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56 FIGHTER WING (AETC)

Posted 5/18/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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56 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 56 Fighter Wing on 28 Jul 1947. Organized on 15 Aug 1947. Redesignated 56 Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 20 Jan 1950. Inactivated on 6 Feb 1952. Redesignated 56 Fighter Wing (Air Defense), and activated, on 28 Dec 1960. Organized on 1 Feb 1961. Discontinued, and inactivated, on 1 Jan 1964. Redesignated 56 Air Commando Wing, and activated, on 16 Mar 1967. Organized on 8 Apr 1967. Redesignated: 56 Special Operations Wing on 1 Aug 1968; 56 Tactical Fighter Wing on 30 Jun 1975; 56 Tactical Training Wing on 1 Oct 1981; 56 Fighter Wing on 1 Oct 1991. 

Assignments. Fifteenth Air Force, 15 Aug 1947; Strategic Air Command, 1 Oct 1947; Tenth Air Force, 1 Dec 1948 (attached to 26 Air Division [Defense], 10 Dec 1949-19 Feb 1950; 30 Air Division [Defense], 20 Feb 1950-); Eastern Air Defense Force, 1 Sep 1950-6 Feb 1952 (remained attached to 30 Air Division [Defense] to 6 Feb 1952). Air Defense Command, 28 Dec 1960; Sault Sainte Marie Air Defense Sector, 1 Feb 1961; Duluth Air Defense Sector, 1 Oct 1963-1 Jan 1964. Pacific Air Forces, 16 Mar 1967; Thirteenth Air Force, 8 Apr 1967 (attached to Seventh Air Force, 8 Apr 1967-26 Feb 1974; United States Support Activities Group/ Seventh Air Force, 27 Feb 1974-30 Jun 1975); Ninth Air Force, 30 Jun 1975; Nineteenth Air Force, 1 Apr 1994-. 

Operational Components. Group. 56 Fighter (later, 56 Fighter-Interceptor, 56 Operations): 15 Aug 1947-6 Feb 1952; 1 Nov 1991-4 Jan 1994; 1 Apr 1994-. Squadrons. 1 Air Commando (later, 1 Special Operations): 20 Dec 1967-15 Dec 1972. 13 Tactical Fighter Training: 15 Jan 1976-1 Jul 1982. 18 Special Operations: 25 Aug 1971-31 Dec 1972. 21 Helicopter (later, 21 Special Operations): 27 Nov 1967-30 Jun 1975. 22 Special Operations: 25 Oct 1968-30 Sep 1970. 23 Tactical Air Support: 15 Mar 1972-30 Jun 1975. 61 Tactical Fighter (later, 61 Tactical Fighter Training): 30 Jun 1975-1 Nov 1991. 62 Tactical Fighter (later, 62 Tactical Fighter Training): 1 Feb 1961-16 Dec 1963; 30 Jun 1975-1 Nov 1991. 63 Tactical Fighter (later, 63 Tactical Fighter Training): 30 Jun 1975-1 Nov 1991. 72 Tactical Fighter Training: 1 Jul 1982-1 Nov 1991. 97 Fighter-Interceptor: attached 1 Dec 1950-20 May 1951. 361 Tactical Electronic Warfare: 1 Sep 1972-30 Jun 1974. 554 Reconnaissance: 15 Dec 1970-30 Sep 1972. 602 Fighter: 8 Apr 1967-31 Dec 1970. 606 Air Commando: 8 Apr 1967-15 Jun 1971. 609 Air Commando: 15 Sep 1967-1 Dec 1969. 4501 Tactical Fighter Replacement: 30 Jun 1975-15 Jan 1976. 

Stations. Selfridge Field (later, AFB), MI, 15 Aug 1947-6 Feb 1952. K.I. Sawyer AFB, MI, 1 Feb 1961-1 Jan 1964. Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand, 8 Apr 1967-30 Jun 1975; MacDill AFB, FL, 30 Jun 1975; Luke AFB, AZ, 1 Apr 1994-. 

Commanders. Col William T. Hudnell, 15 Aug 1947; Lt Col David T. McKnight, Jun 1949; Col James R. Gunn Jr., 23 Aug 1949; Col George S. Brown, 15 Aug 1951-6 Feb 1952. None (not manned), 28 Dec 1960-31 Jan 1961; Col James F. Reed, 1 Feb 1961; Col John M. Konosky, 16 May 1963-1 Jan 1964. None (not manned), 16 Mar-7 Apr 1967; Col Harry C. Aderholt, 8 Apr 1967; Col Roland K. McCoskrie, 19 Nov 1967; Col Edwin J. White Jr., 7 Nov 1968; Col Patrick M. Fallon, 31 May 1969; Col Edwin J. White Jr., by 18 Jun 1969; Col Samuel E. Crosby Jr., 5 Oct 1969; Col Edward J. Walsh Jr., 8 Aug 1970; Col Jack E. Robinson, 15 Jul 1971; Col Norbert L. Simon, 17 Jun 1972; Col Robert E. Wayne, 1 Dec 1972; Col William B. Owens, 30 Jun 1973; Col Ralph H. Bowersox, 15 Sep 1973; Col Charles E. Woods, 26 Sep 1973; Col Perry J. Dahl, 15 Jul 1974; Col Harry A. Goodall, 3 Feb 1975; Col Gerald J. Carey Jr., 30 Jun 1975; Col Ernest A. Bedke, 11 Aug 1975; Col Charles J. Cunningham Jr., 4 Nov 1977; Col Henry D. Canterbury, 7 Jul 1979; Col Henry Viccellio Jr., 15 Jan 1982; Col Ronald R. Fogleman, 4 Mar 1983; Col Jimmie L. Cash, 29 Aug 1984; Col Joseph W. Ralston, 6 Feb 1986; Brig Gen James L. Jamerson, 27 Feb 1987; Brig Gen Ben Nelson Jr., 18 Jan 1989; Brig Gen Marvin R. Esmond, 2 Sep 1992; Col Charles T. Ohlinger III, 19 Aug 1993; Brig Gen Stephen B. Plummer, 1 Apr 1994; Maj Gen Marvin R. Esmond, 14 Apr 1994; Brig Gen Carrol H. Chandler, 2 Apr 1996; Brig Gen John L. Barry, 17 Jul 1998; Brig Gen Stephen T. Sargeant, 15 Feb 2000; Brig Gen Philip M. Breedlove, 17 Jun 2002; Brig Gen Robin Rand, 8 Jun 2004; Brig Gen Noel T. Jones, 13 Jun 2006; Brig Gen Kurt F. Neubauer, 9 Jul 2008-. 

