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Staff Sgt.
Austin Layton marshals a C-130 Hercules aircraft.
He is a flight manager assigned to the 322nd Air Expeditionary Group
The 322d Air Expeditionary Group (322 AEG) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe. As a provisional unit, it may be activated or inactivated at any time.

The group appears to have been activated periodically on-order to provide support to U.S./AU activities in Africa under USAFE's Seventeenth Air Force. In 2004, elements of the Group assisted the AU deployment to Sudan.

During World War II, the group's predecessor unit, the 322d Bombardment Group (Medium) was a B-26 Marauder bombardment group assigned to the Eighth and later Ninth Air Force.

History

Lineage

  • Constituted as 322d Bombardment Group (Medium) on June 19, 1942
Inactivated on December 15, 1945.
  • Activated as the 322d Bombardment Group (Light) on August 9, 1947 (USAFR)
Inactivated on June 27, 1949
Redesignated as 322d Tactical Fighter Group 1 Jul 1954.
Inactivated on 18 Nov 1957
  • Activated as 322d Tactical Airlift Wing on January 1, 1970.
Inactivated on June 30, 1975.
  • Redesignated as 322d Air Expeditionary Group and converted to provisional status, 2004 (Date TBD)


Assignments





Components

  • 7th Special Operations Squadron, 15 Mar 1973-30 Jun 1976
  • 32d Tactical Airlift Squadron, 15 Feb-15 Apr 1975 (Attached)
  • 36th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 1Jan-2 Feb 1970; 10 Aug-21 Oct 1970; 29 Sep-29 Oct 1971; 16 Aug-16 Oct 1974 (All attached)
  • 37th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 4 Oct-1 Nov 1970; 8 Feb-10 Apr 1971; 1 Sep-5 Oct 1972; 16 Apr-25 Jun 1974; 15 Apr-15 Jun 1975 (All attached)
  • 38th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 16 Dec 1974-15 Feb 1975 (Attached)
  • 39th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 15 Dec 1973-12 Feb 1974 (Attached)
  • 40th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 1 Sep-5 Oct 1971; 11 Apr-5 Jun 1973 (All attached)
  • 41st Tactical Airlift Squadron, 12 Jun-11 Aug 1972; 11 Feb-13 Apr 1973; 11 Aug-12 Oct 1973 (All attached)
  • 47th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 18 Feb-18 Mar 1970, 16 Jun-10 Aug 1970, 8 Dec 1971-14 Feb 1972, 11 Aug-20 Oct 1972, and 16 Dec 1972-11 Feb 1973 (All attached)
  • 48th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 12 Apr-11 Jun 1972 and 20 Oct-16 Dec 1972 (All attached)
  • 50th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 1 Jun-15 Aug 1974 (Attached)
  • 55th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron: 1 Jan 1970-31 Mar 1975
  • 61st Tactical Airlift Squadron, 21 Oct-19 Dec 1970, 5 Jun-11 Aug 1973, 16 Oct-16 Dec 1974, 15-30 Jun 1975 (All attached)
  • 62d Tactical Airlift Squadron, 10 Apr-12 Jun 1971 (Attached)
  • 347th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 2 Feb-13 Apr 1970, 12 Jun-12 Aug 1971, and 14 Feb-17 Apr 1972. (Attached)
  • 348th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 5 Oct-8 Dec 1971 (Attached)
  • 449th Bombardment (later Fighter-Bomber) Squadron (PN), 4 Aug 1942-12 Dec 1945; 27 Jun 1949-17 Mar 1951; 8 Aug 1955-1 Sep 1957
  • 450th Bombardment (later Fighter-Bomber) Squadron (ER), 4 Aug 1942-12 Dec 1945; 27 Jun 1949-17 Mar 1951; 8 Aug 1955-1 Sep 1957
  • 451st Bombardment (later Fighter-Bomber) Squadron (SS), 4 Aug 1942-12 Dec 1945; 27 Jun 1949-17 Mar 1951; 22 Nov 1955-1 Sep 1957
  • 452d Bombardment Squadron (DR), 4 Aug 1942-12 Dec 1945; 26 Sep 1947-17 Mar 1951
  • 772d Tactical Airlift Squadron, 12 Feb-16 Apr 1974 (Attached)
  • 774th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 12 Oct-15 Dec 1973 (Attached)
  • 778th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 12 Aug-1 Sep 1971 (Attached)
  • 779th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 13 Apr-16 Jun 1970 and 19 Dec 1970-7 Feb 1971. (All attached)


Bases assigned





Aircraft





Operational history

World War II

322d Bombardment Group (Medium)
B-26 of the 322d Medium Bomb Group on the perimeter track prior to takeoff
B-26 Marauder of the 322d Bomb Group on a mission over enemy-occupied territory, 1944.
Constituted as 322d Bombardment Group (Medium) on June 19, 1942. Activated on July 17, 1942. Trained with Martin B-26 Marauder aircraft. Part of the group moved overseas to RAF Bury St Edmundsmarker, Englandmarker, November–December 1942; planes and crews followed, March–April 1943. Initially assigned to the Eighth Air Force. The group was assigned to the 3d Bomb Wing.

Ongoing construction at Bury St. Edmunds forced two of the group's squadrons to locate at RAF Rattlesdenmarker, and the group's aircraft did not arrive until late in March 1943. Once operational, the 322d flew two low-level bombing operations from Bury St. Edmunds. The first, on May 14 when it dispatched 12 planes for a minimum-level attack on an electrical generating plant near Ijtnuiden. This was the first operational combat mission flown by B-26s.

