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52 OPERATIONS GROUP (USAFE)

Posted 5/7/2013 Printable Fact Sheet

Lineage. Established as 52 Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 16 Jan 1941. Redesignated as 52 Fighter Group on 15 May 1942. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945. Redesignated as 52 Fighter Group (All Weather) on 18 Oct 1946. Activated on 9 Nov 1946. Redesignated as: 52 Fighter Group, All Weather, on 10 May 1948; 52 Fighter-All Weather Group on 20 Jan 1950; 52 Fighter-Interceptor Group on 1 May 1951. Inactivated on 6 Feb 1952. Redesignated as 52 Fighter Group (Air Defense) on 20 Jun 1955. Activated on 18 Aug 1955. Discontinued, and inactivated, on 1 Jul 1963. Activated on 30 Sep 1968. Inactivated on 31 Dec 1969. Redesignated as 52 Tactical Fighter Group on 17 Feb 1970. Activated on 1 Apr 1971. Inactivated on 31 Jul 1972. Redesignated as 52 Operations Group on 1 Mar 1992. Activated on 31 Mar 1992.

Assignments. 6 Pursuit Wing, 16 Jan 1941; I Interceptor (later, I Fighter) Command, 1 Oct 1941; First Air Force, c. 15 Jun 1942; Eighth Air Force (attached to Royal Air Force), 13 Jul 1942; 6 Fighter Wing, 18 Aug 1942; XII Fighter Command, 14 Sep 1942 (attached to Tunis Fighter Sector, c. 19 Jan 1943); XII Air Support Command, 18 Feb 1943; North West Coastal Air Force, 23 May 1943; 1 Air Defense Wing, 19 Aug 1943; 62 Fighter Wing, 1943; 63 Fighter Wing, 16 Nov 1943; Fifteenth Air Force, 1 May 1944; 306 Bombardment (later, 306 Fighter) Wing, 3 May 1944; 305 Bombardment Wing, 13 Jun-Aug 1945; Third Air Force, 22 Aug-7 Nov 1945. 64 Fighter Wing, 9 Nov 1946; XII Tactical Air Command, 15 May 1947; Air Defense Command, 25 Jun 1947; First Air Force, 29 Oct 1947; 104 Wing (Provisional), 26 Dec 1947; 52 Fighter Wing, All-Weather (later, 52 Fighter-All Weather Wing; 52 Fighter-Interceptor Wing), 9 Jun 1948-6 Feb 1952. 4709 Air Defense Wing, 18 Aug 1955; 4707 Air Defense Wing, 1 Mar 1956; 4709 Air Defense Wing, 8 Jul 1956; 4621 Air Defense Wing (later, New York Air Defense Sector), 1 Oct 1956-1 Jul 1963. 35 Air Division, 30 Sep 1968; 21 Air Division, 19 Nov-31 Dec 1969. Seventeenth Air Force, 1 Apr 1971-31 Jul 1972. 52 Fighter Wing, 31 Mar 1992-.

Operational Components. Squadrons: 2 Pursuit (later, 2 Fighter; 2 Fighter [All Weather]; 2 Fighter, All Weather; 2 Fighter-Interceptor): 16 Jan 1941-7 Nov 1945; 9 Nov 1946-6 Feb 1952; 18 Aug 1955-1 Jul 1963; 30 Sep 1968-31 Dec 1969. 4 Pursuit (later, 4 Fighter): 16 Jan 1941-7 Nov 1945. 5 Pursuit (later, 5 Fighter; 5 Fighter [All Weather]; 5 Fighter, All Weather; 5 Fighter-Interceptor): 16 Jan 1941-7 Nov 1945; 9 Nov 1946-6 Feb 1952; 18 Aug 1955-1 Feb 1960. 22 Fighter: 1 Apr 1994-13 Aug 2010. 23 Fighter: 31 Mar 1992-13 Aug 2010. 53 Fighter: 25 Feb 1994-31 Mar 1999. 81 Fighter: 31 Mar 1992-. 98 Fighter-Interceptor: attached, c. 20 Jun-1 Jul 1963. 480 Fighter: 31 Mar 1992-1 Apr 1994, 13 Aug 2010-. 510 Tactical Fighter: 1 Oct 1992-1 Feb 1994.

