HomeAbout UsFact SheetsDisplay

51 Fighter Wing (PACAF)

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.

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.

Lineage.   Established as 51 Fighter Wing on 10 Aug 1948. Activated on 18 Aug 1948. Redesignated as 51 Fighter-Interceptor Wing on 1 Feb 1950. Inactivated on 31 May 1971. Redesignated as 51 Air Base Wing on 20 Oct 1971. Activated on 1 Nov 1971. Redesignated as: 51 Composite Wing (Tactical) on 30 Sep 1974; 51 Tactical Fighter Wing on 1 Jul 1982; 51 Wing on 7 Feb 1992; 51 Fighter Wing on 1 Oct 1993.

 Assignments.  1 Air Division, 18 Aug 1948; Thirteenth Air Force, 1 Dec 1948; Twentieth Air Force, 16 May 1949 (attached to Fifth Air Force, 25 Sep 1950–1 Aug 1954 and further attached to 8 Fighter-Bomber Wing, 25 Sep–12 Oct 1950); 313 Air Division, 1 Mar 1955–31 May 1971.  314 Air Division, 1 Nov 1971; Seventh Air Force, 8 Sep 1986–.


Operational Components.   Groups. 5 Tactical Air Control (later, 5 Tactical Control; 5 Air Control): 8 Jan 1980–20 Jun 1982; 1 Oct 1990–1 Jul 1993. 51 Fighter (later, 51 Fighter-Interceptor, 51 Fighter, 51 Operations): 18 Aug 1948–25 Oct 1957 (detached 26 Sep–12 Oct 1950, 16 Aug 1954–15 Mar 1955); 1 Oct 1990–.  Squadrons. 16 Fighter-Interceptor: attached 1 Jul–24 Oct 1957, assigned 25 Oct 1957–24 Dec 1964. 19 Tactical Air Support: 30 Sep 1974–8 Jan 1980. 25 Fighter-Interceptor (later, 25 Tactical Fighter): attached 1 Jul–24 Oct 1957, assigned 25 Oct 1957–8 Jun 1960; 1 Feb 1981–31 Jun 1990. 36 Tactical Fighter: 30 Sep 1974–1 Oct 1990. 82 Fighter-Interceptor: attached 17 Feb–24 Jun 1966, assigned 25 Jun 1966–31 May 1971 (detached 30 Jan–20 Feb 1968). 318 Fighter-Interceptor: attached 11–18 Feb 1968. 497 Tactical Fighter: 1 Jan 1982–24 Jan 1989. 555 Tactical Fighter: attached 11 Dec 1964–15 Mar 1965 and 11 Nov 1965–25 Feb 1966.  558 Tactical Fighter: attached 12 Mar–15 Jun 1965. 559 Tactical Fighter: attached 12 Jun–15 Nov 1965.


Stations.   Naha Afld (later, AB), Okinawa, 18 Aug 1948; Itazuke AB, Japan, 22 Sep 1950; Kimpo AB, South Korea, 10 Oct 1950; Itazuke AB, Japan, 10 Dec 1950; Tsuiki AB, Japan, 15 Jan 1951; Suwon AB, South Korea, 1 Oct 1951– 26 Jul 1954; Naha AB, Okinawa, 1 Aug 1954–31 May 1971. Osan AB, South Korea, 1 Nov 1971–.


Commanders.    Brig Gen Hugo P. Rush, 18 Aug 1948; Col John W. Egan, 25 Mar 1949; Col Richard M. Montgomery, 1 Apr 1949; Col John W. Weltman, 19 Sep 1949; Col Oliver G. Cellini, 24 Apr 1951; Col William P. Litton, c. 1 Nov 1951; Col George R. Stanley, 2 Nov 1951; Col Francis S. Gabreski, 6 Nov 1951; Col John W. Mitchell, 13 Jun 1952; Col William C. Clark, 31 May 1953; Col Ernest H. Beverly, 9 Aug 1953; Col William C. Clark, 11 Sep 1953; Col Benjamin O. Davis Jr., Nov 1953; Col Barton M. Russell, 2 Jul 1954; Col Travis Hoover, 1 Aug 1954; Col Hilmer C. Nelson, 9 Aug 1954; Col Edwin C. Ambrosen, 16 Aug 1954; Col John H. Bell, 15 Nov 1955; Col Paul E. Hoeper, 2 Feb 1957; Col Robert L. Cardenas, 4 May 1957; Col Walter V. Gresham Jr., 15 Jul 1957; Col Elliott H. Reed, 1 Aug 1957; Col Walter V. Gresham Jr., 15 Aug 1957; Col Lester J. Johnson, 22 Nov 1957; Col William W. Ingenhutt, 25 Mar 1960; Col Lester C. Hess, 24 Jul 1962; Col Lloyd R. Larson, 11 Jun 1965; Col Frank E. Angier, 8 Apr 1967; Col John B. Weed, 13 Jun 1968; Col Roy D. Carlson, 30 Jun 1968–31 May 1971. Col Hewitt E. Lovelace Jr., 1 Nov 1971; Col John H. Allison, 1 Aug 1972; Col Billie J. Norwood, 7 Jun 1973; Col Alonzo L. Ferguson, 1 May 1974; Col Glenn L. Nordin, 30 Sep 1974; Brig Gen Vernon H. Sandrock, 12 Aug 1975; Col Frederick B. Hoenniger, 15 Jun 1977; Col James T. Boddie Jr., 18 Jun 1979; Col John C. Scheidt Jr., 16 May 1980; Col Eugene G. Myers, 20 Feb 1981; Col Thomas R. Olsen, 16 Jul 1982; Col Marcus F. Cooper Jr., 26 May 1983; Col Barry J. Howard, 18 Oct 1983; Col Charles D. Link, 20 Jul 1984; Col Henry J. Cochran, 12 Aug 1985; Col John C. Marshall, 12 Jun 1987; Col James J. Winters, 30 Jun 1989; Col Thomas R. Case, 17 Jul 1990; Brig Gen Robert G. Jenkins, 23 Jun 1992; Brig Gen Robert H. Foglesong, 31 Jan 1994; Brig Gen Steven R. Polk, 21 Nov 1995; Brig Gen Paul R. Dordal, 16 May 1997; Brig Gen Robert R. Dierker, 15 Sep 1998; Brig Gen David E. Clary, 22 May 2000; Brig Gen William L. Holland, 18 Mar 2002; Brig Gen Maurice H. Forsyth, 23 Sep 2003; Brig Gen Joseph Reynes Jr., 8 Jul 2005; Col Jon A. Norman, 15 Jun 2007; Col Thomas H. Deale, 15 Oct 2008; Col Patrick C. Malackowski, 7 Dec 2009; Col Patrick T. McKenzie, 15 Jul 2011; Col Brook J. Leonard, 19 Jul 2013–.  


