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31 FIGHTER WING (USAFE)

Posted 9/22/2008 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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31 Fighter Wing Emblem
In accordance with Chapter 3 of AFI 84-105, commercial reproduction of this emblem is NOT permitted without the permission of the proponent organizational/unit commander.
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Lineage. Established as 31 Fighter Wing on 6 Nov 1947. Organized on 20 Nov 1947. Redesignated: 31 Fighter-Bomber Wing on 20 Jan 1950; 31 Fighter-Escort Wing on 16 Jul 1950; 31 Strategic Fighter Wing on 20 Jan 1953; 31 Fighter-Bomber Wing on 1 Apr 1957; 31 Tactical Fighter Wing on 1 Jul 1958; 31 Tactical Training Wing on 30 Mar 1981; 31 Tactical Fighter Wing on 1 Oct 1985; 31 Fighter Wing on 1 Oct 1991.

Assignments. Ninth Air Force, 20 Nov 1947; Fourteenth Air Force, 1 Feb 1949; Second Air Force, 1 Jul 1950; 40 Air Division, 14 Mar 1951 (attached to 39 Air Division [Defense], 10 Jul-11 Oct 1952 and 10 Nov 1953-12 Feb 1954); Ninth Air Force, 1 Apr 1957; 831 Air Division, 15 Mar 1959; Ninth Air Force, 1 Jun 1962 (attached to Air Force Atlantic Command, 24 Oct-9 Nov 1962; 1 Air Division Provisional, 10 Nov-c. 30 Nov 1962); 836 Air Division, 1 Oct 1964; 834 Air Division, 1 Jan 1965; 836 Air Division, 1 Aug 1966 (attached to Seventh Air Force, 16-24 Dec 1966); Seventh Air Force, 25 Dec 1966; 836 Air Division, 15 Oct 1970; Ninth Air Force, 30 Jun 1971; Sixteenth Air Force, 1 Apr 1994-.

Components. Group. 31 Fighter (later, 31 Fighter-Bomber; 31 Fighter-Escort; 31 Operations): 20 Nov 1947-16 Jun 1952 (detached 15 Dec 1950-10 Feb 1951); 1 Nov 1991-1 Apr 1994; 1 Apr 1994-.
Squadron. 68 Fighter-Escort: 15-30 Oct 1970. 136 Tactical Fighter: 14 Jun 1968-25 May 1969. 188 Tactical Fighter: 7 Jun 1968-18 May 1969. 306 Fighter-Bomber (later, 306 Tactical Fighter Training; 306 Tactical Fighter): 25 Sep 1957-28 Sep 1970 (detached 8 Apr-16 Jul 1960, 15 Feb-1 Mar 1961, 20 Aug-1 Sep 1961, 24 Apr-19 Jul 1962, 27 Jun-30 Sep 1963, 1 May-8 Aug 1964, 7 Jul 1965-27 Jan 1966); 30 Oct 1970-15 Jul 1971; 1 Jul 1978-1 Sep 1983; 1 Oct 1985-1 Oct 1986. 307 Fighter-Escort (later, 307 Strategic Fighter; 307 Fighter-Bomber; 307 Tactical Fighter; 307 Tactical Fighter Training; 307 Tactical Fighter): attached 27 Jul 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-27 Apr 1966 (detached 7 Nov-7 Dec 1956, 25 Feb-17 Aug 1958, 15 Mar-19 Jul 1959, 8 Nov 1960-9 Mar 1961, 18-28 Feb 1962, 17 Dec 1962-16 Mar 1963, 27 Dec 1963-5 Mar 1964, 23 Nov 1964-14 Mar 1965, 24 Jun-7 Dec 1965); 15 Jul 1971-1 Jul 1989; (detached 29 Jul-31 Oct 1972); 30 Sep-1 Nov 1991. 308 Fighter-Escort (later, 308 Strategic Fighter; 308 Fighter-Bomber; 308 Tactical Fighter; 308 Tactical Fighter Training; 308 Tactical Fighter): attached 27 Jul 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-2 Dec 1965 (detached 5 Dec 1956-7 Jan 1957, 15 Aug 1958-19 Jan 1959, 11 Jul-c. Dec 1959, 7 Mar-c. 19 Jul 1961, 13 Mar-3 Jul 1963, 9 Feb-5 May 1964, 9 Mar-8 Jul 1965); attached 16-24 Dec 1966, assigned 25 Dec 1966-5 Oct 1970; assigned 30 Oct 1970-1 Nov 1991 (detached 28 Apr-29 Jul 1972, 11 Dec 1972-11 Jun 1973). 309 Fighter (later, 309 Strategic Fighter; 309 Fighter-Bomber; 309 Tactical Fighter; 309 Tactical Fighter Training; 309 Tactical Fighter): attached 27 Jul 1951-15 Jun 1952, assigned 16 Jun 1952-5 Oct 1970 (detached 5 Jan-9 Feb 1957, 9 Jul-15 Nov 1960, 9 Oct-26 Nov 1961, 17 Jul-22 Dec 1962, 26 Sep-31 Dec 1963, 5 Aug-27 Nov 1964, 18 Jan-24 Apr 1966); assigned 30 Oct 1970-1 Nov 1991. 355 Tactical Fighter: 15 May 1969-30 Sep 1970. 416 Tactical Fighter: 28 May 1969-28 Sep 1970. 431 Air Refueling: attached 1 Apr-24 Nov 1957, assigned 25 Nov 1957-1 Jul 1958. 436 Tactical Fighter: 15-30 Oct 1970. 478 Tactical Fighter: 15-31 Oct 1970. 508 Air Refueling: attached 10 Feb-1 Jun 1954; assigned 11 May 1956-1 Apr 1957. 560 Tactical Fighter: 15-31 Oct 1970. 4431 Tactical Fighter Replacement: 1 Oct 1971-1 May 1973.

