388th OG F-16s
The 388th Operations Group (388 OG)
is the flying
component of the 388th Fighter
, assigned to the Air Combat
Command Twelfth Air Force
is stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
World War II, its predecessor unit, the
388th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was a Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England, stationed
group earned four Distinguished Unit Citations
flying over 300 combat missions (17 Aug 1943 - Regensburg; 26 Jun
1943 - Hanover; 12 May 1944 - Brux and 21 Jun 1944 on a shuttle
mission to Russia). It also conducted Aphroditie radio-controlled
B-24 Bombers as test guided bombs.
The 388th Operations Group is responsible for the readiness of the
Air Force's largest combat-capable fleet of F-16 Fighting
Operations squadrons of the group (Tail Code: HL) are:
- For additional history and lineage, see 388th Fighter Wing
- Established as 388 Bombardment Group (Heavy)
on 19 Dec 1942
- Activated on 24 Dec 1942
- Redesignated 388 Bombardment Group, Heavy, on
20 Aug 1943
- Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945
- Redesignated 388 Fighter-Bomber Group on 5 Nov
- Activated on 23 Nov 1953
- Inactivated on 10 Dec 1957
- Redesignated 388 Tactical Fighter Group on 31
July 1985 (Remained inactive)
- Redesignated 388 Operations Group, and
activated, on 1 Dec 1991.
- Attached to: 403 Provisional Combat Wing Bombardment, 13 Jul
- 4th Fighter Squadron: 1 Dec
- 34th Fighter Squadron: 1
- 421st Fighter Squadron: 1
- 560th Bombardment
Squadron: 24 Dec 1942-28 Aug 1945
- 561st Bombardment (later, 561 Fighter-Bomber) Squadron: 24 Dec
1942-28 Aug 1945; 23 Nov 1953-10 Dec 1957
- 562d Bombardment (later, 562 Fighter-Bomber) Squadron: 24 Dec
1942-28 Aug 1945; 23 Nov 1953-10 Dec 1957
- 563d Bombardment (later, 563 Fighter-Bomber) Squadron: 24 Dec
1942-28 Aug 1945; 23 Nov 1953-10 Dec 1957.
World War II
Emblem of the 388th Bombardment
Boeing B-17F-90-BO Fortress Serial
Activated 24 December 1942 at Gowen Field in Idaho. Nucleus from
Gowen moved to Wendover Field, Utah, early in February 1943. The
finial training was conducted at Sioux City AAFd SD from early May
1943 to 1 June 1943. The aircraft began their overseas movement
taking the northern route via Newfoundland or Greenland, and
finally from Iceland to Prestwick. The ground unit left Sioux City
on the 12th of June 1943 for Camp Kilmer, NJ, and sailed on the
Queen Elizabeth on the 1st July 1943, and arrived in Clyde on the
7th of July 1943. Assigned to the Eighth Air Force 45th Combat
Bombardment Wing. Its group tail code was a "Square-H".
BG began combat operations on 17 July
1943 by attacking an aircraft factory in
The unit functioned primarily as a
strategic bombardment Organization until the war ended.
included industries, naval installations, oil storage plants,
refineries, and communications centers in Germany, France, Poland, Belgium, Norway, Romania, and Holland.
received a Distinguished
Unit Citation for withstanding heavy opposition to bomb a vital
aircraft factory at Regensburg on 1 August 1943. The 388th received
another DUC for three outstanding missions: an attack against a
tire and rubber factory in Hanover on 26 July 1943; the bombardment of a synthetic oil
refinery in Brux on 12 May 1944; and a strike
against a synthetic oil refinery at Ruhland on 21 June 1944, during a shuttle raid from England
attacked many other significant targets, including aircraft
factories in Kassel, Reims, and
Brunswick; airfields in Bordeaux, Paris, and
Berlin; naval works
Pallice, Emden, and
Kiel; chemical industries in Ludwigshafen; ball-bearing plants in Schweinfurt; and marshalling yards in Brussels, Osnabruck, and Bielefeld.
Operations also included support and
interdictory missions. Helped prepare for the invasion of Normandy
by attacking military
installations in France, and on D-Day struck coastal guns, field
batteries, and transportation. Continued to support ground forces
during the campaign that followed, hitting such objectives as
supply depots and troop concentrations. Bombed in support of
ground forces at St
Lo in July 1944 and at Caen in
Covered the airborne assault on Holland
September 1944 by attacking military installations and airfields at
. Aided the final drive through
Germany during the early months of 1945 by striking targets such as
marshalling yards, rail bridges, and road junctions.
