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97 OPERATIONS GROUP (AETC)

Posted 7/19/2010 Printable Fact Sheet

Lineage. Established as 97 Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 28 Jan 1942. Activated on 3 Feb 1942. Redesignated as 97 Bombardment Group, Heavy, on 30 Sep 1944. Inactivated on 29 Oct 1945. Redesignated as 97 Bombardment Group, Very Heavy, on 15 Jul 1946. Activated on 4 Aug 1946. Redesignated as 97 Bombardment Group, Medium, on 12 Jul 1948. Inactivated on 16 Jun 1952. Redesignated as 97 Operations Group on 29 Aug 1991. Activated on 1 Sep 1991. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1992. Activated on 1 Oct 1992.
 
Assignments. Third Air Force, 3 Feb 1942; VIII Bomber Command, 20 May 1942; XII Bomber Command, 14 Sep 1942; 5 Bombardment Wing, Jan 1943-c. 29 Oct 1945. Fifteenth Air Force, 4 Aug 1946 (attached to Yukon Sector, Alaskan Air Command, c. 2-30 Nov 1947); 97 Bombardment Wing, Very Heavy (later, 97 Bombardment Wing, Medium), 1 Dec 1947-16 Jun 1952 (attached to 3 Air Division, 4 Nov 1948-15 Feb 1949 and c. 26 Jul 1950-9 Feb 1951; not operational, 10 Feb 1951-16 Jun 1952). 97 Wing, 1 Sep 1991-1 Apr 1992. 97 Air Mobility Wing, 1 Oct 1992-.
 
Operational Components. Group. 401 Bombardment: attached 27 Jun 1949-10 Feb 1951. Squadrons. 11 Air Refueling: 1 Oct 1992-1 Jul 1993. 24 Reconnaissance (later, 414 Bombardment: 3 Feb 1942-29 Oct 1945). 54 Air Refueling: 16 Jan 1998-. 55 Air Refueling: 28 Oct 1994-1 Apr 2009. 56 Airlift: 1 Oct 1992-30 Sep 2008. 57 Airlift: 1 Oct 1992-30 Sep 2001. 58 Airlift: 30 Jan 1996-. 97 Air Refueling: 1 Mar 1949-16 Jun 1952 (not operational 1 Mar 1949-23 Jan 1950; detached 12 Jul 1950-16 Jun 1952); 1 Sep 1991-1 Apr 1992. 306 Air Refueling: 1 Oct 1992-1 Jul 1993. 340 Bombardment (later, 340 Bomb): 3 Feb 1942-29 Oct 1945; 4 Aug 1946-16 Jun 1952 (detached, 10 Feb 1951-16 Jun 1952); 1 Sep 1991-7 Jan 1992. 341 Bombardment: 3 Feb 1942-29 Oct 1945; 4 Aug 1946-16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Feb 1951-16 Jun 1952). 342 Bombardment: 3 Feb 1942-29 Oct 1945; 4 Aug 1946-16 Jun 1952 (detached 10 Feb 1951-16 Jun 1952).
 
Stations. MacDill Fld, FL, 3 Feb 1942; Sarasota, FL, 29 Mar-c. 16 May 1942; Polebrook, England, c. 13 Jun-c. 9 Nov 1942; Maison Blanche, Algeria, c. 13 Nov 1942; Tafaraoui, Algeria, c. 22 Nov 1942; Biskra, Algeria, c. 25 Dec 1942; Chateau-dun-du-Rhumel, Algeria, c. 8 Feb 1943; Pont-du-Fahs, Tunisia, c. 1 Aug 1943; Depienne, Tunisia, c. 15 Aug 1943; Cerignola, Italy, c. 20 Dec 1943; Amendola, Italy, 16 Jan 1944; Marcianise, Italy, c. 1-29 Oct 1945. Smoky Hill AAFld (later, Smoky Hill AFB), KS, 4 Aug 1946 (deployed at Mile 26 Air Field [later, Eielson AFB], AK, 2 Nov 1947-13 Mar 1948); Biggs AFB, TX, 17 May 1948-16 Jun 1952 (deployed at Marham RAF Station, England, 4 Nov 1948-15 Feb 1949, and at Sculthorpe RAF Station, England, c. 26 Jul 1950-9 Feb 1951). Eaker AFB, AR, 1 Sep 1991-1 Apr 1992. Altus AFB, OK, 1 Oct 1992-.
 
