec 1951-1 Apr 1954.

    Regions: Fourth Air Force Reserve: 1 Jul-1 Sep 1960. Fifth Air Force Reserve: 1 Jul-1 Sep 1960.

    Groups: 3d Combat Cargo: 1944-1945. 7th Bombardment: 1942-1945. 12th Bombardment: 1944-1945. 33d Fighter: 1944-1945. 80th Fighter: 1943-1945. 311th Fighter: 1943-1944. 341st Bombardment: 1942-1944. 443d Troop Carrier: 1944-1945.

    Stations: Patterson Field, OH, 12 Feb-Mar 1942 New Delhi, India, 5 Mar 1942 Barrackpore, Calcutta, India, 16 Oct 1943 Belvedere Palace, Calcutta, India, 8 Jan 1944 Kanjikoah, Assam, India, 20 Jun 1944 Myitkyina, Burma, 2 Nov 1944 Bhamo, Burma, 7 Feb 1945 Piardoba, India, 15 May 1945 Kunming, China, 23 Jul 1945 Liuchow, China, 9 Aug 1945 Kunming, China, 25 Aug 1945 Shanghai, China, 18 Oct-15 Dec 1945 Fort Lawton, WA, 5-6 Jan 1946. Brooks Field (later, AFB), TX, 24 May l946 Offutt AFB, NE, 1 Jul 1948 Fort Benjamin Harrison (later, Benjamin Harrison AFB), IN, 25 Sep 1948 Selfridge AFB, MI, 16 Jan 1950-1 Sep 1960. Richards-Gebaur AFB, MO, 1 Apr 1966-31 Dec 1969. Bergstrom AFB, TX, 8 Oct 1976 Carswell ARS, TX, 30 Jun 1996-.

    Commanders: None (not manned), 12-16 Feb 1942 Lt Col Harry A. Halverson, 17 Feb 1942 Maj Gen Lewis H. Brereton, 5 Mar 1942 Brig Gen Earl L. Naiden, 26 Jun l942 Maj Gen Clayton I. Bissell, 18 Aug 1942 Maj Gen Howard C. Davidson, 19 Aug 1943 Brig Gen Adiai H. Gilkeson, 14 Sep 1944 Maj Gen Howard C. Davidson, 11 Oct 1944 Maj Gen Albert F Hegenberger, 1 Aug 1945 unkn, Nov 1945-Jan 1946. None (not manned), 24 May-5 Jun 1946 Col Edward N. Backus, 6 Jun 1946 Maj Gen Howard M. Turner, 18 Jun 1946 Brig Gen Harry A. Johnson, 6 Jan 1948 Maj Gen Paul L. Williams. 1 Jul 1948 Brig Gen Harry A. Johnson, 23 May 1949 Maj Gen Paul L. Williams, 18 Jul 1949 Brig Gen Harry A. Johnson, 18 Nov 1949 Maj Gen Paul L. Williams, 23 Dec 1949 Brig Gen Harry A. Johnson, 4 Jan 1950 Maj Gen Paul L. Williams, 6 Apr 1950 Brig Gen Harry A. Johnson, 30 Apr 1950 Col Cecil E. Henry, 1 Jun 1950 Maj Gen Harry A. Johnson, 14 Jun 1950 Maj Gen Grandison Gardner, 20 Jan 1951 Maj Gen Harry A. Johnson, 1 April 1951 Col Bernard C. Rose, 1 Jul 1953 Maj Gen Richard A. Grussendorf, 2 Jul 1953 Col Paul E. Todd, 1 Aug 1955 Maj Gen Robert E. L. Eaton. 15 Sep 1955 Col Downs E. Ingram, 19 Aug 1959 Maj Gen Harold R. Maddux, 24 Aug 1959-1 Sep 1960. Maj Gen Thomas K. McGehee, 1 Apr 1966 Maj Gen William D. Greenfield, 27 Sep 1967-31 Dec 1969. Maj Gen Roy M. Marshall, 8 Oct 1976 Maj Gen John E. Taylor Jr, 15 May 1978 Maj Gen James C. Wahleithner, 1 May 1984 Maj Gen Roger P. Scheer, 4 May 1985 Brig Gen William B. McDaniel, 1 Nov 1986 Brig Gen John J. Closner III, 6 Jul 1987 Brig Gen Robert A. McIntosh, 5 Jul 1989 Maj Gen David R. Smith, 1 Dec 1990 Maj Gen John A. Bradley, Feb 1998 Maj Gen David E. Tanzi, 4 Mar 2002 Maj Gen Allan R. Poulin, 20 Jan 2005 Maj Gen Richard C. Collins, 24 Dec 2005 Brig Gen Thomas R. Coon, 3 Jun 2007-.

