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477th Fighter Group
250x
477th Fighter Group emblem
Active 1943–1947, 2007-Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Fighter
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQ Elmendorf Air Force Base
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.
Six F-22 Raptors taxi following touchdown at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, during a ceremony marking the aircraft's arrival 8 August 2007. The F-22s will join the active duty 3d Wing and Air Force Reserve Command's 477th Fighter Group here. The 477th FG becomes the first Air Force Reserve unit to operate and maintain the F-22. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Keith Brown).

The 477th Fighter Group is the Air Force Reserve Command's first F-22A Raptor unit. The unit is assigned to Tenth Air Force and is based at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska.

Contents

Overview

The 477th Fighter Group was reactivated on October 1, 2007 as the first Air Force Reserve unit to fly, maintain, and support the Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22A Raptor. The group is an associate unit responsible for recruiting, training, developing and retaining Citizen Airmen to support 3d Wing and Air Force expeditionary unit mission requirements.

Units

The 477th Fighter Group provides a combat-ready force of approximately 425 Air Reserve Technicians, Traditional Reservists, and civil servants assigned to the following squadrons:

  • 302d Fighter Squadron (F-22A) (AK)
  • 477th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
  • 477th Civil Engineer Squadron
  • 477th Aerospace Medicine Flight
  • 477th Mission Support Flight
  • 477th Operations Support Flight.

The men and woman of the 477th Fighter Group will functionally integrate with their active duty Air Force partners in almost all F-22A mission areas to increase efficiency and overall combat capability while retaining Reserve administrative support and career enhancement. The 477th Fighter Group will leverage the traditional Reserve Component strengths of experience and continuity to fly, and fight, and win as Unrivaled Wingmen on the Total Force team at Elmendorf.

History

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Lineage

  • Established as 477 Bombardment Group (Medium) on 13 May 1943
Activated on 1 Jun 1943
Inactivated on 25 Aug 1943
  • Activated on 15 Jan 1944
Redesignated 477 Composite Group on 22 Jun 1945
Inactivated on 1 Jul 1947
  • Redesignated: 477 Special Operations Group on 31 Jul 1985 (Remained inactive)
  • Redesignated: 477 Expeditionary Special Operations Group, and converted to provisional status, on 24 Jan 2005.
  • Redesignated: 477 Special Operations Group, and withdrawn from provisional status, on 11 Aug 2006
  • Redesignated: 477 Fighter Group on 21 Sep 2007
Activated on 1 Oct 2007

Assignments

Withdrawn from provisional status, 11 Aug 2006

Components

  • 99 Fighter Squadron: 22 Jun1945-1 Jul 1947
  • 302 Fighter Squadron: 1 Oct 2007-Present
  • 616 Bombardment Squadron: 1 Jun-25 Aug 1943; 15 Jan 1944-22 Jun 1945
  • 617 Bombardment Squadron: 1 Jun-25 Aug 1943; 15 Apr 1944-1 Jul 1947
  • 618 Bombardment Squadron: 1 Jun-25 Aug 1943; 15 May 1944-8 Oct 1945
  • 619 Bombardment Squadron: 1 Jun-25 Aug 1943; 27 May 1944-22 Jun 1945

Stations

Operations

The 477th was originally established in May 1943 at MacDill Field, Florida as the United States Army Air Forces 477th Bombardment Group (Medium). Assigned to Third Air Force, the group trained with Martin B-26 Marauder aircraft.

It was deactivated on 25 August 1943.

The 477th was reactivated as the 477th Composite Group at Selfridge Field, Michigan on 15 Jan 1944 and assigned to First Air Force. The 477th's new mission was to train the legendary World War II aviators known as the Tuskegee Airmen with Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters and North American B-25 Mitchell bombers.

During World War II, continued pressure from African-American civilian leaders led the Army to let blacks train as members of bomber crews, a step that opened many more skilled combat roles to them.

On May 5, 1944, possibly out of fear of a repeat of the previous summer's race riot in nearby Detroit, the 477th was abruptly relocated to Godman Field near Fort Knox in Kentucky.

The morale of the 477th was poor because the field was not suited to use by the B-25 and because black officers, including combat veterans of the 332d Fighter Group who had transferred to the bomber unit, were not being advanced to command positions. By early 1945, however, the 477th reached its full combat strength. It was scheduled to enter combat on July 1, which made it necessary to relocate once more, this time to Freeman Field, a base fully suited to use by the B-25.

At Freeman Field, the famous Freeman Field Mutiny took place as a result of racial discrimination. As a result of the protest, the 477th was relocated back to Godman Field. Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., took command on July 1, and black officers replaced white officers in lower command and supervisory positions. Training was to be completed by August 31, but the war ended on August 14 with Japan's surrender.

Never deployed in combat, the 477th was downsized when the war ended. In 1946, it was reassigned to Lockbourne Field, now Rickenbacker International Airport, in Ohio.

The group was disbanded at the end of the war on 1 July 1947.

See also

References

  • 477th Fighter Group (USAFR)
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • James C. Warren, The Freeman Field Mutiny, San Rafael, CA:Donna Ewald, Publisher, 1995. ISBN 0-9641067-2-8; republished in an expanded edition as The Tuskegee Airmen Mutiny at Freeman Field, Vacaville, CA:Conyers Publishing Company, 1996. ISBN 0-9660818-0-3

External links


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