Commanders. Col Cornelius W. Cousland, Feb 1942; Col James H. Walsh, c. Jul 1942; Col Frank A. Armstrong Jr., c. 2 Aug 1942; Brig Gen Joseph H. Atkinson, c. 27 Sep 1942; Col Stanley J. Donovan, 5 Jan 1943; Col Leroy A. Rainey, 29 Jun 1943; Col Frank Allen, Nov 1943; Col Jacob E. Smart, 7 Apr 1944; Col Frank Allen, 11 May 1944; Col Elmer J. Rogers Jr., Jun 1944; Col Nils O. Ohman, 22 Aug 1944; Col William K. Kincaid, May 1945-unkn. Col Walter S. Lee, c. 4 Aug 1946; Lt Col William D. Bacon, c. 27 Aug 1946; Col William E. McDonald, 9 Oct 1946; Col George L. Robinson, 10 Sep 1947-c. 17 Mar 1948; unkn, c. 18 Mar-c. May 1948; Maj Joseph A. Ryan, by May 1948-unkn; Lt Col Paul K Blair, unkn 1948; Col George L. Robinson, 24 Jan 1949; Col Dalene E. Bailey, 20 Apr 1949; Lt Col William H. Reddell, 1 Aug 1949; Col Dalene E. Bailey, 19 Aug 1949; Col Harvey C. Dorney, c. 21 Jan-9 Feb 1951; none (not manned), 10 Feb 1951-16 Jun 1952. Col Randall E. Wooten, 1 Sep 1991-1 Apr 1992. Col Charles L. Johnson II, 1 Oct 1992; Col Mark A. Volcheff, 21 Jun 1993; Col Quentin L. Peterson, 27 Jun 1994; Col Bradley S. Baker, 12 Aug 1996; Col Edward G. Redmon, 30 Jul 1998; Col Michelle D. Johnson, 6 Mar 2000; Col William G. Palmby, 15 Mar 2002; Col Mark C. Dillon, 7 Jul 2004; Col John C. Millander, 10 Jan 2006; Col Keith E. Tobin, 14 Jun 2007; Col John S. Oates, 5 Jun 2009-.
 
Aircraft. B-17, 1942-1945. B-29, 1946-1950; B-50, 1950-1951; KB-29, 1950-1951. KC-135, 1991-1992. KC-135, 1992-1993, 1994-; C-141, 1992-2001; C-5, 1992-2007; C-17, 1996-.
 
Operations. Early in 1942, trained B-17 crews in Florida and flew antisubmarine patrols. Entered combat with the Eighth Air Force on 17 Aug 1942, bombing a marshalling yard at Rouen in the first mission flown by the Army Air Forces' heavy bombers based in England. Attacked airfields, marshalling yards, industries, naval installations, and other targets in France and the Low Countries. Moved in Nov 1942 to the Mediterranean theater, being assigned first to Twelfth and later (Nov 1943) to Fifteenth Air Force. From Nov 1942 through May 1943, struck shipping in the Mediterranean Sea and airfields, docks, harbors, and marshalling yards in north Africa, southern France, Sardinia, Sicily, and the southern Italian mainland in a campaign to cut supply lines to German forces in north Africa. Helped force the capitulation of Pantelleria Island in Jun 1943. Bombed in preparation for and in support of the invasions of Sicily and southern Italy in the summer and fall of 1943. From Nov 1943 to Apr 1945, attacked targets in Italy, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, Rumania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Greece, attacking oil refineries, marshalling yards, aircraft factories, and other strategic objectives. Earned a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for leading a raid against an aircraft factory at Steyr on 24 Feb 1944 during Big Week, the intensive air campaign against the German aircraft industry. Participated in first shuttle-bombing mission to Russia (Operation Frantic) in June 1944. The group earned a second DUC for a devastating raid against one of the Ploesti oil refineries in Rumania on 18 Aug 1944. Supported Allied forces at Anzio and Cassino by pounding enemy communications, transportation targets, and airfields. Bombed coastal defenses in preparation for the invasion of southern France. Assisted the American Fifth and British Eighth Armies in their advance through the Po Valley of northern Italy until the German surrender in May 1945. Beginning in 1946, trained as a Strategic Air Command bombardment group, participating in numerous exercises, operational readiness inspections, and overseas deployments. Deployed to northern Alaska in 1947-1948. Deployed twice to the United Kingdom. Unmanned from 10 Feb 1951 to 16 Jun 1952. Between Sep 1991 and Apr 1992, flew aerial refueling missions for the Strategic Air Command. Between Oct 1992 and Jul 1993, flew strategic airlift and aerial refueling training missions for Air Mobility Command. After 1 Jul 1993, supported Air Education and Training Command by training flying crews with strategic airlift and air refueling aircraft. Conducted Hurricane Katrina support missions after Sep 2005. Increased combat aircrew and battlefield deployment training, 2004-.
 
Service Streamers. None.

Campaign Streamers. World War II: Antisubmarine, American Theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Egypt-Libya; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Po Valley; Air Combat, EAME Theater.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Steyr, Austria, 24 Feb 1944; Ploesti, Rumania, 18 Aug 1944. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Oct 1992-30 Jun 1993; 1 Jul 1993-30 Jun 1994; 1 Jul 1994-30 Jun 1995; 1 Jul 1995-30 Jun 1996; 1 Jul 1996-30 Jun 1998; 1 Jul 1998-30 Jun 1999; 1 Jul 1999-30 Jun 2000; 1 Jul 2000-30 Jun 2002; 1 Jul 2002-30 Jun 2004; 1 Jul 2004-30 Jun 2006; 1 Jul 2006-30 Jun 2007; 1 Jul 2007-30 Jun 2008; 1 Jul 2008-30 Jun 2009.

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through Jun 2010.

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through Jun 2010.

Supersedes statement prepared on 15 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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