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439 Operations Group (AFRC)

Lineage.  Established as 439 Troop Carrier Group on 14 May 1943.  Activated on 1 Jun 1943.  Inactivated on 10 Jun 1946.  Redesignated as 439 Troop Carrier Group, Medium on 19 May 1949.  Activated in the Reserve on 27 Jun 1949.  Ordered to active service on 1 Apr 1951.  Inactivated on 3 Apr 1951.  Redesignated as 439 Fighter-Bomber Group on 26 May 1952.  Activated in the Reserve on 15 Jun 1952.  Inactivated on 16 Nov 1957.  Redesignated as 439 Military Airlift Group, and activated, on 27 Dec 1965.  Organized on 8 Jan 1966.  Inactivated on 24 Dec 1968.  Redesignated as 439 Operations Group, and activated in the Reserve, on 1 Aug 1992.

Assignments.   I Troop Carrier Command, 1 Jun 1943; Ninth Air Force, c. 10 Mar 1944; IX Troop Carrier Command, 26 Aug 1944; I Troop Carrier Command, Sep 1945; IX Troop Carrier Command, c. Dec 1945; Tactical Air Command, 21 Mar 1946; Third Air Force, unkn 1946-10 Jun 1946.  439 Troop Carrier Wing, 27 Jun 1949-3 Apr 1951.  439 Fighter-Bomber Wing, 15 Jun 1952-16 Nov 1957.  Military Air Transport Service, 27 Dec 1965; 322 Air Division, 8 Jan 1966-24 Dec 1968.   439 Airlift Wing, 1 Aug 1992-.


Operational Components.   Groups.  52 Military Airlift:  attached 8 Jan 1966-24 Dec 1968.  55 Military Airlift:  8 Jan 1966-24 Dec 1968.  Squadrons.  91 Troop Carrier (later, 91 Fighter-Bomber):  1 Jun 1943-10 Jun 1946; 27 Jun 1949-3 Apr 1951; 15 Jun 1952-1 Apr 1954.  92 Troop Carrier (later, 92 Fighter-Bomber):  1 Jun 1943-10 Jun 1946; 27 Jun 1949-3 Apr 1951; 15 Jun 1952-1 Apr 1954.  93 Troop Carrier (later, 93 Fighter-Bomber):  1 Jun 1943-10 Jun 1946; 27 Jun 1949-3 Apr 1951; 15 Jun 1952-16 Nov 1957.  94 Troop Carrier:  1 Jun 1943-10 Jun 1946; 27 Jun 1949-3 Apr 1951.  337 Airlift:  1 Aug 1992-.  471 Fighter-Bomber:  1 Apr 1954-1 Jul 1957.  472 Fighter-Bomber:  1 Apr 1954-16 Nov 1957.      


Stations.   Alliance AAFld, NE, 1 Jun 1943; Sedalia AAFld, MO, 15 Jun 1943; Alliance AAFld, NE, 2 Aug 1943; Laurinburg-Maxton AAB, NC, 16 Dec 1943; Baer Field, IN, 2-14 Feb 1944; Balderton, England, 10 Mar 1944; Upottery, England, 26 Apr 1944; Juvincourt, France, 8 Sep 1944; Lonray, France, 28 Sep 1944; Chateaudun, France, 4 Nov 1944-7 Sep 1945; Baer Field, IN, 22 Sep 1945; Sedalia AAFld, MO, 7 Oct 1945-10 Jun 1946.  Selfridge AFB, MI, 27 Jun 1949-3 Apr 1951.  Selfridge AFB, MI, 15 Jun 1952-16 Nov 1957.  Rhein-Main AB, Germany, 8 Jan 1966-24 Dec 1968.  Westover ARB, MA, 1 Aug 1992-.


Commanders.   Lt Col Ralph L. Zimmerman, 1 Jun 1943; Col Charles H. Young, 21 Jan 1944;  Col Gordon L. Edris, 6 Oct 1945;  Lt Col Lester C. Messenger, 16 Apr 1946;  Lt Col William M. Massengale Jr.,  28 May-10 Jun 1946.   Lt Col Leslie W. Seppala, 27 Jun 1949; Lt Col Donald G. LePard, 16 Nov 1949; Maj John H. Mohn, 24 Feb 1950; Col Kenneth R. Strauss, 17 May 1950; unkn, c. 20 Jan-3 Apr 1951.   Maj O. G. Shuh, 15 Jun 1952-unkn; Lt Col Richard M. Thornburn, c.1953-1 Mar 1955; unkn, 1 Mar 1955-1956; Lt Col Gari King, c.1956-1957.  Col Everett W. Langworthy, 8 Jan 1966; Col Roger J. Sterr, 28 Jul 1967-24 Dec 1968.  Col Robert K. Peacock, 1 Aug 1992; Col James K. Moran, 20 Apr 1994; Col David J. McCarthy, 1 Oct 1996; Lt Col Michael Kohut, 15 Oct 2001; Lt Col Udo K. McGregor, 4 Oct 2003-Jul 2007; unkn, Jul 2007-Oct 2011; Col Michael G. Miller , Nov 2011-. 


