133rd Airlift Wing

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133rd Airlift Wing
133d Airlift Wing - C-130 - 2.jpg
In the orange light of the setting sun on 15 Dec. 2009, a 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard C-130 H3 model cargo aircraft prepares for a cold weather training flight.
Active 1943–present
Country  United States
Allegiance  Minnesota
Branch US-AirNationalGuard-2007Emblem.svg  Air National Guard
Type Wing
Role Airlift
Part of Minnesota Air National Guard
Garrison/HQ Minneapolis–Saint Paul Joint Air Reserve Station, Minnesota
Motto "Citizen's Serving America - Airmen Defending Freedom"
Tail Code Dark Maroon tail stripe "Minnesota" in yellow letters
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel James Johnson
Insignia
133rd Airlift Wing emblem 133rd Airlift Wing shield.jpg

The 133rd Airlift Wing (133 AW) is a unit of the Minnesota Air National Guard, stationed at Minneapolis–Saint Paul Joint Air Reserve Station, Minnesota. If activated to federal service, the Wing is gained by the United States Air Force Air Mobility Command.

The 109th Airlift Squadron assigned to the Wings 133rd Operations Group, is a descendant organization of the World War I 109th Aero Squadron, established on 27 August 1917. It was reformed on 17 January 1921, as the 109th Observation Squadron, being the first of 29 aviation National Guard squadrons to receive federal recognition following World War I.

Overview[edit]

The 133rd Airlift Wing (AW) is a unit of the Minnesota Air National Guard, stationed at Minneapolis–Saint Paul Joint Air Reserve Station. Gained by the USAF Air Mobility Command if federalize, the unit is an air transport organization flying C-130H Hercules tactical airlifters. Its normal flying operations include air-drop training and transport missions. The four engine C-130 turboprop aircraft can land on short runways or airdrop personnel and equipment into areas lacking an airfield. These capabilities are well suited for disaster relief missions.

The 133rd AW's mission is to provide combat ready air crews, support personnel, and aircraft for the airlift of passengers and cargo anywhere in the world. Upon direction of the Governor, the unit can furnish personnel and equipment, including aircraft, to assist in natural disaster relief or to safeguard life and property in Minnesota.

Units[edit]

The 133rd Airlift Wing consists of the following units:

  • 133rd Operations Group
109th Airlift Squadron
109th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron
  • 133rd Maintenance Group
  • 133rd Mission Support Group
  • 133rd Medical Group

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

see: 367th Fighter Group for expanded World War II history
392d Fighter Squadron Lockheed P-38G-10-LO Lightning 42-12982

Organized as 367th Fighter Group and trained in California during 1943. Trained with P-39 Aircobras. Moved to England, March–April 1944, and assigned to IX Fighter Command, Ninth Air Force. Equipped with P-38 Lightnings in April 1944. Entered combat in May 1944, attacking rail roads, bridges, hangars, and other targets in western France, and escorting bombers that struck airfields, marshalling yards, and other facilities in the same area. From D-Day to 8 June 1944, provided cover for Allied forces crossing the Channel; during the remainder of June, bombed and strafed convoys, troops, flak towers, power stations, and other objectives behind the invasion beaches.

Moved to the Continent in July 1944 and operated chiefly in support of ground forces until V-E Day. Struck railroads, marshaling yards, and trains to prevent enemy reinforcements from reaching the front during the Allied breakthrough at St Lo in Jul 1944. Received a Distinguished Unit Citation for a mission in France on 25 August: after attacking landing grounds at Clastres, Peronne, and Rosieries through an intense antiaircraft barrage, the group engaged a number of enemy planes and then, despite a low fuel supply, strafed a train and convoy after leaving the scene of battle; later the same day the 367th flew a fighter sweep of more than 8oo miles, hitting landing grounds at Cognac, Bourges, and Dijon.

