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53 ELECTRONIC WARFARE GROUP (ACC)

Posted 3/2/2009 Printable Fact Sheet

Lineage. Established as 68 Observation Group on 21 Aug 1941. Activated on 1 Sep 1941. Redesignated: 68 Reconnaissance Group on 31 May 1943; 68 Tactical Reconnaissance Group on 13 Nov 1943. Disestablished on 15 Jun 1944. Reestablished, and redesignated 68 Reconnaissance Group, on 10 Mar 1947. Activated in the Reserve on 9 Apr 1947. Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949. Redesignated 68 Strategic Reconnaissance Group, Medium on 4 Oct 1951. Activated on 10 Oct 1951. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952. Redesignated 68 Air Refueling Group, Heavy on 17 Mar 1982. Activated on 30 Sep 1982. Consolidated (1 Oct 1982) with the 68 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Medium, which was established on 4 Oct 1951. Activated on 10 Oct 1951. Redesignated: 68 Bombardment Wing, Medium on 16 Jun 1952; 68 Bombardment Wing, Heavy on 15 Apr 1963. Inactivated on 30 Sep 1982. Consolidated unit redesignated 68 Air Refueling Wing, Heavy on 1 Oct 1986. Inactivated on 22 Apr 1991. Redesignated 68 Electronic Combat Group on 9 Apr 1993. Activated on 15 Apr 1993. Inactivated on 20 Nov 1998. Consolidated (25 Jul 2000) with the 53 Electronic Warfare Group, which was established on 1 Nov 1998. Activated on 20 Nov 1998. Consolidated group retains designation 53 Electronic Warfare Group. 

Assignments. 68 Group, 1941-1952: 3 Air Support Command, 1 Sep 1941; Third Air Force, 17 Mar 1942; III Ground Air Support Command, 19 May 1942 (attached to 3 Demonstration Air Task Force [Provisional], c. 12 Jun 1942-unkn; VIII Ground Air Support Command, c. 18-22 Jun 1942); VIII Ground Air Support Command, 23 Jun 1942; III Ground Air Support Command, c. 4 Jun 1942; Third Air Force, 21 Aug 1942; III Ground Air Support Command, 24 Aug 1942; XII Air Support Command, c. 18 Oct 1942 (attached to 5 Bombardment Wing, 31 Oct 1942-); Northwest African Tactical Air Force, c. 18 Jun 1943 (remained attached to 5 Bombardment Wing); XII Training Command, c. Mar 1943 (remained attached to 5 Bombardment Wing); XII Bomber Command, 18 Oct 1943 (remained attached to 5 Bombardment Wing); Fifteenth Air Force, 1 Nov 1943-15 Jun 1944 (remained attached to 5 Bombardment Wing to 4 Dec 1943; attached to 47 Bombardment Wing, 4 Dec 1943-24 May 1944). 325 Reconnaissance Wing (later, 325 Air Division), 10 Mar 1947-27 Jun 1949. 68 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952.
68 Wing, 1951-1982: 37 Air Division, 10 Oct 1951 (attached to 21 Air Division, 10 Oct 1951-c. 15 May 1952); Second Air Force, 28 May 1952; 806 Air Division, 16 Jun 1952 (attached to 7 Air Division, 14 Jun-7 Aug 1954 and 27 Sep 1957-8 Jan 1958); 825 Air (later, 825 Strategic Aerospace) Division, 15 Jun 1960; 822 Air Division, 15 Apr 1963; 57 Air Division, 1 Jul 1964; 822 Air Division, 1 Jul 1965; 57 Air Division, 2 Sep 1966; 823 Air Division, 2 Jul 1969; 42 Air Division, 30 Jun 1971-30 Sep 1982.
Consolidated Organization: 42 Air Division, from consolidation in 1982; Eighth Air Force, 16 Jun 1988-22 Apr 1991. USAF Air Warfare Center (later, 53 Wing), 15 Apr 1993-20 Nov 1998. 53 Wing, 20 Nov 1998-. 

