439th Airlift Wing

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name=439th Airlift Wing

dates= 14 May 1943 — present
country=United States
branch=Air Force
command_structure=Air Force Reserve Command
current_commander=Brigadier General [http://www.westover.afrc.af.mil/library/biographies/bio.asp?id=8379 Wallace Farris Jr.]
garrison=Westover Air Reserve Base

The 439th Airlift Wing (439 AW) is a wing of the United States Air Force based out of Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts.


To provide worldwide air movement of troops, supplies, equipment and medical patients.


WW 2

After formation the 439th trained in the U.S. with C-47s during 1943 and until January 1944. It moved to England in February and March 1944, for duty with the Ninth Air Force. The group began operations by dropping paratroops of the 101st Airborne Division in Normandy on D-Day (6 June 1944) and releasing gliders with reinforcements on the following day. The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation and a French citation for these missions. After the Normandy invasion the group ferried supplies in the United Kingdom until the air echelon was sent to Italy in July to transport cargo to Rome and evacuate wounded personnel. The detachment dropped paratroops of the 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment along the Riviera in support of the invasion of Southern France on 15 August, and later towed gliders to provide reinforcements; for these missions the group earned another citation from the French government. After the air echelon returned to England on 25 August the group resumed its cargo missions.

After moving to France in September, the group dropped paratroops of the 82nd Airborne Division near Nijmegen and towed gliders carrying reinforcements during the airborne attack on Holland. In December, it participated in the Battle of the Bulge by releasing gliders with supplies for the 101st Airborne Division near Bastogne. When the Allies made the air assault across the Rhine River in March 1945, each aircraft of the 439th towed two gliders with troops of the 17th Airborne Division and released them near Wesel. The group also hauled food, clothing, medicine, gasoline, ordnance equipment, and other supplies to the front lines and evacuated patients to rear zone hospitals. It converted from C-47s to C-46s and the 439th used the new aircraft to transport displaced persons from Germany to France and Belgium after V-E Day. The group returned to the U.S. during the period July-September 1945, and trained with C-46 aircraft until inactivated.

Reserve service

Under supervision of the 2242nd Air Force Reserve Training Center, the newly established wing trained as a troop carrier organization from 1949 until 1951 and for fighter-bomber missions from 1952 to 1957.

It replaced the 901st and 905th Tactical Airlift Groups at Westover Air Reserve Base in April 1974 and assumed tactical airlift, special operations, satellite support, and aeromedical evacuation missions. It has since taken part in tactical exercises, global airlift, and humanitarian missions. It gained two tactical groups and the responsibility for operating the military portion of Niagara Falls International Airport on 25 January 1976 and Pittsburgh International Airport on 1 October 1980, but relinquished control of those groups in 1992. During the 1980s, the wing took part in various training exercises involving tactical airlift and rotated personnel and aircraft to Panama. It also provided airlift support for the movement and training of other units and conducted local proficiency flying training missions. At the conclusion of the Iran–Iraq War in 1989, the wing transported United Nations ceasefire observers to the Persian Gulf area. It airlifted troops and equipment to Panama during the incursion into Panama at the end of the year. The 439th airlifted troops, equipment, and supplies to support global contingency, humanitarian, and anti-drug operations during the 1990s. Additionally, its airlifts included troops and cargo to Europe and the Persian Gulf area before and during the Gulf War, and Patriot missiles to Israel in 1991.


*World War II
*Operation Just Cause
*Operation Desert Shield
*Operation Desert Storm

Previous designations

*439th Troop Carrier Group (1943 – 1949)
*439th Troop Carrier Wing (1952 – 1952)
*439th Fighter-Bomber Wing (1952 – 1974)
*439th Tactical Airlift Wing (1974 – 1987)
*439th Military Airlift Wing (1987 – 1992)
*439th Airlift Wing (1992 – Present)


Major command

*Tactical Air Command (1946)
*Air Force Reserve Command (1952 – Present)

Numbered Air Force

*9th Air Force (1945 – 1946)
*3rd Air Force (1946, 1943 – 1945)
*10th Air Force (1949 – 1957)
*14th Air Force (1976 – 1993)
*22nd Air Force (1993 – Present)

ubordinate organizations

439th Operations Group (439 OG)
*337th Airlift Squadron (337 AS)
*439th Aeromedical Staging Squadron (439 ASTS)
*439th Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron (439 AES)
*439th Operations Support Squadron (439 OSS)
*439th Airlift Control Flight (439 ACF)

439th Maintenance Group (439 MXG)
*439th Maintenance Squadron (439 MXS)
*439th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (439 AMXS)
*439th Maintenance Operations Flight (439 MOF)

439th Mission Support Group (439 MSG)
*42d Aerial Port Squadron (42 APS)
*58th Aerial Port Squadron (58 APS)
*85th Aerial Port Squadron (85 APS) (Hanscom Air Force Base)
*439th Civil Engineering Squadron (439 CES)
*439th Communications Squadron (439 CS)
*439th Mission Support Squadron (439 MSS)
*439th Security Forces Squadron (439 SFS)
*439th Services Squadron (439 SVS)
*439th Logistics Readiness Squadron (439 LRS)

Bases stationed

*Alliance Army Airfield, Nebraska (1943)
*Sedalia Army Airfield, Missouri (1943)
*Laurinburg-Maxton Army Airfield, North Carolina (1943 – 1944)
*Baer Field, Indiana (1944)
*RAF Balderton, England (1944)
*RAF Upottery, England (1944)
*Orbetello Airfield, Italy (1944) - 91st, 92nd and 94th Squadrons
*Juvincourt Airfield, France (1944)
*Lonrai, France (1944)
*Châteaudun Airport, France (1944 – 1945)
*Baer Field, Indiana (1945)
*Sedalia Army Airfield, Missouri (1945 – 1946)
*Selfridge Air Force Base, Michigan (1949 – 1957)
*Westover Air Reserve Base, Massachusetts (1974 – Present)

Aircraft operated

*C-47 Skytrain (1943 – 1945, 1957)
*C-46 Commando (1945 – 1946, 1949 – 1955)
*T-6 Texan (1949 – 1950, 1952 – 1954)
*T-7 (1949 – 1951)
*T-11 (1949 – 1951)
*T-28 Trojan (1953 – 1955)
*P-51 Mustang (1953 – 1954)
*T-33 Shooting Star (1953 – 1957)
*P-80 Shooting Star (1953 – 1956)
*F-84 Thunderjet (1956 – 1957)
*F-86 Sabre (1957)
*C-119 Flying Boxcar (1957)
*C-118 Liftmaster (1966 – 1968)
*C-124 Globemaster II (1966 – 1968)
*C-131 Samaritan (1966 – 1968)
*C-123 Provider (1974 – 1982)
*C-130 Hercules (1974 – 1988)
*C-5 Galaxy (1987 – Present)

Unit shields


External links

* [http://www.westover.afrc.af.mil/ Westover Air Reserve Base Home Page]

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