    Operations: Activated for air operations in the China-India-Burma (CBI) theater commanded tactical units from March 1942-December 1943, then served as a strategic bombardment headquarters in the CBI later, resumed command over tactical fighter units in June 1944 until August 1945, when it conducted primarily air transport and troop carrier missions through the end of its operations in December 1945. Following WWII, initially conducted air defense operations and training beginning in the late 1940s, then later concentrated on air reserve training throughout the 1950s. Responsible for air defense and early warning forces based in the northern central and later southern central U.S. from 1966-1969. From 1976, exercised intermediate command over reserve component flying training, fighter, bomber, air refueling, rescue, space and special operations forces.

    Service Streamers: None.

    Campaign Streamers: World War II: Burma India-Burma Central Burma China Defensive China Offensive.

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers: None.

    Decorations: Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Jul 1984-30 Jun 1986 1 Jul 1993-30 Jun 1995 1 Oct 1995-30 Sep 1996 1 Oct 2004-30 Sep 2006.

    Emblem: On an ultramarine blue disc, a white shield in base, winged golden orange, the shield bearing the Arabic numeral "10" ultramarine blue, all below a white five pointed star charged with a red disc, encircled by a white annulet. Approved on 25 Jan 1944 revised on 13 Jan 1977.

    Lineage, Assignments, Stations, and Honors through 5 Sep 2008.

    Commanders and Operations through 5 Sep 2008.

    Supersedes statement prepared on 28 Mar 1977.

    Lineage: Activated as 10th Air Force at Patterson Field, Ohio, 12 February 1942. Redesignated the Tenth Air Force, 18 September 1942. Inactivated at Seattle, Wash., 6 January 1946. Activated at Brooks Field, Tex., 24 May 1946.

    Commanding generals: Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton (5 March 1942-25 June 1942) Brig. Gen. Earl L. Naiden (25 June 1942-18 August 1942) Maj. Gen. Clayton L. Bissell (18 August 1942-19 August 1943) Maj. Gen. Howard C. Davidson (19 August 1943-1 August 1945) Maj. Gen. Albert F. Hegenberger (1 August 1945-November 1945) Col. Edward N. Backus, (6-18 June 1946) Maj. Gen. Howard M. Turner (18 June 1946-1 January 1948) Brig. Gen. Harry A. Johnson (1 January 1948-1 July 1948) Maj. Gen. Paul L. Williams (1 July 1948-).

    Operational Notes (World War II): In the China-Burma-India Theater, the Tenth Air Force had, as its primary function, defense of the ferry route over the Hump. From the Kunming terminal, its China Air Task Force struck at enemy installations, port facilities, and shipping in the China Sea, while its India Air Task Force guarded the Dinjan end and insured neutralization of airfields at Myitkyina and other places in northern Burma. Although duties of the China Air Task Force were assumed by the Fourteenth Air Force in March 1943, the Tenth continued to operate from bases in Assam, disrupting enemy lines of communications, flying sweeps over the Bay of Bengal, and mining harbors at Rangoon, Bangkok, and Moulmein. Later, as components of the Eastern Air Command (15 December 1943-1 June 1945), Tenth Air Force units participated in all important phases of the Burma campaign, furnishing airborne support to General Wingate's forces, dropping supplies to Merrill's Marauders, and facilitating General Stilwell's reconquest of North Burma. By April 1945, some 350,000 men were wholly dependent upon air supply by these units. In August 1945, the Tenth moved to China, anticipating an offensive against Japan proper.

    Station: Ft. Benjamin Harrison, Ind. (Oct. 1948).

    "Army Air Forces in WWII" (7 volumes)
    Office of Air Force History
    Wesley Craven & James Cate, editors

    5320th Air Defense Wing

    Source: Ex-CBI Roundup, February 1957 issue

    American Air Command No. 1 redesignated 5320th Air Defense Wing redesignated Forward Echelon, 10th Air Force later incorporated into HQ, 10th AF.

