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450th Bombardment Wing
450th Bombardment Wing.PNG
Emblem of the 450th Bombardment Wing
Active May 1, 1943 – 1968
(Proposed 2008 Reactivation)
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Electronic Warfare
Role Electronic Attack
Part of Twenty-Fourth Air Force
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg Vietnam Service Ribbon.svg
  • World War II
European Campaign (1932–1945)
  • Vietnam Service (1964–1968)

The 450th Bombardment Wing is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the Strategic Air Command 810th Strategic Aerospace Division, stationed at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. It was inactivated on 25 July 1968.

Originally activated in 1943 as the 450th Bombardment Group, the unit saw combat during World War II as a B-24 Liberator heavy bomber group assigned to Fifteenth Air Force in Italy. The highly decorated unit received two Distinguished Unit Citations in support of the invasion of Southern France, the advance of Russian troops in the Balkans, and the Allied effort in Italy. It was inactivated in October 1945.

Reactivated as a tactical fighter wing briefly in the 1950s, it was redesignated as the Strategic Air Command 450th Bombardment Wing in 1962, flying B-52 Stratofortresses. It supported SAC combat operations in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. It was inactivated and replaced by the 5th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, in July 1968.





  • Constituted as 450th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on April 6, 1943
Activated on May 1, 1943
Redesignated 450th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) on July 26, 1945
Inactivated on October 15, 1945
  • Established as the 450th Fighter-Bomber Wing on March 23, 1953
Activated July 1, 1954
Redesignated: 450th Fighter-Day Wing on March 8, 1955
Redesignated: 450th Tactical Fighter Wing on July 1, 1958
Inactivated December 18, 1958
  • Redesignated 450th Bombardment Wing Heavy and activated November 15, 1962
Inactivated on July 25, 1968.


47th Bombardment Wing (World War II) December 20, 1943 – May 12, 1945
  • Continental Air Forces
Second Air Force, c. July 26 – October 15, 1945
Ninth Air Force, July 1, 1954
Eighteenth Air Force, October 1, 1957
Twelfth Air Force, January 1 – December 18, 1958
810th Strategic Aerospace Division, February 1, 1963 – July 25, 1968.




  • 322d Bombardment: July 1, 1954 – November 18, 1957
  • 450th Bombardment: July 1, 1954 – December 11, 1957


  • 720th Bombardment
July 1, 1954 – December 18, 1958
February 1, 1963 – July 25, 1968
  • 721st Bombardment
July 1, 1954 – December 18, 1958
February 1, 1963 – July 25, 1968
  • 722d Bombardment
July 1, 1954 – December 18, 1958
February 1, 1963 – July 25, 1968
  • 723d Bombardment
July 1, 1954 – December 18, 1958
February 1, 1963 – July 25, 1968

Aircraft Assigned

Operational History

B-24s over Italy, 1944
Formation of B-24s of the 450th Bomb Group
B-24 of the 450th Bomb Group

World War II

The 450th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was constituted on April 6, 1943 and activated on May 1, 1943 at Gowan Field, Idaho. The new group was moved without personnel or equipment to a temporary station at Clovis AAB, New Mexico on May 21, 1943 where the command and headquarters of the group was assembled. On July 5, 1943, the group was reassigned to Alamogordo AAF, which was to house the Group for all phases of training with their B-24 Liberator bombers.

When the Group was finally assembled for the first time at Alamogordo, many of the key positions in both the Group and Squadrons had been filled. Both officers and men arrived daily and little by little all sections were built up to full strength. Crews were allotted in groups of eight, twelve and forty-six bringing the strength finally on August 24, 1943 to seventy or full strength.

Moved to Italy, arriving in December 1943. Began operations with Fifteenth AF in January 1944 and engaged chiefly in missions against strategic targets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Balkans until April 1945. Bombed aircraft factories, assembly plants, oil refineries, storage areas, marshalling yards, airdromes, and other objectives.

Contributed to the intensive Allied campaign against the enemy aircraft industry during Big Week (February 20–25, 1944) by attacking factories at Steyr and Regensburg, being awarded a DUC for braving the hazards of bad weather, enemy fighters, and flak to bombard a Messerschmitt factory at Regensburg on February 25.

Received second DUC for a mission on April 5, 1944 when the group fought its way through relentless attacks by enemy aircraft to bomb marshalling yards at Ploesti. Also struck such objectives as enemy defenses, troop concentrations, bridges, and marshalling yards in support of the invasion of Southern France, the advance of Russian troops in the Balkans, and the Allied effort in Italy.

Returned to the US in May 1945. Redesignated 450th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy). Trained with B-29's. Inactivated on October 15, 1945.

Cold War

Replaced 3580th Pilot Training Wing in July 1954. Trained with F-86 and later F-100 aircraft to maintain tactical proficiency for combat operations. Phased down for inactivation in July 1958. During final months, active in closing Foster AFB, Texas.

Replaced 4136th Strategic Wing in February 1963. Trained in global bombardment and air refueling operations. Added post attack command and control system (PACCS)/ airborne launch control system (ALCS) missions in 1967 and began active PACCS/ALCS missions in February 1968. Supported SAC combat operations in Southeast Asia by furnishing KC-135 aircraft and crews, December 1964 – July 1968, and B-52 crews, June–July 1968.

Replaced by 5th Bombardment Wing, Heavy, in July 1968.


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.

External links


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