4th Fighter Wing: Wikis


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4th Fighter Wing
4th Fighter Wing.png
4th Figher Wing emblem
Active August 1942
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Fighter
Part of Air Combat Command
Garrison/HQ Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
Motto Fourth But First
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg ROK PUC
John C. Meyer
Chuck Yeager
Hal M. Hornburg
Lance L. Smith
Norman R. Seip
F-15E Strike Eagle Demonstration Team
McDonnell Douglas F-15E-48-MC Strike Eagle, AF Serial No. 89-0490 of the 334th Fighter Squadron.
See 4th Operations Group for complete lineage and timeline information.

The 4th Fighter Wing (4 FW) is an operational unit of the United States Air Force Air Combat Command and the host unit at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

The wing also provides logistics support for an Air Force Reserve Command KC-135R air refueling wing. The wing is also responsible for managing the storage and beddown of the Southwest Asia prepositioned vehicle package. The general manages and controls assets in excess of $4.8 billion and executes an annual operations and maintenance budget of $193 million.



The wing consists of four groups—4th Maintenance Group, 4th Mission Support Group, 4th Operations Group and 4th Medical Group—and is assigned over 6,400 military members, about 600 civilians and 96 F-15E Strike Eagles.

  • 4th Operations Group
    (Tail Code: SJ). The 4th Operations Group is the largest organization in the 4th Fighter Wing. The group consists of two operational fighter squadrons, the 335th and 336th; two fighter training squadrons, the 333d and 334th; and two support squadrons, which include the 4th Training Squadron (Strike Eagle Academics) and the 4th Operations Support Squadron. The group provides worldwide command and control for two operational F-15E squadrons and is responsible for conducting the Air Force's only F-15E training operation, qualifying crews to serve in worldwide combat-ready positions.
  • 4th Maintenance Group
    The 4th Maintenance Group consists of four squadrons and more than 2,300 military and civilian personnel. The group is responsible for the maintenance support used to maintain, mobilize and deploy 96 F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft for worldwide expeditionary aerospace operations. The group also oversees all on- and off-aircraft equipment maintenance, while providing standardized weapons loading and academics training to support the execution of the wing’s flying hour program consisting of more than 16,000 sorties and 25,000 hours
  • 4th Mission Support Group
    The 4th Mission Support Group is responsible for the leadership and management of civil engineering, communications-computer systems support, security and law enforcement, personnel, information management, education, food services, housing, and recreation for a community of more than 13,000 people. The group is also responsible for maintaining the capability to deploy readiness teams worldwide to build, secure and operate bases to support combat forces
  • 4th Medical Group
    The healthcare professionals of the 4th Medical Group are dedicated to providing the best health care possible to the 4th Fighter Wing and its associate units. The group's total quality health care includes a responsive appointment system, a prompt and accurate pharmacy service, and health prevention, health education and promotion programs that reach out to the Seymour Johnson community.




  • Established as 4th Fighter Wing on 28 Jul 1947
Organized on 15 Aug 1947
Redesignated: 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 20 Jan 1950
Redesignated: 4th Fighter-Bomber Wing on 8 Mar 1955
Redesignated: 4th Fighter-Day Wing on 25 Apr 1956
Redesignated: 4th Tactical Fighter Wing on 1 Jul 1958
Redesignated: 4th Wing on 22 Apr 1991
Redesignated: 4th Fighter Wing on 1 Dec 1995.


Attached to First Air Force, 15 Jan-22 Feb 1949
Attached to Eastern Air Defense Force, 10 Nov 1949-
Further attached to 26th Air Division, 20 Feb 1950-
Remained attached to Eastern Air Defense Force and further attached to 26th Air Division
Remained attached to 26th Air Division to c. 19 Nov 1950
Attached to Fifth Air Force, 28 Nov 1950-7 Mar 1955
Further attached to 314th Air Division, 22 Dec 1950-7 May 1951
Further attached to 39th Air Division, 1-7 Mar 1955
Attached to 2 Air Division [Provisional], 21 Oct-c. 29 Nov 1962
Attached to Fifth Air Force ADVON, 29 Jan-c. 29 Jul 1968

Operational Components



  • 4th Fighter (later, 4th Fighter-Interceptor; 4th Fighter-Bomber; 4th Fighter-Day; 4th Operations): August 15, 1947 – December 8, 1957; April 22, 1991 – . 23 Fighter: June 27, 2000 – August 18, 2006.
  • 363d Tactical Reconnaissance: attached April 26, 1949 – c. August 1, 1950.


