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

Home > Fact Sheets > 55 Operations Group (ACC)

55 OPERATIONS GROUP (ACC)

Posted 6/9/2009 Printable Fact Sheet

Lineage. Established as 55 Pursuit Group (Interceptor) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Redesignated: 55 Pursuit Group (Interceptor) (Twin Engine) on 31 Jan 1942; 55 Fighter Group (Twin Engine) on 15 May 1942; 55 Fighter Group, Twin Engine, on 1 Mar 1944; 55 Fighter Group, c. 19 Jul 1944. Inactivated on 20 Aug 1946. Redesignated 55 Reconnaissance Group (Very Long Range) (Mapping) on 5 Feb 1947. Activated on 24 Feb 1947. Redesignated 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Group on 29 Jun 1948. Inactivated on 14 Oct 1949. Redesignated 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Group, Medium, on 27 Oct 1950. Activated on 1 Nov 1950. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952. Redesignated 55 Operations Group on 29 Aug 1991. Activated on 1 Sep 1991. 

Assignments. Northwest Air District (later, 2 Air Force), 15 Jan 1941; 2 Interceptor Command, 2 Oct 1941; 4 Air Force, 5 Jan 1942; 4 Interceptor (later, IV Interceptor; IV Fighter) Command, 26 Jan 1942 (attached to Seattle Air Defense Wing, 28 Oct 1942-11 Apr 1943); Seattle Air Defense Wing, 12 Apr 1943; Eighth Air Force, c. 14 Sep 1943; VIII Fighter Command, 15 Sep 1943; 66 Fighter Wing, 5 Oct 1943; XXIX Tactical Air Command, 20 Jul 1945; 70 Fighter Wing, 6 Aug 1945-20 Aug 1946. 311 Reconnaissance Wing (later, 311 Air Division, Reconnaissance), 24 Feb 1947; 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 19 Jul 1948-14 Oct 1949. 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, 1 Nov 1950-16 Jun 1952. 55 Wing, 1 Sep 1991-. 

Operational Components. Squadrons. 1 Airborne Command and Control Squadron: 1 Sep 1991-. 2 Airborne Command and Control Squadron: 1 Sep 1991-19 Jul 1994. 7 Airborne Command and Control Squadron: 19 Jul 1994-28 Oct 1998. 24 Reconnaissance: 7 Jul 1992-30 Jun 1994. 37 Pursuit (later, 37 Fighter): 15 Jan 1941-1 Mar 1943. 38 Pursuit (later, 38 Fighter; 38 Reconnaissance; 38 Strategic Reconnaissance; 38 Reconnaissance): 15 Jan 1941-20 Aug 1946; 1 Jun-14 Oct 1949; 1 Nov 1950-16 Jun 1952 (detached 1 Nov 1950-6 Jan 1951); 1 Sep 1991-. 41 Electronic Combat Squadron: 1 Oct 2002-3 Feb 2003. 43 Electronic Combat Squadron: 1 Oct 2002-3 Feb 2003. 45 Reconnaissance: 1 Jul 1994-. 54 Pursuit (later, 54 Fighter): 15 Jan 1941-11 Sep 1942 (detached 31 May-11 Sep 1941). 82 Reconnaissance: 1 Jul 1992-. 95 Reconnaissance: 1 Jul 1994-. 338 Fighter (later, 338 Reconnaissance; 338 Strategic Reconnaissance; 338 Combat Training): 12 Sep 1942-20 Aug 1946; 1 Jun-14 Oct 1949; 1 Nov 1950-16 Jun 1952 (detached 1 Nov-1 Dec 1950); 20 Sep 1999-. 343 Fighter (later, 343 Reconnaissance; 343 Strategic Reconnaissance; 343 Reconnaissance): 1 Feb 1943-20 Aug 1946; 24 Feb 1947-14 Oct 1949; 1 Nov 1950-16 Jun 1952 (detached 1 Nov 1950-3 Jan 1951); 1 Sep 1991-. 922 Reconnaissance: 31 Mar-1 Jun 1992; 1 Jul 1992-30 Jun 1994. Flight. 11 Airlift: 1 May 1993-1 Apr 1997.

Stations. Hamilton Field, CA, 15 Jan 1941; Portland, OR, 21 May 1941; Paine Field, WA, 10 Feb 1942; McChord Field, WA, 22 Jul 1942; Camp Kilmer, NJ, 28 Aug-4 Sep 1943; Nuthampstead, England, 14 Sep 1943; Wormingford, England, 16 Apr 1944; Kaufbeuren, Germany, 22 Jul 1945; Giebelstadt, Germany, 29 Apr-20 Aug 1946. MacDill Field (later, MacDill AFB), FL, 24 Feb 1947; Topeka (later, Forbes) AFB, KS, 30 Jun 1948-14 Oct 1949. Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, 1 Nov 1950-16 Jun 1952. Offutt AFB, NE, 1 Sep 1991-. 