Operational Components. 68 Group, 1941-1952. Squadrons. 16 Observation (later, 16 Reconnaissance): attached Feb-Mar 1942, assigned 29 Mar 1942-26 May 1944 (detached 25 Sep 1943-26 May 1944). 24 Reconnaissance, Photographic (later, 24 Strategic Reconnaissance, Photographic): 12 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949; 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952). 51 Reconnaissance, Weather (later, 51 Strategic Reconnaissance, Photographic): 1 Aug 1947-27 Jun 1949; 10 Aug 1951-16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952). 52 Reconnaissance, Weather Scouting (later, 52 Strategic Reconnaissance, Photographic): 12 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949; 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952). 68 Air Refueling: 8 Apr-28 May 1952. 111 Observation (later, 111 Reconnaissance, Fighter; 111 Tactical Reconnaissance): attached Feb-Mar 1942, assigned 29 Mar 1942-26 May 1944 (detached 12 Mar 1943-26 May 1944). 122 Observation (later, 122 Liaison; 885 Bombardment): 1 Oct 1941-15 Jun 1944. 125 Observation: 15 Sep 1941-12 Mar 1942. 127 Observation: 6 Oct 1941-12 Mar 1942. 154 Observation (later, 154 Reconnaissance; 154 Tactical Reconnaissance; 154 Weather Reconnaissance): 1 Sep 1941-15 Jun 1944 (detached 12 Mar 1943-15 Jun 1944).
68 Wing, 1951-1982. Group. 68 Strategic Reconnaissance: 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952. Squadrons. 24 Strategic Reconnaissance, Photographic (later, 24 Bombardment): attached 10 Oct 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-16 Jan 1953. 51 Strategic Reconnaissance, Photographic (later, 51 Bombardment): attached 10 Oct 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-30 Sep 1982. 52 Strategic Reconnaissance, Photographic (later, 52 Bombardment): attached 10 Oct 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-15 Apr 1963. 68 Air Refueling: attached 8 Apr-28 May 1952; assigned 25 Nov 1953-3 Sep 1957. 656 Bombardment: 16 Jan 1953-15 Apr 1963. 657 Bombardment: 1 Dec 1958-1 Jan 1962. 911 Air Refueling: 15 Apr 1963-30 Sep 1982.
Consolidated organization. Squadrons. 16 Test (later, 16 Electronic Warfare): 15 Apr 1993-20 Nov 1998; 20 Nov 1998-. 36 Engineering and Test (later, 36 Electronic Warfare): 15 Apr 1993-20 Nov 1998; 20 Nov 1998-. 51 Bombardment: 30 Sep-1 Oct 1982. 68 Test Support (later, 68 Electronic Warfare): 15 Apr 1993-20 Nov 1998; 20 Nov 1998-. 87 Electronic Warfare Aggressor: 15 Apr 1993-1 Jul 1997. 344 Air Refueling: 1 Oct 1986-22 Apr 1991. 911 Air Refueling: 30 Sep 1982-22 Apr 1991. 

Stations. 68 Group, 1941-1952: Brownwood, TX, 1 Sep 1941; New Orleans AB, LA, 17 Dec 1941; Daniel Field, GA, 8 Feb 1942; Smith Reynolds Aprt, NC, 9 Jul 1942; Morris Field, NC, c. 17 Aug-18 Oct 1942; Casablanca, French Morocco, Nov 1942; Oujda, French Morocco, c. Nov 1942; Berrechid Afld, French Morocco, 24 Mar 1943; Berteaux, Algeria, 5 Sep 1943; Massicault, Tunisia, 26 Oct 1943; Manduria, Italy, Nov 1943; Blida, Algeria, c. Jun-15 Jun 1944. Hamilton Field, CA, 9 Apr 1947-27 Jun 1949. Lake Charles AFB, LA, 10 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952.
68 Wing, 1951-1982: Lake Charles (later, Chennault) AFB, LA, 10 Oct 1951; Seymour Johnson AFB, NC, 15 Apr 1963-30 Sep 1982.
Consolidated Organization: Seymour Johnson AFB, NC, from consolidation in 1982-22 Apr 1991. Eglin AFB, FL, 15 Apr 1993-20 Nov 1998. Eglin AFB, FL, 20 Nov 1998-. 

