401st Air Expeditionary Group
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2013)|
|401st Air Expeditionary Group|
Emblem of the 401st Expeditionary Group
|Active||1943–1945; 1947–1951; 1954–1957; 1991–1994; 2001–2003|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The 401st Air Expeditionary Group is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe. The 401 AEG may be activated or inactivated at any time. It was last active in 2003, being stationed at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus.
During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 401st Bombardment Group was a VIII Bomber Command B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England. Assigned to RAF Deenethorpe in late 1943, the group earned two Distinguished Unit Citations for missions over Leipzig on 11 January and 20 February 1944. The 401st Bomb Group was the second best rating in bombing accuracy for Eighth Air Force.
- For additional history and lineage, see 401st Air Expeditionary Wing
World War II 
Activated March 1943 at Ephrata AAB Wash. Moved to Geiger Field, Washington on 28 May 1943, and to Great Falls AAB, Mount in July 1943. Completed final training and ground echelon began movement overseas on 19 October 1943. After staging at Camp Shanks, New York the unit embarked on the Queen Mary, and sailed on 27 October and arrived at Greenock on 2 November 1943, and disembarked the following day. The air echelon left Great Falls on 18 October 1943 for final inspections at Scott Field then via Goose Bay, Meeks Field in Iceland to Prestwick, Scotland.
On arrival in England, unit was assigned to Eighth Air Force, being stationed at RAF Deenethorpe. The 401st was assigned to the 94th Combat Bombardment Wing of the 1st Bombardment Division. Its tail code was Triangle-S.
The 401st BG operated chiefly against strategic targets, bombing industries, submarine facilities, shipyards, missile sites, marshalling yards, and airfields; beginning in October 1944, concentrated on oil reserves. The Group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for striking telling blows against German aircraft production on 11 January and 20 February 1944.
In addition to strategic missions, group operations included attacks on transportation, airfields, and fortifications prior to the Normandy invasion and on D-Day, June 1944; support for ground operations during the breakthrough at Saint-Lô in July, the siege of Brest in August, and the airborne attack on Holland in September 1944.
The Group flew missions against enemy forces during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945, by assaulting transportation targets and communications centers in the battle area; and support for the airborne attack across the Rhine in March 1945.
The worst accident occurred in December 1943 when a Fortress which failed to get off the ground careered over farmland and came to rest after crashing into a cottage on the edge of Deenethorpe village. The surviving members of the crew just had time to evacuate the wreckage and warn the villagers of the imminent explosion of the bomb load before it detonated damaging many houses in the village. The blast was felt in Kettering nine miles away
The group had flown 255 combat missions from Deenethorpe airfield, 94 aircraft had been classed as missing in action.
Redeployed to the US June 1945. The air echelon departed the United Kingdom on 30 May to 4 June 1945. Ground echelon went by train to Gourock on 20 June, and sailed on the Queen Elizabeth on 25 June 1945, and arriving on 30 June. Some of the unit reassembled at Sioux Falls AAFd, South Dakota where the Group was inactivated on 28 August 1945.
Cold War 
During the early years of the Cold War the unit was redesignated as the 401st Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) and was allotted to the USAF reserve. It was activated on 26 June 1947 by Strategic Air Command at Brooks AFB, Texas, being equipped with the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. The 401st was redesignated the 401st Bombardment Group (Medium) in June 1949 and transferred to Biggs AFB, Texas when the Convair B-36 Peacekeeper entered the inventory.
The unit was called to active service on 1 May 1951. Its aircraft and personnel were reassigned to combat units in Far East Air Force for service during the Korean War. It was inactivated on 25 June 1951 as a paper unit with no personnel assigned.
The 401st was redesignated as a Tactical Air Command Fighter-Bomber group on 8 February 1954 at Alexandria Air Force Base, Louisiana. The group was equipped initially with F-86F Sabres returned from combat in Korea. The group was assigned the 612th, 613th and 614th Fighter-Bomber squadrons. The group was attached at activation to the 366th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Alexandria, and its mission was to perform advanced fighter training on high performance jet aircraft.
In 1955, the group converted to Republic F-84F Thunderstreaks, performing its training mission until 25 September 1957 when inactivated, with component squadrons being assigned directly to newly-activated 401st Fighter-Bomber Wing.
On 1 October 1991, the 401st Operations Group was activated as a result of the 401st Fighter Wing implementing the USAF objective wing organization. Upon activation, the 401 OG was bestowed the lineage and history of the 401st Fighter-Bomber Group. The 401 OG was assigned control of the 614th Fighter Squadron, however the control of the squadron was brief as Torrejon Air Base was being closed, and the 614th FS was inactivated on 1 January 1992.
The 401st OG was moved along with the other units of the 401st Fighter Wing to Aviano Air Base, Italy on 21 May 1992 without personnel or equipment. The 401 OG controlled no assigned units at Aviano, instead supported rotating squadrons deployed there from other groups.
