321st Air Expeditionary Group

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321st Air Expeditionary Group
321st Air Expeditionary Wing.png
Emblem of the 321st Air Expeditionary Group
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part of Air Combat Command

The 321st Air Expeditionary Group (321 AEG) is a provisional United States Air Force Air Combat Command unit. It now[when?] appears to be the 321st Air Expeditionary Training Group at COB Speicher, Iraq, supervising Iraqi Air Force training.

The group's World War II predecessor unit, the 321st Bombardment Group (Medium) flew B-25 Mitchells in combat with the Northwest African Strategic Air Force in 1943 and the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force in 1944-45. The group was assigned to the 12th Air Force of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.

From 2001, the unit was believed to operate RQ-1 Predator reconnaissance unmanned aerial vehicles against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda as part of Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan (OEF-A). It was believed[when?] to be stationed at Jacobabad Airbase, Pakistan.

Components[edit]

Currently it appears that the 52d Expeditionary Flying Training Squadron is attached to the Group.

History[edit]

See the 321st Air Expeditionary Wing for additional history and lineage

World War II[edit]

Media related to United States Army Air Forces 321st Bombardment Group at Wikimedia Commons

Emblem of the 321st Bombardment Group
B-25 Mitchells of the 321st Bomb Group over Italy, 1944

Constituted as 321st Bombardment Group (Medium) on 19 June 1942 and activated on 26 June at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. The group's operational squadrons were the 445th, 446th, 447th and 448th Bombardment Squadrons.

The group trained for overseas duty with North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers at several Third Air Force training bases in the southeast. Was assigned and deployed to the Mediterranean theater in January 1943, arriving in Algeria in March. The 321st was assigned to Twelfth Air Force.

In North Africa, the 321st engaged primarily in support and interdictory operations, bombing marshalling yards, rail lines, highways, bridges, viaducts, troop concentrations, gun emplacements, shipping, harbors, and other objectives in North Africa. Later targets shifted to Southern France, Sicily, Italy, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Greece.

The 321st also engaged in psychological warfare missions, dropping propaganda leaflets behind enemy lines. Took part in the Allied operations against Axis forces in North Africa during March–May 1943, the reduction of Pantelleria and Lampedusain June, the invasion of Sicily in July, the landing at Salerno in September, the Allied advance toward Rome during January–June 1944, the invasion of Southern France in August 1944, and the Allied operations in northern Italy from September 1944 to April 1945.

The group received two DUC's: for completing a raid on an air drome near Athens, 8 October 1943, in spite of intense flak and attacks by numerous enemy interceptors; and for bombing a battleship, a cruiser, and a submarine in Toulon harbor on 18 August 1944 to assist the Allied invasion of Southern France.

The 321st Bombardment Group was inactivated near Pomigliano d'Arco, Italy on 12 September 1945. It was later briefly activated as part of the Air Force Reserve at Mansfield Airport, Ohio as the 321st Bombardment group (Light) (June 1947 – June 1949) and equipped with A-26/B-26 Invaders, then inactivated.

Strategic Missile Group[edit]

In March 1993, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission selected the 321st Strategic Missile Wing for inactivation. The wing was downgraded to group status in 1994, and the 321st Missile Group was given a dual mission: To operate, maintain and secure combat-ready ICBM forces for the National Command Authority and to safely and securely transfer its alert responsibilities to the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.

The 321st Missile Group was inactivated in 1995.

Air Expeditionary Group[edit]

Converted to provisional status and activated as 321st Air Expeditionary Group in 2001.

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted as 321st Bombardment Group (Medium) on 19 June 1942
Activated on 26 June 1942
Inactivated in Italy on 12 September 1945.
  • Redesignated 321st Bombardment Group (Light). Allotted to the reserve
Activated in the US on 29 June 1947
Inactivated on 27 June 1949
  • Activated as 321st Missile Group on 1 July 1994
Inactivated: 30 September 1998
  • Converted to provisional status and allocated to Air Combat Command to activate or inactivate any time after 1 October 2001.
  • Redesignated as 321st Air Expeditionary Group on 1 October 2001 and activated

Assignments[edit]

Probably attached to Air Forces Central

Components[edit]

Commanders[edit]

  • Unknown, Jun-Aug 1942.
  • Col William C Mills, 3 Aug 1942.
  • Col Robert D. Knapp, Sep 1942.
  • Lt Col Charles T Olmsted, 5 Dec 1943.
  • Lt Col Peter H Remington, 18 Mar 1944.
  • Col Richard H Smith, 26 Mar 1944.
  • Lt Col Charles F Cassidy Jr, 28 Jan 1945-unknown.

Stations[edit]

Campaigns[edit]

  • Air Combat, European-African-Middle Eastern (EAME) Theater.
  • Tunisia.
  • Sicily.
  • Naples-Foggia.
  • Rome-Arno.
  • Southern France.
  • North Apennines.
  • Central Europe.
  • Po Valley.

Aircraft and missiles assigned[edit]

References[edit]

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

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • War on Terrorism forces

External links[edit]