Thirteenth Air Force (Air Forces Pacific) (PACAF)


Lineage. Established as Thirteenth Air Force on 14 Dec 1942. Activated on 13 Jan 1943. Inactivated (as a Table of Organization (T/O) establishment) on 8 Feb 1952. Organized (as a Table of Distribution (T/D) establishment) on 8 Feb 1952. Discontinued (as a T/D establishment) on 1 Feb 1953. Activated (as a T/O establishment) on 1 Feb 1953. Redesignated as Thirteenth Air Force (Air Forces Pacific) on 16 Jan 2007.

Assignments. US Army Air Forces in the Far East, 13 Jan 1943; Far East Air Forces, 15 Jun 1944-8 Feb 1952. Far East Air Forces, 8 Feb 1952-1 Feb 1953. Far East Air Forces, 1 Feb 1953; Pacific Air Force (later Pacific Air Force/FEAF [Rear]), 17 May 1955; Pacific Air Forces, 1 Jul 1957-.

Major Components.
Commands: XIII Fighter Command, 13 Jan 1943-15 Mar 1946; XIII Bomber Command, 13 Jan 1943-15 Mar 1946. Divisions: 2 Air Division, 8 Oct 1962-1 Apr 1966; 6 Air Division, 1 Aug 1968-15 Dec 1969; 27 Air Division, 8 Feb 1966-7 Jan 1976. Wings: 3 Tactical Fighter Wing, 13 Sep 1974-18 Dec 1991; 8 Tactical Fighter Wing, 8 Dec 1965-15 Sep 1974 (detached 8 Dec 1965-15 Sep 1974); 15 Airlift Wing, 6 Oct 2006-; 18 Fighter (later 18 Fighter-Bomber) Wing, 14 Aug 1948-30 Nov 1948; 16 May 1949-30 Sep 1957 (detached 1 Dec 1950-30 Sep 1957); 36 Air Base Wing (later, 36 Wing), 1 Oct 1994-; 56 Air Commando (later 56 Special Operations) Wing, 8 Apr 1967-30 Jun 1975 (detached 8 Apr 1967-30 Jun 1975); 347 Tactical Fighter Wing, 30 Jul 1973-30 Jun 1975 (detached 30 Jul 1973-30 Jun 1975); 366 Tactical Fighter Wing, 27 Jun-30 Oct 1972; 374 Tactical Airlift Wing, 15 Nov 1973-30 Mar 1975; 388 Tactical Fighter Wing, 8 Apr 1966-30 Jun 1975 (detached 8 Apr 1966-30 Jun 1973); 405 Fighter Wing, 9 Apr 1959-31 Jul 1968, 15 Dec 1969-16 Sep 1974; 432 Tactical Reconnaissance (later 432 Tactical Fighter) Wing, 18 Sep 1966-30 Jun 1975 (detached 18 Sep 1966-30 Jun 1975); 463 Tactical Airlift Wing, 15 Dec 1969-31 Dec 1971. Groups: 4 Photo Group, Reconnaissance, c. Jan 1943-15 Jan 1946. 581 Air Resupply Group,7 Sep 1953-20 Oct 1954. Squadrons: 26 Fighter-Interceptor, Squadron, 1 Oct 1957-4 Jun 1958; 497 Combat Training Squadron, 31 Oct 1991-29 Jun 2005; 613 Air Operations Squadron, 1 Aug 1994-31 Oct 2000; 848 Aircraft Control & Warning (later 848 Air Defense) Squadron, 1 Jul 1987-30 Sep 1991; 852 Aircraft Control & Warning Squadron, 8 Mar-8 Jun 1960.

Stations. New Caledonia, 13 Jan 1943; Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides, 21 Jan 1943; Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, 13 Jan 1944; Los Negros Island, Admiralty Islands, 14 Jun 1944; Hollandia, New Guinea, 13 Sep 1944; Noemfoor, Dutch East Indies, 23 Sep 1944; Morotai, Dutch East Indies, 29 Oct 1944; Leyte, Philippine Islands, 1 Mar 1945; Clark Field, Philippine Islands, c. 1 Jan 1946; Ft William McKinley, Philippine Islands, 20 May 1946; Clark Field (later Clark AFB), Philippine Islands, 15 Aug 1947; Kadena AB, Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 1 Dec 1948; Clark AFB (later, Clark AB), Philippine Islands, 16 May 1949; Andersen AFB, Guam, 2 Dec 1991; Hickam AFB, HI, 2 May 2005-.

