322d Air Expeditionary Group

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322d Air Expeditionary Group
322dtacticalairliftwing-patch.jpg
Emblem of the 322d Tactical Airlift Wing (1970–1975)
Active 1942–1945; 1947–1949; 1954–1957; 1970–1975; 2004-TBD
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Garrison/HQ Ramstein/Sembach
Motto RECTO FACIENDO NEMINEM TIMEO – "I fear none in doing right"
Staff Sgt. Austin Layton marshals a C-130 Hercules aircraft. He is a flight manager assigned to the 322nd Air Expeditionary Group

The 322d Air Expeditionary Group (322 AEG) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe. As a provisional unit, it may be activated or inactivated at any time.

The group appears to have been activated periodically on-order to provide support to U.S./AU activities in Africa under USAFE's Seventeenth Air Force. In 2004, elements of the Group assisted the AU deployment to Sudan.[1]

During World War II, the group's predecessor unit, the 322d Bombardment Group (Medium) was a B-26 Marauder bombardment group assigned to the Eighth and later Ninth Air Force.

History[edit]

322d Bombardment Group (Medium)[edit]

322dbg-wwII-emblem.jpg
B-26 of the 322d Medium Bomb Group on the perimeter track prior to takeoff
B-26 Marauder of the 322d Bomb Group on a mission over enemy-occupied territory, 1944.

Constituted as 322d Bombardment Group (Medium) on 19 June 1942. Activated on 17 July 1942. Trained with Martin B-26 Marauder aircraft. Part of the group moved overseas to RAF Bury St Edmunds, England, November–December 1942; planes and crews followed, March–April 1943. Initially assigned to the Eighth Air Force. The group was assigned to the 3d Bomb Wing.

Ongoing construction at Bury St. Edmunds forced two of the group's squadrons to locate at RAF Rattlesden, and the group's aircraft did not arrive until late in March 1943. Once operational, the 322d flew two low-level bombing operations from Bury St. Edmunds. The first, on 14 May when it dispatched 12 planes for a minimum-level attack on an electrical generating plant near Ijtnuiden. This was the first operational combat mission flown by B-26s.

The second was a disastrous mission to the Netherlands on Monday, 17 May, when the group sent 11 aircraft on a similar operation from which none of the aircraft penetrating the enemy coast, returned. 60 crewmen were lost to flak and interceptors. Group morale was not improved when, on 29 May, a B-26 crashed onto the airfield killing the crew and damaging a hangar.

After these missions, the group was re-equipped and trained for medium-altitude operations for several weeks before returning to combat operations. On 13 June, the 322d moved to RAF Andrews Field in Essex.

In common with other Marauder units of the 3d Bomb Wing, the 322d was transferred to Ninth Air Force on 16 October 1943. The group attacked enemy airfields in France, Belgium, and the Netherlands attacking the principal targets but the group also attacked secondary targets such as power stations, shipyards, construction works, and marshalling yards.

On 11 December 1943 Andrews Field was attacked by the Luftwaffe but little damage was done and beginning in March 1944 the 322d bombed railway and highway bridges, oil tanks, and missile sites in preparation for the invasion of Normandy.

On 8 May 1944, one of the 322nd aircraft, nicknamed "Mild and Bitter" (serial 41-31819) became the first B-26 flying from England to complete 100 combat missions. Another B-26, "Flak Bait" (41-31773) survived to the end of hostilities with 202 missions to its credit, the only US bomber involved in combat over Europe to pass the 200 mark.

On D-Day, 6 June 1944 the 322d Bomb Group attacked coastal defences and gun batteries. Afterwards, during the Normandy campaign, the 322d pounded fuel and ammunition dumps, bridges, and road junctions, supporting the Allied offensive at Caen and the breakthrough at Saint-Lô in July.

From Andrews Field the 322d received a Distinguished Unit Citation for the period 14 May 1943 – 24 July 1944. The group moved during September 1944, transferring to Beauvais (A-61) Airfield in northern France, and aiding the drive of Third Army across France.

The 322d flew its last mission on 24 April 1945. After V-E Day, the group was assigned to occupation duty in Germany beginning in June 1945, engaging in inventorying and disassembling German Air Force equipment and facilities. Returned to the Camp Kilmer in New Jersey in December 1945, and was inactivated on 15 December.

