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71 OPERATIONS GROUP (AETC)

Posted 6/10/2011 Printable Fact Sheet

Lineage. Established as 71 Observation Group on 21 Aug 1941. Activated on 1 Oct 1941. Redesignated as: 71 Reconnaissance Group on 2 Apr 1943; 71 Tactical Reconnaissance Group on 10 May 1944; 71 Reconnaissance Group on 20 May 1945. Inactivated on 1 Feb 1946. Activated on 28 Feb 1947. Redesignated as 71 Tactical Reconnaissance Group on 18 Aug 1948. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1949. Redesignated as 71 Operations Group on 9 Dec 1991. Activated on 15 Dec 1991.

Assignments. II Air Support Command, 1 Oct 1941; IV Air Support (later, IV Ground Air Support) Command, Mar 1942; II Air Support Command (later, II Tactical Air Division), Aug 1942; Fifth Air Force, Nov 1943; 5212 Photographic Reconnaissance Wing (Provisional), early 1944; 91 Photographic Reconnaissance Wing, May 1944; Fifth Air Force, 10 Nov 1945-1 Feb 1946. 315 Composite Wing, 28 Feb 1947; 314 Composite Wing, 15 Apr 1947; 71 Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, 18 Aug 1948; Fifth Air Force, 26 Oct 1948-1 Apr 1949. 71 Flying Training Wing, 15 Dec 1991-.

Operational Components. Squadrons. 3 Flying Training (later, 3 Fighter Training), 26 Apr 2007-. 7 Flying Training: 15 Dec 1991-1 Oct 1992. 8 Photo Reconnaissance (later, 8 Tactical Reconnaissance; 8 Flying Training): 28 Feb 1947-1 Apr 1949; 15 Dec 1991-. 17 Observation (later, 17 Reconnaissance): 26 Feb 1942-1 Feb 1946. 25 Observation (later, 25 Liaison): 29 Mar 1942-16 Feb 1945. 25 Tactical Reconnaissance (later, 25 Flying Training): 28 Feb 1947-1 Apr 1949; 15 Dec 1991-. 26 Flying Training: 15 Dec 1991-1 Oct 1992. 31 Reconnaissance: attached, 27 Oct 1947-1 Apr 1949. 32 Flying Training: 1 Jun 1995-. 33 Flying Training: 1 Oct 1998-. 82 Observation (later, 82 Reconnaissance; 82 Tactical Reconnaissance): 5 Apr 1942-1 Feb 1946; 28 Feb 1947-1 Apr 1949. 102 Observation: 1 Oct 1941-5 Apr 1942. 110 Observation (later, 110 Reconnaissance; 110 Tactical Reconnaissance): 1 Oct 1941-20 Oct 1945. 128 Observation: 1 Oct 1941-c. Apr 1942. Flying Training Squadron Provisional, 26: 1 Oct 1994-1 Jun 1995.

Stations. Birmingham, AL, 1 Oct 1941; Salinas AAB, CA, 21 Dec 1941; Rice AAB, CA, 18 Aug 1942; Salinas AAB, CA, 19 Oct 1942; Esler Field, LA, 24 Jan 1943; Laurel AAFld, MS, 31 Mar-24 Sep 1943; Port Moresby, New Guinea, 7 Nov 1943; Nadzab, New Guinea, 20 Jan 1944; Biak, 8 Aug 1944; Leyte, 5 Nov 1944; Binmaley, Luzon, 2 Feb 1945; Ie Shima, Aug 1945; Chofu, Japan, 6 Oct 1945; Tachikawa, Japan, 23 Oct 1945; Irumagawa, Japan, c. 15 Jan-1 Feb 1946. Itami, Japan, 28 Feb 1947; Johnson AAB, Japan, 15 Apr 1947; Yokota, Japan, 31 Oct 1947-1 Apr 1949. Vance AFB, OK, 15 Dec 1991-.