Commanders. Capt Kenneth S. Wade, 15 Jan 1941; Maj James W. McCauley, 1 May 1941; Lt Col Karl K. Bowen, 1 May 1942; Maj Jack S. Jenkins, 1 Aug 1942; Maj Ernest W. Keating, 13 Nov 1942; Lt Col Frank B. James, 15 May 1943; Col Jack S. Jenkins, 6 Feb 1944; Col George T. Crowell, 10 Apr 1944; Lt Col Elwyn C. Righetti, 22 Feb 1945; Col Ben Rimerman, 22 Apr 1945; Lt Col Jack W. Hayes Jr., 21 May 1945; Lt Col Horace A. Hanes, Jul 1946-unkn. Capt Daniel W. Burrows, 24 Feb 1947; Lt Col Albert M. Welsh, 20 May 1947-unkn; Lt Col George Humbrecht, 26 Oct 1948-unkn; Col Herbert K. Baisley, unkn-1949. Col Richard T. King, 1 Nov 1950; Brig Gen Sydney D. Grubbs Jr., 20 Dec 1950; Col Alfred K. Kalberer, 18 Feb-16 Jun 1952. Col James W. Thomas Jr., 1 Sep 1991; Col David R. Wolfe, 21 Jan 1992; Col Ryan D. Paradis, 28 Jan 1994; Col Stephen C. German, 31 Jul 1995; Col Collin F. Flynn, 20 Sep 1996-unkn; Col Dennis Wier, 30 Jun 2004; Col Philip Smith, 28 Jul 2006-. 

Aircraft. P-36, 1941-1942; P-38, 1941-1944; P-40, 1941-1942; P-43, 1941-1942; P-51, 1944-1946; P-80, 1946. F-2, 1947-1949; F-9, 1947-1948; RC-54, 1948. B/RB-17, 1947-1949; B/RB-29, 1948-1949. B/RB-29, 1950-1951; RB-50, 1950-1952. E-4, 1991-; C-135, 1991-1994; EC-135, 1991-1998; KC-135, 1991-; NKC-135, 1991-1994; RC-135, 1991-; TC-135, 1991-; WC-135, 1992-; T-38, 1992-1995; C-21, 1993-1997; OC-135, 1994-; EC-130, 2002-2003. 

Operations. Trained in the United States for fighter combat missions, Jan 1941-Aug 1943. Began combat operations from England over continental Europe on 15 Oct 1943. Missions included escorting bombers over France and Germany. Patrolled the English Channel and bombed bridges in the Tours area of France during the invasion of Normandy in Jun 1944. Patrolled the Arnhem sector to support the airborne invasion of the Netherlands in Sep 1944. Strafed trucks, locomotives, and oil depots near Wesel in support of the Allied crossing of the Rhine River in Mar 1945. Received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for eight missions to Germany between 3 and 13 Sep 1944. These missions involved destruction of enemy aircraft in the air during bomber-escort missions and low-level strafing of enemy airdromes and aircraft on the ground despite intense antiaircraft fire. Received a second DUC for strafing sweeps against enemy railway and other targets in Germany on 19 Feb 1945. Flew its last World War II combat mission on 21 Apr 1945. Served in the occupation of Germany, Jul 1945-20 Aug 1946. Between Feb 1947 and Oct 1949, provided precise mapping and photographic reconnaissance. Between Nov 1950 and Jun 1952, the group was a "paper" organization, with the tactical squadrons attached directly to the 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. Provided crews and aircraft for enforcement of no-fly zones over southern Iraq, 1992-2003, and Bosnia-Herzegovina, 1992-1996. Subordinate units operated in England, Japan, Greece, and southwest Asia. Largest operations group in Air Combat Command during the 1990s. Flew global reconnaissance and air-sampling missions during the 1990s, including Open Skies Treaty flights. The group continued to fly airborne command post missions it inherited from its parent wing in 1991, then in 1994 it began missions in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as it responded to natural disasters. Supported worldwide reconnaissance, command and control, presidential support, and nuclear treaty verification, 2000-. 

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

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None. 

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: ETO, 3-13 Sep 1944; Germany, 19 Feb 1945. Meritorious Unit Awards: 1 Jun 2002-31 May 2004; 1 Jun 2004-31 May 2006; 1 Jun 2006-31 May 2007; 1 Jun 2007-31 May 2008. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Jul 1992-30 Jun 1994; 1 Jul 1994-31 Jul 1995; 1 Jun 1997-31 May 1999; 1 Jun 1999-31 May 2001. 

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 3 Jun 2009. 

Commanders through Mar 2007, Aircraft, and Operations through Jun 2005. 

Supersedes statement prepared on 12 Dec 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