Air Force Historical Research Agency   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

Home > Fact Sheets > 50 Operations Group (AFSPC)

50 OPERATIONS GROUP (AFSPC)

Posted 11/20/2008 Printable Fact Sheet

Lineage. Established as 50 Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Redesignated: 50 Fighter Group on 15 May 1942; 50 Fighter Group (Special) on 28 May 1942; 50 Fighter Group on 21 Jan 1944. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945. Activated in the Reserve on 1 Jun 1949. Redesignated 50 Fighter-Interceptor Group on 1 Mar 1950. Ordered to active service on 1 Jun 1951. Inactivated on 2 Jun 1951. Redesignated 50 Fighter-Bomber Group on 15 Nov 1952. Activated on 1 Jan 1953. Inactivated on 8 Dec 1957. Redesignated: 50 Tactical Fighter Group on 31 Jul 1985; 50 Operations Group on 1 Jan 1992. Activated on 30 Jan 1992. 

Assignments. Southeast Air District, 15 Jan 1941; 22 Pursuit Wing, c. Jan 1941; 3 Interceptor Command, 2 Oct 1941; Fighter Command School (an activity), 28 May 1942; Fighter Command School (formerly, 5 Interceptor Command), 25 Aug 1942; AAF School of Applied Tactics (later, AAF Tactical Center), 22 Jan 1943; IX Air Support (later, IX Tactical Air) Command, 4 Apr 1944 (under operational control of 84 Fighter Wing, 7 Apr-c. Sep 1944); XII Tactical Air Command, 29 Sep 1944 (under operational control of 64 Fighter Wing, 29 Sep 1944-Jun 1945); Second Air Force, 4 Aug-7 Nov 1945. 50 Fighter (later, 50 Fighter-Interceptor) Wing, 1 Jun 1949-2 Jan 1951. 50 Fighter-Bomber Wing, 1 Jan 1953-8 Dec 1957. 50 Space Wing, 30 Jan 1992-. 

Operational Components. Squadrons: 1 Space Operations: 30 Jan 1992-. 2 Space Operations: 30 Jan 1992-. 3 Space Operations: 30 Jan 1992-. 4 Space Operations: 30 Apr 1992-. 5 Space Operations: 22 Nov 1993-13 Jun 2000. 6 Space Operations: 31 Jul 1992-30 Sep 1998. 10 Pursuit (later, 10 Fighter; 10 Fighter-Bomber): 15 Jan 1941-7 Nov 1945; 1 Jan 1953-3 Dec 1957. 11 Pursuit: 15 Jan-30 Dec 1941. 12 Pursuit (later, Fighter): 15 Jan 1941-18 Aug 1942. 21 Space Operations: 7 Jun 1999-10 Mar 2004. 22 Space Operations: 2 Jun 1999-10 Mar 2004. 23 Space Operations: 3 Jun 1999-10 Mar 2004. 81 Pursuit (later, 18 Fighter; 18 Fighter-Interceptor; 18 Fighter-Bomber): 15 Jan 1941-7 Nov 1945; 20 Jun 1949-2 Jun 1951; 1 Jan 1953-8 Dec 1957. 313 Pursuit (later, Fighter): 9 Feb 1942-7 Nov 1945. 417 Fighter-Bomber: 1 Jan 1953-8 Dec 1957. 445 Fighter: 24 Feb 1943-10 Feb 1944. 

Stations. Selfridge Field, MI, 15 Jan 1941; Key Field, MS, 3 Oct 1941; Orlando AB, FL, 22 Mar 1943; Alachua AAFld, FL, 20 Nov 1943; Orlando AB, FL, 1 Feb-13 Mar 1944; Lymington, England, 5 Apr 1944; Carentan, France, 25 Jun 1944; Meautis, France, 16 Aug 1944; Orly, France, 4 Sep 1944; Laon, France, 15 Sep 1944; Lyons/Bron, France, 28 Sep 1944; Toul/Ochey, France, 3 Nov 1944; Giebelstadt, Germany, 20 Apr 1945; Mannheim/Sandhofen, Germany, 21 May-Jun 1945; La Junta AAFld, CO, 4 Aug-7 Nov 1945. Otis AFB, MA, 1 Jun 1949-2 Jun 1951. Clovis AFB, NM, 1 Jan-23 Jul 1953; Hahn AB, Germany, 10 Aug 1953; Toul-Rosieres AB, France, 10 Jul 1956-8 Dec 1957. Falcon (later, Schriever) AFB , CO, 30 Jan 1992-. 

