48 Fighter Wing (USAFE)


Lineage.   Established as 48 Fighter-Bomber Wing on 25 Jun 1952.  Activated on 10 Jul 1952.  Redesignated as:  48 Tactical Fighter Wing on 8 Jul 1958; 48 Fighter Wing on 1 Oct 1991. 

 Assignments.   Twelfth Air Force, 10 Jul 1952; United States Air Forces in Europe, 1 Jan 1958; Third Air Force, 1 Oct 1959; United States Air Forces in Europe, 12 Oct 1959; Seventeenth Air Force, 15 Nov 1959; Third Air Force, 15 Jan 1960; Seventeenth Air Force, 1 Jul 1961; Third Air Force, 1 Sep 1963; United States Air Forces in Europe, 1 Nov 2005; Air Command Europe, 18 Nov 2005; Third Air Force (Air Forces Europe), 1 Dec 2006-.


Operational Components.   Groups.  48 Fighter-Bomber (later, 48 Operations):  10 Jul 1952-8 Dec 1957; 31 Mar 1992-.  85: 8 Oct 2004-28 Jun 2006.   Squadrons.  492 Fighter-Bomber (later, 492 Tactical Fighter, 492 Fighter):  attached 15 Mar-7 Dec 1957, assigned 8 Dec 1957-31 Mar 1992 (detached 20 Nov 1990-10 May 1991; Dec 1991-Mar 1992).  493 Fighter-Bomber (later, 493 Tactical Fighter, 493 Fighter):  attached 15 Mar-7 Dec 1957, assigned 8 Dec 1957-18 Dec 1992 (detached 2 Sep 1990-15 Mar 1991; Mar-Jun 1992).  494 Fighter-Bomber (later, 494 Tactical Fighter, 494 Fighter):  attached 15 Mar-7 Dec 1957, assigned 8 Dec 1957-31 Mar 1992 (detached 2 Sep 1990-15 Mar 1991; Sep-Dec 1991).  495 Tactical Fighter:  1 Apr 1977-13 Dec 1991.  509 Fighter-Bomber:  attached 5 Oct 1957-15 Jan 1958.


Stations.  Chaumont AB, France, 10 Jun 1952; RAF Lakenheath, England, 15 Jan 1960-.


Commanders.   Col Joseph H. Moore, 10 Jul 1952; Col Chesley G. Peterson, 27 May 1953; Col William L. Leverette, 1 Jun 1955; Brig Gen Albert P. Clark Jr., 1 Aug 1955; Col Stanton T. Smith Jr., Dec 1956; Col Edward F. Roddy, 24 Jun 1959; Col Victor E. Warford, 4 Aug 1959; Col Emmett S. Davis, 1 May 1961; Col Robert L. Petit, 6 Jun 1962; Col Allen P. Rankin, 1 Jun 1964; Col Ross L. Blachly, 3 Aug 1964; Col Edward B. Burdett, 14 Jul 1965; Col Cullen A. Brannon Jr., 7 Jun 1967; Col Henry W. Brown, 2 Jun 1969; Col Frank L. Gailer Jr., 19 Sep 1969; Col William T. Whisner, 1 Feb 1970; Col Don D. Pittman, 29 Mar 1971; Col John R. Paulk, 21 May 1973; Col Richard H. Head, 18 Apr 1974; Brig Gen Robert E. Messerli, 17 Jun 1975; Brig Gen Buford D. Lary, 26 Mar 1979; Col Thomas A. Baker, 18 Jun 1980; Brig Gen Edward R. Bracken, 25 Nov 1981; Col Sam W. Westbrook III, 3 Apr 1984; Col Thomas J. Barber, 16 Jun 1986; Col William M. Douglass, 9 Jul 1987; Col Thomas J. Lennon, 24 Apr 1989; Col Barry L. Ream, 25 Aug 1990; Col Jonas L. Blank Jr., 12 Dec 1990; Col William C. Guth, 10 Jul 1991; Col Dean W. Radueg, 27 Jul 1992; Brig Gen Kurt B. Anderson, 11 Sep 1992; Col Dean W. Radueg, 19 Jan 1993; Col Douglas J. Richardson, 3 Jul 1996; Col Carl E. Van  Pelt, 5 Feb 1998; Col Irving L. Halter Jr., 31 Aug 1999; Brig Gen John T. Brennan, 9 Mar 2001; Brig Gen Mark T. Matthews, 1 Aug 2003; Brig Gen Robert P. Steel, 24 Jun 2005; Brig Gen John W. Hesterman III, 5 Jun 2007; Col Jay Silveria, 12 Aug 2008; Col John T. Quintas, 14 Jun 2010; Col Kyle W. Robinson, 5 Apr 2012-.