Stations. Selfridge Field, MI, 16 Jan 1941; Norfolk, VA, 18 Dec 1941; Selfridge Field, MI, 16 Jan 1942; Florence, SC, 18 Feb 1942; Wilmington, NC, 27 Apr 1942; Grenier Field, NH, 14-24 Jun 1942; Eglington, Ireland, 14 Jul 1942; Goxhill, England, 26 Aug-22 Oct 1942; Tafaraoui, Algeria, 9 Nov 1942; La Senia, Algeria, 14 Nov 1942; Orleansville, Algeria, 2 Jan 1943; Telergma, Algeria, 20 Jan 1943; Youks-les-Bains, Algeria, 9 Mar 1943; Le Sers, Tunisia, 14 Apr 1943; La Sebala, Tunisia, 21 May 1943; Boccadifalco, Sicily, 30 Jul 1943; Borgo, Corsica, 1 Dec 1943; Aghione, Corsica, 29 Apr 1944; Madna AFld, Italy, 14 May 1944; Piagiolino AFld, Italy, 21 Apr 1945; Lesina, Italy, 8 Jul-10 Aug 1945; Drew Field, FL, 25 Aug-7 Nov 1945. Schweinfurt, Germany, 9 Nov 1946; Bad Kissingen, Germany, 5 May-25 Jun 1947; Mitchel Field, NY, 25 Jun 1947; McGuire AFB, NJ, 4 Oct 1949-6 Feb 1952. Suffolk County AFB, NY, 18 Aug 1955-1 Jul 1963. Suffolk County AFB, NY, 30 Sep 1968-31 Dec 1969 (detachment operated at Atlantic City, NJ, 30 Sep 1968-31 Dec 1969). Erding Air Station, Germany, 1 Apr 1971-31 Jul 1972. Spangdahlem AB, Germany, 31 Mar 1992-.

Commanders. Maj Earl W. Barnes, 16 Jan 1941; Lt Col Robert L. Schoenlein, 15 May 1941; Col Dixon M. Allison, 27 Feb 1942; Lt Col Graham W. West, 1 Mar 1943; Lt Col James S. Coward, 24 Jun 1943; Lt Col Richard A. Ames, 4 Sep 1943; Col Marvin L. McNickle, 8 Sep 1943; Lt Col Robert Levine, 25 Feb 1944; Col Marion Malcolm, 27 Aug 1944-Aug 1945; unkn, Aug-7 Nov 1945. Col Sheldon B. Edwards, 9 Nov 1946; Col Carroll W. McColpin, 14 Dec 1946; none, not manned, Apr-13 Nov 1947; Lt Col Vincent W. Burnett, 14 Nov 1947; Col Oliver G. Cellini, 5 Dec 1947; Lt Col Leon G. Lewis, 3 Jul 1950; Col Benjamin S. Preston Jr., 6 Jul 1950; Col Royal N. Baker, 13 Jul 1951-6 Feb 1952. Col James H. Hancock, Aug 1955; Col Fred G. Hook Jr., c. Jul 1956; Col Frank A. Hill, 13 Jul 1959; Col Roy E. Ferguson, 3 Jul 1961; Lt Col Joseph T. McKeon, 19 Sep 1962; Col James H. Buckey, 22 Oct 1962-1 Jul 1963. Col Jack K. Gamble, 30 Sep 1968; Col Leon H. Larson Jr., 29 Apr 1969; Col Edward F. Smith, 14 May 1969; Col William E. Shelton, 31 May-31 Dec 1969. Col Robert W. Kapfhamer, 1 Apr 1971-c. 31 Jul 1972. Col William J. Dalecky, 31 Mar 1992; Col Thomas L. Baptiste, 20 Jul 1992; Col Edward H. Houle, 1 Jul 1994; Col John W. Eastman, 6 Jun 1996; Col Jan-Marc Jouas, 4 Aug 1998; Col Michael N. Beard, 24 Mar 2000; Col H. D. Polumbo Jr., 29 Aug 2001; Col Chris R. Chambliss, 4 Aug 2003; Col Robert G. Wright Jr., 10 Jun 2005; Col Thomas J. Lawhead Jr., 18 Aug 2006; Col Patrick J. McCrea, 25 Jun 2008; Col Jackson L. Fox, 26 Mar 2010-.