    India Air Task Force

    Brig. Gen. Clayton L. Bissell (10th AF) had made a careful survey of the staff of his air force, and he promptly appealed for additional personnel to replace officers reassigned to the Middle East. In preparation for operations at the close of the monsoon season, he decided to organize all combat units in India into an air task force comparable to the one then operating in China, and to designate Col. Caleb V. Haynes to command it. When the activation of the India Air Task Force (IATF) should be accomplished, the Tenth Air Force would consist of the CATF under Chennault, the IATF under Haynes, the X Air Service Command under Oliver, the India-China Ferry Command under Tate, and the Karachi American Air Base Command under Brig. Gen. Francis M. Brady.

    The IATF was activated at Dinjan, India to support Chinese resistance along the Salween River by hitting supply lines in C and S Burma the new task force, commanded by Colonel Caleb V Haynes, includes all AAF combat units in India, all based at Karachi-the 7th Bombardment Group (Heavy), the 51st Fighter Group, and the 341st Bombardment Group (Medium).

    On paper the IATF had nine squadrons, but not one was fully prepared for combat operations. Of the four heavy bombardment squadrons of the 7th Group, the 9th had not yet been returned from the Middle East, the 436th was just receiving its component of aircraft, and the other two, the 492d and 493d, were mere cadres. The recently activated 341st Bombardment Group (M) had only three squadrons in India, and two of them, the 490th and 491st, were without aircraft. The 22d Squadron was just receiving its planes and had not completed training. A detachment of the 26th Fighter Squadron had moved to Dinjan, but the other squadron of the 51st Fighter Group, the 25th, was in training at Karachi.

    By January 1943 headquarters of the IATF had been established at Barrackpore near Calcutta, and the following deployment of combat units was completed: the 25th and 26th Fighter Squadrons were at Sookerating and Dinjan, in Assam the 436th and 492d Bombardment Squadrons (H) were at Gaya the 9th and 493d Bombardment Squadrons (H) at Pandaveswar the 22d and 491st Bombardment Squadrons (M) at Chakulia and the 490th Bombardment Squadron (M) at Ondal. The newly activated squadrons, though not yet at full strength, were ready to participate in combat, and it appeared that for the first time the Tenth Air Force was in position to challenge Japanese air supremacy in Burma. Although deployment and training had advanced to a stage permitting combat operations, other fundamental problems had to be worked out before the IATF could hope to achieve success comparable to that of the CATF. The Tenth Air Force as a whole was a fairly well-balanced organization, with one heavy group, one medium group, and two fighter groups.

    American Volunteer Group (AVG)
    (forerunner to the China Air Task Force, July 1937 - July 1942)

    China Air Task Force (CATF)
    (forerunner to the 14th Air Force, July 1942 - March 1943)

    Eastern Air Command (EAC) (See CBI Unit Histories)

    (15 December 1943-1 June 1945)

    In December 1943, the Japanese held almost all Burma and, standing poised on India's eastern frontier, threatened to swarm over Bengal's plains. To meet this crisis, the Supreme Allied Commander in the newly-formed South East Asia Command, Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, directed the integration of Allied air operations over Burma and formed Eastern Air Command, which was commanded by Lt. General (then Maj. Gen.) George E. Stratemeyer, and responsible to Air Chief Marshall Sir Richard Peirce, the Allied Air Commander-in-Chief. The Supreme Allied Commander originally specified two main objectives: (1) Protect the lines of communication between the supply base of India and the fighting Chinese front and (2) destroy the Japanese air force in Burma. Most of the available RAF and USAAF aircraft in the Theater were given to the General to execute his task.

    Thus was born Eastern Air Command, an integrated air force with flying crews and ground personnel from Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India.

    1st Air Commando Group (See CBI Unit Histories)

    16th Pursuit Gp

    16th Pursuit Gp

    1st ACG Association

    Hailakandi, India - 1944

    L-5B, 44-16816 of the 1st ACG -- Courtesy of Mr. Nick King

    Plaque located in Memorial Park
    National Museum of the United States Air Force

    General Henry H. (Hap) Arnold coined the term "Air Commando" in early 1944. This term referred to a group of Air Corps personnel established in India to support British long-range penetration forces in Burma. Its lineage began with the highly secret Project 9, the organizing and recruiting stages in the United States. Project 9 became the 5318th Provisional Group (Air) in India, which airlifted British General Orde Wingate's Special Forces into Burma during Operation THURSDAY in March 1944. Before the end of the month, it had changed, in name only, to the 1st Air Commando Group (1 ACG).

