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445th Operations Group
445thoperationsgroup-emblem.jpg
Emblem of the 445th Operations Group
Active 1943-1945; 1947-1949; 1952-1958; 1992-1994; 1994-Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Lockheed C-5A Galaxy 70-0448, 89th AS
Lockheed C-5A Galaxy 70-0457, 89th AS. Named "City Of Fairborn", 457 was the first C-5 transferred to Wright Patterson AFB

The 445th Operations Group (445 OG) is the flying component of the 445th Airlift Wing, assigned to the United States Air Force Reserve Fourth Air Force. The group is stationed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 445th Bombardment Group was a VIII Bomber Command B-24 Liberator unit stationed in England. Assigned to RAF Tibenham in late 1943, the group earned a Distinguished Unit Citation on 24 Feb 1944 for attacking an aircraft assembly plant at Gotha, in Central Germany, losing thirteen aircraft. The 445th was Jimmy Stewart's original bomb group.

Contents

Overview

The 445 OG's mission is to attain and maintain operational readiness; provide strategic transport of personnel and equipment; provide aeromedical evacuation; and recruit and train toward these goals.

Assigned Units

  • 89th Airlift Squadron (C-5A/B)
  • 445th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron
  • 445th Operations Support Squadron
  • 445th Airlift Control Flight

History

For additional history and lineage, see 445th Airlift Wing
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Lineage

  • Established as 445 Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 20 Mar 1943
Activated on 1 Apr 1943
Redesignated 445 Bombardment Group, Heavy on 20 Aug 1943
Inactivated on 12 Sep 1945
  • Redesignated 445 Bombardment Group, Very Heavy on 13 May 1947
Activated in the Reserve on 12 Jul 1947
Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
  • Redesignated 445 Fighter-Bomber Group on 24 Jun 1952
Activated in the Reserve on 8 Jul 1952
Redesignated 445 Troop Carrier Group, Medium on 6 Sep 1957
Inactivated on 25 Sep 1958
  • Redesignated: 445 Military Airlift Group on 31 Jul 1985 (Remained inactive)
  • Redesignated: 445 Operations Group on 1 Aug 1992
Activated in the Reserve on 1 Aug 1992
Inactivated on 1 May 1994
  • Activated in the Reserve on 1 Oct 1994.

Assignments

Components

Stations

Aircraft assigned

  • B-24, 1943–1945
  • AT-6, 1947–1949
  • AT-11, 1947–1949
  • B-29, 1947–1949
  • Primarily T-6, 1952–1955
  • F-51, 1953–1954
  • F-80, 1953–1956
  • F-84, 1955–1957
  • C-119, 1957–1958
  • C-141, 1992–1994
  • C-141, 1994–2006
  • C-5, 2006–Present

Operational History

World War II

Activated 1 April 1943 at Gowen Field in Idaho, where initial training undertaken. Established at Wendover AAB, Utah, from 8 June 1943. Moved to Sioux City AB, Iowa on 5–7 July 1943 to complete training. On 20 October 1943 the ground echelon moved to Camp Shanks, New York and embarked on the Queen Mary on 26 October 1943, sailing next day. The unit arrived in Clyde on 2 November 1943. The Aircraft departed Sioux City late in October 1943 and flew to the United Kingdom via the southern route, Florida, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and West Africa. Upon arrival, stationed at RAF Timbenham, and was assigned to the 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing. The group was given a tail code of "Circle-F".

The 445th BF entered combat on 13 December 1943 by attacking U-boat installations at Kiel; only fifteen crews were considered fit for this mission which was heavily defended area. The unit operated primarily as a strategic bombardment organization until the war ended, striking such targets as industries in Osnabruck, synthetic oil plants in Lutzendorf, chemical works in Ludwigshafen, marshalling yards at Hamm, an airfield at Munich, an ammunition plant at Duneberg, underground oil storage facilities at Ehmen, and factories at Münster.

Consolidated B-24 Liberators of the 445th Bomb Group on a mission over enemy-occupied territory.

The group participated in the Allied campaign against the German aircraft industry during Big Week, 20–25 February 1944, being awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for attacking an aircraft assembly plant at Gotha on 24 February. The 389th Group was part of the Gotha mission but after their master bombardier collapsed dropped their bombs before the target and the 445th attacked alone. Thirteen aircraft were lost.

It occasionally flew interdictory and support missions. It helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by bombing airfields, V-weapon sites, and other targets. The unit attacked shore installations on D-Day, 6 June 1944 and supported ground forces at Saint-Lô by striking enemy defenses in July 1944. During the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944-January 1945 it bombed German communications. Early on 24 March 1945 dropped food, medical supplies, and ammunition to troops that landed near Wesel during the airborne assault across the Rhine and that afternoon flew a bombing mission to the same area, hitting a landing ground at Stormede.

On occasion the unit dropped propaganda leaflets and hauled fuel to France. Awarded the Croix de guerre with Palm by the French government for operations in the theater from December 1943 to February 1945 supplying the resistance.

By far, the 445th's most notorious mission is the Kassel Mission [1] of 27 September 1944. In cloud, the navigator of the lead bomber miscalculated and the 35 planes diverted from the rest of the 2nd Air Division and proceeded to Göttingen some 35 miles (56 km) from the primary. After the bomb run, the group was attacked from the rear by an estimated 150 Luftwaffe planes, resulting in the most concentrated air battle in history. The Luftwaffe unit was a Stormgruppen a special unit intended to attack bombers by flying in tight formations; up to ten fighters in line abreast. This was intended to break the bomber formation at a single pass. The 361st Fighter Group intervened preventing completed destruction of the Group. Twenty-nine German and 25 American planes went down in a 15-mile (24 km) radius. Only four 445th planes made it back to the base - two crashing in France,one in Belgium, another at RAF Old Buckenham, two landed at Manston - a 75% casualty rate. Only one of the 35 eas fit to fly next day but 445th sent 10 planes to the same target, Kassel.

Redeployed to the US May/June 1945. The air echelon departed the Tibenham on 17 May 1945, and departed the United Kingdom on 20 May 1945. 703rd BS Ground echelon sailed on USAT Argentine from Southhampton and the other squadrons on the USAT Cristol at Bristol. Both ships arrived New York on 8 June 1945. Personnel had 30 days R&R. Group established Fort Dix, New Jersey and inactivated on 12 September 1945.

Cold War

Trained in the Reserve as a very heavy Bombardment Group, 1947–1949 and as a Fighter-Bomber Group, 1952-1957. Redesignated as a Troop Carrier Group in Sep 1957 and began training in C-119 aircraft. In mid-November 1957 the Group was separated from the parent wing, which moved to Georgia while the group and two squadrons moved to Tennessee. Inactivated on 25 Sep 1958. Not reactivated as the parent wing converted to the Air Force tri-deputate organization.

Modern era

On 1 October 1994, the 445th Operations Group activated under the "Objective Wing" concept adapted by the Air Force as the lines between tactical and strategic forces blurred. The flying components of the 445th Airlift Wing were reassigned to the newly established group. The group trained for and flew strategic airlift missions worldwide, performing channel flights and special assignment airlift missions. Participated in various contingency and humanitarian operations and training exercises. Also tested the laser detection and ranging (LADAR) system.

References

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

  1. ^ www.kasselmission.com
  • 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
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.

External links


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