- 379th Air Expeditionary Wing
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=379th Air Expeditionary Wing
caption= 379th Air Expeditionary Wing emblem
United States Air Force
type= Air Expeditionary
current_commander= Brig Gen Charles W. Lyon
garrison= Al Udied AB,
motto= DILIGENTIA ET ACCURATIO - Precision and accuracy
Operation Desert Storm; Operation Enduring Freedom; Operation Iraqi Freedom
Eugene E. Habiger
The 379th Air Expeditionary Wing (379 AEW) is an Air Expeditionary wing of the
United States Air Force, located at Al Udeid AB, Qatar.
The Wing is one of the largest, most diverse expeditionary wings in the Air Force, providing combat airpower and support for the Global War on Terrorism in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom and through support of the Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. The wing and its associate units operate more than 100 aircraft, making the base a large hub for humanitarian airlift activity while providing mission-essential combat power, aeromedical evacuation and intelligence support for three theaters of operations.
* 379th Expeditionary Operations Group
** 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron
** 37th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron
** 379th Expeditionary Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron
** 379th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron
** 379th Expeditionary Operations Support Squadron
** 746th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron
** 763rd Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron
* 379th Expeditionary Maintenance Group
* 379th Expeditionary Mission Support Group
* 64th Air Expeditionary Group
World War II
The 379th Bombardment Group got its start in the
Army Air Forceon November 3, 1942 at Geiger Field, Washington. After training at several stateside bases, the group was reassigned to the Eighth Air Forceand moved to England. The air echelon flying B-17 Flying Fortresses via the North Atlantic route in Apr 1943 and the ground echelon crossing by ship in May.
21 May 1943the group arrived at RAF Kimbolton, and was assigned to the 41st Combat Bombardment Wing of the 1st Bombardment Division. Its tail code was Triangle-K. Its operational squadrons and identifying fuselage codes were the 524th (WA); 525th (FR); 526th (LF) and 527th (FO).
The 379th BG operations on
19 May 1943, and received a Distinguished Unit Citationfor operations over Europe from May 1943 through July 1944. The group engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets such as industries, oil refineries, storage plants, submarine pens, airfields, and communications centres in Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Norway, and Poland.
Specific targets included a chemical plant in
Ludwigshafen, an aircraft assembly plant in Brunswick, ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurtand Leipzig, synthetic oil refineries at Merseburgand Gelsenkirchen, marshalling yards at Hammand Reims, and airfields in Mesnil au Val and Berlin.
The Group received another DUC for flying without fighter protection into central Germany to attack vital aircraft factories on
11 January 1944. On several occasions the Group attacked interdictory targets and operated in support of ground forces. Bombed V-weapon sites, airfields, radar stations, and other installations before the Normandy invasion in June 1944, and bombed defended positions just ahead of the Allied landings on 6 June; and struck airfields, rail choke points, and gun emplacements during the campaign that followed.
During the Battle of France, the Group bombed enemy positions to assist ground troops at St Lo during the breakthrough, 24-25 July 1944, attacked German communications and fortifications during the
Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 - January 1945, and bombed bridges and viaducts in France and Germany to aid the Allied assault across the Rhine, February-March 1945.
The combat record of the 379th was the most successful of all the Eighth Air Force heavy bomber groups. It held records as far as bomb tonnage dropped - 26,459 tons - more than any other unit including those operational before the 379th arrived in the UK. It also exceeded all other UK Bomb Groups in the total number of missions flown. carrying out 330 between May 1943 and
May 15 1945. One B-17G, "Ole Guppy" itself completed 157 missions, probably more than any other Eighth Air Force bomber.
V-E Day, the 379th Bomb Group was transferred to Casablanca, French Moroccoduring June 1945. The unit was deactivated in place in Morocco during July.
The wing was reactivated as the 379th Bombardment Wing (Medium) on November 1, 1955 at
Homestead Air Force Basein Florida(replacing the 4276th Air Base Squadron). From November 1, 1955 to May 31, 1956 the unit was attached to the 813th Air Division at Pinecastle Air Force Base, Florida. It's operational squadrons were the 524th, 525th 526th and 527th Bomb Squadrons. Upon activation, the unit was bestowed the honors, history and colors of the World War II Eighth Air Force 379th Bomb Group.