    Lineage: Authorized on the inactive list as 16 Pursuit Group on 24 Mar 1923. Activated on 1 Dec 1932. Redesignated as: 16 Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 6 Dec 1939 16 Fighter Group on 15 May 1942. Disestablished on 1 Nov 1943. Reestablished and consolidated (1 Oct 1993) with the 1 Special Operations Wing, which was established as 1 Air Commando Group on 9 Aug 1944, replacing the 1 Air Commando Group (a miscellaneous unit) that was constituted on 25 Mar 1944, activated on 29 Mar 1944, and consolidated on 9 Aug 1944 with the headquarters unit of the new establishment. Inactivated on 3 Nov 1945. Disestablished on 8 Oct 1948. Reestablished on 18 Apr 1962. Activated, and organized, on 27 Apr 1962. Redesignated as: 1 Air Commando Wing on 1 Jun 1963 1 Special Operations Wing on 8 Jul 1968 834 Tactical Composite Wing on 1 Jul 1974 1 Special Operations Wing on 1 Jul 1975 16 Special Operations Wing on 1 Oct 1993 1 Special Operations Wing on 16 Nov 2006.

    Assignments: 3 Attack Wing, 1 Dec 1932 19 Composite (later, 19) Wing, 15 Jun 1933 12 Pursuit Wing, 20 Nov 1940 XXVI Interceptor (later, XXVI Fighter) Command, 6 Mar 1942-1 Nov 1943. Army Air Forces India-Burma Sector, 29 Mar 1944 (original unit assigned to 9 Aug 1944, establishment assigned thereafter) Tenth Air Force, 10 Jul 1945 Army Service Forces, 6 Oct-3 Nov 1945. USAF Special Air Warfare Center (later, USAF Special Operations Force), 27 Apr 1962 Tactical Air Command, 1 Jul 1974 Ninth Air Force, 1 Jul 1976 Tactical Air Command, 26 Sep 1980 Ninth Air Force, 1 Aug 1981 2 Air Division, 1 Mar 1983 Twenty Third Air Force (later, Air Force Special Operations Command), 1 Feb 1987-.

    Group: 1 Special Operations (later, 16 Operations 1 Special Operations): 22 Sep 1992-. 549 Tactical Air Support Training: 15 Dec 1975-1 Jan 1977. 930 Tactical Airlift (later, 930 Air Commando 930 Special Operations): 1 Jun 1968-18 Jun 1969.