Detached March 10, 1964 – c. March 15, 1965
Detached April 1 – August 13, 1963; February 15 – May 29, 1965; August 28, 1965 – February 5, 1966; December 13, 1969 – c. May 31, 1970; April 11 – August 5, 1972; September 30, 1972 – March 18, 1973; August 29 – September 29, 1980; August 26 – September 29, 1981; May 22 – June 20, 1984
Detached May 1, 1960 – November 22, 1961; November 16, 1964 – February 21, 1965; July 3 – December 15, 1965; December 4, 1969 – c. May 25, 1970; July 6 – December 22, 1972; September 2 – October 2, 1978; August 28 – September 29, 1979; December 27, 1990 – April 22, 1991
Detached August 12, 1963 – January 7, 1964; May 25 – August 30, 1965; April 12 – September 30, 1972; March 9 – September 7, 1973; March 25 – April 17, 1977; September 11 – October 13, 1978; August 31 – October 1, 1979; August 26 – September 26, 1980; September 5 – October 3, 1983; August 26 – September 26, 1985; August 9, 1990 – March 13, 1991

Bases assigned

Operated from: McCoy AFB, Florida, October 21 – c. November 29, 1962 (Cuban Missile Crisis)
Operated from: Kunsan AB, South Korea, January 29 – July 29, 1968 (Pueblo Crisis)

References for commands and major units assigned, components and stations:[1][2][3]

Operational history

Performed tactical operations as part of air defense in the United States, 1947-1948. Flew air defense with own components, and reconnaissance and bombardment with attached 363 Tactical Reconnaissance Group (which itself had two fighter-bomber squadrons attached), 1948-1950.

Korean War

As the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing it flew F-86 Sabre during the Korean War and was the top MiG-killing organization during the conflict.

North American F-86F-25-NH Sabres of the 4th FIW/335th FIS "Chiefs" over Korea. AF Serial No. 52-5346 identifiable.

Operational Units:

The 4th FIW, moving from the United States, arrived in Japan in late November with its F-86 Sabres aboard aircraft carriers. The primary mission of the wing was air superiority, and the Sabre was capable of battling the Soviet-built MiG-15 on equal terms. From Johnson AB, Japan, detachments deployed in mid-December to bases in South Korea, rotating between South Korea and Japan through February 1951. Then, the 4th FIW moved in stages to Korea, with all elements rejoined by May 1951. The 4th FIW was the deadliest interceptor wing of the Korean War. Wing, group, and squadron personnel accounted for 516 air-to-air victories, representing more than half of the enemy aircraft for which USAF credits were awarded. The wing boasted twenty-five aces by the end of the war.

The 4th FIW moved to Japan following the Korean armistice in 1953, then was inactivated in place on December 8, 1957.

Cold War

North American F-100C-1-NA Super Sabre, AF Serial No. 53-1743 of the 336th TFS (yellow) with two F-100F-10-NA Super Sabres (AF S/Ns 56-3868 and 56-3842) of the 333d TFS (red) of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing.
56-3842 was sold to Denmark in 1974, later being sold on the civilian marketplace, being registered as N417FS in 1982.
Two Republic F-105B-15-RE Thunderchiefs (AF S/Ns 57-5797 and 57-5787) of the 335th Tactical Fighter Squadron.
McDonnell Douglas F-4E-61-MC Phantom AF Serial No. 74-1629 of the 336th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 1984. This aircraft was sent to AMARC as FP0583 on November 15, 1990.

On December 8, 1957, the 83d Fighter-Day Wing was deactivated in place at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, being replaced by the 4th Fighter-Day Wing being activated in place and absorbing its assets. Squadrons of the 4th FDW were:

The 4th Fighter Wing with these operational squadrons have, under various designations, remained at Seymour Johnson AFB for nearly 50 years. On July 1, 1958 the unit was redesignated the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing.

Initially the wing simply redesignated the flying squadrons of the 83d FDS and continued to fly the F-100. However, a mission change On May 1, 1958 led to an equipment change with the arrival of the Republic F-105B Thunderchief. The F-100s remained with the 333d TFS until being transferred in 1960 when the 334th, 335th and 336th Tactical Fighter Squadrons were declared to be fully operational with the F-105. In the spring of 1964, the 4th TFW began the transition from F-105Bs to F-105D/Fs, a process that was completed on June 23.

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing deployed to McCoy Air Force Base, Florida, ready to react at a moments notice for possible combat over Cuba.

Vietnam War

As the war in Southeast Asia heated up in the late summer of 1964, the 4th TFW was alerted for deployment to the Far East. On July 3, 1965, as part of Operation Two Buck 13, the 335th TFS deployed to Yokota Air Base, Japan to take the place of units assigned there that were deployed to Thailand, standing the normal VICTOR nuclear alert rotations at Osan Air Base, South Korea.

On November 8, 1965, the 335th TFS deployed to Takhli RTAFB, Thailand, for combat operations against North Vietnam. At Takhli, the squadron was under the control of the newly-activated 355th TFW. The 335th TFS returned to Seymour Johnson AFB on December 15, 1965.

On August 28, 1965, also under Operation Two Buck 13, the 334th TFS deployed to Takhli RTAFB for combat operations against North Vietnamese targets, coming under the control of the 6235th TFW(P) at Takhli. The 334th TFS returned to Seymour Johnson AFE on October 10, 1966, leaving its F-105 aircraft at Takhli.

