DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE UNIT HISTORIES
United States Air Force Mission
The mission of the United States Air Force is to fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace.
The purpose of the United States Air Force is to preserve the peace and security, and provide for the defense, of the united states, the territories, commonwealths, and possessions, and any areas occupied by the united states; to support national policy; to implement national objectives; to overcome any nation responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States.
The United States Air Force normally operates as a member of an interdependent team of land, naval, air, space, and special operations forces. This interdependence demands attention to joint and multinational requirements when organizing, training, and equipping the Air Force. Its organizational structures and processes must be simple, responsive, and flexible.
The United States Air Force organizes within the principle and tenet of centralized control and decentralized execution. Organizational structures are designed to exploit air and space power’s versatility and flexibility to ensure that air and space forces remain responsive, survivable, and sustainable. The versatility to use air and space forces against any level of objective, whether independently, in support of, or supported by other components, requires organizations that do not constrain employment concepts. Flexibility allows forces to cope with the unexpected in modern, fast-paced military operations. Survivable forces must be able to sustain the operation with the proper balance of people, concepts, and equipment.
The United States Air Force consists of three components: Active Duty, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. Each component is made up of military and civilian personnel.
Department of the Air Force
The Department of the Air Force is a division of the Department of Defense. The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare branch of the United States armed forces. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on 18 Sep 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. The Department of the Air Force is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force who oversees all administrative and policy affairs. The highest ranking military officer in the department of the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
Air Force Reserve
The Air Force Reserve is a reserve component of the Air Force created by congress to provide a reserve for active duty. It consists of the members of the officers' section of the Air Force Reserve and of the enlisted section of the Air Force reserve. It includes all reserves of the Air Force who are not members of the Air National Guard.
The purpose of the Air Force Reserve is to provide trained units and qualified persons available for active duty in the united states Air Force, in time of war or national emergency, and at such other times as the national security may require, to fill the needs of the armed forces whenever more units and persons are needed than are in the regular components.
Air National Guard
The Air National Guard is administered by the National Guard Bureau, a joint bureau of the departments of the army and Air Force. The Air National Guard has both a federal and state mission. The dual mission, a provision of the United States of America Constitution and the United States of America Code of Laws, results in each guardsman holding membership in the National Guard of his/her state and in the National Guard of the United States of America.
The Air National Guard’s federal mission is to maintain well-trained, well-equipped units available for prompt mobilization during war and provide assistance during national emergencies (such as natural disasters or civil disturbances). During peacetime, the combat-ready units and support units are assigned to Air Force major commands to carry out missions compatible with training, mobilization readiness, and contingency operations. The air national guard units may be activated in a number of ways as prescribed by public law.
When Air National Guard units are not mobilized or under federal control, they report to the governor of their respective state, territory or the commanding general of the District of Columbia National Guard. Each of the 54 Air National Guard organizations is supervised by the adjutant general of the state or territory. Under state law, the Air National Guard provides protection of life, property and preserves peace, order and public safety. These missions are accomplished through emergency relief support during natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and forest fires; search and rescue operations; support to civil defense authorities; maintenance of vital public services and counterdrug operations.
The primary sources of full-time support for Air National Guard units are the dual-status military technicians/guardsmen on active duty. These personnel perform day-to-day management, administration and maintenance. By law, dual-status military technicians are civil service employees of the federal government who must be military members of the unit that employs them. Technicians train with the unit and are mobilized with it when it’s activated.
All U.S. Air Force organizations must be readily identifiable. To accomplish this, each organization has a unique designation. The designation includes a number or name; a functional term describing its primary mission and an organizational type denoting its position in the Air Force organizational hierarchy.
Organization: 1st Fighter Wing
Organization Kind: Fighter
Organization Type: Wing
Organization: 15th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
Organization Kind: Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance
Organization Type: Squadron
Organization: Ogden Air Logistics Center
Organization Kind: Air Logistics
Organization Type: Center
USAF UNIT HISTORIES
Entries contain information that is standardized in its presentation as far as possible. USAF organizations are listed numerically, then alphabetically.
The mission statement defines what an organization accomplishes on a daily basis. The mission statement also includes how the mission is accomplished. When available, the organization’s structure and manning is recorded.
The unit histories are presented with the organization’s official designation. The designation is obtained from the organization’s G-Series activation orders.
Certain aspects of designations are abbreviated. For example, United States Air Force is abbreviated USAF; Air Force is abbreviated AF; Army Air Forces is abbreviated AAF; and Headquarters is abbreviated HQ.
