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459 Operations Group (AFRC)

Lineage.  Established as 459 Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943.  Activated on 1 Jul 1943.  Redesignated as 459 Bombardment Group, Heavy, on 20 Aug 1943.  Inactivated on 28 Aug 1945.  Redesignated as 459 Bombardment Group, Very Heavy, on 11 Mar 1947.  Activated in the Reserve on 19 Apr 1947.  Redesignated as 459 Bombardment Group, Medium, on 27 Jun 1949.  Ordered to active service on 1 May 1951.  Inactivated on 16 Jun 1951.  Redesignated as 459 Troop Carrier Group, Medium, on 30 Dec 1954.  Activated in the Reserve on 26 Jan 1955.  Inactivated on 14 Apr 1959.  Redesignated as: 459 Tactical Airlift Group on 31 Jul 1985; 459 Operations Group on 1 Aug 1992.  Activated in the Reserve on 1 Aug 1992.   

Assignments.  Second Air Force, 1 Jul 1943; First Air Force, 31 Oct 1943; 304 Bombardment Wing, 25 Jan 1944; Second Air Force, 13-28 Aug 1945.  304 Bombardment Wing (later, 304 Air Division), 19 Apr 1947; Eighth Air Force, 27 Jun 1949 (attached to 43 Bombardment Group; 27 Jun 1949-); Fifteenth Air Force, 1 Apr 1950-16 Jun 1951 (remained attached to 43 Bombardment Group, 1 Apr 1950-10 Feb 1951; attached to 43 Bombardment Wing, 10 Feb-16 Jun 1951) .  459 Troop Carrier Wing, 26 Jan 1955-14 Apr 1959.  459 Airlift (later, 459 Air Refueling) Wing, 1 Aug 1992-.  


Operational Components.  Squadrons. 57 Fighter: 15 May 1947-27 Jun 1949.  756 Bombardment (later, 756 Troop Carrier; 756 Airlift; 756 Air Refueling):  1 Jul 1943-28 Aug 1945; 19 Apr 1947-26 Jun 1949; 26 Jan 1955-14 Apr 1959; 1 Aug 1992-.  757 Bombardment (later, 757 Troop Carrier):  1 Jul 1943-28 Aug 1945; 12 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949; 8 Apr 1955-14 Apr 1959.  758 Bombardment (later, 758 Troop Carrier):  1 Jul 1943-28 Aug 1945; 12 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949; 16 Nov 1957-14 Apr 1959.  759 Bombardment:  1 Jul 1943-28 Aug 1945; 12 Jul 1947-16 Jun 1951.


Stations.    Alamogordo AAFld, NM, 1 Jul 1943; Davis-Monthan Fld, AZ, 28 Jul 1943; Kearns, UT, c. 31 Aug 1943; Davis-Monthan Fld, AZ, c. 21 Sep 1943; Westover Fld, MA, 31 Oct 1943-3 Jan 1944; Guilia Afld, Cerignola, Italy, c. 12 Feb 1944-c Jul 1945; Sioux Falls AAFld, SD, c. 16-28 Aug 1945.  Long Beach AAFld, CA, 19 Apr 1947; Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ, 27 Jun 1949-16 Jun 1951.  Andrews AFB, MD, 26 Jan 1955-14 Apr 1959.  Andrews AFB (later, Joint Base Andrews), MD, 1 Aug 1992-. 


Commanders.   Col Marden M. Munn, 28 Jul 1943; Col Henry K. Mooney, 13 Aug 1944; Lt Col William R. Boutz, 19 May 1945; Lt Col J. C. Bailey, 30 May-c. 28 Aug 1945.  Unkn, 19 Apr 1947-16 Jun 1951.  Unkn, 26 Jan 1955-Apr 1958; Lt Col Campbell Y. Jackson, by Apr 1958-14 Apr 1959.  Col Hanferd J. Moen Jr., 1 Aug 1992; Col Randall W. Young, 7 Aug 1994; Lt Col Kelly C. Curtis, 8 Jan 1995; Col Hanferd J. Moen Jr., 16 Jun 1995; Col Louis C. Cusimano, 9 Sep 1995; Lt Col James T. Rubeor, 4 Aug 1996; Col David E. Doyle, 11 Mar 1998; Lt Col Edsel A. Frye, 21 Apr 2004; Col Robert N. Maddox, 9 Jan 2005-unkn; Col Brian S. Davis, Jan 2012-.      


Aircraft.   B-24, 1943-1945.  T-6, 1947-1949; T-7, 1947-1949; T-11, 1947-1949.  C-45, 1955-1958; C-46, 1955-1957; C-119, 1957-1959.  C-141, 1992-2003; KC-135, 2003-.


Operations.  The 459 Bombardment Group trained for combat with B-24s from summer 1943 to Jan 1944.  Between Mar 1944 and Apr 1945, it flew strategic bombardment missions under the Fifteenth Air Force, raiding targets such as oil refineries, aircraft and munitions factories, industrial areas, airfields, and communication centers in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Rumania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Greece.  In Mar 1944, the group attacked railroads in Italy to cut enemy supply lines leading to the Anzio beachhead.  It earned a Distinguished Unit Citation for a 23 Apr 1944 mission against an aircraft factory and airfield at Bad Voslau, Austria.  The 459th took part in the pre-invasion bombing of southern France in Aug 1944.  In Apr 1945, its aircraft struck railroad bridges, marshalling yards, and depots to support Allied forces in northern Italy.   Between Apr 1947 and May 1951, the group served as a reserve bombardment group until called to active service in May 1951.  Between Jun 1955 and Apr 1959, it served as a reserve troop carrier group in the Washington, DC, area.  In Aug 1992, the 459th became an airlift group, flying jet transports as part of the Total Force concept.  From then until September 1994, it participated in contingency and humanitarian airlift operations, training exercises, Air Mobility Command channel flights, and aeromedical evacuation missions and provided air transportation for deployment of other units.  Supported Operations ENDURING FREEDOM and IRAQI FREEDOM with intertheater airlift, Oct 2001- Sep 2003.  Deployed aircraft and crews in 2005 to provide air refueling support of IRAQI FREEDOM.  Supported global air refueling and aeromedical evacuation missions, 2003-.


Service Streamers.  None. 


Campaign Streamers.  World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; 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 Citation: Bad Voslau, Austria, 23 Apr 1944.  Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Oct 1993-30 Sep 1995; 1 May 2002-30 Apr 2004; 1 Jan 2005-31 Dec 2006.  


Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 11 Mar 2013.


Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through Jan 2012.


Supersedes statement prepared on 28 Nov 2012.


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


Prepared by Patsy Robertson.


Reviewed by Daniel Haulman.