Attacked German strong points to aid the Allied push against the Siegfried Line in the fall of 1944. On 26 December, during the Battle of the Bulge, escorted C-47's that dropped supplies to allied troops encircled at Bastogne. Received another DUC for action on 19 Mar 1945: although its target was located in mountainous terrain, concealed by ground haze, and well defended by antiaircraft artillery, the group descended to low altitude to bomb and strafe the headquarters of the German Commander-ln-Chief, West, at Zlegenburg. Struck tanks, trucks, flak positions, and other objectives in support of the assault across the Rhine late in Mar and the final allied operations in Germany.

Continued combat operations until the German capitulation in May 1945. On July 1 it was announced the squadron was to go to the Pacific Theater of Operations, and returned to the United States to be re-equipped with long range P-47N Thunderbolts. Japanese Capitulation in August led to the unit becoming excess to requirements, and was demobilized at Seymour Johnson field, North Carolina. Was inactivated as a paper unit in November 1945

Minnesota Air National Guard[edit]

108th FS F-51K Mustang 44-11992
Boeing C-97A Stratofreighter 49-2607 about 1960

The wartime 367th Fighter Group was re-activated and re-designated as the 133rd Fighter Group, and was allotted to the Minnesota Air National Guard, on 24 May 1946. It was organized at Wold-Chamberlain Field, Minneapolis, and was extended federal recognition on 28 August 1947 by the National Guard Bureau. The 133rd Fighter Group was assigned the 109th Fighter Squadron in Minneapolis, and the 179th Fighter Squadron at Duluth. The group was allocated to Second Air Force, Air Defense Command (ADC) with a mission of the air defense for the State of Minnesota.

Air defense[edit]

On 2 March 1951 the 133rd Fighter Group was federalized and brought to active-duty due to the Korean War. Assigned to Air Defense Command, ADC formed the 133rd Fighter-Interceptor Wing and assigned the group to the new Wing as its operational component. The 133rd Fighter-Interceptor Group controlled the 109th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Minneapolis and the 179th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Duluth. The 133rd Wing and Group were inactivated on 6 February 1952 and the squadrons reassigned to the 31st Air Division of Air Defense Command for the remainder of their federal service. The unit was reformed as the 133rd Fighter-Interceptor Group under Minnesota state control on 1 December 1952.

After the Korean War, the squadron was re-formed by 1 January 1953 and resumed its air defense mission. Was upgraded by ADC in 1954 to the dedicated F-94A Starfire all-weather interceptor. With this new aircraft, the mission of the 109th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron changed from day interceptor to day and night all-weather interceptor. In 1958 the 109th again upgraded to the improved F-89H Scorpion.

Strategic Airlift[edit]

In 1960, the 133rd FIG was reassigned to Military Air Transport Service (MATS), trading in its air defense interceptors for 4-engines C-97 Stratofreighter transports. With air transportation recognized as a critical wartime need, the unit was re-designated the 133rd Air Transport Group (Heavy). During the 1961 Berlin Crisis, both the Group and squadron were federalized on 1 October 1961. From Minneapolis, the 109th ATS augmented MATS airlift capability world-wide in support of the Air Force's needs. It returned again to Minnesota state control on 31 August 1962. Throughout the 1960s, the unit flew long-distance transport missions in support of Air Force requirements, frequently sending aircraft to Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, and during the Vietnam War, to both South Vietnam, Okinawa and Thailand.

Tactical Airlift[edit]

At Muniz Air National Guard Base, Puerto Rico on a two-week rotation in support of the U.S. Southern Command's Coronet Oak mission.
A C-130 H3 flies over the shore of Mille Lacs Lake area in central Minnesota during a training mission
A C-130 H3 banks hard over the Mille Lacs Lake area in central Minnesota during a training mission
A Minnesota ANG C-130E dropping U.S. Army paratroopers during the "Rodeo 92" airdrop competition at Pope Air Force Base, NC

The C-97s were retired in 1971 and the 133rd TAG was transferred to Tactical Air Command (TAC). It transitioned to the C-130A Hercules theater transport, flying missions in support of TAC throughout the United States and Alaska. In 1974 the unit was returned to Military Airlift Command (MAC) when TAC transferred out its troop carrier mission. In the early 1970s, USAF's "Total Force" policy brought the wing into full partnership with its Air Force counterparts by mandating co-operation and teamwork between Air Guard and active duty Air Force units in all phases of military airlift operations. As a result, in succeeding years the unit's C-130s traveled to all corners of the world, airlifting troops, passengers, and cargo during training missions, exercise deployments, and real-world military operations to support Federal and State military airlift requirements.

