398th Air Expeditionary Group

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398th Air Expeditionary Group
398thoif-patch.jpg
398th Air Expeditionary Group emblem
Active 1943–1945; 2003; 2008
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Garrison/HQ Dakar, Senegal
Gregory S. Martin (left) Commander, United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) is given a tour of a USAF NKC-135 "Big Crow" aircraft, during his visit with personnel assigned to the 398th Air Expeditionary Group (AEG) at a forward deployed operating base, during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM. U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Robert J Horstman

The 398th Air Expeditionary Group (398 AEG) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe. The 398 AEG may be activated or inactivated at any time.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 398th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was an Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England, stationed at RAF Nuthampstead. The group flew 195 combat missions, the last being on 25 April 1945.

Known operations[edit]

During Operation Iraqi Freedom the title 398 AEG was given to a collection of units and personnel operating from Souda Bay, Greece.

Later in 2003, the unit participated in Operation Shining Express in Liberia, a rescue operation directed by United States European Command to evacuate civilians from parts of Liberia affected by the Second Liberian Civil War. Among the groups contributions was delivering a United States Marine Corps security forces team.

Known units[edit]

  • 56th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron (2003–2008)
  • 786th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron (2003–2008)
  • 772d Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron (March–April 2008)
  • 900th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron (March–April 2008)

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Emblem of the 398th Bombardment Group
Lockheed/Vega B-17G-80-VE Fortress 44-8771, 601st Bomb Squadron "30-B". This late-model B-17 was assigned to the 398th BG on 2 March 1945. It flew 6 combat missions before being flown back to the United States on 23 May.

The group was constituted as the 398th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 15 February 1943, and equipped with the B-17 Flying Fortress. It was activated 1 March 1943 at Ephrata Army Air Base, Wash., with the 600th, 601st, 602d, and 603d Bombardment Squadrons. The Group assembled at Blyth Army Airfield, Cal. and then moved to Geiger Fd, Wash. on 20 April 1943 to complete training. On 20 June 1943 moved to Rapid City AAB, SD. to take up Replacement Training Unit duties. Trained 326 B-17 crews from August to December 1943 but at the beginning of the New Year reverted to training for combat. Ground echelon began movement overseas on 4 April 1943. The unit moved to Camp Myles Standish, Mass. on 7–12 April 1943. Personnel embarked on USS Wakefield. Sailed to Boston on 13 April, and arrived in Liverpool on 21 April 1944.

Moved to England in April 1944 and assigned to Eighth AF. The 398th BG entered combat in May 1944, and until V-E Day operated primarily against strategic objectives in Germany, attacking targets such as factories in Berlin, warehouses in Munich, marshalling yards in Saarbrücken, shipping facilities in Kiel, oil refineries in Merseburg, and aircraft plants in Münster.

The group temporarily suspended strategic missions to attack coastal defenses and enemy troops on the Cotentin Peninsula during the Invasion of Normandy in June 1944. The group struck gun positions near Eindhoven in support of the air attack on Holland in September 1944, and raided power stations, railroads, and bridges during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945. The group flew missions attacking airfields to aid the Allied assault across the Rhine in March 1945.

The 398th flew its last combat mission, attacking an airfield in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, on 25 April 1945. After V-E Day the group transported liberated prisoners from Germany to France.

From Nuthampstead, the 398th Bomb Group flew 195 combat missions. Redeployed USA in May/June 1945. The aircraft left on 21–27 May 1945. The Ground unit went to Greenock on 22 June 1945 and sailed on Queen Elizabeth arriving in New York on 29 June 1945. After 30 days R & R some personnel assembled at Drew Fd, Fla, where the Group was inactivated on 1 September 1945

Post Cold War[edit]

AV-8B of the 398th Air Expeditionary Group taking off in Sierra Leone as part of Joint Task Force Liberia, 14 August 2003.

The 398th BG was redesignated as the 398th Operations Group and activated 1 June 1992. Reactivated in 1992 as 398th Operations Group. Assigned first to 340th Air Refueling Wing, later to 97th Air Mobility Wing as a KC-135 air refueling group. From 1 June 1992 – 31 March 1995 the 93d Air Refueling Squadron was part of the group. The 398th OG was inactivated on 31 March 1995.

  • Redesignated 398th Air Expeditionary Group and converted to provisional status 2003 (date TBD)
Activated in 2003 (date TBD)
Inactivated in 2003 (date TBD)
  • Activated in 2008 (date TBD)
Inactivated in 2008 (date TBD)

Air Expeditionary Service during Global War On Terrorism, with JTF-Liberia 2003; 2008. During this period the group flew the HH-60 helicopter, and Marine units attached to the group in 2003 operated the AV-8B Harrier.

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wilson, Art (2008). Runways in the Sand. Blythe, California: Art Wilson. p. 108. ISBN 978-0-615-21889-2. OCLC 316309702.  LCC D769.85.C21 B598 2008

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

  • Freeman, Roger A. (1991) The Mighty Eighth The Colour Record. Cassell & Co. ISBN 0-304-35708-1
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.

External links[edit]