    Squadron: 5 Fighter, Commando (later, 605 Air Commando): 1 Sep 1944-3 Nov 1945 15 Nov 1963-1 Jul 1964 (detached 15 Nov 1963-1 Jul 1964). 6 Fighter, Commando (later, 6 Air Commando 6 Special Operations Training): 30 Sep 1944-3 Nov 1945 27 Apr 1962-29 Feb 1968 31 Jul 1973-1 Jan 1974. 8 Special Operations: 1 Mar 1974-22 Sep 1992. 9 Special Operations: 18 Apr 1989-22 Sep 1992. 16 Special Operations: 12 Dec 1975-22 Sep 1992. 18 Special Operations: 25 Jan-15 Jul 1969. 20 Special Operations: 1 Jan 1976-22 Sep 1992. 24 Pursuit (later 16 Fighter): 1 Dec 1932-1 Nov 1943. 25 Special Operations (later, 25 Special Operations Squadron [Reconnaissance Support]: 31 Aug 1970-30 Sep 1974. 29 Pursuit (later, 29 Fighter): 1 Oct 1933-1 Nov 1943. 43 Pursuit (Interceptor) (later, 43 Fighter): 1 Feb 1940-1 Nov 1943. 44 Observation (later, 44 Reconnaissance): attached c. Dec 1932-31 Aug 1937, assigned 1 Sep 1937-31 Jan 1940, attached 1 Feb-20 Nov 1940. 55 Special Operations: 18 Apr 1989-22 Sep 1992. 71 Tactical Airlift (later, 71 Air Commando 71 Special Operations): 1 Jun-16 Dec 1968. 74 Pursuit (later, 74 Attack 74 Bombardment): 1 Oct 1933-1 Feb 1940. 78 Pursuit: 1 Dec 1932-1 Sep 1937. 164 Liaison: 1 Sep 1944-3 Nov 1945. 165 Liaison: 1 Sep 1944-3 Nov 1945. 166 Liaison: 1 Sep 1944-3 Nov 1945. 310 Attack: 15 May-15 Jul 1969. 311 Attack: 15 May-15 Jul 1969. 317 Air Commando (later, 317 Special Operations): 1 Jul 1964-15 Jul 1969 15 Apr 1970-30 Apr 1974. 318 Special Operations: 15 Nov 1971-1 Jun 1974. 319 Troop Carrier, Commando (later, 319 Air Commando 319 Special Operations): 1 Sep 1944-2 Sep 1945 27 Apr 1962-15 Jul 1969 30 Jul 1969-15 Jan 1972. 360 Tactical Electronic Warfare: 1-31 Jul 1973. 415 Special Operations Training: 19 Jul 1971-30 Jun 1975. 424 Special Operations (later, 424 Tactical Air Support) Training: 1 Jul 1970-1 Jan 1972. 547 Special Operations (later, 547 Tactical Air Support) Training: 15 Oct 1969-30 Apr 1975. 549 Tactical Air Support Training: 15 Oct 1969-15 Dec 1975. 602 Fighter, Commando: 1 May 1963-1 Oct 1964. 603 Fighter, Commando (later, 603 Air Commando 603 Special Operations 603 Special Operations Training): 1 Jul 1963-15 May 1971 1 Jul 1973-1 Jul 1974. 604 Fighter, Commando: 1 Jul 1963-8 Nov 1964. 775 Troop Carrier: 15 Apr-1 Jul 1964. 4406 Combat Crew Training: 1 Oct 1968-15 Jul 1969. 4407 Combat Crew Training: 15 Jul 1969-30 Apr 1973. 4408 Combat Crew Training: 15 Jul-22 Sep 1969. 4409 Combat Crew Training: 15 Jul-15 Oct 1969. 4410 Combat Crew Training: 27 Apr 1962-1 Dec 1965 15 Jul-15 Oct 1969. 4412 Combat Crew Training: 25 Oct 1967-15 Jul 1969. 4413 Combat Crew Training: 1 Mar 1968-15 Jul 1969. 4473 Combat Crew Training: 8 Aug 1969-1 Jul 1970. 4532 Combat Crew Training: 25 Oct 1967-15 Jul 1969.

    Flight: 7 Special Operations: 1 Jul 1969-31 May 1972.

    Stations: Albrook Field, CZ, 1 Dec 1932-1 Nov 1943. Hailakandi, India, 29 Mar 1944 (original unit) Asansol, India, 20 May 1944-6 Oct 1945 (original unit to 9 Aug 1944, establishment thereafter) Camp Kilmer, NJ, 1-3 Nov 1945. Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field No. 9 (Hurlburt Field), FL, 27 Apr 1962 England AFB, LA, 15 Jan 1966 Eglin Air Force Auxiliary Field No. 9 (Hurlburt Field), FL, 15 Jul 1969-.

