408th Armament Systems Group

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408th Armament Systems Group Third Air Force Emblem - World War II.png Second Air Force - Emblem (World War II).png Airdefensecommand-logo.jpg Air Force Materiel Command.png
408th Armament Systems Group.PNG
Emblem of the 408th Armament Systems Group
Active 1943–1944; 1956–1970; 2006–2010
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Systems Development
Part of Air Force Materiel Command
Air Armament Center
308th Armament Systems Wing
Motto Defend With Vigilance
322d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron McDonnell F-101B-85-MC Voodoo 57–270 Kingsley Field, Oregon, 1959.
Patch of the 408th Fighter Group

The 408th Armament Systems Group is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with Air Force Materiel Command's 308th Armament Systems Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. It was inactivated in 2010.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

The group was activated in April 1943 as the 408th Bombardment Group at Key Field, Mississippi, with the 636th,[1] 637th,[1] 638th,[1] and 639th Bombardment Squadrons[2] assigned.[3] In August, as were other Army Air Forces (AAF) single engine bomber units, it was redesignated as the 408th Fighter-Bomber Group[3] and its squadrons were renumbered as the 518th, 519th, and 520th Fighter-Bomber Squadrons.[1][a 1] The group did not receive aircraft to begin training until October.[3] It served as an operational training unit, providing cadres to "satellite groups"[4] and a replacement training unit, training individual pilots.[4] In February 1944, the 455th Fighter-Bomber Squadron was assigned, although it was detached from the group for most of its assignment.[5] The 455th also participated occasionally in demonstrations and maneuvers.

However, the Army Air Forces (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.[6] Accordingly, the group was disbanded in 1944 as the AAF converted to the AAF Base Unit system[3] and replaced by the 267th AAF Base Unit (Combat Crew Training Station, Fighter)[7] in a reorganization of the AAF in which all units not programmed for deployment overseas were replaced by AAF Base Units to free up manpower for assignment overseas.

Cold War[edit]

The group was reconstituted and redesignated as the 408th Fighter Group (Air Defense) in 1955 and activated in 1956 at Kalmath Falls Municipal Airport, Oregon[3] to perform active air defense of the Pacific Northwest.[8] It also served as the host base unit for USAF units at Klamath Falls and was assigned a number of support organizations to fulfill this mission.[9][10] Its operational squadron was the 518th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (FIS), which was activated and assigned in June.[1] The group and squadron were authorized HVAR rocket and airborne intercept radar equipped North American F-86 Sabres,[11] but the squadron was not manned and the group remained only a support organization. Instead, the group oversaw the construction of facilities to support its squadron and the 827th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, located at nearby Keno Air Force Station.[12][a 2]

In April 1959, the group gained its second operational squadron, the 322d FIS, which moved to what was now Kingsley Field[11] and immediately began converting to McDonnell F-101 Voodoo aircraft, which was equipped with data link to communicate directly with Semi-Automatic Ground Environment computers at Combat Direction Centers.[13] Three months later, the 518th FIS inactivated without ever having been more than a paper unit at Kingsley.[1] At the end of September 1968, the 322d FIS inactivated and was replaced by the activating 59th FIS, which took over its personnel and equipment.[14][15] In December 1969, the 59th FIS stood down shortly after the 460th FIS, flying Convair F-106 Delta Darts[16] moved to Kingsley from Oxnard AFB, California. In the fall of 1970, the group inactivated[8] and transferred its remaining support mission, personnel and equipment to the 4788th Air Base Group,[17] while the 460th FIS was reassigned directly to the 25th Air Division.[16]

Air Armament Center[edit]

The Area Attack Systems Group was activated at Eglin AFB, Florida in 2005 as part of the Air Force Materiel Command Transformation reorganization, in which traditional project offices were replaced by wings, squadrons and groups. In 2006 most of these organizations were consolidated with World War II units and given the numbers of the older units. As a result of this, the group became the 408th Armament Systems Group. Its mission was to provide armament acquisition support.[18] Its support responsibilities included Advanced Medium-Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM), Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), Communications and Information Technology (C&IT), Foreign Military Sales (FMS), and weaponeering.[18] In 2007, the various systems squadrons assigned to the 308th wing were realigned. The group was inactivated in 2010, along with its assigned squadrons, when the 308th Armament Systems Wing was inactivated and the center returned to a project office organizational structure.

