463d Airlift Group: Wikis


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463d Airlift Group
463d Airlift Group emblem
Active August 1, 1943 – Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Tactical Airlift
Part of Air Mobility Command
Eighteenth Air Force
Garrison/HQ Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas
World War II Victory Medal ribbon.svg European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign ribbon.svg Vietnam Service Ribbon.svg
  • World War II
European Campaign (1944–1945)
  • Vietnam Service (1965–1971)
A U. S. Air Force C-130 Hercules from Little Rock, Air Force Base, Ark., lands at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., for Rodeo 2007 on July 21, 2007.

The United States Air Force's 463d Airlift Group (463AG) is a tactical airlift unit headquartered in Little Rock AFB, Arkansas.



The 463d is a direct reporting unit of over 1,200 Airmen. The unit employs 30 C-130 aircraft that perform airlift missions worldwide. It provides direct support to warfighting combatant commanders with theater combat aerial delivery of personnel and their resupply worldwide.


The united is comprised of eight squadrons: five flying, two maintenance and one support.




  • Constituted as 463d Bombardment Group (Heavy) on May 19, 1943.
    • Activated on August 1, 1943
    • Inactivated on September 25, 1945
  • Established as 463d Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, on December 1, 1952.
    • Activated on January 16, 1953.
    • Redesignated: 463d Troop Carrier Wing, Assault, on October 1, 1962
    • Redesignated: 463d Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, on May 15, 1965
    • Redesignated: 463d Troop Carrier Wing on December 8, 1965
    • Redesignated: 463d Tactical Airlift Wing on August 1, 1967.
    • Inactivated on December 31, 1971.
  • Activated on June 1, 1972.
    • Redesignated: 463d Airlift Wing on November 1, 1991.
    • Inactivated on October 1, 1993.
  • Activated April 1, 1997
    • Redesignated: 463d Airlift Group on March 31, 1997.


5th Bombardment Wing, March 9, 1944 – September 25, 1945
Eighteenth Air Force, January 16, 1953
Ninth Air Force, September 1, 1957
838th Air Division, September 25, 1957
839th Air Division, January 15, 1959
838th Air Division, October 1, 1963
840th Air Division, November 9, 1964
315th Air Division (Combat Cargo), November 23, 1965
6th Air Division, November 1, 1968
Thirteenth Air Force, December 15, 1969 – December 31, 1971
Twelfth Air Force
834th Air Division, June 1, 1972
Twenty-Second Air Force, December 31, 1974
Fifteenth Air Force, July 1 – October 1, 1993
Twenty-First Air Force, April 1, 1997
Eighteenth Air Force, October 1, 2003



  • 456th Troop Carrier: attached March 10 – July 9, 1956 (not operational).


  • 309th Troop Carrier: attached July 8, 1955 – c. May 21, 1956
  • 419th Troop Carrier: attached July 9, 1956 – September 25, 1957
  • 463d Troop Carrier (later, 463d Operations): January 16, 1953 – September 25, 1957; November 1, 1991 – October 1, 1993.


Bases Assigned

United States Air Force

United States Army Air Forces

Aircraft Flown

Operational History

B-17s of the 463d Bomb Group in formation Douglas/Long Beach B-17G-60-DL Flying Fortress 44-46700 identifiable.
Boeing B-17G-70-BO Fortress 43-37709 dropping bombs over a target.

World War II

Constituted as 463d Bombardment Group (Heavy) on May 19, 1943. Activated on August 1, 1943. Trained with Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses for duty overseas. Moved to Italy, February–March 1944, and assigned to Fifteenth Air Force. Operational squadrons were the 772d, 773d, 774th and 775th Bombardment Squadrons.

Entered combat on March 30, 1944 and operated chiefly against strategic objectives. Attacked such targets as marshaling yards, oil refineries, and aircraft factories in Italy, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Yugoslavia, and Greece.

The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for bombing oil refineries in Ploesti on May 18, 1944: when clouds limited visibility to such an extent that other groups turned back, the 463rd proceeded to Ploesti and, though crippled by opposition from interceptors and flak, rendered destructive blows to both the target and the enemy fighters.

Received a second Distinguished Unit Citation for leading the wing through three damaging enemy attacks to bomb tank factories in Berlin on March 24, 1945. Also engaged interdiction and support missions. Bombed bridges during May and June 1944 in the campaign for the liberation of Rome.

Participated in the invasion of Southern France in August 1944 by striking bridges, gun positions, and other targets. Hit communications such as railroad bridges, marshalling yards, and airdromes in the Balkans. Operated primarily against communications in northern Italy during March and April 1945.

After V-E Day, transported personnel from Italy to Casablanca for return to the US. Inactivated in Italy on September 25, 1945.

Cold War

Re-designated 463d Troop Carrier Group (Medium). Activated at Memphis Airport, Tennessee on January 16, 1953. Assigned to Tactical Air Command and equipped with C-119's. On September 1, the group was reassigned to Ardmore AFB, Oklahoma.

The 463d Group (later 463d Troop Carrier Wing) airlifted and airdropped troops and cargo to support operations and exercises worldwide, supporting deployments during the following crises: Lebanon (July 1958), Taiwan (August 1958), Berlin (September 1961), Cuba (October–November 1962), the Gulf of Tonkin (August–December 1964), Southeast Asia (February and April–November 1965), and the Dominican Republic (April–September 1965).

The wing moved to Pacific Air Forces in November 1965, being assigned to the 315th Air Division. In PACAF, the wing was responsible for operating a C-130 combat airlift support unit at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam and a detachment at Clark AB, Philippines, through November 1968 which flew transport and aeromedical evacuation missions. In December 1965, began furnishing aircraft and crews to fly missions in Southeast Asia under operational control of the 315th Air Division (to October 1966) and 834th Air Division (October 1966 – October 1971).

Redesignated as the 463d Tactical Airlift Wing in August 1967. The wing ceased aircraft operations in Southeast Asia on October 25, 1971.

Returning to Dyess AFB, Texas in June 1972, the 463d began participating in operations and exercises worldwide for Tactical Air Command (1972–1974). In 1974, all tactical airlift was transferred to Military Airlift Command, then to Air Mobility Command (AMC) in 1992 when MAC was deactivated. The wing's tactical components deployed frequently to Europe, the Pacific, and the Canal Zone to provide air transportation as needed. On November 1, 1991, the wing implemented the Objective Wing organization and was redesignated as the 463d Airlift Wing.

Post Cold War

The wing was inactivated on October 1, 1993 and its personnel and equipment was absorbed by the incoming 7th Wing at Dyess. The 7th was a composite wing which incorporated Dyess' C-130s, which were transferred from Air Mobility Command to Air Combat Command (ACC).

When the US-based C-130 force was realigned in 1997 from ACC back to AMC, the 314th Airlift Wing at Little Rock AFB was split into two pieces. The wing and training units went to Air Education and Training Command (AETC). AMC reactivated the unit as the 463d Airlift Group on April 1, 1997 to control the two operational C-130 squadrons.

From Little Rock, the 463d has provided worldwide airlift, delivering combat, humanitarian, and other supplies.

See also


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

  • Endicott, Judy G. (1999) Active Air Force wings as of October 1, 1995; USAF active flying, space, and missile squadrons as of October 1, 1995. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. CD-ROM.
  • 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.
  • Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.

External links


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