For the sake of clarity and ease of locating individual unit histories, USAF, AF, AAF, and HQ are omitted in the designation of an organization in the cross reference and the thumbnail link to the individual unit histories. Numbered Air Forces are an exception. Numbered Air Forces are listed per their designation.
Numbered Air Forces and organizations that use Roman Numerals, for example XX Bomber Command, are listed in thumbnail links to the individual units and the cross reference using Arabic numbers.
When there is more than one unit with an identical designation, a clarifying note is added to the cross reference and thumbnail link.
The list of stations shows the locations and movements of the organization. Permanent locations of the organization are listed chronologically. Temporary stations are not listed. The name given for each base is the one in use at the time the organization arrived. The state in which an organization is station is listed with the abbreviations used by the US Post Office; MS for Mississippi, not Miss. If the organization moved frequently, as some organizations did in the Mediterranean and Pacific areas during World War II, countries, rather than specific places, are shown. Foreign nations are identified by their popular name, rather than their official name, i.e. the Republic of Korea appears as South Korea; the Republic of Vietnam as South Vietnam, and the Republic of China as either Formosa or Taiwan, depending upon the period. Organizations located in occupied Germany prior to 1 Sep 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany, or after the reunification are listed as being in Germany.
Assignments and attachments
Each of the organization's immediate parent organizations is listed chronologically. A single date indicates the date of assignment; where a double date appears, the second date indicates termination of assignment. If the organization was attached for operational control to another organization, the attachment appears in the attachment section. Each attachment contains double dates. Where the exact dates for assignment or attached service could not be determined with certainty a circa (c.) date is used.
Establishments do not have components listed because of the sheer number assigned at any given time. Units with components; for example an Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron’s detachments, are listed alphabetically or numerically.
The aircraft and/or missiles used by an organization appear in this section. Aircraft are listed by series and number (B-52 or KC-135). Missiles are listed by their official designation and popular names (SM-65 Atlas, LGM-25 Titan II, LGM-30 Minuteman III). When available and pertinent, exact dates in which the organization received or disposed of its weapon systems are covered in the operations section. No attempt is made to list the weapon system’s manufacturer or the official or unofficial nickname, unless there is a possibility of confusion. For example the B-26 will be identified as either the B-26 Marauder or B-26 Invader.
Commanders of the organization are listed chronologically, along with the highest rank attained during the command tenure. When an organization was active but not manned, the statement "none (not manned)" and double dates appear. If a commander was at first interim and then permanently appointed, the commander's name will be followed by a date and a parenthetical "interim," followed by a second date and parenthetical "permanent." In some cases the inclusive dates for a given commander are not known. In those cases, the entry “#” followed by a month and year indicate the earliest or latest date known for that commander to be in command of the unit indicated.
Name, date—date the officer took command
Name, @date—approximate date officer took command
Name, #date—officer was in position of command on that date; doesn’t indicate
assumption of command date
Service Streamers indicate noncombat service in the various theaters of military operations.
Campaign Streamers indicate combat operations in a theater.
Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers
Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamer is awarded for participation in any military campaign for which no other service medal is authorized.
Decorations include citations and awards recognizing distinguished or meritorious acts by the organization. In this section, the type of decoration is cited together with specific dates.
The current or most recent official emblem of the organization is posted at the top of the unit's history. Older official emblems and patches are posted chronologically.
This nonprofit site depicts original insignias and in doing so intends no infringement on the property rights of the owner of any copyright.
Official mottos are listed chronologically. Mottos in foreign languages are provided with an English translation and when applicable an explanation of the motto.
All sources are cited at the end of each unit history. Wing, group, and squadron lineage obtained from books published by the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA), unit data cards; unit periodic histories and current information from the AFHRA website are combined and listed as Air Force Historical Research Agency.
Books published by the Air Force history program or under the auspices of the Air Force History Program are cited as such.
Other primary sources include:
Unit and base yearbooks
Base and Unit Heritage pamphlets
When compiling a unit’s histories, it became apparent early on that rewriting the organization’s history completely destroys the rich flavor of the original manuscript and the context is completely lost. It is impossible to convey the texture and prose of a young man writing about his buddies and his unit in the throes of war. Consequently, the webmaster functions almost entirely as an editor. When practical, the original text from the unit history is used in its entirety and proper credit is annotated.
I have sought out and as of present have obtained permission from the original authors or publisher to use all material protected by copyright.
An exorbitant amount of effort and time has been expended attempting to record the vast amount of information in these unit histories. However, mistakes and omissions will occur and I will make every effort to correct even the smallest detail. When information is disputed or just merely questioned, please contact the webmaster.