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53 TEST AND EVALUATION GROUP (ACC)

Posted 3/29/2010 Printable Fact Sheet

Lineage. Established as 79 Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 13 Jan 1942. Redesignated 79 Pursuit Group (Interceptor) (Twin Engine) on 31 Jan 1942. Activated on 9 Feb 1942. Redesignated: 79 Fighter Group (Twin Engine) on 15 May 1942; 79 Fighter Group on 10 Sep 1942. Inactivated on 15 Jul 1947. Redesignated 79 Fighter Group (Air Defense) on 20 Jun 1955. Activated on 18 Aug 1955. Inactivated on 1 Mar 1960. Redesignated 79 Tactical Fighter Group on 31 Jul 1985. Consolidated (15 Dec 1991) with the 4443 Test and Evaluation Group, which was established, and activated, on 1 Jul 1988. Redesignated 79 Test and Evaluation Group on 1 Dec 1991. Inactivated on 20 Nov 1998. Consolidated (25 Jul 2000) with the 53 Test and Evaluation Group, which was established on 1 Nov 1998, activated on 20 Nov 1998. Consolidated group retains designation 53 Test and Evaluation Group. 

Assignments. Third Air Force, 9 Feb 1942; I Fighter Command, 22 Jun 1942; Ninth Air Force, Nov 1942 (attached to 7 Wing South African Air Force, 21 Feb 1943-); IX Fighter Command, 24 Feb 1943 (remained attached to 7 Wing, South African Air Force until c. 2 Jun 1943; attached to XII Air Support Command, c. 2-c. 14 Jun 1943; 7 Wing, South African Air Force, c, 14 Jun-21 Aug 1943); Twelfth Air Force (attached to Northwest African Tactical Air Force), 22 Aug 1943; XII Air Support Command, 1 Sep 1943 (remained attached to Northwest African Tactical Air Force); 57 Bombardment Wing, 1 Nov 1943 (remained attached to Northwest African Tactical Air Force until 17 Jan 1944; attached to 64 Fighter Wing, 18 Jan-10 Feb 1944 and 27 Feb-20 Apr 1944; 87 Fighter Wing, 11 Jun-19 Sep 1944); XII Fighter Command, 20 Sep 1944 (attached to 64 Fighter Wing, 20-30 Sep 1944); Twelfth Air Force, 1 Oct 1944 (attached to Desert Air Force, 1 Oct 1944-9 May 1945; XXII Tactical Air Command, 12 May-7 Jun 1945); 70 Fighter Wing, 31 Jul 1945; Tactical Air Command, 25 Jun-15 Jul 1947. 4708 Air Defense Wing, 18 Aug 1955; 30 Air Division, 8 Jul 1956; Detroit Air Defense Sector, 1 Apr 1959-1 Mar 1960. USAF Tactical Air Warfare Center (later, USAF Air Warfare Center; 53 Wing), 1 Jul 1988-. 

Components. Squadrons: 31 Test and Evaluation: 15 Apr 1993-. 49 Test (later, Test and Evaluation): 15 Apr 1993-. 72 Test and Evaluation: 20 Nov 1998-. 85 Fighter: 9 Feb 1942-15 Jul 1947. 86 Fighter: 9 Feb-1942-15 Jul 1947; 18 Aug 1955-1 Mar 1960. 87 Fighter: 9 Feb 1942-15 Jul 1947. 422 Test and Evaluation: 1 Aug 1997-. 4485 Test (later, 85 Test and Evaluation): 1 Aug 1997-. Flights: HH-60G Combined Test Force: 1 Oct 2002-. 

