566th Air Defense Group

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566th Air Defense Group Airdefensecommand-logo.jpg
84th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron Northrop F-89C-5-NO Scorpion 50-746 1952.jpg
Cannon armed F-89 of the 84th FIS at Hamilton AFB
Active 1944-1945, 1952–1955
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Fighter Interceptor
Role Air Defense
Part of Air Defense Command

The 566th Air Defense Group is a disbanded unit of the United States Air Force. Its last assignment was with the 28th Air Division at Hamilton Air Force Base (AFB), California where it was inactivated on 18 August 1955. The group was originally activated as a support unit for a combat group at the end of World War II but never deployed before it was inactivated in 1945.

The group was activated once again in 1952 to replace the support elements of the inactivating 78th Fighter-Interceptor Wing. A year later ADC established it as an operational headquarters for fighter-interceptor squadrons as well. It was replaced in 1955 when ADC transferred its mission, equipment, and personnel to the 78th Fighter Group in a project that replaced air defense groups commanding fighter squadrons with fighter groups with distinguished records during World War II.


World War II[edit]

The group was activated toward the end of World War II as the 566th Air Service Group in 1944 and trained to support a single combat group.[1] Its 984th Air Engineering Squadron[2] would provide maintenance that was beyond the capability of the combat group, its 1004th Air Materiel Squadron[2] would handle all supply matters, and its Headquarters & Base Services Squadron would provide other support.[1] The group was inactivated before it could be deployed overseas.[3] It was disbanded in 1948.[4]

Cold War[edit]

During the Cold War the group was reconstituted, redesignated as the 566th Air Base Group, and activated at Hamilton AFB in 1952[5] in a major reorganization of Air Defense Command (ADC) responding to ADC's difficulty under the existing wing base organizational structure in deploying fighter squadrons to best advantage.[6] It replaced the 78th Air Base Group as host unit for Hamilton. It was assigned eight squadrons and one flight to perform its support responsibilities.[7][8][9][10] The group also assumed responsibility to maintain aircraft stationed at Hamilton from the inactivating 78th Maintenance & Supply Group,[11] while the operational elements of the 78th Fighter-Interceptor Wing[12] were assigned to the 28th Air Division.

The 566th was redesignated the 566th Air Defense Group[5] and assumed responsibility for air defense of the Northern California.[citation needed] It was assigned the 84th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (FIS), flying F-89 Scorpion aircraft[13] from the 28th Air Division as its operational element.[14] The 84th FIS was already stationed at Hamilton AFB.[14] In March, a second operational squadron, the 496th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, was activated at Hamilton and assigned to the group.[15] The 496th FIS was initially equipped with outmoded World War II era F-51 Mustang Aircraft.[16] In April, the 83rd FIS traded its Scorpions for F-94 "Starfire" aircraft.[13] and to later model Starfire before the end of the year.[13] The 496th FIS, in turn converted to F-86 "Sabres" during 1953.[16] In February 1954, the 325th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Travis Air Force Base, CA, flying F-86 Sabres,[17] was assigned to the group.[18] Ten days after its assignment, the 325th FIS moved to Hamilton AFB.[18] A few months later, in July, the group once again had only two operational squadrons when the 496th FIS transferred to Europe and was assigned elsewhere.[15] The 566th was inactivated[5] and replaced by the 78th Fighter Group (Air Defense) on 18 August 1955[19] as result of ADC's Project Arrow, which was designed to bring back on the active list the fighter units which had compiled memorable records in the two world wars.[20] The group was disbanded once again in 1984.[21]


  • Constituted as 566th Air Service Group in 1944
Activated on 7 December 1944[2]
Inactivated on ca. 14 August 1945
Disbanded on 8 October 1948
  • Reconstituted and redesignated as: 566th Air Base Group on 1 January 1952
Activated on 1 February 1952
Redesignated as 566th Air Defense Group on 16 February 1953
Inactivated on 18 August 1955


  • Warner Robins Air Technical Service Command, 7 December 1944 - ca. 14 August 1945[2]
  • 4702d Defense Wing, 1 February 1952[5]
  • 28th Air Division 7 November 1952 – 18 August 1955[5]


  • Robins Field, GA, 7 December 1944 - ca. 14 August 1945
  • Hamilton AFB, CA, 1 February 1952 – 18 August 1955


Operational Squadrons and Flight[edit]

  • 84th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 16 February 1953 – 18 August 1955[22]
  • 325th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 1 February 1954 – 18 August 1955
  • 496th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 20 March 1953 - 1 July 1954
  • 13th Crash Rescue Boat Flight, 7 November 1952 - 18 August 1955

Support Squadrons[edit]


  • F-51D, 1953
  • F-86D 1953-1954
  • F-86E 1954-1955
  • F-89B 1953
  • F-94B 1953
  • F-94C 1953-1955


  • Lt Col. Charles E. Stiven, 7 December 1944 - ca. April 1945[2]
  • Lt Col. Charles W. Coleman, ca. April 1945 - ca. 14 August 1945
  • Unknown 1952 - 1955

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b Coleman, John M (1950). The Development of Tactical Services in the Army Air Forces. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. p. 208. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Abstract, History of 566th Air Service Group, Dec 1944
  3. ^ Coleman, p. 215
  4. ^ Department of the Air Force Letter, 322 (AFOOR 887e), 8 October 1948, Subject: Disbandment of Certain Inactive Air Force Units
  5. ^ a b c d e 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. 84. 
  6. ^ Grant, C.L., The Development of Continental Air Defense to 1 September 1954, (1961), USAF Historical Study No. 126, p. 33
  7. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 134
  8. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 151
  9. ^ a b See Abstract, History of 566th Medical Squadron, Jan-Jun 1953 (accessed 17 Jun 2012)
  10. ^ a b See Abstract, History of 566th Food Service Squadron, Feb-Mar 1952 (accessed 17 June 2012)
  11. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson p.141
  12. ^ Factsheet, 78th Air Base Wing (accessed 17 Apr 2012)
  13. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p.120
  14. ^ a b Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 293. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. 
  15. ^ a b Maurer, Combat Squadrons p. 598
  16. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 130
  17. ^ Cornett & Johnson, p. 126
  18. ^ a b Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p.400-401
  19. ^ Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 143. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. 
  20. ^ Buss, Lydus H.(ed), Sturm, Thomas A., Volan, Denys, and McMullen, Richard F., History of Continental Air Defense Command and Air Defense Command July to December 1955, Directorate of Historical Services, Air Defense Command, Ent AFB, CO, 1956., p.6
  21. ^ Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 575q, 27 Sep 1984, Subject: Disbandment of Units
  22. ^ Factsheet, 84 Flying Training Squadron (accessed Mar 2012)
  23. ^ See Abstract, History of 19th WAF Squadron, Apr-Jun 1952 (accessed 17 June 2012)
  24. ^ See Abstract, History of 566th and 78th USAF Hospitals, Jul-Dec 1955 (accessed 17 June 2012)


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

Further Reading

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