Commanders. Maj Gen Nathan F. Twining, 13 Jan 1943; Brig Gen Ray L. Owens, 27 Jul 1943; Maj Gen Hubert R. Harmon, 7 Jan 1944; Brig Gen George L. Usher, 6 Jun 1944 (acting); Maj Gen St. Clair Streett, 15 Jun 1944; Maj Gen Paul B. Wurtsmith, 19 Feb 1945; Maj Gen Eugene L. Eubank, 4 Jul 1946; Brig Gen Jarred V. Crabb, Nov 1948; Maj Gen Charles T. Myers, 1 Dec 1948; unkn, 26-c. 29 May 1948; Maj Gen Howard M. Turner, c. 30 May 1948; Maj Gen Ernest Moore, 16 Oct 1951; Maj Gen John W. Sessums, Jr., 10 Oct 1952; Brig Gen William L. Lee, 27 Aug 1954; Maj Gen John B. Ackerman, 15 Sep 1956; Unkn, Feb-Apr 1958; Maj Gen Thomas S. Moorman, Jr., 14 Apr 1958; Maj Gen Theodore R. Milton, 19 Jun 1961; Maj Gen Sam Maddux, Jr. 24 Jul 1963; Lt Gen James W. Wilson, 1 Jul 1965; Lt Gen Benjamin O. Davis Jr., 1 Aug 1967; Lt Gen Francis C. Gideon, 1 Aug 1968; Lt Gen Marvin L. McNickle, 1 Feb 1970; Lt Gem William G. Moore, Jr., 1 Sep 1972; Maj Gen Leroy J. Manor, 1 Oct 1973; Maj Gen Freddie L. Poston, 8 Oct 1976; Maj Gen James R. Hildreth, 9 Apr 1979; Maj Gen Kenneth D. Burns, 22 Jun 1981; Maj Gen Michael A. Nelson, 6 Jul 1984; Maj Gen Gordon E. Williams, 17 Jun 1985; Brig Gen Charles F. Luigs, 27 Mar 1986; Maj Gen Michael P. C. Carns, 31 Jul 1986; Maj Gen Donald Snyder, 19 Jun 1987; Maj Gen William A. Studer, Jan 1990; Maj Gen H. Hale Burr, Jr., 2 Dec 1991; Maj Gen Richard T. Swope, 21 Jul 1994; Maj Gen John R. Dallager, 22 Apr 1996; Maj Gen Thomas C. Waskow, 20 Aug 1998; Maj Gen Daniel M. Dick, May 1999; Maj Gen Theodore W. Lay II, 14 Nov 2000; Maj Gen Dennis R. Larsen, 21 Sep 2002; Maj Gen Edward A. Rice, Jr., 24 Jan 2005; Lt Gen Loyd S. Utterback, 6 Oct 2006; Lt Gen Herbert Carlisle, 2 Sep 2009-.

Operations. One of the oldest, continuously active numbered air forces in the US Air Force, Thirteenth Air Force has never been stationed in the continental United States. When originally activated as Thirteenth AF at New Caledonia on Jan. 13, 1943, the command consisted of many widely separated and independent units scattered throughout the Pacific. By the end of World War II, they had operated from tropical jungles on more than 40 remote islands, earning the nickname "The Jungle Air Force." Thirteenth AF units initially prevented the further advance of Japanese forces and later took the offensive from the Solomon Islands to the Admiralty Islands, New Guinea, Morotai and the Philippines. The Thirteenth Air Force units participated in five different operation areas in 13 campaigns operating a variety of aircraft including the B-17 Flying Fortress, B-24 Liberator, B-25 Mitchell, B-26 Marauder, P-38 Lightning, P-39 Aircobra, P-40 Warhawk, P-61 Black Widow, C-46 Commando, C-47 Skytrain and L-5 Sentinel. After the war, it became a part of the Far East Air Forces, chartered to defend the western Pacific and the Philippine Islands. With its headquarters, established at Clark AFB, Philippines in May 1949, its units provided staging areas for people and equipment sent to the Korean peninsula during the Korean War. In the 1950s and early 196s, the command concentrated on training and surveillance activities to maintain a high state of readiness for contingencies. After the escalation of the Vietnam War in the mid-1960s, the Thirteenth AF served as a staging base and logistics manager for units fighting in Southeast Asia and deployed combat units to air bases in Thailand. At its peak, Thirteenth AF was composed of seven combat wings, nine major bases, 11 smaller installations and more than 31,000 military members. From the 1970s to the late 1980s, the command returned to its peacetime mission to training for contingencies. During Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Thirteenth AF provided aircraft and support staff vital to the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi forces. In June 1991, when Mount Pinatubo erupted and buried Clark in volcanic ash, the command led the evacuation of military personnel and their families in Operation Fiery Vigil. With the official closure of Clark AFB on 26 Nov 1991, it relocated and officially established its headquarters at Andersen AFB, Guam, on 2 Dec 1991. The command then moved from Guam to Hickam AFB in May 2005 to allow Thirteenth AF to become a core building block for the new Air Force operational-level component headquarters organization in the Pacific. On 6 Oct 2006, Thirteenth AF was re-designated a component numbered air force headquarters. It plans, commands and controls, and assesses air, space, and information operations in the Asia-Pacific region, except for Korea, from peacetime engagement to major combat operations as the Air Force component to the US Pacific Command and provides support to US military forces and scientists participating in Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica.

Service Streamers. None.

Campaign Streamers. World War II: Bismarck Archipelago; Leyte; New Guinea; Southern Philippines.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.

Decorations. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award: 1 Jun 1985-31 May 1987; 1 Sep 1991-31 Aug 1993; 1 Oct 1995-30 Sep 1997; 1 Oct 2000-30 Sep 2002; 1 Nov 2002-31 Oct 2004; 1 Jun 2005-5 Oct 2006; 6 Oct 2006-31 Oct 2007. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation: 21 Jul 1972-15 Aug 1972. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 9 Mar 1967-28 Jan 1973.

Lineage, Assignments, Stations, Operations, Commanders and Honors through 5 Nov 2009.

Emblem. Approved on 18 Jan 1944.

Prepared by Robert B. Kane.

Reviewed by Daniel L. Haulman.