312th Aeronautical Systems Wing

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=312th Aeronautical Systems Wing


caption= Emblem of the 312th Tactical Fighter Wing
dates= 28 January 1942 — present
country=United States
allegiance=
branch=Air Force
type=Aeronautical Systems
role=
size=
command_structure=Air Force Material Command
current_commander=
garrison=Wright-Patterson Air Force Base
ceremonial_chief=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
nickname=
patron=
motto=
colors=
identification_symbol=
march=
mascot=
battles=


* World War II: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (1944-1945)
notable_commanders=
anniversaries=
decorations=
battle_honours=

The 312th Aeronautical Systems Wing (312 ASW) is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

Mission

The 312th Aeronautical Systems Wing has responsibility for program execution to develop, acquire, field and modernize capabilities; and support for life-cycle management of the Fighter Attack portfolio for the United States and coalition partners.

Wing responsibilities also include identifying, coordinating and implementing horizontal integration/capability planning across weapons systems in support of the Global Strike and Global Persistent Attack concept of operations.

History

Lineage

* Constituted as 312th Bombardment Group (Light) on 28 Jan 1942: Activated on 15 Mar 1942: Redesignated 312th Bombardment Group (Dive) in Jul 1942 : Inactivated on 6 Jan 1946
* Redesignated 312th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) and activated on 30 Jul 1947: Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
* Established as 312 Fighter-Bomber Wing on 23 Mar 1953: 312th Fighter-Bomber Wing assigned as subordinate unit to wing: Activated on 1 Oct 1954: Redesignated 312 Tactical Fighter Wing on 1 Jul 1958: Inactivated on 18 Feb 1959
* Consolidated (23 Jun 2006) with Fighter Attack Systems Wing which was established on 23 Nov 2004: Activated on 18 Jan 2005: Redesignated 312 Aeronautical Systems Wing on 14 Jun 2006.

Assignments

* First Air Force: I Bombardment Command, 15 Mar 1942 - 20 Feb 1943
* Fourth Air Force: IV Bombardment Command, 13 Apr - 24 Aug 1943
* Fifth Air Force, 1 Jan 1944 - 13 Dec 1945
* Continental Air Command: Fourth Air Force, 30 Jul 1947-27 Jun 1949
* Tactical Air Command: Ninth Air Force, 1 Oct 1954: Eighteenth Air Force, 1 Oct 1957: 832d Air Division, 8 Oct 1957-18 Feb 1959
* Air Force Material Command: Aeronautical Systems Center, 18 Jan 2005-.

tations

*Bowman Field, Kentucky (1942)
*Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma (1942)
*Hunter Field, Georgia (1942 – 1943)
*DeRidder Army Airfield, Louisiana (1943)
* Rice Army Airfield, California (1943)
*Salinas Army Airfield, California (1943)
*Brisbane, Australia (1943)
*New Guinea (1943 – 1944)
*Tanauan, Layte (1944 – 1945)
*Luzon (1945)
* Yontan Air Drome, Okinawa (1945 – 1946)
*Vancouver Barracks, Washington (1946 – 1947)
*Ellington Air Force Base, Texas (1947 – 1949)
*Clovis Air Force Base, New Mexico (1954 – 1959)
*Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio (2005 – Present)

Aircraft Assigned

* V-72 (1942 – 1943)
*A-24 Banshee (1942 – 1943)
*A-36 Apache (1943)
*P-40 Warhawk (1943 – 1944)
*A-20 Havoc (1944 – 1945)
*B-32 Dominator (1945)
*F-86 Sabre (1954 – 1957)
*F-100 Super Sabre (1956 – 1959)

Components

Groups
* 312 Fighter-Bomber: 1 Oct 1954-8 Oct 1957
* 474 Fighter-Bomber: attached 22 Dec 1954-8 Oct 1957.

Squadrons
* 386 Bombardment (later Fighter-Bomber, later Tactical Fighter): 1942-1945; 1947-1949; 8 Oct 1957-18 Feb 1959 (detached 12 Nov-6 Dec 1957)
* 387 Bombardment (later Fighter-Bomber, later Tactical Fighter): 1942-1945; 1947-1949; 8 Oct 1957-18 Feb 1959
* 388 Bombardment (later Fighter-Bomber, later Tactical Fighter): 1942-1945; 1947-1949; 8 Oct 1957-18 Feb 1959 (detached 8 Sep-11 Dec 1958)
* 398th Fighter: 1942-1945; 1947-1949;
* 477 Fighter-Bomber (later, Tactical Fighter): 8 Oct 1957-18 Feb 1959.