Aircraft.   F-61, 1948-1950; F-80, 1948-1951; F-82, 1949-1950; F-86, 1951-1960; F-94, 1954-1955; F-102, 1959-1964, 1966-1971; F-4, 1964-1965, 1965-1966; F-106, 1968.  F-4, 1974-1989; OV-10, 1974-1982; A-10, 1982-1989; F-16, 1988-; OA-10, 1990-; C-12, 1992-2007; HH-60, 1993-1995; A-10, 1998-.


Operations.   In 1948, assumed air defense of Ryukyu Islands.  Commenced combat operations over Korea in Sep 1950 with combat air patrols, close air support, and armed reconnaissance missions in support of UN forces. Operated a detachment at Suwon AB, Korea, beginning in May 1951, and relocated there in Oct 1951, with maintenance and supply elements remaining in Japan until Aug 1954.  Ceased combat 27 Jul 1953.  Wing pilots claimed 312 victories against enemy MiG jet fighters, including the first USAF victory in the first all-jet aerial battle on 8 Nov 1950.  Following the cease-fire, resumed air defense of the Ryukyu Islands.  From Aug 1954 through early 1971, frequently deployed aircraft, crews, and support personnel throughout the Far East, including Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines.  Stationed one squadron (16 Fighter-Interceptor) at Tainan, Taiwan, 29 Aug 1958-26 Jan 1959 during the Quemoy-Matsu Crisis to fly combat air patrol for Nationalist Chinese Air Force supply flights.  Following the seizure of the USS Pueblo by North Korea, deployed one squadron (82 Fighter-Interceptor) and support personnel to Suwon AB, Korea, 30 Jan-20 Feb 1968, and sent other personnel to Osan AB, South Korea, to support the 314 Air Division.  Deployed an interceptor detachment to Suwon AB, South Korea, from Jun 1968 through 1970.   In Nov 1971, served primarily as a support wing for Osan AB and the Koon-Ni range complex, and, after 15 Apr 1975, for Taegu AB, South Korea.   Added a tactical mission on 30 Sep 1974.  The wing lost control of Taegu AB from Oct 1978 to Jan 1982.  In 1982, the wing gained a close air support capability to complement its air superiority role.  Frequently deployed aircraft and crews to participate in training exercises throughout the Far East during this period.  In addition, aircrews trained to perform fast forward air control missions beginning in 1984.  In 1988-1989, mission shifted to offensive counterair and all-weather air interdiction.  Restored tactical air control capabilities in Oct 1990, and, in Sep 1991, became the first operational F-16 unit to employ laser targeting with the LANTIRN navigation and targeting system. Airlift support operations were augmented with the addition of a flight of light transports in Aug 1992.  Took part in a series of joint and combined training exercises for the defense of the Republic of Korea (ROK). 


Service Streamers. None.


Campaign Streamers.   Korea: UN Offensive; CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea Summer, 1953.


Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers.  None.


Decorations.  Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 29 Aug 1958–19 Jan 1959; 26 Mar 1962–30 Sep 1963; 1 Jan 1965–31 Dec 1966; 1 Jan 1969–31 Dec 1970; 30 Sep 1974–31 Mar 1976; 1 Apr 1983–30 Apr 1984; 1 May 1984–30 Apr 1985; 1 Jul 1985–30 Jun 1987; 1 Jul 1987-30 Jun 1989; 1 Oct 1992-30 Sep 1994; 1 Nov 1995-31 May 1997; 1 Oct 2002-30 Sep 2004; 1 Oct 2007-30 Sep 2009; 1 Oct 2010-30 Sep 2012.  Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations: 20 Sep 1950–30 Jun 1951; 1 Jul 1951–31 Mar 1953; 19–20 Aug 1972.   


Bestowed Honors.  Authorized to display honors earned by the 51 Fighter Group prior to 18 Aug 1948.  Service Streamers. None.  Campaign Streamers. World War II: India-Burma; China Defensive; China Offensive. 


Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 2 Sep 2014.


Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 2 Sep 2014.


Supersedes statement prepared on 3 Dec 2008.


Emblem.  Approved for group on 5 Feb 1942, revised on 3 Nov 2010.


Prepared by Daniel L. Haulman


Reviewed by Carl E. Bailey