Aircraft.   F-84, 1952-1954; F-86, 1953-1956; F-100, 1956-1972; F-4, 1972-1977; F-111, 1977-1992; F-15, 1992-; HH-60, 2004-.


Operations.   The 48th served as one of USAFE’s fighter wings with a commitment to NATO.  It operated a special aerobatic team, the “Sky Blazers,” c. Jun–Nov 1953 and Jul 1954–Oct 1956.  Its mission was limited because it was equipped with very few aircraft, Feb 1972–Jul 1974.  In 1977, it converted to F–111F aircraft and continued its commitment to NATO as a nuclear, conventional, mobility, and quick reaction conventional force. The Wing’s elements participated in the air raid on Tripoli, Libya, 15/16 April 1986, in retaliation for that country’s sponsorship of terrorist attacks. The 48th deployed its fighter squadrons and other personnel to Saudi Arabia, Aug 1990–May 1991.  During the war against Iraq in 1991, squadron pilots struck bridges, tanks, and bunkers. The wing deployed aircrews and F–111’s to Turkey, Sep 1991–Jun 1992, flying air suppression missions to enforce Iraq’s compliance with U.N. treaty terms.  Transitioning to F–15E aircraft, Feb–Dec 1992, it made plans to resume deployments to Turkey.  Through the 48 Operations Group, the 48 Fighter Wing supported combat operations in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Southwest Asia, from 1991-2003.  Wing’s fighter squadrons supported Operations Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom and Air Expeditionary Force (AEF) commitments in Southwest Asia, 2000-.  The wing’s HH-60 Pave Hawk helicopters performed rescue operations in hostile environments; also performed civil search and rescue, medical evacuation and humanitarian assistance, 2004-.


Service Streamers.  None.


Campaign Streamers.  Southwest Asia:  Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.   Kosovo: Air Campaign. 


Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers.  None.


Decorations.    Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation:  Libya, 10–16 Apr 1986.  Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat “V” Device: 25 Aug 1990-

31 Mar 1991.  Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards:  1 Jul 1961–29 Feb 1964; 1 Jul 1966–30 Jun 1968; 14 Oct 1976–31 Dec 1977; 1 Apr 1978–31 Mar 1980; 1 Jul 1984–30 Jun 1986; 1 Jul 1986–30 Jun 1988; 1 Jul 1988–30 Jun 1990; 20 Aug 1990–11 May 1991; 1 Jul 1992-30 Jun 1994; 1 Jul 1994-30 Jun 1996; 1 Aug 1996-30 Sep 1998; 1 Oct 1998-30 Sep 2000; [14 Apr]-10 Jun 1999; 1 Oct 2000-24 Sep 2002; 1 Oct 2002-30 Sep 2004; 1 Oct 2004-31 Oct 2005; 1 Nov 2005-31 Dec 2006; 1 Jan-31 Dec 2007; 1 Jan-31 Dec 2008; 1 Jan 2009-31 Dec 2010.


Bestowed Honors.  Authorized to display the honors earned by the 48 Operations Group prior to 10 Jul 1952.  Service Streamers.  None.  Campaign Streamers.  World War II:  Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air Combat, EAME Theater.  Decorations.  Distinguished Unit Citation:  Germany, 6 Dec 1944.  Cited in the Orders of the Day, Belgian Army:  6 Jun-30 Sep 1944; 1 Oct-17 Dec 1944; 18 Dec 1944-15 Jan 1945.   Belgian Fourragere.


Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 17 Jun 2013.


Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through Apr 2012.


Supersedes statement prepared on 10 Sep 2008.


Emblem.  Approved on 5 Jul 1962, modified on 21 Nov 1994; replaced emblem approved on 20 Mar 1953; newest rendition approved on 15 Jun 2007.


Prepared by Patsy Robertson.


Reviewed by Daniel Haulman.