322d Bombardment Group (Light)[edit]

322dbw-patch.jpg
Boeing B-KB50D Superfortress 48–123 of the 622d Air Refueling Squadron (4505th ARW) carrying out first triple-point refuelling operation with three North American F-100C Super Sabres (54-1825, 53–1774, 54–1848) of the 451st Tactical Fighter Squadron (322d TFW), 1956

During the Cold War, the 322d was redesignated the 322d Bombardment Group (Light) and assigned to the Air Force Reserve at Reading Army Airfield, Pennsylvania on 9 August 1947. The 322d was equipped with four squadrons (35th, 449th, 450th, 451st and 452d) Douglas A-20 Havocs. It was inactivated on 27 June 1949.

322d Tactical Fighter Group[edit]

The United States Air Force reactivated the unit as the 322d Fighter-Day Group at Foster AFB, Texas on 1 July 1954. The 322d was assigned to Tactical Air Command as part of the 450th Fighter Day Group, initially as three squadron (450th, 451st, 452d) F-86 Sabre-equipped wing. In 1956, the group was upgraded to the North American F-100 Super Sabre and was redesignated as the 322d Tactical Fighter group. The 322d TFG was inactivated on 1 January 1959 along with the closure of Foster Air Force Base in a budgetary economy move.

322d Tactical Airlift Wing[edit]

The unit was again reactivated as the 322d Tactical Airlift Wing (322d TAW) on 1 January 1970 at Rhein-Main Air Base West Germany, replacing the 7310th TAW.

The 322d TAW used rotational Lockheed C-130 Hercules squadrons for tactical airlift in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. In addition, the wing used C-118s and C-131s for aeromedical airlift until late 1972, then shifted to C-9As for this work, continuing aeromedical airlift operations through March 1975.

The wing utilized KC-135 (VIP equipped) to provide transportation for CINCUSAFE until early 1973, followed by KC-135B until early 1974 and by C-135C thereafter. Used VT-29 aircraft to support Air Force North (AFNORTH), a NATO component.

In March 1973, the wing gained the 7th Special Operations Squadron, equipped with C-47,UH-1H, and C-130E aircraft, which was reassigned from the 26th TRW at Ramstein AB when the 26th was reassigned to Zweibrücken AB. All but the C-130s were transferred a few months later, to conduct unconventional warfare operations in Europe.

The wing was inactivated in June 1975 when it was replaced by the 435th Tactical Airlift Wing.

322d Air Expeditionary Group[edit]

In 2004 the 322d Air Expeditionary Group was activated as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe as an Air Expeditionary unit.

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted as 322d Bombardment Group (Medium) on 19 June 1942
Inactivated on 15 December 1945.
  • Activated as the 322d Bombardment Group (Light) on 9 August 1947 (USAFR)
Inactivated on 27 June 1949
Redesignated as 322d Tactical Fighter Group 1 July 1954.
Inactivated on 18 November 1957
  • Activated as 322d Tactical Airlift Wing on 1 January 1970.
Inactivated on 30 June 1975.
  • Redesignated as 322d Air Expeditionary Group and converted to provisional status, 2004 (Date TBD)

Assignments[edit]

Components[edit]

  • 32d Tactical Airlift Squadron, 15 February-15 April 1975 (Attached)
  • 36th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 1 January-2 February 1970; 10 August-21 October 1970; 29 September-29 October 1971; 16 August-16 October 1974 (All attached)
  • 37th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 4 October-1 November 1970; 8 February-10 April 1971; 1 September-5 October 1972; 16 April – 25 June 1974; 15 April – 15 June 1975 (All attached)
  • 38th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 16 December 1974 – 15 February 1975 (Attached)
  • 39th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 15 December 1973 – 12 February 1974 (Attached)
  • 40th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 1 September-5 October 1971; 11 April – 5 June 1973 (All attached)
  • 41st Tactical Airlift Squadron, 12 June-11 August 1972; 11 February-13 April 1973; 11 August-12 October 1973 (All attached)
  • 47th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 18 February-18 March 1970, 16 June-10 August 1970, 8 December 1971 – 14 February 1972, 11 August-20 October 1972, and 16 December 1972 – 11 February 1973 (All attached)
  • 48th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 12 April – 11 June 1972 and 20 October-16 December 1972 (All attached)
  • 50th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 1 June-15 August 1974 (Attached)
  • 55th Aeromedical Airlift Squadron: 1 January 1970 – 31 March 1975
  • 61st Tactical Airlift Squadron, 21 October-19 December 1970, 5 June-11 August 1973, 16 October-16 December 1974, 15–30 June 1975 (All attached)
  • 62d Tactical Airlift Squadron, 10 April – 12 June 1971 (Attached)
  • 347th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 2 February-13 April 1970, 12 June-12 August 1971, and 14 February-17 April 1972. (Attached)
  • 348th Tactical Airlift Squadron, 5 October-8 December 1971 (Attached)

Bases assigned[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

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

28 October 2004

External links[edit]