Commanders. Capt George McCoy Jr., 16 Jan 1941; Lt Col Allen R. Springer, 1 May 1941; Lt Col John C. Crosthwaite, 1 Apr 1942; Lt Col Murray C. Woodbury, 15 May 1942; Lt Col T. Alan Bennett, 23 Jul 1943; Lt Col Walter B. Putnam, 29 Jan 1944; Lt Col Robert S. Quinn, 9 Nov 1943; Col William D. Greenfield, 1 Dec 1943; Col Harvey L. Case Jr., Nov 1944-May 1945; unkn, Jun-7 Nov 1945. Col Gerald J. Dix, 1 Jan 1953; Lt Col Edward A. McGough III, 2 Apr 1954; Col James F. Hackler Jr., 23 Apr 1954; Col Chester L. Van Etten, May 1955; Lt Col Thomas D. Robertson, by 1 Jul 1956-8 Dec 1957. Col Marvin G. Matthews, 30 Jan 1992; Col Gregory L. Gilles, 22 Feb 1993; Col William L. Shelton, 16 Jun 1993; Col Rodney P. Liesveld, 14 Jul 1994; Col Joseph Wysocki, 17 May 1996; Col Robert M. Worley II, 3 Jun 1998; Col Diann Latham, 16 Jun 2000; Col David W. Ziegler, 1 Jul 2002; Col J. Kevin McLaughlin, 21 Jun 2004; Col Clinton E. Crosier, 9 Jun 2006-. 

Aircraft. BT-13, 1941-1942; P-35, 1941-1942; P-40, 1942-1943; P-51, 1943-1944; P-47, 1943-1945. F-51, 1953; F-86, 1953-1957. Satellites, 1992-.
 
Operations. The 50 Pursuit Group began training on activation in 1941, then from May 1942 tested equipment and conducted training in air defense. It also trained pilots and furnished cadres to night fighter units. Later, it trained personnel in fighter tactics under simulated combat conditions. Entered combat operations on 1 May 1944 with a fighter sweep over France. From that date, it engaged mostly in escort and dive-bombing missions and covered the beach during the Normandy invasion. Once stationed on the continent, it attacked bridges, roads, vehicles, railways, trains, gun emplacements, and marshalling yards, as well as supporting ground forces in the drive across France. The group assisted in stopping the German offensive in the Saar-Hardt area early in 1945 and supported ground forces that moved into Germany in Mar and Apr 1945. It received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for close cooperation with Seventh Army in Mar 1945 during the assault on the Siegfried Line. The 50 Fighter Group received a second DUC for a mission on 25 Apr 1945, destroying or damaging numerous enemy aircraft on an airfield near Munich in spite of intense antiaircraft fire. It ended combat operations in May 1945. The 50 Fighter Group trained in the Reserve between Jun 1949 and Jun 1951. In 1953, the 50 Fighter-Bomber Group trained in jet fighters, until it moved to Germany, where it conducted tactical operations in support of USAF, NATO, and U.S. Army forces. It accepted its first operational F-100D shortly before inactivation. Beginning in 1992, the group supported space operations of allies, NASA, and other U.S. agencies, managing as many as six major satellite systems at once. 

Service Streamers. World War II American Theater. 

Campaign Streamers. World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe. 

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None. 

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: European Theater, 13-20 Mar 1945; Germany, 25 Apr 1945. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Oct 1998-30 Sep 2000; 1 Oct 2000-1 Oct 2001; 1 Oct 2001-1 Oct 2002; 2 Oct 2002-2 Oct 2003. Cited in the Order of the Day, Belgian Army: 6 Jun-30 Sep 1944. 

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 5 Nov 2008. 

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 27 Oct 2008. 

Supersedes statement prepared on 28 Jul 2005. 

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

Prepared by Patsy Robertson. 

Reviewed by Daniel Haulman.







 Inside AFHRA

ima cornerSearch

ima cornerOrganizations

 




Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     USA.gov     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act