326th Aeronautical Systems Wing

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326th Aeronautical Systems Wing Air Force Materiel Command.png
Active 1942–1944, 1955-1961m 2005–2008
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Aeronautical Systems Development
Part of Air Force Material Command
Motto Fortiter et Sincere (Boldly and Sincerely)

The 326th Aeronautical Systems Wing (326 ASW) is an inactive wing of the United States Air Force. It was last assigned to the Aeronautical Systems Center at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, where it was inactivated in 2008. The 326th Fighter Group (Air Defense) is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to Air Defense Command (ADC)'s

The wing was first activated as the 326th Fighter Group in 1942 during World War II and participated in the air defense of the Northeast until 1943 from Mitchel Field. It moved to the Southeastern US where it was an operational and replacement training unit until it was disbanded in 1944 in a major reorganization of Army Air Forces units not programmed for overseas deployment.

The group was reconstituted in 1955 as part of an ADC program to revive fighter units that had participated in World War II. The group provided air defense of the Northwestern US until 1961 when it was replaced by the 57th Fighter Group, which assumed its personnel, equipment and mission. It was redesignated as the 326th Tactical Fighter Group in 1985 but remained inactive.

In 2006, the group was consolidated with the Long Range Strike Systems Wing, which had been activated a year earlier at Wright-Patterson AFB Ohio and the consolidated unit became the 326th Aeronautical Systems Wing. The wing provided operations management support to the Joint Unmanned Combat Air System Program Office and conducted systems testing for another two years before inactivating in 2008.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

The 326th Fighter Group was activated at Mitchel Field, NY in August 1942 and moved the next month to Bradley Field, CT.[1] It was initially assigned the 320th,[2]321st,[3] and 322d Fighter Squadrons (FS).[4] The 326th performed an air defense mission for First Air Force in the northeast during 1942 and 1943 while also conducting operational training.[1] As an operational training unit, it was an oversized parent unit which provided cadres to "satellite groups."[5] It later became a replacement training unit, remaining an oversized unit,[5] but preparing individual pilot for combat duty in Republic P-47 Thunderbolts.[1] In October 1943, the group moved to Seymour Johnson Field, NC, but two of its squadrons, the 320th FS and the 442d FS[6] remained behind and were assigned to another group.[2] These two squadrons were replaced by the 538th[7] and 539th FS.[8]

Shortly after arriving in North Carolina, the group maintained a split operation when the 538th and 529th FS moved to Bluethenthal Field, NC.[7][8] The AAF was finding that standard military units, based on relatively inflexible tables of organization were proving less well adapted to the training mission. Accordingly a more functional system was adopted in which each base was organized into a separate numbered unit.[9] As a result, in 1944 the group was disbanded as the AAF converted to the AAF Base Unit system.[1] The 123d AAF Base Unit (Replacement Training Unit, Fighter) replaced the group headquarters and squadrons at Seymour Johnson[10] and the 130th AAF Base Unit (Replacement Training Unit, Fighter) replaced the ones at Bluethenthal Field.[11]

Cold War[edit]

326th Fighter Group Patch
321st FIS F-89Js at Paine Field in 1956

The group was reconstituted, redesignated as the 326th Fighter Group (Air Defense) and activated in 1955 as an ADC operational air defense unit at Paine Field, WA.[1] It absorbed the personnel and equipment of the inactivating 529th Air Defense Group[12] as part of ADC's Project Arrow, which was designed to bring back on the active list the fighter units which had compiled memorable records in the two world wars.[13] It was equipped with F-89D Scorpions,[14] becoming the USAF host unit at Paine. It was assigned a number of support organizations to fulfill its host responsibilities.[15][16][17][18][19] Its 321st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron assumed the personnel and equipment of the 83d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, which was transferred to another ADC base without personnel or equipment.[3][20]

The group received later models of Scorpions, finally equipping with nuclear capable F-89Js in the Spring of 1958.[14] In For a brief period in 1960, the group was without an operational element, as the 321st FIS was discontinued on 1 March[3] and the 64th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, which replaced it, did not move to Paine Field with its Convair F-102 Delta Daggers until 15 March.[21] The group was inactivated in April 1961 and its personnel and equipment were reassigned to the 57th Fighter Group (Air Defense), which also assumed its mission.