Lineage[edit]

408th Fighter Group

  • Constituted as 408th Bombardment Group (Dive) on 23 March 1943
Activated on 5 April 1943
Redesignated as 408th Fighter-Bomber Group on 10 August 1943
Disbanded on 1 April 1944
  • Reconstituted and redesignated as 408th Fighter Group (Air Defense), on 8 July 1955[a 3]
Activated on 8 April 1956
Inactivated on 1 October 1970
  • Redesignated 408th Tactical Fighter Group on 31 July 1985 (never active)
  • Consolidated on 3 May 2006 with Area Attack Systems Group as Area Attack Systems Group

Area Attack Systems Group

  • Constituted as Area Attack Systems Group on 23 November 2004[19]
Activated on 27 January 2005[19]
Consolidated on 3 May 2006 with 408th Tactical Fighter Group[20]
  • Redesignated as 408th Armament Systems Group on 10 May 2006[20]
Inactivated on 30 June 2010[21]

Assignments[edit]

Units assigned[edit]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

Awards and Campaigns[edit]

Award streamer Award Dates Notes
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 8 June 1960 – 30 April 1962 408th Fighter Group[26]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 July 1966 – 1 June 1968 408th Fighter Group[26]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 July 1968 – 30 June 1969 408th Fighter Group[26]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 July 1969 – 30 June 1970 408th Fighter Group[27]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 22 March 2008 – 5 June 2009 408th Armament Systems Group[28]
Campaign Streamer Campaign Dates Notes
World War II - American Campaign Streamer (Plain).png American Theater 7 December 1941 – 1 April 1944 408th Fighter Group

References[edit]

  1. ^ Because AAF fighter groups usually had three, rather than four squadrons, the 639th was disbanded, not redesignated
  2. ^ The 827th's operations and maintenance facilities were located at Keno AFS. Housing, administrative and support facilities were at Kingsley.
  3. ^ The USAF constituted a 408th Strategic Fighter Wing on 3 March 1953. This wing was never made active and is a separate unit from the group. See Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947–1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 221. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. 
  4. ^ Maurer, Combat Units says A-26 However, it seems likely that this is a typographical error since the A-26 was a light bomber, and Maurer, Combat Squadrons entries for the squadrons list the A-36
  1. ^ a b c d e f Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 623–624. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. 
  2. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 690
  3. ^ a b c d e Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 294. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. 
  4. ^ a b See Craven, Wesley F & Cate, James L, ed. (1955). "Introduction". The Army Air Forces in World War II. VI, Men & Planes. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. p. xxxvi. LCCN 48-3657. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 561
  6. ^ Craven & Cate, p. 75, The Organization and its Responsibilities, Chapter 2 The AAF
  7. ^ History, Woodward Field, Apr 1944 (accessed 2 June 2012)
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i 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. 80. 
  9. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 146
  10. ^ a b See Abstract, History of 408th Air Base Squadron, CYs 1958–1959 (accessed 2 June 2012)
  11. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p.130
  12. ^ Abstract, History of 408th Fighter Group, CY 1958 (accessed 2 June 2012)
  13. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 125
  14. ^ AFHRA Factsheet, 59th Test & Evaluation Squadron (accessed 2 June 2012)
  15. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 118
  16. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 129
  17. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 91
  18. ^ a b 308th Armament Systems Wing Powerpoint presentation, 308th Armament Systems Wing (accessed 7 June 2012)
  19. ^ a b c DAF/DPM Letter 560s, 23 November 2004
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h DAF/A1M Letter 704s, 3 May 2006
  21. ^ a b c d e f g DAF/A1M Letter 194t, 19 May 2010
  22. ^ Maurer, Combat Units, p. 406 gives years, but not exact dates)
  23. ^ History, 408th USAF Dispensary, Jul–Dec 1958 (accessed 2 June 2012)
  24. ^ See Report of Base Chaplain Activities, 408th Combat Support Squadron, 1958–1968 (accessed 2 June 2012)
  25. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 140
  26. ^ a b c AF Pamphlet 900-2, Unit Decorations, Awards and Campaign Participation Credits, Department of the Air Force, Washington, DC, 15 Jun 71 (Part 1) [1] (Part 2), p. 370
  27. ^ AF Pamphlet 900-2, Unit Decorations, Awards and Campaign Participation Credits, Vol II Department of the Air Force, Washington, DC, 30 Sep 76 [2], p 70
  28. ^ AFMPC Search Page for Unit Awards (accessed 8 June 2012)

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

See also[edit]