387th Air Expeditionary Group

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387th Air Expeditionary Group
387th Air Expeditionary Group - Emblem.png
Emblem of the 387th Air Expeditionary Group
Active 1942–1945, 2003 -present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part of United States Air Forces Central
386th Air Expeditionary Wing
Garrison/HQ Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait
Formation of Airmen deployed to the 387th Air Expeditionary Group lead the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing as they render a salute during a Memorial Day ceremony 26 May 2008 at an air base in the Persian Gulf Region. During the ceremony, a 21-gun salute was conducted along with a laying of a wreath to honor the men and women who have died in military service.
Airmen from the 387th Air Expeditionary Group greet Vice President-elect Joe Biden as he boards an aircraft headed to Iraq 12 Jan. 2008. Vice President-elect Biden is headed into Iraq as part of his trip to the region.

The 387th Air Expeditionary Group (387 AEG) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait under USAFCENT. As a provisional unit, it may be activated or inactivated at any time.

During World War II, the group's predecessor unit, the 387th Bombardment Group (Medium) was a B-26 Marauder bombardment group assigned to the Eighth and later Ninth Air Force in Western Europe.

Overview[edit]

Active in 2003 as an A-10 Thunderbolt II unit as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom, it was inactivated after the active conflict ended. However, it currently appears to be an active tenant organization of the 386th Air Expeditionary Wing, stationed at Ali Al Salem Air Base, Kuwait associated with Air Mobility Command.

387 AEG provides base operating support-integration for Coalition forces and civilian contractors at the United States Air Force busiest Aerial Port of Debarkation in the world. The Airmen of the 387th provide security, anti-terrorism and force protection, civil engineering, emergency management, personnel support, line-haul convoy operations, vehicle maintenance/fleet management, and base supply in support at the primary intra-theater airlift hub for all Joint and Coalition operations going into and out of Iraq and Afghanistan.[1]

History[edit]

387th Bombardment Group[edit]

Martin B-26B-15-MA Marauder Serial 41-31665 of the 558th Bomb Squadron
Martin B-26B-50-MA Marauder Serial 42-95857 of the 556th Bomb Squadron

The 387th Bombardment Group (Medium) was constituted on 25 November 1942, and activated on 1 December 1942 at MacDill Field near Tampa, Florida The group had four operational squadrons, 556th (FW), 557th (KS), 558th (KX), and 559th (TQ) and was equipped with the Martin B-26B/C Marauder. After training at several stateside airfields, the group was deployed to England in June 1943.

In England, the 387th was assigned to the Eighth Air Force 3d Bomb Wing and stationed at RAF Chipping Ongar in Essex. The 387th was the fourth Marauder group to arrive in the UK. The Group began combat on 15 August 1943 by joining with three other B-26 groups attacking coastal defences on the French Coast near Boulogne, and was mounted in thick fog. While taking off, one of the B-26 Bombers crashed at the end of the main runway, killing all of the crew except the tail gunner. The group concentrated its attacks on airfields during the first months of operations. In common with other Marauder units of the 3d Bomb Wing, the 387th was transferred to Ninth Air Force on 16 October 1943.

The group made tactical strikes on V-weapon sites in France in the winter of 1943–1944. Hit airfields at Leeuwarden and Venlo during Big Week, 20–25 February 1944, the intensive campaign against the German Air Force and aircraft industry. Helped to prepare for the invasion of Normandy by attacking coastal batteries and bridges in France during May 1944. Bombed along the invasion coast on 6 June 1944 and supported ground forces throughout the month by raiding railroads, bridges, road junctions, defended areas, and fuel dumps.

The 387th Bomb Group moved to RAF Stoney Cross in Hampshire on 21 July 1944 when Ninth Air Force moved the 98th Bomb Wing's four Marauder groups into the New Forest area at the earliest opportunity to place them closer to the French Normandy Invasion beaches. On 27 June the 387th became operational from Stoney Cross, bombing along the invasion coast and supporting ground forces by raiding railways, bridges, road junctions, defended areas, and fuel dumps.

By 1 September the group was able to move across the English Channel to its Advanced Landing Ground at a former Luftwaffe airfield at Maupertus, France (A-15).

The group ended combat operations in April 1945. On 24 May the group was sent to Rosieres-en-Santerre Air Base, France for several months. The 387th Bomb Group returned to the US in November and was inactivated at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey on 17 November 1945.

387th Air Expeditionary Group[edit]

The 387th Air Expeditionary Group was activated by Air Combat Command as part of the Global War on Terror in 2003. The 387 AEG was a blend of attack and reconnaissance forces, consisting of close to 500 104 FW personnel and totaling around 1,300. A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft were assigned to the 131st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron from the 131 FS, 104 FW (Massachusetts ANG), Barnes MAP (MA) (11 aircraft) and 118 FS, 103 FW (Connecticut ANG), Bradley ANGB (CT) (7 Aircraft).

Together, the deployed A-10 pilots logged 1,119 sorties and 3,821 flying hours (3,100 combat hours during 900 sorties) with no combat losses or battle damage. The missions included 35 CSAR sorties, with the rescue of an aircraft crew and numerous medical evacuations to the unit's credit.

All 18 aircraft arrived as formation over Bradley IAP on 29 April 2003. Diverting to the west of the air base, the formation split up. The 104 FW aircraft swung north, the 103rd FW aircraft went on to Hartford for a fly-by salute at the state Capitol before touching down one by one.

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted as 387th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 25 November 1942
Activated on 1 December 1942.
Inactivated on 17 November 1945
Redesignated 387th Bombardment Group on 31 July 1985 (Remained inactive)
  • Redesignated 387th Air Expeditionary Group and converted to provisional status 1 January 2003.

Assignments[edit]

Attached to: United States Central Command Air Forces, 2003-TBD

Components[edit]

Stations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 386 AEW Units
  2. ^ Combat truckers roll out for last time, 3/9/2012

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

  • Freeman, Roger A. (1978) Airfields of the Eighth: Then and Now. After the Battle ISBN 0-900913-09-6
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1991) The Mighty Eighth The Colour Record. Cassell & Co. ISBN 0-304-35708-1
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1994) UK Airfields of the Ninth: Then and Now 1994. After the Battle ISBN 0-900913-80-0
  • Freeman, Roger A. (1996) The Ninth Air Force in Colour: UK and the Continent-World War Two. After the Battle ISBN 1-85409-272-3
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • A-10 Units of Operation Iraqi Freedom – Part II
  • Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

External links[edit]