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23 FIGHTER GROUP (ACC)

Posted 8/7/2008 Printable Fact Sheet

Lineage. Established as 23 Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 17 Dec 1941. Redesignated 23 Fighter Group on 15 May 1942. Activated on 4 Jul 1942. Inactivated on 5 Jan 1946. Activated on 10 Oct 1946. Inactivated on 24 Sep 1949. Redesignated 23 Fighter-Interceptor Group on 19 Dec 1950. Activated on 12 Jan 1951. Inactivated on 6 Feb 1952. Redesignated 23 Fighter Group (Air Defense) on 20 Jun 1955. Activated on 18 Aug 1955. Inactivated on 1 Jul 1959. Redesignated 23 Tactical Fighter Group on 31 Jul 1985. Redesignated 23 Operations Group, and activated, on 1 Jun 1992. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1997. Redesignated 23 Fighter Group on 26 Sep 2006. Activated on 1 Oct 2006.
 
Assignments. Tenth Air Force, China Air Task Force, 4 Jul 1942; Fourteenth Air Force, 10 Mar 1943-5 Jan 1946. 20 Fighter Wing, 10 Oct 1946; 23 Fighter Wing, 16 Aug 1948-24 Sep 1949. 23 Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 12 Jan 1951-6 Feb 1952. 4711 Air Defense Wing, 18 Aug 1955; 32 Air Division (Defense), 1 Mar 1956; Bangor Air Defense Sector, 1 Aug 1958-1 Jul 1959. 23 Wing, 1 Jun 1992-1 Apr 1997. 23 Wing, 1 Oct 2006-. 

Operational Components. Squadrons. 2 Airlift: 1 Jun 1992-1 Apr 1997. 16 Fighter: attached, 4 Jul 1942-19 Oct 1943. 41 Airlift: 16 Jul 1993-1 Apr 1997. 74 Fighter: 4 Jul 1942-5 Jan 1946; 10 Oct 1946-24 Sep 1949; 12 Jan 1951-6 Feb 1952; 15 Jun 1993-1 Apr 1997; 1 Oct 2006-. 75 Fighter (later, 75 Fighter-Interceptor; 75 Fighter): 4 Jul 1942-5 Jan 1946; 10 Oct 1946-24 Sep 1949; 12 Jan 1951-6 Feb 1952; 18 Aug 1955-1 Jul 1959; 1 Jun 1992-1 Apr 1997; 1 Oct 2006-. 76 Fighter (later, 76 Fighter-Interceptor): 4 Jul 1942-5 Jan 1946; 10 Oct 1946-24 Sep 1949; 18 Aug 1955-9 Nov 1957. 118 Tactical Reconnaissance: attached, May-Aug 1945. 132 Fighter-Interceptor: attached, 21 Jul-2 Aug 1951. 134 Fighter-Interceptor: attached, Jan-2 Aug 1951. 449 Fighter: attached, Jul-19 Oct 1943. 

Stations. Kunming, China, 4 Jul 1942; Kweilin, China, c. Sep 1943; Liuchow, China, 8 Sep 1944; Luiliang, China, 14 Sep 1944; Liuchow, China, Aug 1945; Hanchow, China, c. 10 Oct-12 Dec 1945; Ft Lewis, WA, 3-5 Jan 1946. Northwest Field (later, Northwest Guam AFB), Guam, 10 Oct 1946-3 Apr 1949; Howard AFB, Canal Zone, 25 Apr-24 Sep 1949. Presque Isle AFB, ME, 12 Jan 1951-6 Feb 1952. Presque Isle AFB, ME, 18 Aug 1955-1 Jul 1959. Pope AFB, NC, 1 Jun 1992-1 Apr 1997. Pope AFB, NC, 1 Oct 2006; Moody AFB, GA, 30 Jul 2007-. 