Aircraft. P-40, 1941-1942; P-39, 1942; Spitfire, 1942-1944; P-51, 1944-1945. P-61, 1947, 1947-1948; F-82, 1948-1951; F-94, 1950-1952. F-86, 1955-1957; F-102, 1957-1960; F-101, 1959-1963. F-101, 1968-1969. F-4, 1992-1994; F-16, 1992-; OA/A-10, 1992-; F-15, 1994-1999.

Operations. The 52 Group trained and participated in maneuvers, 1941-1942, when it moved to the United Kingdom. It trained with the Royal Air Force as part of Eighth Air Force and flew missions from England to France during Aug and Sep. Group pilots flew Spitfires from Gibraltar to Algeria during the invasion of North Africa on 8 Nov 1942. The remainder of the group arrived by ship after the campaign had ended. The group then operated as part of Twelfth Air Force through Apr 1944, thereafter part of Fifteenth Air Force, serving in combat in the Mediterranean until the end of the war. It flew escort, patrol, strafing, and reconnaissance missions to help defeat Axis forces in Tunisia. In Sicily, it attacked railroads, highways, bridges, coastal shipping and other targets to support the Allied operations. Having converted to P-51s in Apr- May 1944, the group escorted bombers that attacked objectives in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, and Yugoslavia. It received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for a mission on 9 Jun 1944 when the group protected bombers that struck aircraft factories, communications centers, and supply lines in Germany. The group flew one of the first shuttle missions to Russia, 4-6 Aug 1944, and received a second DUC for strafing attacks on a landing field in Rumania on 31 Aug 1944, destroying a large number of enemy fighter and transport planes. On 24 Mar 1945, the group's aircraft took part in the longest escort mission ever flown in Europe - 1600 miles round-trip to Berlin. From 1946-1947, it served as an all-weather fighter group in Germany and in Nov 1947 moved to the US and assumed an air defense role. In the late 1950s and 1960s, the group flew air defense and anti-submarine warfare missions. From Apr 1971-Jul 1972, it provided logistical and administrative support to Seventeenth Air Force's deployed and attached elements but did not have any tactical elements of its own. In Mar 1992 it activated under the objective wing structure and assumed responsibility of the 52 Fighter Wing's operational squadrons. During the 1990s, the wing supported no-fly zone operations over Bosnia and northern Iraq and combat operations against Serbia during Operation Allied Force in 1999. After terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, the wing supported Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, deploying combat and support elements in support of US and NATO missions.
 
Service Streamers. None.
 
Campaign Streamers. World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Algeria-French Morocco; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Po Valley; Air Combat, EAME Theater. Kosovo: Air Campaign.
 
Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Munich, Germany, 9 Jun 1944; Rumania, 31 Aug 1944. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device: 19 Mar-16 Apr 2003. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: [31 Mar 1992]-30 Jun 1993; 1 Jul 1993-30 Jun 1995; 1 Aug 1995-31 Jul 1997; [ 1 Aug] 1997-30 Jun 1999; 24 Mar-10 Jun 1999; 1 Jul 1999-30 Jun 2001; 1 Jul 2001-30 Jun 2003; 1 Jul 2003-30 Jun 2005; 1 Jul 2008-30 Jun 2010.

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 26 Apr 2013.

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through Dec 2010.

Supersedes statement prepared on 13 Aug 2010.

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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