Stations. Turner Field (later, AFB), GA, 20 Nov 1947; George AFB, CA, 15 Mar 1959; Homestead AFB, FL, 31 May 1962-6 Dec 1966; Tuy Hoa AB, South Vietnam, 16 Dec 1966-15 Oct 1970; Homestead AFB, FL, 15 Oct 1970-1 Apr 1994; Aviano AB, Italy, 1 Apr 1994-.

Commanders. Col William L. Lee, 20 Nov 1947; Col Eugene H. Snavely, 16 Aug 1948; Col Alvan C. Gillem II, c. 26 Dec 1950; Col Eugene H. Snavely, 10 Mar 1951; Col Carl W. Stapleton, 14 Mar 1951; Lt Col Charles W. Lenfrost, 9 Apr 1951; Col David C. Schilling, 1 May 1951; Lt Col Charles W. Lenfrost, c. 27 May 1951; Lt Col William D. Dunham, 22 Jun 1951; Lt Col Gerald W. Johnson, 1 Jul 1951; Col David C. Schilling, 20 Jul 1951; Col Robert P. Montgomery, 16 May 1955; Col Gordon M. Graham, 15 Jul 1955; Col Hubert Zemke, 1 Aug 1955; Col Gordon M. Graham, 13 Oct 1955; Lt Col Harold L. Williams, Feb 1959; Col Robert W. Stephens, 15 Mar 1959; Col Herbert E. Ross, 26 Aug 1959; Col William D. Ritchie, 5 Oct 1959; Col Jack R. Brown, 2 Oct 1961; Col Frank J. Collins, 14 Oct 1961; Col William E. Bethea, 9 Mar 1964; Col Franklin A. Nichols, 16 Mar 1964; Col Ernest T. Burnett, 30 May 1965; Col James Jabara, 17 Jun 1965; Col Raymond C. Lee Jr., 17 Nov 1966; Col Warren R. Lewis, 28 Nov 1966; Col William J. Evans, 7 Dec 1967; Col Abner M. Aust Jr., 3 May 1968; Col Cuthbert A. Pattillo, 8 Feb 1969; Col William B. Yancey Jr., 8 Aug 1969; Col Gilbert D. Hereth, 15 Jun 1970; Brig Gen Wiltz P. Segura, 15 Oct 1970; Col David E. Rippetoe Jr., 28 May 1971; Col Alonzo J. Walter Jr., 16 Jun 1972; Col Dudley J. Foster, 1 Mar 1974; Col Walter J. Bacon II, 7 Mar 1975; Col Samuel R. Johnson, 14 Jun 1976; Col William A. Gorton, 31 Aug 1978; Col Eugene H. Fischer, 2 Jan 1980; Col Robert H. Baxter, 5 Jan 1982; Col Billy G. McCoy, 20 Jun 1984; Col Charles L. Hehn, 27 Jun 1985; Col Hiram H. Burr Jr., 5 Sep 1986; Col Walter T. West, 28 Apr 1988; Col John L. Welde, 7 May 1990; Col Stephen B. Plummer, 1 Aug 1991; Col William T. Rudd, 6 Nov 1992; Col John H. Campbell, by 1 Apr 1994; Brig Gen Charles F. Wald, 24 May 1995; Brig Gen Timothy A. Peppe, 3 Jul 1997; Brig Gen Daniel P. Leaf, 30 Nov 1998; Brig Gen Daniel J. Darnell, 21 Jan 2000; Brig Gen Donald J. Hoffman, 25 May 2001; Brig Gen R. Michael Worden, 9 Oct 2002-.

Aircraft. P (later, F)-51, 1947-1949; F-84, 1948-1950, 1951-1957; KB-29, 1954, 1956-1957; F-100, 1957-1959, 1959-1970; KB-50, 1957-1958; F-4, 1970-1988; F-16, 1985-.