Aircraft. P (later, F)-80, 1947-1950; F-86, 1950-1952; F-47, 1951-1952; F-51, 1951-1952; F-94, 1951-1952. F-101, 1961-1963. A-1, 1967-1972; A-26, 1967-1969; CH-3, 1967-1972; C-123, 1967-1971; T-28, 1967-1973; RT-28, 1967-1972; U-6, 1967; U-10, 1967-1969; UC-123, 1968-1971; C-47, 1969-1972; CH-53, 1970-1975; QU-22, 1970-1972; AC-119, 1971-1972; EC-47, 1972-1974; H-34, 1972; OV-10, 1972-1975; O-1, 1973; F-4, 1975-1982; F-16,1980-. 

Operations. The wing supported exercises, operations, and training programs of Strategic Air Command, 1947-1948. It pioneered the first west-to-east jet fighter transatlantic crossing along the northern air route in Jul 1948 and provided air defense for a large portion of the northeastern United States, Dec 1948-Feb 1952. The 56th provided air defense in the Michigan area, 1961-1963. It performed combat in Southeast Asia, Apr 1967-Aug 1973, and combat support until Jun 1975, employing a wide variety of aircraft to meet specialized missions. Those missions included interdiction, psychological warfare, close air support, search and rescue, forward air control, training Thai and Laotian air forces, and helicopter escort for clandestine insertion and extraction of personnel in Laos and North Vietnam. Provided close air support during the sieges of Khe Sanh, Feb-Apr 1968, and Lima Site 85, Jan-Mar 1968. Wing elements participated in the Son Tay Prison raid on 21 Nov 1970 and continued combat in Vietnam until mid-Jan 1973, in Laos until 22 Feb 1973, and in Cambodia until 15 Aug 1973. The 56th assisted in the evacuations of Phnom Penh on 11 Apr 1975 and Saigon, 29-30 Apr 1975. Provided forward air control and helicopter insertion/extraction support during the SS Mayaguez rescue operation on 15 May 1975. Upon return to the United States on 30 Jun 1975, it absorbed resources of the 1 Tactical Fighter Wing and operated MacDill AFB and nearby Avon Park Range, FL. The wing conducted F-4D/E replacement training for pilots, weapon systems officers, and maintenance personnel, Jul 1975-Jul 1982. It was equipped with UH-1P helicopters, 1976-1987, to support Avon Range logistics needs, search and rescue efforts, and humanitarian missions. With conversion to F-16A/B aircraft in 1980-1982, the 56th became the designated unit for transitioning USAF and select allied nation pilots into the new fighter, while continuing to augment NORAD's air defense forces in the southeastern US. The wing provided logistic support to US Central Command beginning in 1983 and to US Special Operations Command after 1986. It upgraded to F-16C/D aircraft in 1988-1990, providing support personnel and equipment to units in Southwest Asia, Aug 1990-Mar 1991. Beginning in 1994, the wing primarily provided combat crew training to US and Allied services. 

Service Streamers. None. 

Campaign Streamers. Vietnam: 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; Commando Hunt V; Commando Hunt VI; Commando Hunt VII; Vietnam Ceasefire. 

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None. 

Decorations. Presidential Unit Citations (Vietnam): 1 Nov 1968-1 May 1969; 1 Oct 1969-30 Apr 1970; 1 Apr 1972-22 Feb 1973. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" Device: 1 Dec 1970-30 Nov 1971; 1 Dec 1971-29 Feb 1972; 23 Feb 1973-28 Feb 1974; 24 Jan-2 May 1975. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Jan 1977-1 Jan 1979; 1 Jul 1980-30 Jun 1982; 1 Jun 1984-31 May 1986; 1 May 1987-30 Apr 1989; 1 May 1989-30 Apr 1990; 1 May 1990-30 Apr 1991; 1 Jul 1994-30 Jun 1996; 1 Jul 1996-30 Jun 1998; 1 Jul 1998-30 Jun 2000; 1 Jul 2001-30 Jun 2003; 1 Jul 2003-30 Jun 2005; 1 Jul 2005-30 Jun 2006; 1 Jul 2006-30 Jun 2007; 1 Jul 2007-30 Jun 2008. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 8 Apr 1967-28 Jan 1973. 

Bestowed Honors. Authorized to display honors earned by the 56 Operations Group prior to 15 Aug 1947. 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. Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: European Theater of Operations (ETO), 20 Feb-9 Mar 1944; Holland, 18 Sep 1944. 

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 7 May 2009. 

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 8 Apr 2009. 

Supersedes statement prepared on 5 Aug 2005. 

Emblem. Approved for 56 Group on 4 Apr 1942 and for 56 Wing on 19 Apr 1967. 

Prepared by Patsy Robertson. 

Reviewed by Daniel Haulman.







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