Aircraft.   C-47, 1943-1945; C-46, 1945-1946.  T-6, 1949-1950; T-7, 1949-1951; T-11, 1949-1951; TC-46, 1949-1951.  T-6, 1952-1954; C-46, 1952-1955; T-28, 1953-1955; F-51, 1953-1954; T-33, 1953-1954; F-80, 1953-1956; F-84, 1956-1957; F-86, 1957; TC-47, 1957; C-119, 1957.  C-118, 1966-1968; C-124, 1966-1968; C-131, 1966-1968.  C-5, 1992-.  


Operations.  Trained in the U.S. with C-47s, 1943-1944.  Moved to England, Feb-Mar 1944, for duty with Ninth Air Force.  Prepared for the invasion of occupied France and began operations by dropping paratroops of the 101 Airborne Division in Normandy on 6 Jun 1944 and releasing gliders with reinforcements on the following day.  The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) and a French citation for these missions.   After the Normandy invasion the group ferried supplies in the United Kingdom until the air echelon was sent to Italy in Jul to transport cargo to Rome and evacuate wounded personnel.  The detachment dropped paratroops of the 517 Parachute Infantry Regiment along the Riviera  in support of the invasion of Southern France on 15 Aug 1944 and later towed gliders to provide reinforcements;   for these missions the group  earned another citation from the French government.  After the air echelon returned to England on 25 Aug the group resumed its cargo missions.  After moving to France in Sep, the group dropped paratroops of the 82 Airborne Division near Nijmegen and towed gliders carrying reinforcements during the airborne attack on Holland.  In Dec 1944, the group participated in the Battle of the Bulge (Ardennes-Alsace) by releasing gliders with supplies for the 101 Airborne Division near Bastogne.   When the Allies made the air assault across the Rhine River in Mar 1945, each aircraft of the 439 towed two gliders with troops of the 17 Airborne Division and released them near Wesel.  When not carrying troops, the group hauled food, clothing, medicine, gasoline, ordnance equipment, and other supplies to the front lines and evacuated patients to rear zone hospitals.   Converting from C-47s to C-46s, the 439 used the new aircraft to transport displaced persons from Germany to France and Belgium after V-E Day. The group returned to the U.S., Jul-Sep 1945, and trained with C-46 aircraft until inactivated on 10 Jun 1946.  Activated in the Reserve on 27 Jun 1949, the group trained in troop carrier operations until 31 Mar 1951.  Mobilized on 1 Apr 1951 and inactivated on 3 Apr, personnel being used as fillers for USAF organizations, worldwide.  Activated in the Reserve on 15 Jun 1952, the group trained in fighter-bomber operations, 15 Jun 1952-16 Nov 1957.  Fighter-bomber operations phased out in Sep 1957 and the group flew TC-47 and C-119 aircraft until inactivated in Nov 1957.  Organized on 8 Jan 1966 as part of Military Airlift Command (MAC), replaced the 1602 Air Transport Group at Rhein-Main AB, Germany.  The group controlled assigned and attached MAC airlift units at Rhein-Main, provided air transport and air evacuation services within the European theater of operations and occasionally outside Europe.  Had one C-119 and C-118 squadron assigned, and another C-124 squadron attached.  Earned an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for May-Jun 1967 support during the Middle East crisis.   Inactivated on 24 Dec 1968.   Redesignated as 439 Operations Group, and activated in the Reserve on 1 Aug 1992.  Since then the group has trained for and flown global airlift operations, transporting personnel, equipment, and supplies and participating in numerous exercises.  


Service Streamers.  World War II American Theater.


Campaign Streamers.  World War II: Rome-Arno; Southern France; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.


Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers.   None.


Decorations.   Distinguished Unit Citation: France, [6-7] Jun 1944.  Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 May-13 Jun 1967; 1 Oct 1999-30 Sep 2001; 1 Oct

2001-30 Sep 2003; 1 Jul 2005-30 Jun 2007; 1 Jul 2007-30 Jun 2009.  French Croix de Guerre with Palm:  [6-7] Jun 1944; 15 Aug 1944.  French Fourragere.


Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 24 Sep 2012


Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through 24 Sep 2012. 


Supersedes statement prepared on 30 Mar 2001.   


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


Prepared by Patsy Robertson.


Approved by Daniel Haulman.