Operations. Trained to achieve tactical proficiency, 1947-1950. From Dec 1950 through Jul 1951, all tactical and most support components deployed to England. Thereafter, deployed to provide air defense in Japan, Jul-Oct 1952 and Nov 1953-Feb 1954. Earned an outstanding unit award for making the first massed jet fighter crossing of the Pacific Ocean, in Jul 1952. Rotated tactical components to Alaska, 1956-1957, and to Europe, 1958-1959. Became non-operational in Mar 1959, moved to George AFB, CA, and absorbed personnel and equipment of inactivated units. Reassigned to Homestead AFB, FL, in May 1962 and subsequently stood air defense alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Oct-Nov 1962. Maintained tactical proficiency by participating in exercises, firepower demonstrations, and by rotating tactical components overseas. Moved to Southeast Asia in Dec 1966 and conducted combat operations, 16 Dec 1966-Sep 1970. Controlled interdiction strikes, conducted visual and photo reconnaissance, rescue combat air patrols, and suppressed enemy antiaircraft artillery. Conducted air operations against enemy forces during the TET Offensive and the Siege of Khe Sanh, Feb-Apr 1968. Flew close air support missions during the extraction of friendly troops from Kham Duc on 12 May 1968. Gained forward air control mission in May 1968. Returned to Homestead AFB, FL, without personnel or equipment on 15 Oct 1970 and absorbed new personnel and equipment. Conducted F-4 replacement training from 1 Jul 1971 and rotated components to Southeast Asia, Apr 1972-Jun 1973. Assumed primary responsibility for air defense in southern Florida on 1 Apr 1976 and advised Air National Guard (ANG) fighter units on operational matters. In Sep 1979-Sep 1980, transferred nearly half of its F-4E aircraft to Egypt (Project PEACE PHAROAH) and the remainder to the ANG, and re-equipped with F-4D aircraft. Continued to operate as an F-4 combat crew training unit but relinquished its Florida air defense commitment in Oct 1983. Began transitioning into F-16 aircraft in Jun 1985 and reduced F-4 training operations as its flying squadrons completed turnover; the last F-4 training class graduated in May 1988. Subsequently became a fully operational F-16 wing and maintained readiness for worldwide deployment carrying either conventional or nuclear weapons. On 24 Aug 1992, much of Homestead AFB's physical plant was destroyed or severely damaged by Hurricane Andrew. Subsequently, the wing's fighter squadrons moved to other bases, and, in Nov 1992, were assigned to other wings. Other wing elements worked to clean up and salvage government property at Homestead. The 31st moved to Italy in Apr 1994 without personnel and equipment, replacing the 401st Fighter Wing as host wing at Aviano AB. From May 1994-Dec 2004, participated in the following major Balkan operations: DENY FLIGHT, May 1994-Aug 1995; DELIBERATE FORCE, Aug-Sep 1995; DENY FLIGHT, Sep-Dec 1995; DECISIVE EDGE, Dec 1995-Dec 1996; DELIBERATE GUARD, Dec 1996-Jun 1998; DELIBERATE FORGE, Jun 1998-Jun 1999; ALLIED FORCE, combat, Mar-Jun 1999; and JOINT GUARDIAN/DELIBERATE FORGE, Jun 1999-Dec 2003. Its squadrons deployed personnel and equipment to support operations in Southwest Asia Apr 1991-Nov 1995. In 2000 the wing gained a Combat Search and Rescue Mission (CSAR), along with additional F-16s. The 31st also supported OPERATIONS NORTHERN WATCH, Mar-May 2002 and SOUTHERN WATCH, Aug-Dec 2002.

Service Streamers. None.

Campaign Streamers. Vietnam: Vietnam Air Offensive; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase III; Vietnam Air/Ground; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV; TET 69/ Counteroffensive; Vietnam Summer-Fall, 1969; Vietnam Winter-Spring, 1970; Sanctuary Counteroffensive; Southwest Monsoon. Kosovo: Air Campaign.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.

Decorations. Presidential Unit Citation: Vietnam, 1 May-31 Dec 1968. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device: 17 Dec 1966-30 Apr 1968. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 4-16 Jul 1952; 1 Mar-30 Nov 1962; 1 Jun-16 Dec 1966; 1 Apr 1994-1 Apr 1966; 2 Apr 1996-1 Apr 1998; 2 Apr 1998-1 Apr 2000; 24 Mar-10 Jun 1999; 1 Oct 2000-1 Oct 2002; 2 Oct 2002-30 Sep 2004. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Crosses with Palm: 17 Dec 1966-31 Oct 1970; 1 Jan 1968-19 May 1969.

Bestowed Honors. Authorized to display honors earned by the 31st Operations Group prior to 20 Nov 1947. Service Streamers. None. Campaign Streamers. World War II: Algeria-French Morocco, with Arrowhead; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; North Appenines; Po Valley; Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Central Europe; Air Combat, EAME Theater. Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Rumania, 21 Apr 1944; Poland, 25 Jul 1944. 

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 12 Sep 2008.

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 6 Feb 2003.

Supersedes statement prepared on 16 May 2005.

Emblem. Approved on 13 Dec 1951.
 
Prepared by Patsy Robertson. 

Reviewed by
Daniel Haulman.







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