    Commanders: Unkn, 1932-1933 Maj Robert L. Walsh, c. 2 Sep 1933-c. 14 Aug 1935 Lt Col Willis H. Hale, Sep 1938-8 Aug 1939 Maj Arthur L. Bump, c. 1939-c. Feb 1941 Capt Roger J. Browne, 24 Feb 1941 Lt Col Otto P. Weyland, 20 May 1941 Maj John A. H. Miller, 1 Mar 1942 Lt Col Philip B. Klein, 10 Apr 1942 Lt Col Hiette S. William Jr., Sep 1942 Maj James K. Johnson, 1943 Maj Edwin Bishop Jr., 25 Sep 1943-unkn. Col Philip G. Cochran, 29 Mar 1944 (original unit) Col Clinton B. Gaty, 20 May 1944 (original unit to 9 Aug 1944 establishment thereafter) Col Robert W. Hall, c. 7 Apr 1945-unkn. Lt Col Miles M. Doyle, 27 Apr 1962 Col Chester A. Jack, 29 Apr 1962 Col Gerald R. Dix, 19 Mar 1963 Col Harry C. Aderholt, 28 Mar 1964 Col Gordon F. Bradburn, 10 Jul 1964 Col Hugh G. Fly Jr., 1 Dec 1965 Col Alpheus W. Blizzard Jr., 3 Apr 1967 Col Albert S. Pouloit, 9 Sep 1967 Col Leonard Volet, 14 Feb 1969 Col Robert W. Gates, 15 Jul 1969 Col Michael C. Horgan, 31 Oct 1970 Col James H. Montrose, 1 Apr 1973 Brig Gen William J. Holton, 11 Jan 1974 Col Edward Levell Jr., 1 Jul 1976 Col Richard H. Dunwoody, 29 Jul 1977 Col Theodore W. Stuart, 13 Mar 1980 Col Hugh L. Cox III, 26 Feb 1982 Col Hugh L. Hunter, 1 Mar 1983 Col Leonard A. Butler, 12 Jul 1985 Col Hanson L. Scott, 28 Aug 1986 Col Dale E. Stovall, 13 Jul 1987 Col George A. Gray III, 21 Jun 1989 Col Gary C. Vycital, c. 29 Aug 1990 (temporary) Col George A. Gray III, c. 24 Nov 1990 Col Gary C. Vycital, c. 24 Dec 1990 (temporary) Col George A. Gray III, 13 Mar 1991 Col Charles R. Holland, 20 Jun 1991 Brig Gen Maxwell C. Bailey, 7 Jun 1993 Brig Gen Norton A. Schwartz, 2 Jun 1995 Col Richard L. Comer, 16 May 1997 Col Donald C. Wurster 12 Jun 1998 Col David J. Scott, 29 Jul 1999 Col Lyle M. Koenig, 29 Jun 2001 Col Frank J. Kisner, 28 Jun 2002 Col Otis G. Mannon, 24 Oct 2003 Col Norman J. Brozenick Jr., 7 Jul 2005 Col Marshall B. Webb, 3 Jul 2007 Col Gregory J. Lengyel, 20 Nov 2008 Col Michael T. Plehn, 7 Jun 2010 Col James C. Slife, 29 Jun 2011 Col William P. West, 3 Jul 2013-.

    Aircraft: P-12, 1932-1943 OA-3 1933-1937 B-6, 1933-1937 OA-9, 1937-1940 Y-10, 1937-1940 A-17, 1937-1940 P-26, 1938-1941 P-36, 1939-1942 P-39, 1941-1943 P-40, 1941-1943. B-25, 1944 P-47, 1944-1945 P-51, 1944, 1945 UC-64, 1944-1945 L-1, 1944 L-5, 1944-1945 C-47, 1944-1945 YR-4, 1944-1945 CG-4 (glider), 1944-1945 TG-5 (glider), 1944-1945. C-46, 1962-1964 C/TC/VC-47, 1962-1970, 1973-1975 B/RB-26, 1962-1966 T/AT-28, 1962-1973 L-28 (later, U-10), 1962-1973 C/UC-123, 1963-1973 A-1, 1963-1966, 1969-1972 YAT-28, 1964-1965 YAT-37, 1964 O-1, 1964-1967, 1969-1971 AC-47, 1965, 1967-1969 U-3, 1966-1967 U-6, 1966-1967 UH-1, 1966, 1969-1974, 1976-1985 1997-2012 A/RA-26, 1966-1969 A-37, 1967-1969, 1969-1971, 1973-1974 EC/HC-47, 1967-1969, 1973 AC-123, 1967 C/MC-130, 1968- AC-130, 1968, 1971- EC-130, 1969 C/AC-119, 1968-1969, 1971-1972 O-2, 1969-1976 OV-10, 1969-1976 YQU-22 (drone), 1969-1970 QU-22 (drone), 1970-1971 CH-3, 1973-1974, 1976-1980 MH-53, 1980-2008 MH-60, 1989-1999 HC-130, 1989-1995 MQ-1, 2005-2007 CV-22, 2006- U-28, 2005-. In addition to the primary aircraft listed above, also flew T-29, 1969-1973 VT-29, 1969-1975 T-33, 1969-1975 T-39, 1969-1975 C-131, 1970-1973 and VC-131, 1973-1975.