Commanders. Unkn, 1 Oct 1941-Feb 1942; Col William C. Sams, Feb 1942; Col Henry C. Thompson, Oct 1944-Oct 1945; Maj Jowell C. Wise, 12 Oct 1945; 1 Lt Wilburn H. Ohle, 21 Oct 1945-unkn. Unkn, 28 Feb-2 Nov 1947; Lt Col William L. Gray, 3 Nov 1947; Lt Col Ben K. Armstrong, 23 Feb 1948; Lt Col Donald Lang, 25 Feb 1948; Col William E. Basye, 5 Jun 1948; Lt Col Ben K. Armstrong, 25 Mar-1 Apr 1949. Col Henry R. Yancey Jr., 16 Dec 1991; Col Milton E. Branch Jr., 30 Aug 1993; Col John B. Saxman, 13 Oct 1995; Col Dale C. Waters, 19 May 1997; Lt Col Joseph F. Barron, 15 May 1999; Col Charles G. Duke III, 23 Jul 1999; Col Walter D. Givhan, 23 Jul 2001; Col Keith W. Snyder, 15 Jul 2002; Col Kevin C. Kriner, 1 Jul 2004; Col Douglas Troyer, Jul 2006; Col Glen VanHerck, Sep 2008; Col Dean Lee, Jan 2010 (interim)-.

Aircraft. O-38, 1941; O-46, 1941-1942; O-47, 1941-1942; O-49 1941-1942; O-52, 1941-1942; L-2, 1941-1942; A-20, 1942-1943; F-5, 1942-1946; P-38, 1942-1946; B-25, 1942-1946; L-5, 1943-1945; L-4, 1944; UC-61, 1944; UC-78, 1944-1945; F-6, 1945-1946; P-39, 1942-1944; P-40, 1942-1945. P-51, 1946-1947; F-15, 1947-1949; F-2, 1947-1948; RF-61, 1949. T-37, 1991-2006; T-38, 1991-; T-1, 1994-; T-6, 2006-.

Operations. The 71 Observation Group trained with B-25, P-38, and P-40 aircraft beginning in Oct 1941. It moved to California in Dec 1941 and flew antisubmarine patrols off the west coast, then moved to the Southwest Pacific in the fall of 1943 and flew reconnaissance missions over New Britain, New Guinea, and the Admiralties from bases in New Guinea and Biak. It also flew combat mission against Japanese installations, airfields, and shipping, while supporting Allied ground forces on New Guinea and Biak. During that time, it flew courier missions, participated in rescue operations, and hauled passengers and cargo. From Nov 1944, the group flew reconnaissance missions over Luzon, supported ground forces, photographed and bombed airfields in Formosa and China, and attacked enemy shipping in the South China Sea. Maj William A. Shomo earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for shooting down seven enemy aircraft on 11 Jan 1945. From Ie Shima in Aug 1945, the group attacked transportation targets on Kyushu and flew reconnaissance missions over southern Japan. From Feb 1947 to Aug 1948, the group, equipped with reconnaissance aircraft, flew aerial photographing missions over Japan and southern Korea. In Dec 1991, the 71 Operations Group assumed operational control over the 71 Flying Training Wing's T-37, T-38, and later T-1A aircraft, and provided undergraduate pilot training for USAF, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and allied countries. The group provided initial flight training, and follow-on training for fighter, bomber and airlift/tanker aircraft.
 
Service Streamers. None.
 
Campaign Streamers. World War II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Offensive, Japan; New Guinea; Bismarck Archipelago; Leyte; Luzon; China Defensive; China Offensive; Western Pacific.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.

Decorations. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: [15 Dec 1991]-31 Mar 1992; 1 Jul 1993-30 Jun 1995; 1 Jul 1996-30 Jun 1997; 1 Jul 1997-30 Jun 1998; 1 Jul 1998-30 Jun 1999; 1 Jul 1999-30 Jun 2000; 1 Jul 2001-30 Jun 2003; 1 Jul 2003-30 Jun 2004; 1 Jul 2004-30 Jun 2005. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 11 Jan 2010.

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 8 Jan 2010.

Supersedes statement prepared on 12 Sep 2005.

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

Prepared by Patsy Robertson.

Reviewed by Daniel Haulman.







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