Stations. Dale Mabry Field, FL, 9 Feb 1942; Morris Field, NC, 28 Apr 1942; Hillsgrove, RI, 15 Jun 1942; Bedford, MA, 2 Jul 1942-28 Sep 1942; Egypt, 18 Nov 1942; Libya, c. 25 Jan 1943; Tunisia, c. 12 Mar 1943; Sicily, 16 Jul 1943; Southern Italy, c. 15 Sep 1943; Foggia, Italy, c. 9 Oct 1943; Madna Airfield, Italy, 19 Nov 1943; Capodichino, Italy, 17 Jan 1944; Pomigliano, Italy, 1 May 1944; Corsica, 11 Jun 1944; Southern France, c. 25 Aug 1944; Iesi, Italy, 3 Oct 1944; Fano, Italy, c. 5 Dec 1944; Cesenatico, Italy, c. 20 Mar 1945; Horshing, Austria, 22 Jul 1945-25 Jun 1947; Langley Field, VA, 25 Jun-15 Jul 1947. Youngstown Muni Aprt, OH, 18 Aug 1955-1 Mar 1960. Eglin AFB, FL, 1 Jul 1988; Nellis AFB, NV, 17 Jun 1999-. 

Commanders. 2 Lt Thomas G. Mitchell, 11 Feb 1942; Lt Col J. Stanley Holtoner, 17 Feb 1942; Lt Col Peter McGoldrick, unkn 1942; Col Earl E. Bates, Nov 1942; Col Charles W. Stark, Apr 1944; Lt Col Melvin J. Neilson, May 1944; Col Gladwyn E. Pinkston, 28 Nov 1944; Lt Col John F. Martin, 17 May 1945; Col German P. Culver, May 1946; Lt Col Bascom A. Brooks, 4 Feb 1947; Lt Col John M. Thacker, Apr 1947-unkn. Col Benjamin H. Emmert Jr., 1955; Col Harley S. Vaughn, Jul 1956; Col Dale S. Sweat, 20 Jul 1958; Lt Col Talmadge J. Denton, 12 Feb-1 Mar 1960. Col Ross L. Smith, 1 Jul 1988; Col David C. Ladd, 31 Jul 1990; Col David Hamilton, 28 Aug 1992; Col Nicholas J. Holoviak, 21 Nov 1994; Col Gregory J. Ihde, 25 Jul 1997; Col Joseph Reynes Jr., 17 Jun 1999; Col Craig A. Franklin, 13 Jul 2001; Col Kenneth Murphy, 17 Jun 2003; Col Francis Neubeck Jr., 1 Jun 2005; Col Charles P. Corley, 13 Jul 2007-.

Aircraft. P-40, 1942-1944; P-47, 1944-1947. F-86, 1953-1957; F-102, 1957-1960. F-4, 1988-1994; A-10, 1988-; F-15, 1988-; EF-111, 1988-1996; F-16, 1988-; F-117, 1993-; HH-60, 1997-. 

Operations. Moved with 85th, 86th, and 87th Fighter Squadrons to the Middle East, Oct-Nov 1942. Began combat operations with Ninth Air Force in Mar 1943. Escorted bombers and supported British Eighth Army ground forces in Allied operations in North Africa and Sicily. Remained overseas as part of United States Air Forces in Europe after the war. Transferred to US without personnel and equipment in Jun 1947 and inactivated in Jul 1947. Activated in 1955 with one operational squadron, the 86th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, and performed air defense operations until inactivation in 1960. From 1988 to present, detachments at operational units throughout the Air Force controlled flying hours of aircraft assigned and conducted operational test and evaluation of almost every aircraft in the Air Force inventory. Also supported operational test and evaluation of precision guided munitions, aircraft and air/ground attack simulators, and the HH-60 helicopter. 

Service Streamers. None.
 
Campaign Streamers. World War II: Egypt-Libya; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; North Apennines; Po Valley; Rhineland; Air Combat, EAME Theater. 

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.
 
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: North Africa and Sicily, Mar-17 Aug 1943; Italy, 16-20 Apr 1945. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Apr 1989-31 Mar 1991; 1 Jun 1994-31 May 1996; 1 Jun 1998-31 May 2000. Air Force Organizational Excellence Award: 1 Jan 1992-31 Dec 1993.
 
Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 1 Oct 2002.
 
Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 1 Oct 2002.
 
Supersedes statement prepared on 21 Jul 1995.
 
Emblem. Group will use the wing emblem with group designation in the scroll.
 
Prepared by Carl E. Bailey.
 
Approved by Judy G. Endicott.







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