Global War on Terrorism 
The 401st Expeditionary Operations Group (401 EOG) was activated in 2001 by USAFE to perform combat support duties as part of the Global War on Terrorism at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus performing KC-135 operations. Detachment 1 was located at Tuzla Air Base, Bosnia and Herzegovina, designated as the 401st Expeditionary Air Base Group.
In June 2003 the 401st Air Expeditionary Wing was reactivated at Aviano Air Base, Italy, replacing the 16th AEW. The Group was inactivated to eliminate an overlap in heraldry with the 16th SOW at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
- Constituted as 401st Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 20 March 1943
- Activated on 1 April 1943
- Inactivated on 28 August 1945.
- Redesignated 401st Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) and activated on 26 June 1947
- Redesignated 401st Bombardment Group (Medium) in June 1949
- Inactivated on 25 June 1951.
- Redesignated 401st Fighter-Bomber Group and activated on 8 February 1954
- Inactivated on 25 September 1957
- Redesignated 401st Operations Group and activated on 1 October 1991
- Inactivated on 1 April 1994
- Redesignated 401st Air Expeditionary Group and converted to provisional status on 5 February 2001
- II Bomber Command, 1 April–October 1943
- 92d Combat Bombardment Wing, 1 November 1943
- 94th Combat Bombardment Wing, 8 January 1944 – 20 June 1945
- Army Service Forces (for inactivation), 1–28 August 1945
- Tenth Air Force, 26 June 1947 – 25 June 1951
- 401st Fighter-Bomber Wing, 8 February 1954 – 25 September 1957
- 401st Fighter Wing, 1 October 1991 – 1 April 1994
- United States Air Forces in Europe to activate or inactivate any time after 5 February 2001.
- 612th Bombardment Squadron (later Fighter-Bomber) Squadron (SC), 1 April 1943 – 28 August 1945; 26 June 1947-25 June 1951; 8 February 1954 – 25 September 1957
- 613th Bombardment Squadron (later Fighter-Bomber) Squadron (IN), 1 April 1943 – 28 August 1945; 26 June 1947-25 June 1951; 8 February 1954 – 25 September 1957
- 614th Bombardment Squadron (later Fighter-Bomber) Squadron (IW), 1 April 1943 – 28 August 1945; 26 June 1947-25 June 1951; 8 February 1954 – 25 September 1957; 1 October 1991-1 January 1992
- 615th Bombardment Squadron (later Fighter-Bomber) Squadron (IY), 1 April 1943 – 28 August 1945; 26 June 1947-25 June 1951
- Ephrata Army Air Base, Washington, 1 April 1943
- Geiger Field, Washington, June 1943
- Great Falls Army Air Base, Montana, July–October 1943
- RAF Deenethorpe (USAAF Station 128), England, C. 1 November 1943 – May 1945
- Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, c. 1–28 August 1945
- Brooks Field, Texas, 26 June 1947
- Biggs AFB, Texas, 27 June 1949 – 25 June 1951
- Alexandria AFB, Louisiana, 8 February 1954 – 25 September 1957
- Torrejon Air Base, Spain, 1 October 1991
- Aviano Air Base, Italy, 21 May 1992 – 1 April 1994
- RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus, 2001 – June 2003
- Det 1, 401st AEG – Camp Butmir, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2001–present)
- Det 2, 401st AEG – Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo (2001–present)
- Det 4, 401st AEG – Rhein-Main Germany, (In support of SFOR/KFOR Deactivated 2004)
- Bourgas / Sarafovo, Bulgaria (2001-UNK)**
Note **Unconfirmed Location
Aircraft assigned 
- B-17G Flying Fortress, 1942–1945
- B-29 Superfortress, 1947–1949
- F-86 Sabre, 1954–1957
- Undisclosed, 2001–2003
- Closeway, Gordon R. (ed.). Pictorial Record of the 401st Bomb Group. San Angelo, Texas: Newsfoto Publishing Company, 1946.
- Freeman, Roger A., Airfields Of The Eighth, Then And Now, 1978.
- Maher, William P. Fated to Survive: Memoirs of a B-17 Flying Fortress Pilot/Prisoner of War: 401st Bombardment Group, Eighth Air Force. Spartanburg, South Carolina: Honoribus Press, 1992.
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1961 (republished 1983). ISBN 0-912799-02-1.
- Menzel, George. 401st Bombardment Group (H), Portrait of a Flying Lady. Paducah, Kentucky: Turner Publishing Company, 1994.
- Newcomb, Alan H. Vacation with Pay, being an Account of My Stay at the German Rest Camp for Tired Allied Airmen at Beautiful Barth-on-the-Baltic. Haverhill, Massachusetts: Destiny Publications, 1947.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947–1977. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
- Rogers, Brian, United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Midland Publications, 2006. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.