Altogether the 388th flew 331 raids to
European targets including nineteen Operation Aphrodite missions from nearby
After V-E Day
, the group flew food to
Holland to relieve flood-stricken areas.
Redeployed to the US from June to August 1945 . The aircraft left
Knettishall between 9 June 1945 and July 1945. The ground unit
sailed on the Queen Elizabeth from Greenock on the 5th of August
1945, and arrived in New York on the 11th of August 1945. The group
was established at Sioux Falls AAFd, SD, and inactivated there on
the 28th August 1945.
North American F-86F-35-NA Sabre
Serial 53-1117 of the 563d TFS.
In 1957 this aircraft was transferred to the Norwegian Air
The unit was reactivated as a fighter-bomber group in 1953 and
equipped with F-86s. It was deployed to France from Clovis AFB, New
Mexico in December 1954.
The mission of the 388th FBG was to train for and conduct tactical
nuclear weapons delivery. Its secondary mission was to conduct
non-atomic tactical air operations. Upon arrival of 388th Wing
Headquarters at Etain, the construction delays and other problems
seriously hampered the ability of the Wing to use the base for its
flying operations. The 562nd FBSquadron was forced to operate
Air Base, the 563rd from Bitburg Air Base and the 561st from Hahn Air Base in West
Germany for the winter of 1954-55.
and May 1955, rotational deployments to Wheelus Air Base, Libya began for
their first gunnery and bombing training since their arrival in
In the fall, with enough facilities construction
completed, the three flying squadrons were transferred from Germany
and took up their home assignment at Étain.
22 November 1955,
Det #1, 388th FBGroup was activated at Hahn Air Base to stand nuclear alert with the Wing's
Personnel and aircraft primarily came from the 561st
FBS. In February 1956 the detachment was transferred to more
spacious facilities at Spangdahlem Air Base. Rotational
deployments of 8 F-86's and support personnel to Germany continued until the fall of 1957 when the 388th was
fall of 1956 the 388th began planning for conversion to the
F-100D/F "Super Sabre" Due to the
adverse flying conditions at Etain for conversion training, the new
aircraft were deployed to Nouasseur Air Base in Morocco, with the squadrons deploying their F-86's to
Nouasseur, then returning back to France or
Spangdahlem in their new F-100's for Zulu Alert
During this transition period, the 388th experienced a significant
personnel crisis, with many of its officers and NCO's completing
their two year unaccompanied tour in France. The personnel problem
became worse in the fall of 1957 with many single airmen completing
their three years of overseas service and were rotating back to the
United States (CONUS). The manning of the 388th fell to about 65
percent when on 8 December 1957
HQ USAFE inactivated the 388th FBG due to
budgetary and personnel constraints. On 9
the personnel and assets of the 388th were transferred
to the 49th Fighter-Bomber
On 1 December 1991, the 388th Operations Group (388
was activated as a result of the 388th Tactical
Fighter Wing implementing the USAF objective wing organization.
Upon activation, the 388 OG was bestowed the lineage and history of
the 388th Tactical Fighter Group and all predecessor organizations.
In addition, the 388 OG was assigned the flying squadrons of the
redesogmated 388th Fighter Wing.
The group had a continuing commitment of approximately six months
per year to Operation Southern Watch, protecting the no-fly zone
south of the 33rd parallel in Iraq. The 729th ACS also had a
continuous presence in South America supporting the war on
The 388 OG flew the F-16's 5 millionth flying hour at Hill Air
Force Base Dec. 4, 1996.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close Cannon
Air Force Base, NM. As a result, it would distribute the 27th
Fighter Wing’s F-16s to 388th OG at Hill AFB (six aircraft) and
several other installations.
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War
II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983.
- Rogers, Brian. United States Air Force Unit Designations
since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications, 2005. ISBN
- Huntzinger, Edward J. The 388th at War. San Angelo,
Texas: Newsfoto Yearbooks, 1979.
- Uncredited. The History of the 388th Bomb Group. San
Angelo, Texas: Newfoto Publishing Company, 1946.