507th Air Refueling Wing
|507th Air Refueling Wing|
A 465th ARS KC-135R refuels an F-22A from the 90th FS near Guam, 2010.
|Active||12 October 1944 — present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Reserve Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma|
|Tail Code||Blue tail stripe "Tinker" in yellow|
|Colonel Russell Muncy|
|507th Air Refueling Wing emblem|
The 507th Air Refueling Wing (507 ARW) is an Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the Fourth Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, stationed at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. If mobilized, the Wing is gained by the Air Mobility Command.
The 507th Air Refueling Wing supports Air Mobility Command’s airlift and air refueling requirements, United States Strategic Command’s (USSTRATCOM) Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) requirements, including overseas deployment, in times of peace, war, and national emergency as well as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight inspection requirements.
The 507th employs approximately 996 men and women. Approximately 210 members of the 507th are Air Reserve Technicians (ARTs) who serve as a full-time support cadre along with civilian employees and traditional reservists.
The 507th Air Refueling Wing consists of the following major units:
- 507th Operations Group
- 507th Maintenance Group
- 507th Mission Support Group
- 507th Medical Squadron
World War II
The 507th Fighter Group was organized in Bruning AAF, Nebraska, in 1944. At least one of the pilots (1st Lt. Walter R. Frederick) re-enlisted after putting in 300 hours in the European theatre. On 12 December 1944, the 507th was reassigned to Dalhart AAF, near Dalhart, Texas. There the group's personnel received intensive training from its war-trained pilots in preparation for assignment to the Pacific Theatre. For four months they received combat training for long-range escort, strafing, and dive-bombing. The 507th Fighter group had three casualties during training: Second Lt. Glenn W. Dexler, Second Lt. Alden L. Kaylor, and Flight Officer Jack F. Anderson.
Following months of delays, the 507th arrived in the Pacific Theater, being assigned to Ie Shima in the Ryukyu Islands on 28 June 1945 from Saipan/Tinian. The group was assigned to the Twentieth Air Force VII Fighter Command, 301st Fighter Wing.
The 507th flew from Tinian to Saipan on 27 June so as to have a long runway for the fuel load needed to get to Ie Shima. On 1 July 1945 it began flying airstrikes from Ie Shima, targeting enemy ships, railroad bridges, airfields, factories, and barracks in Japan, Korea, and China. On 8 August 1945 the group escorted B-29 bombers on a raid, shooting down several Japanese fighters.
The group earned a Distinguished Unit Citation for outstanding performance in engaging and destroying Japanese interceptor aircraft during a long-range fighter sweep to Korea on 13 August 1945.
The 507th Fighter Group had ninety-five P-47s and 150 pilots. Between flying their first combat mission on 1 July and war's end on 15 August, the pilots logged over 8700 combat hours. They destroyed thirty-eight aircraft in the air, fired over 600,000 rounds of 50-caliber ammunition, dropped more than 480,000 pounds of CP bombs, 70,000 gallons of napalm firebombs and consumed a million gallons of gasoline.
During these forty-six days of combat, the 507th flew forty-six missions: 1492 sorties, 367 bomber escorts, 178 photo escorts, and 115 dumbo escorts. The group also flew 351 dive bombing sorties, 254 napalm firebomb sorties and 135 fighter sweeps. Pilots averaged 55.8 combat hours and 9½ completed sorties.
With the end of the war, the 507th was reassigned to Yontan Air Base, Okinawa in January 1946. It was inactivated on 27 May 1946.
The names of those in the 507th Fighter Group who made the ultimate sacrifice are: First Lt. George W. Bradley, Second Lt. Willis E. Bean, Capt. Lanham C. Connally, First Lt. Walter R. Frederick, Second Lt. Earl G. Graham, Flight Officer Paul Lynn, Flight Officer Joseph B. Lawhon, Flight Officer Neal T. McGinnis, First Lt. Frank W. Mrneck, and First Lt. John R. Ranger.
The 507th Fighter Group was awarded the Asiatic – Pacific ribbon with three battle stars -China Offensive, Ryukus Campaign and the Air Offensive Japan Campaign. The 507th also received the Presidential Unit Citation. Many of their pilots received the Air Medal.
From August 1955 to September 1968, the 507th served in an air defense role, training with interceptor aircraft and participating in various exercises. It trained for tactical fighter missions, participating in numerous tactical, joint, and combined exercises, May 1972-March 1973 and October 1975-September 1994.