Operational History

World War II

The 312th Bombardment Group was activated on 15 Mar 1942 at Bowman Field (Fort Knox) Kentucky. It was redesignated 312th Bombardment Group (Dive) in Jul 1942 and trained in the United States for several months with A-3, A-31, A-36, and P-40 aircraft.

The unit was deployed to the Southwest Pacific, Oct-Dec 1943, and assigned to Fifth Air Force. It was again redesignated as the 312th Bombardment Group (Light) in Dec 1943. It began operations in New Guinea, flying patrol and escort missions. Following its conversion to the A-20 Havoc, the group attacked airfields, troop concentrations, gun positions, bridges, and warehouses on the northern and western coasts of New Guinea. It moved to the Philippines in November 1944 and provided support for ground troops and struck airfields and transportation facilities.

The 312th received a Distinguished Unit Citation for actions against Japanese butanol plants in Formosa, 25 March-4 April 1945.

The 312th was selected to carry out field operation testing of the Consolodated B-32 Dominator in mid-1945 and made test flights over Luzon and Formosa in Jun 1945. The B-32 had been in development since before World War II, but a protracted development period delayed production versions of the aircraft until 1945. The first two B-32s arrived on Luzon on 2 May, with a third aircraft arriving the next day.

The first combat mission took place on May 29, 1945. It was a strike against a Japanese supply depot in Luzon's Cayagan Valley. All three of the Dominators were to take part, but one aborted on takeoff. The other two proceeded to the target. There was no enemy opposition, and bombing runs were made from an altitude of 10,000 feet, and both aircraft returned without incident. This raid was followed by a series of attacks on Japanese targets in the Philippines, in Formosa, and on Hainan Island in the Tonkin Gulf. The only opposition encountered during these missions was some rather inaccurate flak. The tests were thus deemed a success, and plans were made to convert the entire 386th Bombardment Squadron to B-32s. The 312th BG was scheduled to move to Okinawa as soon as the conversion of the 386th BS to the B-32 was completed.

Redesignated as the 312th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in Jul 1945, the unit moved to Okinawa in Aug 1945 and received six more aircraft. After the Atomic Bomb missions had been flown, Combat operations were flown with the B-32 in spite of the de-facto cease-fire that had been called following the bombing of Nagasaki. During this time, the B-32s flew mainly photographic reconnaissance missions, most of which were unopposed. However, on 17 August a group of 4 B-32s flying over Tokyo were fired on by radar-directed flak and were attacked by Japanese fighters. The American aircraft escaped with only minor damage, claiming one confirmed fighter kill and two probables. During a reconnaissance mission over Tokyo on 18 August, two B-32s were attacked by Japanese fighters. The American gunners claimed two kills and one probable, but one aircraft was badly shot up and one of her crew was killed with two being injured. This was to prove to be the last combat action of World War II.

The last Dominator mission of the war was flown by four B-32s on August 28 in a reconnaissance mission to Tokyo. The mission was a disaster, although not because of any enemy action. 42-108544 lost an engine on takeoff and skidded off the runway. All 13 men aboard perished when the aircraft exploded and burned. On the way back from the target, 42-108528 lost power on two of its four engines. The plane's pilot ordered the crew to bail out, but two men were killed.

After VJ-Day, the surviving B-32 aircraft were ordered to return to the United States, ending the test program. The 312th remained on Okinawa until December until returning to the United States. It was inactivated on 6 January 1946.

Cold War

The 312th trained in the reserve from, 1947, being redesignated as the 312th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy), and equipped with B-29 Superfortresses. It was deactivated in 1949.

It was reactivated in 1954 and trained to maintain proficiency in fighter-bomber operations with conventional weapons to September 1955, then switched to training to maintain combat proficiency with atomic weapons. From April 1956-October 1957, the wing rotated tactical squadrons to France, six months at a time. The wing also furnished units to Tactical Air Command composite strike forces in the Far East from, 1957-1958. The 312th was replaced by 27th Tactical Fighter Wing in February 1959 and was again deactivated.

Notes

References

* Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
* Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.
* Wolf, William (2006). Consolidated B-32 Dominator: The Ultimate Look, from Drawing Board to Scrapyard. Schiffer Publishing. ISBN: 0764324519.
* [http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=2535 B-32 Dominator Fact Sheet from the National Museum of the United States Air Force]

External links

* [http://usafengineers.com/modules.php?name=Units&file=details&id=149&unit=Aeronautical 312th Aeronautical Systems Wing]


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