|477th Fighter Group|
477th Fighter Group - F-22A Raptor
|Active||1 June 1943-Present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Reserve Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Elmendorf Field, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska|
|Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.|
|477th Fighter Group emblem|
The 477th Fighter Group (477 FG) is an Air Reserve Component (ARC) unit of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the Tenth Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, stationed at Elmendorf Field, Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
The 477th Fighter Group was reactivated on 1 October 2007 as the first Air Force Reserve unit to fly, maintain, and support the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The group is an associate unit responsible for recruiting, training, developing and retaining Citizen Airmen to support 3d Wing and Air Force expeditionary unit mission requirements.
The 477th Fighter Group provides a combat-ready force of approximately 425 Air Reserve Technicians, Traditional Reservists, and civil servants assigned to the following squadrons:
- 302d Fighter Squadron (F-22A) (AK)
- 477th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron
- 477th Maintenance Squadron
- 477th Civil Engineer Squadron
- 477th Aerospace Medicine Flight
- 477th Mission Support Flight
- 477th Operations Support Flight.
The men and women of the 477th Fighter Group will functionally integrate with their active duty Air Force partners in almost all F-22A mission areas to increase efficiency and overall combat capability while retaining Reserve administrative support and career enhancement. The 477th Fighter Group will leverage the traditional Reserve Component strengths of experience and continuity to fly, and fight, and win as Unrivaled Wingmen on the Total Force team at Elmendorf.
The 477th was originally established in May 1943 at MacDill Field, Florida as the United States Army Air Forces 477th Bombardment Group (Medium). Assigned to Third Air Force, the group trained with Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers. The unit was subsequently inactivated on 25 August 1943.
The 477th was reactivated as the 477th Composite Group at Selfridge Field, Michigan on 15 Jan 1944 and assigned to First Air Force. The 477th's new mission was to train what would become the legendary World War II African-American aviators known as the Tuskegee Airmen with Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters and North American B-25 Mitchell bombers. During World War II, continued pressure from African-American civilian leaders led the Army to let blacks train as members of bomber crews, a step that opened many more skilled combat roles to them.
On 5 May 1944, possibly out of fear of a repeat of the previous summer's race riot in nearby Detroit, the 477th was abruptly relocated to Godman Field near Fort Knox in Kentucky. The morale of the 477th was poor because the field was not suited to use by the B-25 and because black officers, including combat veterans of the 332d Fighter Group who had transferred to the bomber unit, were not being advanced to command positions. By early 1945, however, the 477th reached its full combat strength. It was scheduled to enter combat on 1 July, which made it necessary to relocate once more, this time to Freeman Field, a base fully suited to use the B-25.
At Freeman Field, the Freeman Field Mutiny took place as a result of racial discrimination. As a result of the protest, the 477th was relocated back to Godman Field. Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., took command on 1 July, and black officers replaced white officers in lower command and supervisory positions. Training was to be completed by 31 August, but the war ended on 14 August with Japan's surrender. Never deployed in combat, the 477th was downsized when the war ended. In 1946, it was reassigned to Lockbourne Field, now Rickenbacker International Airport, in Ohio. On 1 July 1947, the 477th was disbanded.
- Established as 477th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 13 May 1943
- Activated on 1 Jun 1943
- Inactivated on 25 Aug 1943
- Activated on 15 Jan 1944
- Redesignated 477th Composite Group on 22 Jun 1945
- Inactivated on 1 Jul 1947
- Redesignated: 477th Special Operations Group on 31 Jul 1985 (Remained inactive)
- Redesignated: 477th Expeditionary Special Operations Group, and converted to provisional status, on 24 Jan 2005.
- Redesignated: 477th Special Operations Group, and withdrawn from provisional status, on 11 Aug 2006
- Redesignated: 477th Fighter Group on 21 Sep 2007
- Activated on 1 Oct 2007
- Third Air Force, 1 Jun – 25 Aug 1943
- First Air Force, 15 Jan 1944
- Ninth Air Force, 1 Jan – 1 Jul 1947
- Air Force Special Operations Command to activate or inactivate at any time after 24 Jan 2005
- Withdrawn from provisional status, 11 Aug 2006
- Tenth Air Force, 1 Oct 2007 – present
- 99th Fighter Squadron: 22 Jun 1945-1 Jul 1947
- 302d Fighter Squadron: 1 Oct 2007 – present
- 616th Bombardment Squadron: 1 Jun – 25 Aug 1943; 15 Jan 1944 – 22 Jun 1945
- 617th Bombardment Squadron: 1 Jun – 25 Aug 1943; 15 Apr 1944 – 1 Jul 1947
- 618th Bombardment Squadron: 1 Jun – 25 Aug 1943; 15 May 1944 – 8 Oct 1945
- 619th Bombardment Squadron: 1 Jun – 25 Aug 1943; 27 May 1944 – 22 Jun 1945
- MacDill Field, Florida, 1 Jun – 25 Aug 1943
- Selfridge Field, Michigan, 15 Jan 1944
- Godman Field, Kentucky, 6 May 1944
- Freeman Field, Indiana, 5 Mar 1945
- Godman Field, Kentucky, 26 Apr 1945
- Lockbourne Army Airbase, Ohio, 13 Mar 1946 – 1 Jul 1947
- Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, 1 Oct 2007 – present
- 477th Fighter Group (USAFR)
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- James C. Warren, The Freeman Field Mutiny, San Rafael, CA:Donna Ewald, Publisher, 1995. ISBN 0-9641067-2-8; republished in an expanded edition as The Tuskegee Airmen Mutiny at Freeman Field, Vacaville, CA:Conyers Publishing Company, 1996. ISBN 0-9660818-0-3
- Works by or about United States Army Air Forces Composite Group, 477th in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
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