15th Operations Group: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

15th Operations Group
15thog-emblem.jpg
Emblem of the 15th Operations Group
Active 1940-1960; 1992-Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Airlift
Part of 15th Airlift Wing
Garrison/HQ Hickam Air Force Base
Engagements World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg Asiatic-Pacific Campaign ribbon.svg
  • World War II
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (1944-1945)
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Boeing C-17A Lot XVII Globemaster III 05-5150 of the 535th Airlift Squadron
Special Air Mission aircraft of the 65th Airlift Squadron

The 15th Operations Group (15 OG) is the flying component of the 15th Airlift Wing, assigned to the United States Air Force Thirteenth Air Force. The group is stationed at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii.

The 15 OG is responsible for managing operational matters at Hickam AFB and Bellows AFS, Hawaii; and Wake Island Airfield. Its history goes back to World War II, when the 15th Pursuit Group was largely destroyed during the 7 December 1941 Japanese Pearl Harbor Attack at Hickam Field. It later became a Twentieth Air Force group, providing VLR fighter escorts for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers that attacked the Japanese Home Islands.

Contents

Overview

From 1992 to present, the group had one airlift squadron assigned and equipped with C-135 aircraft, which provided transportation for the Commander, US Pacific Command, Commander, Pacific Air Forces, and other high ranking civilian, military, and foreign dignitaries.

The unit also provides command and control for the defense of the Hawaiian Islands and directed tactical control of Hawaii Air National Guard alert F-15 aircraft. Its 25th Air Support Operations Squadron provided combat ready tactical air control parties (TACPs) ready to advise on the employment of air assets in training and combat and to deploy worldwide with each brigade and battalion of the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division and other designated ground components.

Components

The 15th Operations Group (Tail Code: HH) consists of the following squadrons:

Tactical airlift within PACAF
Executive airlift within PACAF.
  • 15th Operations Support Squadron

History

Advertisements

Lineage

  • Established as 15th Pursuit Group (Fighter) on 22 Nov 1940
Activated on 1 Dec 1940
Redesignated: 15th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 12 Feb 1942
Redesignated: 15th Fighter Group on 15 May 1942
Inactivated on 15 Oct 1946
  • Established as 518th Air Defense Group on 16 Feb 1953
  • Redesignated 15th Fighter Group (Air Defense) on 20 Jun 1955
Activated on 18 Aug 1955 by redesignation of 518th Air Defense Group
Discontinued on 1 Jul 1960.
  • Established as 15 Operations Group on 1 Apr 1992
Activated on 13 Apr 1992

Assignments

Attached to 7th Fighter Wing, 25 Nov-31 Dec 1945

Components

Stations

Aircraft assigned

  • C-135, 1992-2003
  • C-37, 2002-Present
  • C-40, 2003-Present

Operational History

World War II

P-39Qs of the 46th FS at Makin Island in December 1943.

The unit was originally constituted as the 15th Pursuit Group (Fighter) and was activated at Wheeler Field, Hawaii, on 1 December 1940. The original pursuit squadrons of the group were:

A little more than a year later, on 7 December 1941, it engaged in combat action during the Japanese attack on military installations in Hawaii.

Bombing and strafing attacks that morning by carrier-based planes of the Japanese strike force destroyed many assigned aircraft and caused heavy casualties; however, 12 of the group's pilots succeeded in launching their Curtiss P-36 Hawk and Curtiss P-40 aircraft from Wheeler and Haleiwa Fields, flew a total of 16 sorties, and destroyed 10 enemy planes. Second Lieutenants George S. Welch and Kenneth M. Taylor, P-40 pilots assigned to the 47th Pursuit Squadron, shot down four and two, respectively, and were later cited for extraordinary heroism during the attack. Both received the Distinguished Service Cross.

With the outbreak of war, the group's primary mission remained the aerial defense of the Hawaiian Islands; but training pilots for combat became its secondary task. Aircraft flown included the Curtiss A-12 Shrike, Grumman OA-9 amphibious observation plane, Martin B-12 amphibious bomber, Boeing P-26 Peashooter, Curtiss P-36 Hawk, Bell P-39 Airacobra, Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, and the Republic P-47D Thunderbolt.

