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4th Fighter Group
4th Fighter Group.jpg
Active 1942–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Garrison/HQ Seymour Johnson AFB
Motto Fourth But First
Engagements World War II, Korean War, Gulf War, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg ROK PUC
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel John T. Hruby
McDonnell Douglas F-15E-46-MC Strike Eagle 88-1704 of the 336th Fighter Squadron
4th Operations Group McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagles 89-0495 (336 FS), 88-1704 (334 FS) and 89-0485 (333 FS)

The 4th Operations Group (4 OG) is the flying component of the 4th Fighter Wing, assigned to the United States Air Force Air Combat Command. The group is stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

The 4th OG is a direct descendant of the World War II 4th Fighter Group, the United States Army Air Force VIII Fighter Command unit formed from the members of the Royal Air Force Eagle Squadrons. The fighter squadrons of the Royal Air Force formed prior to the United States entry into World War II with volunteer pilots from the United States.

When the United States entered the war, these units, and the American pilots in them, were transferred to the United States Eighth Army Air Force, with the RAF 71, 121 and 133 squadrons becoming the 334th, 335th and 336th Fighter Squadrons of the 4th Fighter Group, 65th Fighter Wing of the VIII Fighter Command.

Today, the 4th OG consists of two operational fighter squadrons, the 335th and 336th; two fighter training squadrons, the 333rd and 334th; and two support squadrons, which include a Standardization and Evaluation unit within the 4th Operations Support Squadron. The group provides worldwide command and control for two operational F-15E Strike Eagle squadrons and is responsible for conducting the Air Force's only F-15E training operation, qualifying crews to serve in worldwide combat-ready positions.

Contents

Assigned Units

The 4th Operations Group (Tail Code: SJ) consists of the following squadrons:

Activated on 1 October 1944. F-15E operational training squadron
Established 22 Aug 1942, formerly No. 71 Squadron RAF. F-15E operational training squadron
Established 22 Aug 1942, formerly No. 121 Squadron RAF, F-15E operational strike squadron
Established 22 Aug 1942, formerly No. 133 Squadron RAF, F-15E operational strike squadron
  • 4th Operations Support Squadron
Responsible for all facets of airfield operations, or ops, air traffic control, weather, aircrew life support and training, intelligence analysis and support, weapons and tactics training, 4th FW battle staff operations, airspace scheduling, range ops and wing flying hour program.

History

For additional history and lineage, see 4th Fighter Group
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Lineage

  • Established as 4 Fighter Group on 22 Aug 1942
Activated on 12 Sep 1942
Inactivated on 10 Nov 1945
  • Activated on 9 Sep 1946
Redesignated: 4 Fighter-Interceptor Group on 20 Jan 1950
Redesignated: 4 Fighter-Bomber Group on 8 Mar 1955
Redesignated: 4 Fighter-Day Group on 25 Apr 1956
Inactivated on 8 Dec 1957
  • Redesignated: 4 Tactical Fighter Group on 31 Jul 1985 (remained inactive)
  • 4 Operations Group on 17 Apr 1991
Activated on 22 Apr 1991.

Assignments

Attached to: 2d Bombardment (later Air) Division, 15 Sep 1944-Nov 1945

Components

Stations

Aircraft assigned

  • Spitfire, 1942-1943
  • P-47, 1943-1944
  • P-51, 1944-1945
  • P-47, 1947
  • P-80, 1947-1949
  • F-51, 1948-1949
  • F-86, 1949-1957
  • F-15, 1991-Present
  • KC-10, 1991-1995.

Operational History

World War II

Spitfire MK V of the 334th Fighter Squadron, 4th Fighter Group in 1942.
North American P-51D Mustangs of the 334th Fighter Squadron, 1944
336th FS P-51D, 1944
4th Fighter Group North American F-86 Sabres, South Korea, 1951

The unit was activated in England in Sep 1942. Its initial flying cadre were former U.S. members of RAF Eagle Squadrons. Served in combat over Europe from Oct 1942 to Apr 1945.

The 4th Fighter Group destroyed more enemy planes in the air and on the ground than any other fighter group of Eighth Air Force. The group operated first with Spitfires but changed to P-47s in March 1943 and to P-51s in April 1944.

On numerous occasions the 4th FG escorted B-17/B-24 bombers that attacked factories, submarine pens, V-weapon sites, and other targets in France, the Low Countries, or Germany. The group went out sometimes with a small force of bombers to draw up the enemy's fighters so they could be destroyed in aerial combat. At other times the 4th attacked the enemy's air power by strafing and dive-bombing airfields. They also hit troops, supply depots, roads, bridges, rail lines, and trains.

