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443d Airlift Wing
443d airlift wg-patch.jpg
443d Military Airlift Wing, Training Patch
Active 1949–1992
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Heavy Airlift Training
Garrison/HQ Air Mobility Command

USAF C-124 Globemaster II

C-141A Graduating Class, 1970s. 66-0179 in background

C-5B Galaxy from Atlus, about 1990

The 443d Airlift Wing (443d AW) is an inactive unit of the United States Air Force. Its last assignment was with Air Mobility Command, being stationed at Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma. It was inactivated on October 1, 1992.


For additional history and lineage, see 443d Troop Carrier Group

Established and trained as a Reserve troop carrier wing under supervision of the 2596th Air Force Reserve Training Center, June 1949 – April 1951.

The 443d was brought to active duty at Donaldson AFB, South Carolina on August 9, 1951 as a training wing by Tactical Air Command. For almost two years, the 443d participated in tactical exercises in operations, training troop carrier aircrews using C-46 Commandos for assignment to the Far East and worked closely with other troop carrier groups to test and evaluate new troop carrier doctrine and procedures. With the end of the Korean War, the 443d was inactivated on June 8, 1953.

In January 1966, Military Airlift Command (MAC) reactivated the 443d at Altus AFB, Oklahoma, replacing the inactivated Military Air Transport Service 1707th Air Transport Wing, Heavy. The 443d became the primary USAF wing charged with training air and ground crews of C-124 Globemaster II and the new C-141 Starlifter heavy transports, while simultaneously maintaining a capability to perform airlift operations worldwide.

With the retirement of the prop-driven C-124 Globemaster II from active service, training diminished in 1967 and ceased in 1968, being replaced by training air and ground crews on the new C-5 Galaxy very heavy lift transport in 1969. The wing performed this training mission until 1992 when C-5 and C-141 training was consolidated after the end of the Cold War.

Air Mobility Command reorganized Air Force Airlift units in 1992 and the 443d was inactivated on October 1, 1992 as part of the Air Force Heritage program, where notable units were retained and reassigned after the Cold War. The new 97th Air Mobility Wing, a former Eighth Air Force World War II bombardment group and later Strategic Air Command bomb Wing absorbed the personnel, equipment and aircraft of the 443d upon its inactivation in an administrative transfer.


  • Established as 443d Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, on May 10, 1949.
Activated in the Reserve on June 27, 1949.
Ordered to active service on May 1, 1951
Inactivated on January 8, 1953
  • Redesignated 443d Military Airlift Wing, Training, and activated, on December 27, 1965
Organized on January 8, 1966, assuming personnel and equipment of 1707th Air Transport Wing (MATS) which was discontinued.
Redesignated 443d Airlift Wing August 27, 1991
Inactivated October 1, 1992, personnel and equipment redesignated 97th Air Mobility Wing






Aircraft Assigned[]


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.

External links[]

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