In April 1956, the wing began training for air refueling and strategic bombardment operations with the
B-47E and KC-97G. It was an assigned unit to the 823d Air Division at Homestead Air Force Base, Florida, from June 1, 1956 to January 9, 1961. During this time, the wing was attached to Sidi Slimane, 5th Air Division, French Morocco, from March 6 to May 12 of 1957 during a REFLEX deployment. Beginning in October 1960, the wing began transferring its B-47s to other SAC wings.
The 379th was reassigned to
Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michiganwithout personnel or equipment in January, 1961, being assigned to the 40th Air Division. At Wurtsmith, the wing's 524th Bomb Squadron was re-equipped with B-52H and it's 920th ARS received KC-135 aircraft. Once equipped, the wing resumed training for strategic bombardment and air refueling operations. It was redesignated as the 379th Bombardment Wing (Heavy) on 9 January 1961.
Personnel and KC-135 tankers from the 379th were deployed to forward bases in the Pacific to support combat operations from 1965 - 1975, however it's B-52H aircraft remained at Wurthsmith on nuclear alert.
In 1977, the 379th exchanged their B-52Hs for the conventional bomb capable B-52G. In 1989, the Air Force selected Wurtsmith as one of seven bases that would house LGM-118A Peacekeeper ICBM Peacekeeper Rail Garrison. A Rail Garrison would address the survivability problem by which 25 trains, each with two missiles, would use the national railroad system to conceal themselves. It was intended that this system would become operational in late 1992, but budgetary constraints and the changing international situation led to it being scrapped.
Post Cold War
Retirement of the B-52G began in the late 1980s, however the Gulf War of 1990-1991 resulted in a temporary delay in the inactivation of B-52G units. Wurtsmith-based B-52s were flown on missions against Iraq staged out of Prince Abdullah AB in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. These planes were part of the 1708th BW (P), a temporary wing formed from B-52s out of Barksdale, Castle, Wurtsmith, and others. The planes arrived at dawn on the first day of the air war.
One plane flew 29 missions out of Jeddah, the most of any bomber crew in the theater. During the Gulf War, 379th Bomb Wing aircraft carried the "Triangle K" tail flash in honor of their World War II predecessors and heritage.
The 379th Bombardment Wing was inactivated on
June 30, 1993as a result of the 1991 Base Realignment and Closureprocess which closed Wurtsmith AFB. On the overcast foggy morning of December 15, 1992, the last B-52, 57-6492, Old Crow Express, was flown to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
Air Combat Command/ USCENTAF(2003-Present)
Air Combat Command( 1 Jun 1992- 30 Jun 1993)
Strategic Air Command( 1 November 1955to June 1 1992)
Numbered Air Force
Eighth Air Force(1961 - June 30, 1993)
Second Air Force(November 1, 1955-1961 )
40th Air Division(July 8, 1959 to June 8, 1988)
*379th Air Expeditionary Wing (2003-Present)
*379th Bomb Wing (1961-30 Jun 1993)
*379th Wing (Oct 1991-1993)
*379th Bombardment Wing, Heavy (1942-1945)
*379th Bombardment Wing, Medium (1953-1961)
Wurtsmith Air Force Base, Michigan(January 9, 1961 to June 30, 1993)
Homestead Air Force Base, Florida( 1 Nov 1955- 9 Jan 1961)
*Kimbolton, England (1943-1945)
B-52G (1977- 30 June 1993)
* Air Force
Outstanding Unit Award(for the period July 1, 1970 to June 30, 1971)
* Omaha Trophy for the best aircraft or missile organization in the Strategic Air Command
* Commander in Chief, Strategic Air Command, Flying Wing of the Year Award (1971)
* SAC Charles D. Trail Materiel Award
* Second Air Force Sweeney Award
* Second Air Force Martensen Award
* Fairchild Trophy for the best strategic bombardment wing in SAC (1987)
* SAC Proud Shield bombing and navigation competition (1987)
* Air Force
Meritorious Unit Award(for the periods September 1, 2003 to May 31, 2004, and June 1, 2005 to May 31, 2006)
* [http://www.379aew.afnews.af.mil/ Official site]
* [http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/usaf/379aew.htm 379th Air Expeditionary Wing] at
* [http://www.wafb.net/wafb/02_Our_Heritage/pages/379_bw.aspx 379th Bombardment Wing] at WAFB.NET
* [http://379thbga.org/news.php 379th Bombardment Group Association]
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