568th Air Defense Group

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568th Air Defense Group Airdefensecommand-logo.jpg
5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron North American F-86D-45-NA Sabre 52-4159 1955.jpg
Active 1945-1946, 1952–1954
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Fighter Interceptor
Role Air Defense
Part of Air Defense Command

The 568th Air Defense Group is a disbanded United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Air Defense Command (ADC)'s 4709th Air Defense Wing at McGuire Air Force Base (AFB), New Jersey, where it was inactivated in 1954. The group was originally activated as a support unit for a combat group at the end of World War II on Guam, but was soon inactivated.

The group was activated once again in 1952 to replace the support elements of the inactivating 52d Fighter-Interceptor Wing. A year later ADC established it as an operational headquarters for fighter-interceptor squadrons as well. It was replaced in 1954 when ADC transferred McGuire to Military Air Transport Service and its operational squadrons were transferred to other ADC units.


World War II[edit]

The group was activated toward the end of World War II as the 568th Air Service Group as part of a reorganization of Army Air Forces (AAF) support groups in which the AAF replaced Service Groups that included personnel from other branches of the Army and supported two combat groups with Air Service Groups including only Air Corps units. It was designed to support a single combat group.[1] Its 1031st Air Engineering Squadron provided maintenance that was beyond the capability of the combat group, its 1032nd Air Materiel Squadron handled all supply matters, and its Headquarters & Base Services Squadron provided other support.[1] The unit provided support for one combat group in the Pacific Theater. It was disbanded in 1948.[2]

Cold War[edit]

During the Cold War the group was reconstituted, redesignated as the 568th Air Base Group, and activated at McGuire AFB in 1952[3] in a major reorganization of ADC responding to ADC's difficulty under the existing wing base organizational structure in deploying fighter squadrons to best advantage.[4] It replaced the 52nd Air Base Group as host unit for McGuire.[5] Assigned seven squadrons to perform its support responsibilities.[6][7] Also maintained aircraft stationed at McGuire.[8]

The group was redesignated as the 568th Air Defense Group in 1953[3] and assumed responsibility for air defense of Northeast United States.[citation needed] It was assigned the 2d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (FIS) and 5th FIS, flying F-94 Starfire aircraft[9] from the 4709th Defense Wing as its operational elements.[10] The 2nd FIS and 5th FIS were already stationed at McGuire.[10] The same month that it transferred to the 568th the 2nd FIS briefly traded its F-94s for F-84 Thunderjet Aircraft.[9] Both the 2nd FIS and the 5th FIS converted to radar equipped F-86 Sabres in July 1953.[9] In 1954, McGuire AFB transferred from ADC to Military Air Transport Service,[5] and the group was inactivated.[3] The group's support components were replaced by elements of the 1611th Air Transport Wing[5] Its operational flying squadrons were assigned back to the 4709th Air Defense Wing.[10] The group was disbanded once again in 1984.[11]


  • Constituted as 568th Air Service Group
Activated ca. 5 June 1945
Inactivated ca. 31 May 1946
Disbanded on 8 October 1948
  • Reconstituted and redesignated as 568th Air Base Group on 1 January 1952
Activated on 1 February 1952
  • Redesignated as 568th Air Defense Group on 16 Feb 1953
Inactivated on 8 Jul 1954
Disbanded on 27 September 1984



Operational Squadrons[edit]

  • 2d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 16 February 1953 – 8 July 1954[12]
  • 5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 16 February 1953 – 8 July 1954[13]

Support Squadrons[edit]



  • F-84G 1953
  • F-86D 1953-1954
  • F-94A 1953

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. ^ Department of the Air Force Letter, 322 (AFOOR 887e), 8 October 1948, Subject: Disbandment of Certain Inactive Air Force Units
  3. ^ a b c 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. 85. 
  4. ^ Grant, C.L., The Development of Continental Air Defense to 1 September 1954, (1961), USAF Historical Study No. 126, p. 33
  5. ^ a b c Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 411–415. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. 
  6. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 134
  7. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 152
  8. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 142
  9. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p.113
  10. ^ a b c Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 14,, 34. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. 
  11. ^ Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 575q, 27 Sep 1984, Subject: Disbandment of Units
  12. ^ AFHRA Factsheet, 2nd Fighter Squadron 1/4/2008 Retrieved 7 Mar 2012
  13. ^ Haulman, Daniel L., AFHRA Factsheet, 5th Flying Training Squadron 1/8/2008 Retrieved 7 Mar 2012
  14. ^ a b c d e See Mueller, p. 413


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

Further Reading

External links[edit]