Air Force Reserve
The 507th was transferred to the Air Force Reserve and activated on 17 October 1975. It was the first Air Force Reserve group to participate in Red Flag exercises (1978), and the first to deploy to Turkey for an annual tour (1982).
It converted in 1994 from fighter to worldwide air refueling operations. From March 1996 to April 1997, the wing also controlled the 513th Air Control Group, the only Reserve organization flying the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.
In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD realigned Will Rogers AGS by relocating the 137th Airlift Wing (ANG) to Tinker AFB and associate with the 507th Air Refueling Wing (AFR). Associating the ANG operation at Will Rogers (64-airlift) with the AFR operation at Tinker (4-tanker) would consolidate and streamline Air Force reserve component operations in Oklahoma City at a base of high military value.
In another recommendation, DoD recommended to realign Portland IAP AGS, OR. It would realign the 939th Air Refueling Wing (AFR) by distributing the wing’s KC-135R aircraft to the 507th Air Refueling Wing (AFR), Tinker AFB, OK (four aircraft) and another installation. Operations and maintenance manpower for four aircraft from the 939th Air Refueling Wing would be realigned with the aircraft to Tinker AFB. This recommendation would realign Portland's KC-135R tanker aircraft to Tinker(4) because of its higher military value than Portland (71) for the tanker mission. It would remain operationally effective due to their proximity to air refueling missions. This recommendation would also robust the Reserve squadron size at Tinker. Finally, an Air National Guard and Reserve KC-135 unit association would be established at Tinker to access Reserve experience and maximize regional Reserve participation in the aerial refueling mission.
- Established as 507th Fighter Group on 5 October 1944
- Activated on 12 October 1944
- Inactivated on 27 May 194
- Re-designated as 507th Fighter Group (Air Defense) on 20 June 1955
- Activated on 18 August 1955
- Discontinued, and inactivated, on 1 February 1961
- Re-designated as 507th Tactical Fighter Group on 4 May 1972
- Activated in the Reserve on 20 May 1972
- Inactivated on 25 March 1973
- Activated in the Reserve on 17 October 1975
- Consolidated (31 January 1984) with the 507th Fighter Wing (Air Defense)
- Established, and activated, on 28 December 1960
- Organized on 1 February 1961, assuming assets of 507th Fighter Group (Air Defense) (Inactivated)
- Inactivated on 30 September 1968
- Consolidated organization retained designation 507th Tactical Fighter Group
- Re-designated as: 507th Fighter Group on 1 February 1992
- Re-designated as: 507th Air Refueling Group on 1 April 1994
- Status changed from Group to Wing, 1 October 1994
- Re-designated as: 507th Air Refueling Wing on 1 October 1994
- 507th Operations Group established, assigned as subordinate unit, and activated in the Reserve, on 1 October 1994
- Re-designated as: 507th Wing on 15 March 1996
- Re-designated as: 507th Air Refueling Wing on 1 August 1997
- 72d Fighter Wing, 12 October 1944
- 301st Fighter Wing, 24 June 1945 – 27 May 1946
- 4706th Air Defense Wing, 18 August 1955
- 37th Air Division, 8 July 1956
- 30th Air Division, 1 April 1959
- Sault Sainte Marie Air Defense Sector, 1 April 1960
- Duluth Air Defense Sector, 1 October 1963
- 29th Air Division, 1 April 1966 – 30 September 1968
- 442d Tactical Airlift Wing, 20 May 1972
- 301st Tactical Fighter Wing, 25 July 1972 – 25 March 1973
- 301st Tactical Fighter Wing, 17 October 1975
- 419 Tactical Fighter (later, 419 Fighter) Wing, 1 October 1982
- 452d Air Refueling Wing, 1 April 1994
- Fourth Air Force, 15 April 1994–present
- 507th Operations Group: 1 Oct 1994–present
- 513th Air Control Group: 15 March 1996 – 1 April 1997
- 931st Air Refueling Group: 1 March 1999–present
- 438th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron: 18 August 1955 – 30 September 1968
- 463d Fighter Squadron: 12 October 1944 – 27 May 1946
- 464th Fighter Squadron: 12 October 1944 – 27 May 1946
- 465th Air Refueling Squadron: 12 October 1944 – 24 May 1946; 20 May 1972 – 25 March 1973; 17 October 1975 – 1 August 1992.
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
- 507th Air Refueling Wing Factsheet
- 507 ARW Home Page
- World War II on Ie Shima