The second was a disastrous mission to Holland on Monday, May 17, when the group sent 11 aircraft on a similar operation from which none of the aircraft penetrating the enemy coast, returned. 60 crewmen were lost to flak and interceptors. Group morale was not improved when, on May 29, a B-26 crashed onto the airfield killing the crew and damaging a hangar.

After these missions, the group was re-equipped and trained for medium-altitude operations for several weeks before returning to combat operations. On June 13, the 322d moved to RAF Andrews Fieldmarker in Essex.

In common with other Marauder units of the 3d Bomb Wing, the 322d was transferred to Ninth Air Force on October 16, 1943. The group attacked enemy airfields in Francemarker, Belgiummarker, and Hollandmarker attacking the principal targets but the group also attacked secondary targets such as power stations, shipyards, construction works, and marshalling yards.

On December 11, 1943 Andrews Field was attacked by the Luftwaffe but little damage was done and beginning in March 1944 the 322d bombed railway and highway bridges, oil tanks, and missile sites in preparation for the invasion of Normandy.

On May 8, 1944, one of the 322nd aircraft, nicknamed "Mild and Bitter" (serial 41-31819) became the first B-26 flying from England to complete 100 combat missions. Another B-26, "Flak Bait" (41-31773) survived to the end of hostilities with 202 missions to its credit, the only US bomber involved in combat over Europe to pass the 200 mark.

On D-Day, June 6, 1944 the 322d Bomb Group attacked coastal defences and gun batteries. Afterwards, during the Normandy campaign, the 322d pounded fuel and ammunition dumps, bridges, and road junctions, supporting the Allied offensive at Caenmarker and the breakthrough at St Lomarker in July.

From Andrews Field the 322d received a Distinguished Unit Citation for the period May 14, 1943 – July 24, 1944. The group moved during September 1944, transferring to Beauvaismarker (A-61) Airfield in northern Francemarker, and aiding the drive of Third Army across France.

The 322d flew its last mission on April 24, 1945. After V-E Day, the group was assigned to occupation duty in Germany beginning in June 1945, engaging in inventorying and disassembling German Air Force equipment and facilities. Returned to the Camp Kilmer New Jerseymarker in December 1945, and was inactivated on December 15.

Cold War

Boeing B-KB50D Superfortress 48-123 of the 622d Air Refueling Squadron (4505th ARW) carrying out first triple-point refuelling operation with three North American F-100C Super Sabres (54-1825, 53-1774, 54-1848) of the 451st Tactical Fighter Squadron (322d TFW), 1956
322d Bombardment Group (Light)
During the Cold War, the 322d was redesignated the 322d Bombardment Group (Light) and assigned to the Air Force Reserve at Reading Army Airfieldmarker, Pennsylvaniamarker on August 9, 1947. The 322d was equipped with four squadrons (35th, 449th, 450th, 451st and 452d) Douglas A-20 Havocs. It was inactivated on June 27, 1949.

322d Tactical Fighter Group
The United States Air Force reactivated the unit as the 322d Fighter-Day Group at Foster AFBmarker, Texasmarker on July 1, 1954. The 322d was assigned to Tactical Air Command as part of the 450th Fighter Day Group, initially as three squadron (450th, 451st, 452d) F-86 Sabre-equipped wing. In 1956, the group was upgraded to the North American F-100 Super Sabre and was redesignated as the 322d Tactical Fighter group. The 322d TFG was inactivated on January 1, 1959 along with the closure of Foster Air Force Base in a budgetary economy move.

322d Tactical Airlift Wing
The unit was again reactivated as the 322d Tactical Airlift Wing (322d TAW) on January 1, 1970 at Rhein-Main Air Basemarker West Germanymarker, replacing the 7310th TAW.

The 322d TAW used rotational Lockheed C-130 Hercules squadrons for tactical airlift in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. In addition, the wing used C-118s and C-131s for aeromedical airlift until late 1972, then shifted to C-9As for this work, continuing aeromedical airlift operations through March 1975.

The wing utilized KC-135 (VIP equipped) to provide transportation for CINCUSAFE until early 1973, followed by KC-135B until early 1974 and by C-135C thereafter. Used VT-29 aircraft to support AirForce North (AFNORTH), a NATO component.

In March 1973, the wing gained the 7th Special Operations Squadron, equipped with C-47,UH-1H, and C-130E aircraft, which was reassigned from the 26th TRW at Ramstein AB when the 26th was reassigned to Zweibrucken AB. All but the C-130s were transferred a few months later, to conduct unconventional warfare operations in Europe.

The wing was inactivated in June 1975 when it was replaced by the 435th Tactical Airlift Wing.

Modern era

In 2004 the 322d Air Expeditionary Group was activated as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe as an Air Expeditionary unit.

Notes



References

  • Freeman, Roger A. (1978) Airfields of the Eighth: Then and Now. After the Battle ISBN 0900913096
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1991) The Mighty Eighth The Colour Record. Cassell & Co. ISBN 0-304-35708-1
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1994) UK Airfields of the Ninth: Then and Now 1994. After the Battle ISBN 0900913800
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1996) The Ninth Air Force in Colour: UK and the Continent-World War Two. After the Battle ISBN 1854092723
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.
  • "U.S. Air Forces in Europe airlift Nigerian troops to Sudan's Darfur region", 1st Lt. Jenny Lovett, 322nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs,
October 28, 2004

External links


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