On 12 February 1942, the unit was redesignated the 15th Pursuit Group (Interceptor). Several months later, the archaic "pursuit group" term was dropped and the unit was redesignated the 15th Fighter Group on 15 May 1942. That summer, the group's mission changed. Although defense of the islands continued to be an important responsibility, providing combat training for pilots became the primary mission for the next two years.

In 1943, three additional squadrons were added to the group, those being:

The group deployed squadrons to the Central and South Pacific for operations against Japanese forces. Then, in April 1944, all elements of the 15th Fighter Group returned to Hawaii and began training for very-long-range (VLR) bomber escort missions, obtaining North American P-51 Mustangs later in the year.

In January 1945, ordered into combat, the group left Hawaii for Saipan in the Marianas Islands, remaining there until a landing strip could be secured by the Marines on Iwo Jima. The first fighter aircraft to arrive at lwo Jima were P-51s of the 15th's 47th Fighter Squadron the morning of March 6, with the 45th and 78th Squadrons following the next day. They supported Marine ground units by bombing and strafing cave entrances, trenches, troop concentrations, and storage areas. By the middle of March, the group also began strikes against enemy airfields, shipping, and military installations in the Bonin Islands.

On 7 April 1945, the 15th flew its first VLR mission to Japan, providing fighter escort for the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers that attacked the Nakajima aircraft plant near Tokyo, and was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citation. In late April and early May that year, the 15th struck Japanese airfields on Kyūshū to curtail the enemy's suicide attacks against the invasion force on Okinawa and also hit enemy troop trains, small factories, gun positions, and hangars in the Bonins and Japan.

During the summer of 1945, the 15th Fighter Group (along with the 21st from the VII Fighter Command) was reassigned to the Twentieth Air Force 301st Fighter Wing. The group continued its fighter sweeps against Japanese airfields and other targets, in addition to flying long-range B-29 Superfortress escort missions to Japanese cities, until the end of the war. After the war, the group remained on lwo Jima until 25 November 1945, when it transferred (without personnel and equipment) to Bellows Field, Hawaii. There it absorbed the personnel and equipment of the 508th Fighter Group.

On 8 February 1946, the unit moved to Wheeler Field, where it remained until inactivated on 15 October 1946.

Air Defense Command

The 15th was activated on 18 August 1955 as 15 Fighter Group (Air Defense) at Niagara Falls Municipal Airport, NY, and was equipped with the North American F-86 Sabres and later, Convair F-102 Delta Dagger aircraft as part of the 4707th Air Defense Wing of Air Defense Command. The group performed air defense operations for the Syracuse Air Defense Sector until July 1960, when it was discontinued.

Modern era

On 1 April 1992 the 15th Operations Group was activated as a result of the 15th Air Base Wing implementing the USAF objective wing organization. Immediately upon activation, the 15th Operations Group was bestowed the lineage, history and honors of the 15th Fighter Group. Upon activation, the 15th OG assumed responsibility from the 15 Air Base Wing for managing operational matters at Hickam AFB and Bellows AFS, Hawaii; and Wake Island Airfield. Also provided command and control for the defense of the Hawaiian Islands and directed tactical control of Hawaii Air National Guard alert F-15 aircraft.

Its 25 Air Support Operations Squadron provided combat ready tactical air control parties (TACPs) ready to advise on the employment of air assets in training and combat and to deploy worldwide with each brigade and battalion of the U.S. Army's 25 Infantry Division and other designated ground components. Beginning in 1992, the group had one airlift squadron assigned and equipped with specially configured C-135 aircraft, which provided transportation for the Commander, US Pacific Command, Commander, Pacific Air Forces, and other high ranking civilian, military, and foreign dignitaries.

Added C-37 aircraft in 2002 and C-40 aircraft in 2003; retired C-135 aircraft in 2003. Assigned second airlift squadron in 2005.

References

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • 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.
  • Lambert, John W. The Long Campaign: The History of the 15th Fighter Group in World War II. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 1982. ISBN 0-76432-428-4.

External links


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message