    Operations: Provided fighter defense of Panama Canal operations, Dec 1932-Oct 1943. Replaced the 5318 Provisional Air Unit in India in Mar 1944. As a miscellaneous unit, the group was comprised until Sep 1944 of operational sections (rather than units): bomber fighter light-plane (and helicopter) transport glider and light-cargo. The group provided fighter cover, bomb striking power, and air transport services for Wingate's Raiders, fighting behind enemy lines in Burma. Operations included airdrop and landing of troops, food, and equipment evacuation of casualties and attacks against enemy airfields and lines of communication. Converted from P-51 to P-47 fighters and eliminated its B-25 bomber section in May 1944. In Sep 1944, after the original unit was consolidated with the headquarters component of the new establishment (also called 1 Air Commando Group) the sections were replaced by a troop carrier, two fighter, and three liaison squadrons. The group continued performing supply, evacuation, and liaison services for allied forces in Burma until the end of the war, including the movement of Chinese troops from Burma to China in Dec 1944. It also attacked bridges, railroads, airfields, barges, oil wells, and troop positions in Burma and escorted bombers to Burmese targets, including Rangoon. Switched back to P-51s in May 1945. Left Burma in Oct and inactivated in NJ in Nov 1945. Replaced the 4400 Combat Crew Training Group in Apr 1962 and assumed air commando operations and training responsibility. Trained USAF and South Vietnamese Air Force aircrews in the United States and South Vietnam in unconventional warfare, counterinsurgency, psychological warfare, and civic actions throughout the Southeast Asian conflict. Between 11 Jan and 30 Jun 1974, the USAF Special Operations Force and 1 Special Operations Wing merged their operations, and on 1 Jul 1974, the wing assumed responsibility for operating the USAF Air Ground Operations School, which trained personnel in concepts, doctrine, tactics, and procedures of joint and combined operations until 1 Feb 1978, and the USAF Special Operations School, which trained selected American and allied personnel in special operations, until Mar 1983. Elements of the wing participated in the attempt in Apr 1980 to rescue US hostages held in Tehran, Iran. Thereafter, continued to work closely with multi-service special operations forces to develop combat tactics for numerous types of aircraft and conduct combat crew training for USAF and foreign aircrews. Conducted numerous disaster relief search and rescue medical evacuation and humanitarian support missions. Supported drug interdiction efforts in a coordinated program involving multiple US and foreign agencies, 1983-1985. Conducted airdrop and airlift of troops and equipment psychological operations, close air support, reconnaissance, search and rescue, and attacks against enemy airfields and lines of communications in support of the rescue of US nationals in Grenada, Oct-Nov 1983, and the restoration of democracy in Panama, Dec 1989-Jan 1990. Beginning Aug 1990, deployed personnel and equipment to Saudi Arabia. These forces carried out combat search and rescue, unconventional warfare, and direct strike missions during the conflict, including suppression of Iraqi forces during the Battle of Khafji, Jan 1991. Deployed personnel and equipment worldwide, performing combat search and rescue, and supporting contingencies, humanitarian relief, and exercises that included Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, Kuwait, and Central America. Elements of the wing deployed to participate in Operation Provide Comfort in Iraq, 1991-1996 and Deny Flight, Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1993-1995. It supported Operation Deliberate Force/Joint Endeavor, Aug-Sep 1995 and 14-20 Dec 1996, flying combat missions and attacking targets critical to Bosnian-Serb Army operations. Wing elements participated in Operations Northern and Southern Watch in 1997 and again participated in combat operations in Desert Thunder, Feb-Ju

    Service Streamers: World War II American Theater.

    Campaign Streamers: World War II: India-Burma Central Burma. Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.

    Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers: Grenada, 1983 Panama, 1989-1990.

    Decorations: Distinguished Unit Citation: Burma and India, [Mar]-20 May 1944. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" Device: 1 May 1982-30 Apr 1984 1 Jun 1997-31 May 1999 1 Jul 2003-30 Jun 2005 1 Jul 2005-30 Jun 2007. Meritorious Unit Awards: 1 Jul 2007-30 Jun 2009 1 Oct 2009-30 Sep 2011. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: Jul 1963-Jun 1965 1 Jul 1969-15 Apr 1971 1 Jan 1976-31 Mar 1977 15 Jul 1979-15 May 1980 16 May 1980-30 Apr 1982 1 May 1985-30 Apr 1987 1 May 1988-30 Apr 1990 16 Apr 1992-15 Apr 1994 1 Jun 1995-31 May 1997 1 Jul 1999-30 Jun 2001 1 Jul 2001-30 Jun 2003.

    Emblem (16th Pursuit Gp): Four lightning bolts, representing the four assigned squadrons, depict destruction from the sky. Approved in 1934.

    Emblem (WWII): (Design taken from the National Standard of the Chindits Old Comrades Association). On a blue field a Burmese Temple Lion and Pagoda, all gold resting on the Morse Code dot, dot, dot, dash. overall a label: NO. 1 AIR COMMANDOS.