Commanders. 68 Group, 1941-1952: Unkn, 1 Sep-14 Dec 1941; Lt Col Guy L. McNeil, 15 Dec 1941; Maj John R. Fordyce, 30 Jun 1942; Lt Col Eugene C. Woltz, 13 Mar 1943; Col Charles D. Jones, 8 Aug 1943-c. 15 Jan 1944; Capt Harper L. McGrady, 1944; Col (unkn) Smith, 1944; Col Monro MacCloskey, Mar-c. Jun 1944; unkn, Jun-15 Jun 1944. Unkn, 9 Apr 1947-27 Jun 1949. Capt William S. Glass Jr., 10 Oct 1951 (additional duty); Col Lowell G. Sidwell, 26 Oct 1951-16 Jun 1952 (additional duty). 
68 Wing, 1951-1982: Capt William S. Glass Jr., 10 Oct 1951; Col Lowell G. Sidwell, 26 Oct 1951; Brig Gen Joseph J. Nazzaro, 20 Aug 1952; Col Joel A. Carroll Jr., 17 Jan 1953; Col Robert R. Gideon Jr., 22 Jan 1953; Col Herbert O. Wangeman, Jun 1953; Col Robert R. Gideon Jr., Sep 1953; Col Joel A. Carroll Jr., 15 Oct 1954; Col Robert I. Barrowclough, 25 Oct 1954; Col Andrew J. Bratton Jr., 11 Jun 1956; Col Robert I. Barrowclough, 7 Jul 1956; Col Andrew J. Bratton Jr., 17 Jun 1957; Col Robert I. Barrowclough, 18 Jul 1957; Col Frank P. Bender, 27 Jul 1957; Col James T. Gribble Jr., 1 Sep 1959; Col John W. Livingston, 3 Oct 1960; Col Edward D. Gaitley Jr., c. 15 Feb 1963; Col Osce V. Jones, 15 Apr 1963; Col Walter A. Hardzog Jr., 16 Jun 1963; Col Charles J. Beck, 1 Jul 1963;Col Raymond E. Buckwalter, 28 Sep 1965; Col Robert E. Brofft, 1 Sep 1966; Col Eugene L. Hudson, 28 Apr 1967; Col Harold E. Ottaway, 6 Jul 1968; Col Donald L. Stallsmith, 29 May 1969; Col Robert W. Daniels, 30 Apr 1970; Col LeRoy P. Hansen, 15 Oct 1970; Col Donald F. Ryan, 14 May 1971; Col Melvin G. Bowling, 7 Jun 1972; Col Jerome E. Wechter, 15 Feb 1953 (temporary), 10 May 1973 (permanent); Col George P. Tynan, 6 Jun 1974; Col James E. Myers Sr., 28 Jul 1975; Col Caryl W. Calhoun, 22 Aug 1975; Col Henry L. Conn, 14 Jul 1977; Col Robert L. Kirtley, 26 Jun 1979; Col William J. Grove Jr., 19 Jan 1981; Col George S. Robertson III, 6 Oct 1981-30 Sep 1982.
Consolidated organization, 1982-1991: Col George S. Robertson III, 6 Oct 1982; Col William O. West III, 30 Aug 1983; Col Charles P. Rushforth III, 3 Jul 1985; Col Edward F. Grillo Jr., 24 Aug 1987; Col Norman F. Rathje, 14 Dec 1988-22 Apr 1991. Col Jock P. Patterson, 18 May 1993; Col Jeffrey L. Upp, 17 Feb 1995; Col Charles T. Allan, 3 Sep 1997; Col William N. Holloway, 4 Aug 2000; Col John S. Clark, 9 Aug 2002; Col Larry L. Rexford, 23 Jun 2004; Col Gregory F. Dragoo, 21 Jul 2006; Lt Col Melvin Peterson, 26 Apr 2008; Col Kevin McElroy, 2 Jul 2008-. 