Commanders. Col Robert L. Scott Jr., 4 Jul 1942; Lt Col Bruce K. Holloway, 9 Jan 1943; Lt Col Norval C. Bonawitz, 16 Sep 1943; Col David L. Hill, 4 Nov 1943; Lt Col Philip C. Loofbourrow, 15 Oct 1944; Col Edward F. Rector, 12 Dec 1944-c. Dec 1945. Col Lester S. Harris, 10 Oct 1946; Maj Leonard S. Dysinger, 1 Nov 1947; Lt Col Hadley V. Saehlenou, Nov 1947-unkn; Col Louis R. Hughes Jr., 1 Sep 1948-unkn. Unkn, Jan-Jul 1951; Col Norval K. Heath, c. Jul 1951-6 Feb 1952. Col Frank Q. O'Connor, 1955; Lt Col Frank J. Keller, Dec 1955; unkn, 1956-1959. Col Charles M. Thrash, 1 Jun 1992; Col Frederick D. Van Valkenburg, 30 Jun 1994; Col Bobby J. Wilkes, 12 Jul 1996-31 Mar 1997. Col Henry J. Santicola, 1 Oct 2006; Col Michael O'Dowd, 27 Jul 2007-. 

Aircraft. P-40, 1942-1944; P-51, 1943-1945. F-47, 1946-1949; F-80, 1949. F-86, 1951-1952. F-89, 1955-1959. A-10, 1992-1997, 2006-; C-130, 1992-1997; F-16, 1992-1996. 

Operations. The 23 Fighter Group initially owed its planes, several of its pilots, and its nickname to Claire Chennault's American Volunteer Group, "The Flying Tigers." Upon activation, the group used the shark-nosed P-40s made famous by its predecessor. The group provided air defense for the Chinese terminus of the Hump route from India; conducted a campaign against Japanese aircraft, both in the air and on the ground, strafed and bombed Japanese forces, installations, and transportation; escorted bombers, and flew reconnaissance missions. It intercepted Japanese planes attempting to bomb Allied airfields; attacked Japanese airdromes; strafed and bombed river craft, troop concentrations, supply depots, and railroads; and protected bombers that attacked Hong Kong, Canton, Shanghai, and other targets. Its area of operations extended beyond China to Burma, French Indochina, and Formosa. The "Flying Tigers" operated against the Japanese during the enemy's drive toward Chansha and Chungking in May 1943 and supported Chinese forces during the Japanese offensive in the Tungting Hu region in Nov 1943. Despite bad weather and heavy flak, the group received a DUC for actions it took in the effort to halt a Japanese force that pushed down the Hsiang Valley in Jun 1944 by repeatedly striking boats, trucks, aircraft, troops, and other objectives. During the following spring, the group helped stop a Japanese offensive, then proceeded to bomb and strafe retreating enemy columns. In Oct 1946, the 23 Fighter Group activated on Guam and was assigned to the Far East Air Forces, where it flew training, interception, and island defense missions, until its move to the Panama Canal Zone in Apr 1949 to provide jet transitional training in RF-80s for the Caribbean Air Command. From 1951-1952 and 1955-1959, served as part of the Air Defense Command flying air defense missions over northeastern United States. Activated as the 23 Operations Group, under the composite-type 23 Wing in 1992, the group flew A-10s, C-130s, and F-16s. Provided airlift and close air support to the U. S. Army's XVIII Airborne Corps until 1997 when the 23 Wing was redesignated 23 Fighter Group and assumed new responsibilities. In Oct 2006 when the 23 Fighter Group returned to wing status, the 23 Operations Group again was redesignated to a fighter group and assumed the mission at Pope AFB, NC. Trained to provide close air support for ground forces, 2006-. 

Service Streamers. None.
 
Campaign Streamers. World War II: India-Burma; China Defensive; China Offensive; Western Pacific. 

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.
 
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citation: Hunan Province, China, 17-25 Jun 1944. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award: 31 May 1995-31 Mar 1997. 

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 10 Dec 2007. 

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 30 Nov 2007. 

Supersedes statement prepared on 1 Oct 2006. 

Emblem. Group will use the wing emblem with group designation in the scroll. Emblem should be updated in accordance with AFI 84-105.

Prepared by Patsy Robertson. 

Reviewed by Daniel L. Haulman.







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