    Emblem (Current): Per fess Azure and paly of 13 Gules and Argent, in pale a sword point to base light blue, winged fesswise in chief of the like, the blade surmounted in base by a lamp or enflamed of the third and fourth, all within a diminished bordure of the fifth. Motto: ANY TIME, ANY PLACE. Approved on 6 Jun 1963 (K-14253) replaced emblem approved on 4 Dec 1934 (K-2804). (On 1 October 1993, the 1st Special Operations Wing was redesignated the 16th Special Operations Wing. The unit retained the same emblem.)

    Emblem Significance: The emblem of the 1st Special Operations Wing symbolizes its 63-year mission and emphasizes that the wing is the single focal point for all Air Force special operations matters.

    The shield reflects its historic past as the first organization to field limited and unconventional warfare. It was approved for the reconstituted 1st Air Commando Group on June 6, 1943.

    The background is national colors with the blue representing the sky and the Air Force. The 13 red and white stripes represent the 13 original colonies, the first American force to engage in limited war. The stripes also are reminiscent of the red and white diagonal markings on some 1st Air Commando Group aircraft, an ancestor of the 1st SOW.

    The silver dagger represents the air commando, and the dagger is winged to indicate that commandos come from the air. A golden lamp of knowledge reflects the wing's civic action role and indicates that wing members serve as teachers, as well as warriors, in assisting U.S. allies determine their own way of life and form of government.

    The motto, "Any Time, Any Place," emphasizes the 1st SOW is prepared to accomplish its mission whenever or wherever it is called upon to do so. (Source: 1st SOW Fact Sheet, January 2007)

    Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 20 Sep 2013.

    Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 20 Sep 2013.

    1st ACG Bomber Section

    1st ACG L-5 Pilots

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    * At its peak, the Halifax equipped 34 RAF Bomber Command squadrons in Europe, plus four in the Middle East, along with more squadrons in the Far East, which were built up after the surrender of Germany for the final assault on the Japanese.

    The Halifax was overshadowed by the Lancaster as a bomber, but the capacious fuselage of the Halifax made it suitable for other duties -- though the fact that Bomber Command couldn't get Lancasters fast enough for bombing operations also factored into the preference for using the Halifax in alternate roles. One such alternate role was electronic warfare, with a number of conversions of B.Mk III machines to such "bomber support (BS)" configurations. They generally looked much like the bomber configuration, other than sporting a litter of additional antennas. There were various configurations, featuring such kit as:

      Electronic intelligence (ELINT) receivers to locate and characterize radio emitters.

    Configurations were generally optimized for ELINT, radar jamming, or communications channel jamming, though the electronic equipment fits tended to be variable.

    * RAF's Coastal Command was a user of the Halifax as well, operating conversions of various Halifax bomber variants:

      A small number of B.Mk II Series I machines was converted to the "GR.Mk II Series 1" configuration with Air-to-Surface Vessel (ASV) Mark III radar in an H2S-style belly fairing and a Tempsford nose, often fitted with a 12.7-millimeter Browning machine gun to help suppress anti-aircraft fire from U-boats. They retained the upper turret. They usually carried depth charges, as well as flares for night combat, and were apparently fitted with bombbay fuel tanks to increase patrol range and endurance. Of course, some B.Mk V machines were also converted, to "GR.Mk V" configuration.

    Halifaxes were converted to serve in the weather reconnaissance role for both Bomber Command and Coastal Command, with conversions including the "Met.Mk V", "Met.Mk III", and "Met.Mk VI". The meteorological Halifaxes were fitted with weather instrumentation and an associated operator's station. These aircraft generally retained full armament, since they ranged widely alone and sometimes over hostile territory. From midwar, the GR and Met Halifaxes were painted dark sea gray on top, white on the bottom.


    The second of Britain's four-engined bombers to enter frontline service during World War II (1939-1945), Handley Page's Halifax has forever lived in the shadow of Avro's superb Lancaster. However, it was a Halifax which became the first RAF 'heavy' to drop bombs on Germany when No 35 Sqn raided Hamburg on the night of 12/13 March 1941. Between 1941-45, the Halifax completed some 75,532 sorties [compared with the Lancaster's 156,000] with Bomber Command alone, not to mention its sterling work as both a glider tug and paratroop carrier with the Airborne Forces, maritime patrol mount with Coastal Command and covert intruder with the SOE.

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    Watch the video: No 102 Squadron RAF Halifax VI, No 4 Group Bomber Command 1944-45 (November 2022).

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