29th Flying Training Wing

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 29th Bombardment Group


caption= 29th Bombardment Group Insignia (1939-1946)
dates= 1939-1946, 1972-1977
country= United States
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branch= United States Army Air Force
type=
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current_commander=
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ceremonial_chief=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
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* World War II: American Campaign (1941-1944): Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
(1944-1945)
anniversaries=
The 29th Flying Training Wing is an inactive United States Air Force unit last based at Craig AFB, Alabama. It was inactivated when Craig AFB was closed as a budget reduction action after the Vietnam War.

History

The unit's origins begin with its United States Army Air Forces World War II predecessor, the 29th Bombardment Group (29th BG). It originally conducted anti-submarine warfare over the Caribbean during the early years of the war as part of Third Air Force. Later, the 29th BG was a Replacement Training Unit (RTU) of the Army Air Forces Training Command. In 1944, the group was reequipped with B-29 Superfortresses and was engaged in combat as part of Twentieth Air Force. The 29th Bomb Group's aircraft engaged in very heavy bombardment B-29 Superfortress operations against Japan.

The group's World War II tail code was a "Square O"

Lineage

* Constituted as 29th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 22 Dec 1939: Activated on 1 Feb 1940: Inactivated on 1 Apr 1944.
* Redesignated 29th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy): Activated on 1 Apr 1944: Inactivated on 20 May 1946

* Established as 29th Flying Training Wing on 22 Mar 1972: Activated on 1 Jul 1972. : Inactivated on 30 Sep 1977.

Stations assigned

* Langley AAF, Virginia, 1 Feb 1940
* MacDill Field, Florida 21 May 1940
* Gowen Field, Idaho 25 Jun 1942-1 Apr 1944
* Pratt AAFld, Kansas 1 Apr-7 Dec 1944
* North Field, Guam 17 Jan 1945-20 May 1946
* Craig AFB, Alabama, 22 March 1972 - 30 September 1977

Major Commands

* Third Air Force, 21 May 1940 - 25 Jun 1942
* Army Air Forces Training Command, 1 Feb -21 May 1940; 25 Jun 1942 - 1 Apr 1944; 1 Apr 1944 - Dec 1944
* Twentieth Air Force, January 1945 - May 1946
* Air Training Command, 22 March 1972 - 30 September 1977

Operational Units

* 6th Bombardment Squadron 1940-1944, 1944-1946
* 43d Bombardment Squadron 1940-1944, 1944-1946
* 52d Bombardment Squadron 1940-1944, 1944-1946
* 411th Bombardment Squadron 1942-1944
* 761st Bombardment Squadron 1945-1946
* 43d Flying Training Squadron 1972-1977
* 52d Flying Training Squadron 1972-1977

Aircraft Flown

* Douglas B-18 Bolo
* Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
* Consolidated B-24 Liberator
* Boeing B-29 Superfortress
* T-37 Tweet, 1972-1977
* T-38 Talon, 1972-1977
* T-41 Mescalero, 1972-1973

Operational history

World War II

Constituted as the 29th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 22 Dec 1939. Activated on 1 Feb 1940 at Langley AAF, Virginia. Equipped with B-17C Flying Fortresses and B-18 Bolos, the group trained and took part in aerial reviews as part of the GHQ Air Force.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the 29th was reassigned to Third Air Force and flew antisubmarine patrol missions in the Caribbean area, Dec 1941-Jun 1942 from MacDill AAF, Florida.

After the antisubmarine mission was turned over to the Navy and Coast Guard, the 29th was reequipped with B-24 Liberator bombers and was reassigned to Gowen AAF, Idaho, where it functioned as an operational training (OTU) and later as a replacement training unit (RTU). The group was inactivated on 1 Apr 1944 along with a general phasedown of B-24 training.

The group was immediatley redesignated as the 29th Bombardment Group (Very Heavy) and was reactivated the same day. Equipped with B-29 Superfortresses, the unit was remanned and reassigned to Pratt Army Airfield, Kansas. At Pratt, the unit prepared for overseas duty and was deployed to the Southwest Pacific, being assigned to North Field, Guam during December 1944/January 1945. On Guam, the 29th was assigned to the Twentieth Air Force, 314th Bombardment Wing. Its B-29 tail code was "Square O".

The 29th flew its first mission against Japan with an attack on Tokyo on 25 Feb 1945. It conducted a number of missions against strategic targets in Japan, operating in daylight and at high altitude to bomb factories, refineries, and other objectives. Beginning in March 1945, the group carried out incendiary raids on area targets, flying at night and at low altitude to complete the assignments.

S/Sgt Henry E Erwin was awarded the Medal of Honor for action that saved his B-29 during a mission over Koriyama, Japan, on 12 Apr 1945. When a phosphorus smoke bomb exploded in the launching chute and shot back into the plane, Sgt Erwin picked up the burning bomb, carried it to a window, and threw it out.

During the Allied assault on Okinawa, the 29th Bomb Group bombed airfields from which the enemy was sending out suicide planes against the invasion force. Received a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for an attack on an airfield at Omura, Japan, on 31 Mar 1945. Received a second DUC for strikes on the industrial area of Shizuoka, the Mitsubishi aircraft plant at Tamashima, and the Chigusa arsenal at Nagoya,

in Jun 1945. After the war, dropped food and supplies to Allied prisoners and participated in several show-of-force missions over Japan. Inactivated on Guam on 20 May 1946.

Cold War

The 29th Flying Training Wing replaced, and absorbed resources of, the 3615th Flying Training Wing on 1 July 1972. at Craig AFB, Alabama**. The 29th FTW conducted graduate pilot training and operated Craig AFB, Ala, facilities. In 1974, Craig AFB was selected as one of two UPT bases to be closed in a post-Vietnam economic move. In 1977, Air Training Command closed Craig Air Force Base along with Webb Air Force Base in Texas. Craig's 29th Flying Training Wing was inactivated on September 30th, 1977 and the field was placed on caretaker status the next day.

.** An unrelated unit, the World War II 29th Flying Training Wing was the operational training unit (OTU) at nearby Napier Army Airfield, Alabama where it commanded the 2116th (Pilot School, Advanced, Single-Engine) Army Air Force Base Unit, providing advanced & specialized training in single engine aircraft, including AT-6 Texans and P-40 fighters. This World War II organization, although having a similar designation, was not related to the host unit at Craig AFB in the 1970s.

ee also

* 314th Air Division

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.

External links

* [http://www.29bg.com/index.cfm 29th Bombardment Group Website]


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