On December 4, 1965, the 333d TFS deployed to Korat RTAFB for combat operations. However, the 333d then transferred to Takhli to relieve the 335th TFS. On December 3, 1965, the 333d TFS deployment was changed from TDY to PCS (Permanent Change of Station), and the squadron was permanently assigned to the 355th TFW at Takhli. The F-105 aircraft and pilots of the 336th TFS rotated between Seymour Johnson and Takhli in 1965/66 but the squadron did not deploy to the war zone in Southeast Asia.

In 1967 the 4th transitioned to the F-4 Phantom II and began a rotational commitment of tactical squadrons to Ubon RTAFB, Thailand as augmentees of the 8th TFW for combat operations from April 1972 until the withdrawal of American air units in Thailand in 1974.

Post-Vietnam Operations

In 1974, the wing mission reverted back to training, with increased emphasis on short-term European contingency support. Elements of the wing deployed to Norway in June 1974. Two short-term deployments to Spangdahlem AB, West Germany, were conducted in July and September 1975. The highlight of 1976 came in November when the wing took first place in the William Tell worldwide weapons competition at Tyndall AFB, Florida, becoming the first F-4 unit to win the Aerospace Defense Command-sponsored event. The wing executed short-term deployments to South Korea and Japan during 1977 and assumed a dual-based mission with Ramstein AB in October of that year. The overall mission commitment was restructured to reflect worldwide contingency emphasis in October 1986.

In 1988 the 4th TFW began transitioning to the F-15E Strike Eagle. The first F-15E arrived on December 29, 1988, and the 336th Tactical Fighter Squadron became the first operational F-15E squadron in the Air Force on October 1, 1989. The transition from the F-4E to the F-15E was completed on July 1, 1991, making the 4th TFW the first operational F-15E wing in the Air Force.

4th FW F-15Es in Southwest Asia in 1992.

Desert Storm

At the height of conversion training, the 4th TFW was one of the first units tasked to react to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. The 335th and 336th Tactical Fighter Squadrons and support personnel deployed to Saudi Arabia, beginning in August 1990. The combat record of the 4th TFW in Saudi Arabia was exceptional.

After the cease fire, the 4th TFW continued rotating squadron elements to Southwest Asia during the 1990s, taking part in enforcement of the no-fly zones in Iraq.

Post Cold War

McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender AF Serial No. 85-0033 of the 68th Air Refueling Group. This aircraft is now with the 305th Air Mobility Wing, McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey

On April 22, 1991, the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing was resesignated as the 4th Wing, the Air Force's first composite wing. The 4th Wing incorporated under it all the people, KC-10 aircraft, and assets of the 68th Air Refueling Wing, a former Strategic Air Command unit.

The 4th began a force structure change in 1994. The KC-10s were reassigned to Air Mobility Command bases in 1994 and 1995 and the F-15E formal training unit moved to Seymour Johnson in 1994 and 1995.

On October 1, 1994, the 333d Fighter Squadron was transferred back to the 4th Operations Group, after a 29-year absence, from the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona to accommodate the training mission. The 333d was transferred to the 355th TFW while at Takhli RTAFB during the Vietnam War. This meant that all four original World War II 4th Fighter Group squadrons were reunited at Seymour Johnson AFB for the first time since July 1965.

Following the departure of KC-10s, the 4th Wing was redesignated the 4th Fighter Wing on December 1, 1995. To accommodate the need to train more F-15E aircrews, the 334th Fighter Squadron became a training squadron on January 1, 1996.

In January 2001, the 4th Fighter Wing became the proud recipient of the Commander-In-Chief's Installation Excellence Award—receiving a one million dollar prize for quality of life and job enhancement. The honor proves the hard work and dedication of all members of the Fourth as the "best base in the Air Force."

Global War On Terrorism

On September 1, 2002, the Fourth transitioned into its final on-call AEW. Though the 4th Fighter Wing will continue as a lead wing when deployed, it will now assimilate into the more predictable 90-day 10 AEF schedule, as opposed to waiting for the call from higher headquarters.

Currently, elements of the 4th Fighter Wing are deployed to various areas of the world in support of Air Expeditionary units engaged in combat operations as part of the Global War on Terrorism.

On July 18, 2009 an F-15 from the wing based at Bagram Air Base crashed during a training mission. The aircraft's crew, pilot Mark R. McDowell and weapons system officer Thomas J. Gramith, were killed. An investigation concluded that the crash was a result of crew error.[4]


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


  1. ^ Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129
  2. ^ Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  3. ^ Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
  4. ^ Rolfsen, Bruce, "Report: Crew error led to F-15E crash", Air Force Times, December 1, 2009.


  • Davis, Larry. The 4th Fighter Wing in the Korean War. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-76431-315-0.
  • Endicott, Judy G. Active Air Force wings as of 1 October 1995: USAF active flying, space, and missile squadrons as of 1 October 1995. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1999. CD-ROM.
  • Futrell, Robert Frank. The United States Air Force In Korea, 1950–1953. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-91279-971-4.
  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Mueller, Robert. Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 (USAF Reference Series). Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1989. ISBN 0-912799-53-6
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-91279-912-9.
  • Rogers, Brian. United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications, 2005. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.

External links


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