The unit participated in the intensive campaign against the German Air Force and aircraft industry during Big Week, 20-25 Feb 1944. They received a Distinguished Unit Citation for aggressiveness in seeking out and destroying enemy aircraft and in attacking enemy air bases during the period 5 March - 24 April 1944.

The 4th FG flew interdictory and counter-air missions during the invasion of Normandy in June 1944 and supported the airborne invasion of Holland in September. They participated in the Battle of the Bulge, Dec 1944-Jan 1945, and provided cover for the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945.

Cold War

The 4th Fighter Group was inactivated at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey on Nov. 10, 1945. The unit was reactivated at Selfridge Field, Michigan, Sept. 9, 1946, as the United States began to rearm due to Cold War pressures.

On August 15, 1947, under the Hobson reorganization plan, the 4th Fighter Wing was formed, and the 4th Fighter Group became its subordinate operational flying component. Following a period of training with F-80 Shooting Star aircraft, the 4th Fighter Group transitioned to F-86 Sabre jets in March 1949, just in time for advanced training and entry into the Korean War.

In December 1950, the group (now designated the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Group) was the first unit to commit F-86 Sabre jets to that conflict. Lt. Col. Bruce H. Hinton shot down a MiG-15 on Dec. 17 during the first Sabre mission of the war. Four days later, Lt. Col. John C. Meyer, a World War II ace, led elements of the group into the first major all-jet fighter battle in history. The flight element downed six MiG-15s without sustaining any losses. Fourth airmen destroyed 502 enemy aircraft (54 percent of the total), becoming the top fighter unit of the Korean War. Twenty-four pilots achieved ace status.

Now associated with the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, the group moved to Japan following the Korean armistice in 1953, continuing training and tours to Korea. The group was inactivated on 8 December 1957 with its component squadrons assigned directly to the wing as the Air Force reorganized its wings into the tri-deputate system.

Modern era

On 22 April 1991, the 4th Operations Group was activated as a result of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing implementing the USAF objective wing organization. Upon activation, the 4th OG was bestowed the lineage and history of the 4th Fighter Group. The 4th OG was assigned the 334th, 335th and 336th Fighter Squadrons upon activation, all equipped with the F-15E Strike Eagle.

In addition to the objective wing organization, the 4th TFW became the Air Force's first composite wing and was redesignated the 4th Wing. The 4th Wing incorporated incorporated under it all the people, KC-10 aircraft, and assets of the 68th Air Refueling Wing, a Strategic Air Command unit, with the 911 Air Refueling Squadron being assigned to the 4th OG.

With the reorganization of the USAF major command structure, the units parent organization became part of the new Air Combat Command] on 1 June 1992.

More changes occurred in the early 1990s. The 911th ARS was 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. The 333rd Fighter Squadron returned to Seymour Johnson to accommodate the training mission and was assigned to the 4th OG. To accommodate the need to train more F-15E aircrews, the 334th Fighter Squadron became a training squadron on Jan. 1, 1996.

Fewer resources and the need to use all Air Force assets to meet increased operational commitments called for yet another reorganization as the 20th Century came to a close. The expeditionary aerospace force concept was implemented to conform to the Air Force vision to organize, train, equip, deploy and sustain itself in the 21st Century global security environment. Under the concept, the 4 OG is one of two on-call rapid response aerospace expeditionary groups. The Fourth was the first to assume this on-call mission on 1 October 1999.

Global War on Terrorism

In October 2001, in response to the September 11th terrorist attacks on the United States, the 4th OG began flying OPERATION NOBLE EAGLE sorties, the first of its kind for the wing, providing coastal protection for Homeland Defense.

In January 2002, the 4th OG arrived in Kuwait in support of OPERATIONS SOUTHERN WATCH and ENDURING FREEDOM, flying missions over Iraq and Afghanistan. On March 1, 2002, OPERATION ANACONDA was launched, and the group's mission was to provide close air support into Afghanistan. OPERATION ANACONDA ended March 21, 2002 with the 4th OG's greatest highlight being their performance at Roberts Ridge. Members of the 335th Fighter Squadron successfully suppressed enemy fire from al-Qaida troops, as Army and Air Force personnel retrieved stranded and fallen comrades.

In January and February 2003, in response to the threat of Iraq's ability to produce weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their elusiveness with United Nation weapon inspectors, the 4th Operations Group joined other operational units in Southeast Asia. Two F-15E fighter squadrons deployed to Southwest Asia in support of OSW, which would later transition into support for OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. On April 18, 2003, members of the 4th Operations Group returned to Seymour Johnson AFB after contributing to the initial U.S. led coalition invasion in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM.

References

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.
  • USAF 4th Fighter Group Factsheet

External links


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