Aircraft. 68 Group, 1941-1952: O-38, 1941-1942; O-46, 1941-1942; O-47, 1941-1942; O-49, 1941-1942; YO-50, 1941-1942; O-52, 1941-1942; O-57, 1941-1942; O-58, 1941-1942; O-59, 1941-1942; A-20, 1942-1943; DB-7, 1942; L-4, 1942; O-43, 1942; P-39, 1942-1943; P-40, 1942-1943; P-43, 1942; A-36, 1943; B-17, 1943-1944; P-38, 1943; P-38/F-4, 1943; P-51, 1943; P-51/F-6, 1943; Spitfire, 1943. A-6, 1947-1949; A-7, 1947-1949; A-11, 1947-1949.
68 Wing, 1951-1982: B-29, 1952-1953; B-47, 1953-1963; KC-97, 1953-1957; B-52, 1963-1972, 1973-1982; KC-135, 1963-1972; 1973-1985.
Consolidated organization: KC-10, 1982-1991; KC-135, 1982-1991. None, 1993-1998. None, 1998-. 

Operations. The group's squadrons used a wide variety of observation aircraft in training, and after 7 Dec 1941, to fly antisubmarine patrols over the Gulf of Mexico and patrols along the Mexican border. In Feb 1942 commenced training for overseas duty. Continued submarine patrols with assigned aircraft as training intensified. While awaiting shipment overseas, the group participated with Army units in exercises emphasizing air-ground support and took part in Carolina maneuvers in North Carolina. Moved to the Mediterranean Theater, Oct-Nov 1942. Squadrons detached from the group for separate duties; operated from bases in North Africa until Nov 1943; carried out diverse activities as: patrolling the Mediterranean; strafing trucks, tanks, gun positions and supply dumps in support of ground troops; training fighter pilots and replacement crews. Moved to Italy in Nov 1943; conducted visual and photographic reconnaissance. Returned to North Africa and disbanded on 15 Jun 1944. Trained in the Reserve as a Reconnaissance Group in California, 1947-1949. The 68 Group and 68 Wing were both technically active between 10 Oct 1951 and 16 Jun 1952; however, the group was a paper unit, with token personnel assigned on additional duty to keep it active and with its flying squadrons controlled by the wing. In Oct 1951, began operational training as a reconnaissance wing. Received B-29 aircraft and trained as a bombardment wing in May 1952. Added a refueling mission in Nov 1953. Conducted strategic bombardment training, May 1954-Jun 1963, and air refueling, May 1954-Sep 1957, to meet SAC's global commitments. Wing aircraft, most aircrews and maintenance personnel, and other support personnel were loaned to other SAC units for combat operations in Southeast Asia, 27 May 1972-15 Jul 1973. Added air refueling mission, 1981-1993. Participated in combat operations in Grenada (Operation Urgent Fury), Oct 1983, Libya (Operation Eldorado Canyon), Apr 1986, Panama (Operation Just Cause), Dec 1989. Deployed to Spain to provide airlift and air refueling during Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Aug 1990-Mar 1991. Inactivated on 22 Apr 1991. Activated on 15 Apr 1993 as an Electronic Combat Group. Provided operational and technical electronic combat expertise for US combat air forces, 1993-1998. Performed electronic warfare (EW) technology assessments; tested, developed, managed, and maintained EW systems hardware and software to meet Combat Air Force (CAF) mission requirements, 1998-. 

Service Streamers. None. 

Campaign Streamers. World War II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Algeria-French Morocco with Arrowhead; Naples-Foggia; Rome-Arno; Air Combat, EAME Theater. 

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. Grenada, 1983. 

Decorations. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Jun 1985-30 Jun 1987; 2 Apr 1989-1 Apr 1991; 1 Jun 1998-31 May 2000; 1 Jun 2002-31 May 2004; 1 Jun 2004-31 May 2006. Air Force Organizational Excellence Award: [15 Apr 1993]-31 Dec 1993. 

Lineage, Assignments, Stations, and Honors through 26 Feb 2009. 

Commanders through 23 Feb 2009, Aircraft and Operations through 31 Dec 2005. 

Supersedes statement prepared on 4 Dec 2002. 

Emblem. Group will use the Wing emblem with group designation in the scroll. 

Prepared by Patsy Robertson. 

Reviewed by Daniel Haulman.







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