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370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group
370aeag.jpg
370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group emblem
Active 1943-1945
2007-Present
Country  United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Air Expeditionary
Garrison/HQ Southwest Asia
Commanders
Colonel of
the Regiment
Colonel Mark Schmitz
Airman 1st Class Brad Sisson, 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs videographer, tapes Tech. Sgt. Dale Peters doing a 20-second Hometown Holiday Greeting spot Oct. 22 for his stateside family and friends.
Sergeant Peters is a 370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Squadron combat aviation advisor with the Coalition Air Force Transition Team. As such, he teaches and advises Iraqi air force air crews, loadmasters and maintainers on training and instruction.

The 370th Air Expeditionary Group (370 AEG) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to Air Education and Training Command. It may be activated or inactivated at any time. Currently, the unit is stationed in Southwest Asia. The unit activation and assumption of command took place at New Al Muthana Air Base, Iraq, on 22 April 2007.

The group's World War II predecessor unit, the 370th Fighter Group was assigned to Ninth Air Force in England, flying its first combat mission on 14 March 1944. Flying P-38 Lightnings, the group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for a mission in support of ground forces in the Hurtgen Forest area of Germany on 2 December 1944 when, despite bad weather and barrages of antiaircraft and small-arms fire, the group dropped napalm bombs on a heavily defended position in Bergstein, setting fire to the village and inflicting heavy casualties on enemy troops defending the area. The group flew its last combat mission on 3 March 1945.

The 370th Fighter Group was redesignated as the 140th Fighter Group, and allotted to the Colorado Air National Guard on 27 August 1946.

Contents

Units

The 370 AEAG is made up of Airmen from a variety of career fields. It is suspected that the mission of the 370 AEAG is to restart the Iraqi Air Force by training Iraqi Air Force air crews how to operate, employ and maintain C-130 aircraft, and to maintain and operate as a self-sufficient air base.

History

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Lineage

  • Constituted as 370th Fighter Group on 25 May 1943
Activated on 1 July 1943
Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945
  • Redesignated 370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group and converted to provisional status, 1 Apr 2007.

Assignments

Attached to: New York Fighter Wing, 19 Oct 1943-20 Jan 1944
Attached to: IX Tactical Air Command, 1 Aug 1944
Attached to: IX Tactical Air Command, 1 Oct 1944
Attached to: United States Air Forces Central, 22 April 2007-TBD

Components

Stations

Aircraft

Operational history

World War II

370thfg-emblem.jpg
P-38s of the 370th Fighter Group

The unit was constituted as the 370th Fighter Group on 25 May 1943, and activated on 1 July 1943 at Westover Field, Massachusetts. Operational squadrons of the group were the 401st, 402d and 485th Fighter Squadrons.

The group trained with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts at several First Air Force training bases in New England then was deployed to RAF Aldermaston England during January and February 1944. In Europe, it was assigned to Ninth Air Force.

When the group arrived, the expected to receive P-47 Thunderbolts on which they had trained stateside. However, much to the amazement of the Group Commander, Colonel Howard F. Nichols, the 370th FG was informed by IX Fighter Command that they would be equipped with the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a few of which had already arrived during the 18 days the group was in residence at Aldermaston. The latter base proved to be only a temporary stationing, as it was required for troop carrier operations; the 370th soon moved to RAF Andover.

From England, the group dive-bombed radar installations and flak towers, and escorted bombers that attacked bridges and marshalling yards in France as the Allies prepared for the invasion of the Continent. The group provided cover for Allied forces that crossed the Channel on 6 Jun 1944, and flew armed reconnaissance missions over the Cotentin Peninsula until the end of the month. On July 17, 1944, napalm incendiary bombs were dropped for the first time in war by 14 American P-38 aircraft of the 402nd Fighter Squadron, lead by 370th Group command Col Nichols, on a fuel depot at Coutances, near St. Lô, France.[1]

Assigned to the IX Tactical Air Command, the 370th moved to their Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) at Cardonville, France (ALG A-3) on 20 July to support the Allied ground advance across France and into Germany. The 370th's fighter-bombers hit hard. German Field Marshal von Kluge soon found that his armored forces moving towards Normandy were constantly beset by Allied fighter-bomber attacks. Von Kluge phoned General Walter Warlimont, Hitler's personal representative on the Western front, "The enemy air superiority is terrific and smothers almost every one of our movements...Every movement of the enemy is prepared and protected by its air force. Losses in men and equipment are extraordinary."[2] Von Kluge himself was not immune to personal danger. USAAF Group Commander Nichols and a squadron of his P-38 Lightnings blasted von Kluge's own headquarters; the group commander himself skipped a 500-pound bomb right through the front door.[2] Moving across France, the 370th FG hit gun emplacements, troops, supply dumps, and tanks near Saint-Lô in July and in the FalaiseArgentan area in August 1944.[2]

In September 1944, the group sent planes and pilots to England to provide cover for the allied airborne assault on Holland and Germany, code-named Operation Market-Garden. The P-38s of the group struck pillboxes and troops early in October to aid First Army's capture of Aachen, and afterward struck railroads, bridges, viaducts, and tunnels in that area.[2]

The 370th received a Distinguished Unit Citation for a mission in support of ground forces in the Hurtgen Forest area on 2 December 1944 when, despite bad weather and barrages of antiaircraft and small-arms fire, the group dropped napalm bombs on a heavily defended position in Bergstein, setting fire to the village and inflicting heavy casualties on enemy troops defending the area. The 370th later flew armed reconnaissance during the Battle of the Bulge, attacking warehouses, highways, railroads, motor transports, and other targets.

The group converted to P-51 Mustangs during February - March 1945. Bombed bridges and docks in the vicinity of Wesel to prepare for the crossing of the Rhine, and patrolled the area as paratroops were dropped on the east bank on 24 Mar. Supported operations Of 2d Armored Division in the Ruhr Valley in Apr. Flew last mission, a sweep over Dessau and Wittenberg, on 4 May 1945.

The 370th FG returned to the United States during Sep-Nov 1945, and was inactivated on 7 Nov 1945.

Modern era

The 370th Air Expeditionary Advisory Group was activated as part of the Global War On Terror on 27 April 2007. It the mission of the 370 AEAG is to restart the Iraqi Air Force by training Iraqi Air Force air crews how to operate, employ and maintain Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft, and to maintain and operate as a self-sufficient air base. This mission is known as "CAFTT" for Coalition Air Forces Training Team.

The unit is made up of Airmen from a variety of career specialties and it is assigned to Second Air Force as part of Air Education and Training Command.

References

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

Notes

  1. ^ Campbell, James L; Captain, Air Corps (09 August 1944). "Unit History - 370th Fighter Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 
  2. ^ a b c d Anonymous (1944). Achtung Jabos! The Story of the IX TAC. Paris: ETOUSA, Stars and Stripes Publications. 

Bibliography

  • Freeman, Roger A. UK Airfields of the Ninth: Then and Now. After the Battle, 1994. ISBN 0-90091-380-0.
  • Freeman, Roger A. The Ninth Air Force in Colour: UK and the Continent-World War Two. After the Battle, 1996. ISBN 1-85409-272-3.
  • Jones, Jay. The 370th Fighter Group in World War II: in Action over Europe with the P-38 and P-51. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 2007. ISBN 0-76431-779-2.
  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

See also


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