464th Tactical Airlift Wing
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|464th Tactical Airlift Wing|
464th Tactical Airlift Wing Insignia
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Role||Bomber, Tactical Airlift|
|Part of||Tactical Air Command|
The 464th Tactical Airlift Wing was a theater airlift unit of the United States Air Force during the Cold War. It served in the United States under Tactical Air Command between 1953–1971. Its predecessor was the USAAF 464th Bombardment Group of World War II.
World War II
Constituted as 464th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 May 1943 (activated 1 August). Activated as a B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment unit; assigned to II Bomber Command for training. Primarily trained in Idaho and Utah received deployment orders for the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in February 1943.
Deployed to Southern Italy in February 1944; entered combat in April, being assigned to Fifteenth Air Force 55th Bombardment Wing. Air echelon training for a few weeks in Tunisia before joining the remainder of the group in Italy.
Engaged in very long range strategic bombing missions to enemy military, industrial and transportation targets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia, bombing railroad marshalling yards, oil refineries, airdrome installations, heavy industry, and other strategic objectives.
Notable missions of the Oil Campaign of World War II included bombings of the Ploesti Concordia Vega refinery on 18 May 1944, the marshalling yards and oil refinery at Vienna on 8 July 1944 (1st DUC), and the Pardubice oil refinery and nearby railroad tracks on 24 August 1944 (2nd DUC).
Sometimes engaged in support and interdictory operations. Supported Allied forces during the Operation Dragoon invasion of Southern France in August 1944. Hit railroad centers to assist the advance of Russian troops in southeastern Europe in March 1945. Bombed enemy supply lines to assist the advance of US Fifth and British Eighth Army in northern Italy in April 1945.
After V-E Day, was assigned to Green Project which was the movement of troops from Europe to the United States via the South Atlantic Transport Route. B-24s were modified with sealed bomb bays, removal of all defensive armament and internal fuselage equipped with seating to carry approximately 30 personnel. Was assigned to Air Transport Command at Waller Field, Trinidad. Moved personnel from Natal, Brazil and Atkinson Field, British Guiana to Morrison Field, Florida. Provided air transport until the end of July when the unit was inactivated.
The unit (later redesignated 464th Tactical Airlift Wing on 1 March 1966) provided tactical airlift of troops and cargo, participated in joint airborne training with Army forces, and took part in tactical exercises in the United States and overseas. The wing provided aeromedical airlift and flew humanitarian missions as required.
Until it was inacivated, the 464th usually had two or more tactical squadrons deployed overseas at any one time, supporting airlift operations in Central America, Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, and Southeast Asia.
At Pope, the 464th received the Mackay Trophy for humanitarian operations in the Congo in 1964. It participated in contingency airlift operations in the Dominican Republic, April 1965 – September 1966.
During its time at Pope, a major period of facility expansion occurred. The main runway, the taxiways, and the ramp were all expanded to support the 464th’s Fairchild C-119 "Flying Boxcar"s operations. During the 1950s and 1960s, aircraft upgrade was the primary trend at the North Carolina installation. The Fairchild C-123 Provider started replacing the C-119 in 1958, and in 1963, the first C-130 Hercules arrived, appropriately named “The North Carolina.” The 778th TAS was tail coded "PG" and its C-130Es had a green tail stripe.
The Wing was inactivated on 31 August 1971, being replaced by the 317th TAW.
- Constituted as 464th Bombardment Group (Heavy) On 19 May 1943
- Activated on 1 August 1943
- Inactivated on 31 July 1945
- Established as 464th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium on 16 December 1952
- Activated on 1 February 1953
- Redesignated as 464th Troop Carrier Wing, Assault on 16 December 1958
- Redesignated as 464th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium on 8 January 1964
- Redesignated as 464th Troop Carrier Wing, on 1 March 1966
- Redesignated as 464th Tactical Airlift Wing on 1 May 1967
- Inactivated on 31 August 1971
- II Bomber Command, 1 August 1943
- 55th Bombardment Wing, 2 October 1943
- Air Transport Command, 1 June – 31 July 1946
- Eighteenth Air Force, 1 February 1953
- Ninth Air Force, 1 September 1957
- 838th Air Division, 1 July 1963
- 839th Air Division, 9 November 1964 – 31 August 1971
- 776th Bombardment (later: Troop Carrier) Squadron: 1 August 1943 – 31 July 1945; 1 February 1953-11 November 1957; 11 November 1957 – 1 July 1963; 8 July 1963-26 December 1965
- 777th Bombardment (later: Troop Carrier, Tactical Airlift) Squadron: 1 August 1943 – 31 July 1945; 1 February 1953-11 November 1957; 11 November 1957 – 1 July 1963 (detached 6 June—unkn 1962 and 5 April – 1 July 1963); 8 July 1963 – 31 August 1971 (not operational, 8 July-30 September 1963; detached 10 April-1 August 1968, 10 May-10 August 1969, 5 January-19 March 1970, 30 September-8 November 1970, and 3 March-17 May 1971)
- 778th Bombardment (later: Troop Carrier, Tactical Airlift) Squadron: 1 August 1943 – 31 July 1945; 1 February 1953-11 November 1957; 11 November 1957 – 31 August 1971 (detached 1–23 August 1968, 13 January-15 April 1969, 13 October-31 December 1969, and 5 July-16 September 1970)
- 779th Bombardment (later: Troop Carrier, Tactical Airlift) Squadron: 1 August 1943 – 31 July 1945; 8 June 1955-1 August 1957; 1 July 1963 – 31 August 1971 (detached 4 February—c. 10 April 1968, 25 September-22 November 1968, 3 August-22 October 1969, 5 April – 19 June 1970, and 15 December 1970 – 17 February 1971)
- Consolidated B-24 Liberator, 1943–1945
- Curtiss C-46 Commando 1953–1954
- Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar 1953–1958
- Fairchild C-123 Provider 1955–1964
- Lockheed C-130 Hercules 1963–1971
- Hill, Michael. The 464th Bomb Group in World War II: In Action over the Third Reich with the B-24 Liberator. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing, 2002. ISBN 0-7643-1628-1.
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories, 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1984. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.