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388th OG F-16s
The 388th Operations Group (388 OG) is the flying component of the 388th Fighter Wing, assigned to the Air Combat Command Twelfth Air Force. The group is stationed at Hill Air Force Basemarker, Utahmarker.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 388th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was a Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit in Englandmarker, stationed at RAF Knettishallmarker. The 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 Falcons

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 1953
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 1943


  • 4th Fighter Squadron: 1 Dec 1991-Present
  • 34th Fighter Squadron: 1 Dec 1991-Present
  • 421st Fighter Squadron: 1 Dec 1991-Present
  • 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.


Aircraft assigned

Operational History

World War II

Emblem of the 388th Bombardment Group
Boeing B-17F-90-BO Fortress Serial 42-30793
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".

The 388th BG began combat operations on 17 July 1943 by attacking an aircraft factory in Amsterdammarker. The unit functioned primarily as a strategic bombardment Organization until the war ended. Targets included industries, naval installations, oil storage plants, refineries, and communications centers in Germanymarker, Francemarker, Polandmarker, Belgiummarker, Norwaymarker, Romaniamarker, and Hollandmarker.

The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for withstanding heavy opposition to bomb a vital aircraft factory at Regensburgmarker on 1 August 1943. The 388th received another DUC for three outstanding missions: an attack against a tire and rubber factory in Hanovermarker 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 Ruhlandmarker on 21 June 1944, during a shuttle raid from England to Russiamarker.

The unit attacked many other significant targets, including aircraft factories in Kasselmarker, Reimsmarker, and Brunswickmarker; airfields in Bordeauxmarker, Parismarker, and Berlinmarker; naval works at La Pallicemarker, Emdenmarker, and Kielmarker; chemical industries in Ludwigshafenmarker; ball-bearing plants in Schweinfurtmarker; and marshalling yards in Brusselsmarker, Osnabruckmarker, and Bielefeldmarker. 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 Lomarker in July 1944 and at Caenmarker in August. Covered the airborne assault on Holland in September 1944 by attacking military installations and airfields at Arnheim. 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 RAF Fersfieldmarker. 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.

Cold War

North American F-86F-35-NA Sabre Serial 53-1117 of the 563d TFS.
In 1957 this aircraft was transferred to the Norwegian Air Force
The unit was reactivated as a fighter-bomber group in 1953 and equipped with F-86s. It was deployed to France from Clovis AFBmarker, New Mexicomarker 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 from Spangdahlem Air Basemarker, the 563rd from Bitburg Air Basemarker and the 561st from Hahn Air Basemarker in West Germanymarker for the winter of 1954-55.

In April and May 1955, rotational deployments to Wheelus Air Basemarker, Libyamarker began for their first gunnery and bombing training since their arrival in Europe. In the fall, with enough facilities construction completed, the three flying squadrons were transferred from Germany and took up their home assignment at Étain.

On 22 November 1955, Det #1, 388th FBGroup was activated at Hahn Air Basemarker to stand nuclear alert with the Wing's F-86'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 Germanymarker continued until the fall of 1957 when the 388th was deactivated.

In the 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 Basemarker in Moroccomarker, with the squadrons deploying their F-86's to Nouasseur, then returning back to Francemarker or Spangdahlem in their new F-100's for Zulu Alert duties.

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 December the personnel and assets of the 388th were transferred to the 49th Fighter-Bomber Group.

Modern era

On 1 December 1991, the 388th Operations Group (388 OG) 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 drugs.

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. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Rogers, Brian. United States Air Force Unit Designations since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
  • 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.

External links

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