The unit has been upgraded over the years with newer C-130E aircraft in 1981 and currently flies the C-130H, which it received in 1995. 2011 marked the 90th anniversary of the 1921 decision to make Minnesota's 109th Aero Squadron the first federally-recognized National Guard flying unit in the country. To commemorate the heritage of the Minnesota Air National Guard, the 133rd Airlift Wing hosted an Air Expo, welcoming upwards of 15,000 members of the community to the base to celebrate.

During 2011, the 109th Airlift Squadron deployed 528 Airmen to 17 countries, serving in support of U.S. operations worldwide, including humanitarian missions to Africa, Honduras and Indonesia. The squadron provides combat-ready air crews, support personnel, and aircraft for the airlift of passengers and cargo anywhere in the world. Upon direction of the Governor, the unit furnishes personnel and equipment, including aircraft, to assist in natural disaster relief or to safeguard life and property in Minnesota.

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted as 367th Fighter Group on 26 May 1943
Activated on 15 July 1943
Inactivated on 7 November 1945
  • Re-designated 133d Fighter Group and allotted to Minnesota ANG on 24 May 1946.
Extended federal recognition on 28 August 1947
Federalized and placed on active duty, 2 March 1951
  • Established as 133d Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 2 March 1951
133d Fighter-Interceptor Group assigned as subordinate unit
Inactivated 6 February 1952
  • Released from active duty and returned to Minnesota state control, 1 December 1952
Activated on 1 December 1952
Re-designated: 133d Air Transport Wing, 1 July 1960
Group re-designated 133d Air Transport Group
Federalized and placed on active duty, 1 October 1961
Released from active duty and returned to Minnesota state control, 31 August 1962
Re-designated: 133d Military Airlift Wing, 8 January 1966
Group re-designated 133d Military Airlift Group
Re-designated: 133d Tactical Airlift Wing , 20 March 1971
Group re-designated 133d Tactical Airlift Group
133d Tactical Airlift Group inactivated 30 June 1974
Re-designated: 133d Airlift Wing, 16 March 1992
Group re-activated and re-designated 133d Operations Group

Assignments[edit]

Attached to: San Francisco Fighter Wing, 10 December 1943 – 8 March 1944
Attached to: IX Air Support (later, IX Tactical Air) Command, 3 October 1944
Gained by: Central Air Defense Force, Air Defense Command
Gained by: Eastern Transport Air Force (EASTAF), Air Transport Command, 1 July 1960
Gained by: Eastern Transport Air Force (EASTAF), Air Transport Command
Gained by: Twenty-First Air Force, Military Airlift Command, 8 January 1966
Gained by: Tactical Air Command, 20 March 1971
Gained by: Military Airlift Command, 1 December 1974
Gained by: Air Mobility Command, 1 June 1992
Gained by: Air Combat Command, 1 October 1993
Gained by: Air Mobility Command, 1 April 1997 – present

Components[edit]

World War II[edit]

Air National Guard[edit]

  • 133rd Operations Group, 16 March 1992 – Present

Stations[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

Decorations[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office 1961 (republished 1983, Office of Air Force History, ISBN 0-912799-02-1)
  • Rogers, B. (2006). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. ISBN 1-85780-197-0
  • Gross, Charles J (1996), The Air National Guard and the American Military Tradition, United States Dept. of Defense
  • 133rd Airlift Wing History

External links[edit]