446th Operations Group
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|446th Operations Group|
Emblem of the 446th Operations Group
|Active||1943–1945; 1948–1951; 1955–1959; 1992–present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 446th Bombardment Group was an Eighth Air Force B-24 Liberator unit in England. Assigned to RAF Bungay in late 1943, the group led the Eighth Air Force and the 2d Bombardment Division on the first heavy bomber mission of D-Day. The group's 706th Bomb Squadron flew 62 consecutive missions and 707th Bomb Squadron had 68 missions without loss.
The 446th Operations Group manages the aircrew and flight operations of the 446th Airlift Wing. Col. David Pavey is the group commander.
The 446th Operations Group is made up of four squadrons
- 446th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron
- 97th Airlift Squadron (C-17 Globemaster III)
- 313th Airlift Squadron (C-17 Globemaster III)
- 728th Airlift Squadron (C-17 Globemaster III)
- 446th Operations Support Flight
- 446th Airlift Control Flight.
- For additional history and lineage, see 446th Airlift Wing
World War II 
Activated 1 April 1943 at Davis-Monthan AAB, Arizona were Initial assembly began. The unit moved to Alamogordo, New Mexico on 6 June 1943, but immediately moved again to Lowry AAB, Colorado, where the training was completed. The ground unit left on 18 October 1943 for Camp Shanks, New York and embarked on the Queen Mary on 25 October 1943. They sailed on 27 October 1943 and arrived in Clyde on 2 November 1943. The aircraft left Lowry AAB on 20 October 1943 for Lincoln AAB, Neb. The aircraft flew via the southern route from Florida, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Dakar, and Marrakash to England. One aircraft was lost on the Puerto Rico leg, and one aircraft was shot down when it strayed off course into France. Upon arrival in England, the 446th was assigned to the Eighth Air Force 20th Combat Bombardment Wing and the group tail code was a "Circle-H".
The group was based at RAF Bungay in the east of England. Targets included U-boat installations at Kiel, the port at Bremen, a chemical plant at Ludwigshafen, ball-bearing works at Berlin, aero-engine plants at Rostock, aircraft factories at Munich, marshalling yards at Coblenz, motor works at Ulm, and oil refineries at Hamburg.
Besides strategic missions, the group often carried out support and interdictory operations. It supported the Normandy invasion in June 1944 by attacking strong points, bridges, airfields, transportation, and other targets in France. Aided ground forces at Caen and Saint-Lô during July by hitting bridges, gun batteries, and enemy troops. Dropped supplies to Allied troops near Nijmegen during the airborne attack on Holland in September. Bombed marshalling yards, bridges, and road junctions during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945. Dropped supplies to airborne and ground troops near Wesel during the Allied assault across the Rhine in March 1945.
The 446th Bomb Group flew its last combat mission on 25 April, attacking a bridge near Salzburg.
Redeployed to the US June/July 1945. First of the aircraft departed the United Kingdom on mid-June 1945. One aircraft was lost over the Azores on the return flight to the US. The ground echelon sailed from Greenock on the Queen Mary on the sixth of July 1945, arriving in New York on 11 July 1945. Personnel to Camp Kilmer and had 30 days R and R. Some assembled at Sioux Falls AAFd, South Dakota where the Group was inactivated on 28 August 1945.
Cold War 
Beginning March 1948, the group evidently conducted bombardment training with B-29 Superfortresses at Carswell AFB near Dallas as part of the Air Force Reserve. As a result of the Korean War, the group was activated on 1 May 1951. Its personnel and aircraft were reassigned to units under Far East Air Force as replacements. It was inactivated on 25 June 1951 as a paper unit.
Reactivated in 1955 as a reserve medium troop carrier group at Ellington AFB near Houston. The unit trained for and flew various airlift missions until being inactivated in 1959 as a result of its parent unit, the 445th Troop Carrier Wing converting to the Air Force tri-deputate organization and all assigned units and personnel were assigned directly to the Wing.
Modern era 
Activated as the 446th Operations Group at McChord AFB on 1 August 1992 under the "Objective Wing" concept adapted by the Air Force. The airlift squadrons of the renamed 446th Airlfit Wing were reassigned to the newly established group, along with the lineage, honors and history of the 446th Bombardment (Troop Carrier) Group.
Since 1992, the group has flown channel, special assignment, and humanitarian airlift missions worldwide and taken part in joint and combined training exercises, both within the United States and abroad.
- Established as 446 Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 20 March 1943
- Activated on 1 April 1943
- Redesignated: 446 Bombardment Group, Heavy on 20 August 1943
- Inactivated on 28 August 1945
- Redesignated 446 Bombardment Group, Very Heavy on 26 September 1947
- Activated in the Reserve on 26 March 1948
- Redesignated: 446 Bombardment Group, Heavy on 27 June 1949
- Ordered to Active Duty on 1 May 1951
- Inactivated on 25 June 1951
- Redesignated: 446 Troop Carrier Group, Medium on 11 April 1955
- Activated in the Reserve on 25 May 1955
- Inactivated on 14 April 1959
- Redesignated: 446 Military Airlift Group on 31 July 1985 (Remained inactive)
- Redesignated: 446 Operations Group on 1 August 1992
- Activated in the Reserve on 1 August 1992.
- 97th Airlift Squadron: 1 August 1992–present
- 313th Airlift Squadron: 1 August 1992–present
- 357th Bombardment Squadron: 25 March 1958 – 14 April 1959
- 704th Bombardment Squadron: 1 April 1943 – 28 August 1945; 26 March 1948-25 June 1951; 25 May 1955 – 14 April 1959
- 705th Bombardment Squadron: 1 April 1943 – 28 August 1945; 26 March 1948-25 June 1951; 25 May 1955 – 14 April 1959
- 706th Bombardment Squadron: 1 April 1943 – 28 August 1945; 26 March 1948-27 June 1949; 8 October 1955 – 16 November 1957; 7 February-14 April 1959
- 707th Bombardment Squadron: 1 April 1943 – 28 August 1945; 22 April 1948-27 June 1949
- 728th Airlift Squadron: 1 August 1992–present
Aircraft assigned 
- Bungay airfield, English Heritage. Retrieved 2013-01-21.
- 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
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.