Modern Era[edit]

B-2 Spirit

The wing was formed in 2005 as the Long Range Strike Systems Wing[22] as part of the Air Force Materiel Command Transformation initiative that replaced traditional staff offices in AFMC centers with wings, groups, and squadrons. It was redesignated the following year when it was consolidated with the 326th Tactical Fighter Group. The 326th was a 297-person unit directing more than 44 programs with a budget exceeding $5 billion, and was responsible for the program execution to develop, acquire, field and modernize existing and advanced aircraft strike capabilities.[23] The wing consisted of the B-1 Systems Group (later the 326th Aeronautical Systems Group) for Rockwell B-1 Lancer systems, the B-2 Systems Group (later the 726th Aeronautical Systems Group) for Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit systems, the Airborne Electronic Attack Systems Squadron (later the 651st Aeronautical Systems Squadron,[24] and the F-117 Systems Squadron (later the 650th Aeronautical Systems Squadron) for Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk systems. It also provided operations management support to the Joint Unmanned Combat Air System Program Office. In 2008, the wing and its component groups were inactivated, while its two squadrons were reassigned to the 312th Aeronautical Systems Wing.[25]

Lineage[edit]

326th Fighter Group

  • Constituted as 326th Fighter Group (Single Engine) on 24 June 1942
Activated on 19 August 1942
Disbanded on 10 April 1944
  • Reconstituted and redesignated 326th Fighter Group (Air Defense) on 20 June 1955
Activated on 18 August 1955[26]
Discontinued and inactivated on 1 April 1961[27]
Redesignated 326th Tactical Fighter Group on 31 July 1985[28]
  • Consolidated with Long Range Strike Systems Wing on 23 June 2006 as the Long Range Strike Systems Wing

Long Range Strike Systems Wing

  • Constituted on as Long Range Strike Systems Wing on 23 November 2004
Activated on 18 January 2005[22]
  • Consolidated with the 326th Tactical Fighter Group on 23 June 2006

Consolidated Wing

  • Long Range Strike Systems Wing and 326th Tactical Fighter Group consolidated on 23 June 2006
Redesignated 326th Aeronautical Systems Wing on 14 July 2006
Inactivated on 30 June 2008[25]

Assignments[edit]

Components[edit]

Groups

  • B-1 Systems Group (later 326th Aeronautical Systems Group), 18 January 2005 – 30 June 2008[22][25]
  • B-2 Systems Group (later 726th Aeronautical Systems Group), 18 January 2005 – 30 June 2008[22][25]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

Campaigns[edit]

Streamer AC.PNG

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 208. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. 
  2. ^ a b c Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 393. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. 
  3. ^ a b c d Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 394
  4. ^ a b Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 395–396
  5. ^ a b Craven, Wesley F & Cate, James L, ed. (1955). "Introduction". The Army Air Forces in World War II. Vol. VI, Men & Planes. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. p. xxxvi. LCCN 48-3657 Check |lccn= value (help). 
  6. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 547–548. The 442d FS had been added to the group's roster earlier in 1943 when the group began to focus on the training role
  7. ^ a b c Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 644–645
  8. ^ a b c Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 645–646
  9. ^ Craven & Cate, p. 75, The Organization and its Responsibilities, Chapter 2 The AAF
  10. ^ See Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 523. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. 
  11. ^ Abstract, History of Bluethenthal Field Apr 1944 – Oct 1945 (retrieved 18 May 2012)
  12. ^ Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946 – 1980. Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. p. 83. 
  13. ^ Buss, Lydus H.(ed), Sturm, Thomas A., Volan, Denys, and McMullen, Richard F., History of Continental Air Defense Command and Air Defense Command July to December 1955, Directorate of Historical Services, Air Defense Command, Ent AFB, CO, 1956., p.6
  14. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 125
  15. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 139
  16. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 145
  17. ^ a b Abstract, History of 326th USAF Infirmary Jul–Dec 1955
  18. ^ a b Abstract, History of 326th Air Base Squadron, CY 1958–1959 (retrieved 18 May 2012)
  19. ^ a b Abstract, History of 326 USAF Dispensary, Jan–Jun 1957 (retrieved 18 May 2012)
  20. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 290
  21. ^ a b Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 244
  22. ^ a b c d e f g Air Force Organization Change Report, January 2005, Research Division, AF Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, AL
  23. ^ "USAF Biography, Charles B. "Chuck Jackson". Archived from the original on 2013-03-08.  Current as of 6 October 2007 (retrieved 16 Feb 2013). Mr Jackson was the director of the wing from its activation until February 2007.
  24. ^ Mr. Jackson's USAF biography indicates the squadron was responsible for Boeing B-52 Stratofortress programs.
  25. ^ a b c d e f g Air Force Organization Change Report, June 2008, Research Division, AF Historical Research Agency, Maxwell AFB, AL
  26. ^ Lineage through 1955 is from Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 208
  27. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 78
  28. ^ Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 648q, 31 July 1985, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Organizations
  29. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 547–548

Bibliography[edit]

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

Further Reading

External links[edit]