278,232 Pages

503d Air Defense Group Airdefensecommand-logo.jpg
Active 1945-1947, 1953–1955
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Fighter Interceptor
Role Air Defense
Part of Air Defense Command

The 503d Air Defense Group is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with the 25th Air Division of Air Defense Command at Portland International Airport, Oregon. It was inactivated on 18 August 1955. The group was originally activated as a support group at the end of World War II and provided logistics and administrative support for the 86th Fighter Group in Germany until 1946, when the group returned to the United States, where it supported the 56th Fighter Group. It was discontinued when the USAF reorganized its combat and support units on its bases into a single wing. The group was activated once again in 1953, when ADC established it as the headquarters for two dispersed fighter-interceptor squadrons and the medical, maintenance, and administrative squadrons supporting them. It was replaced in 1955 when ADC transferred its mission, equipment, and personnel to the 337th Fighter Group in a project that replaced air defense groups commanding fighter squadrons with fighter groups with distinguished records during World War II.

History[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

The group was activated as the 503d Air Service Group toward the end of World War II, shortly after V-E Day[1] in a reorganization of Army Air Forces (AAF) support groups in which the AAF replaced Service Groups that included personnel from other branches of the Army and supported two combat groups with Air Service Groups including only Air Corps units. Designed to support a single combat group.[2] Its 921st Air Engineering Squadron provided maintenance that was beyond the capability of the combat group, its 745th Air Materiel Squadron handled all supply matters, and its Headquarters & Base Services Squadron provided other support.[2] it supported the 86th Fighter Group,[3] as part of the occupation forces in Germany until 1946. The group returned to the US and supported the 56th Fighter Group[4] at Selfridge Field, Michigan[5] In October 1946, the group deployed a detachment to Ladd Field, Alaska for Arctic Training.[6][7] In 1947 the group and its squadrons were inactivated and replaced the 56th Airdrome Group, 56th Maintenance & Supply Group, and 56th Station Medical Group as the Air Force began a service test of the Wing/Base reorganization (Hobson Plan),[8] which was adopted to unify control at air bases.[9] It was disbanded in 1948.[10]

Cold War[edit | edit source]

During the Cold War The group was reconstituted, redesignated as the 503d Air Defense Group, and activated at Portland International Airport 18 February 1953,[11] with the mission to train and maintain interceptor squadrons in state of readiness in order to defend Northwest United States.[citation needed] The 357th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron (FIS), which was already stationed at Portland International Airport and Flying North American F-86 Sabres[12] was assigned as the operational component of the group.[13] The group replaced the 89th Air Base Squadron as host organization for active duty USAF units at Portland International Airport. It was assigned three squadrons to perform its support responsibilities.[14] Two days later, the 497th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, flying Lockheed F-94 Starfire aircraft equipped with airborne intercept radar and armed with 20 mm cannons,[15] was activated as the group's permanent operational squadron.[16] In May 1953, the 357th FIS was transferred to French Morocco and was reassigned.[13] In 1954, the 497th FIS converted to Northrop F-89 Scorpion aircraft armed with HVAR rockets.[15] The group was inactivated[11] and replaced by the 337th Fighter Group (Defense) in 1955[17] as part of ADC's Project Arrow, which was designed to bring back on the active list the fighter units which had compiled memorable records in the two world wars.[18] The group was disbanded once again in 1984,[19] but reconstituted in 1985[20] as a base support organization. It has never been active since then.

Lineage[edit | edit source]

  • Constituted as 503rd Air Service Group on 16 December 1944
Activated on 6 June 1945
Inactivated on 15 August 1947
Disbanded on 8 October 1948
  • Reconstituted and redesignated 503d Air Defense Group on 21 January 1953
Activated on 16 February 1953
Inactivated on 18 August 1955.
Disbanded on 27 September 1984
  • Reconstituted on 31 July 1985 and redesignated 503rd Combat Support Group.

Assignments[edit | edit source]

Components[edit | edit source]

  • 357th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 16 Feb 1953 – 25 May 1953[24]
  • 497th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 18 Feb 1953 – 18 Aug 1955[25]
  • 503rd Air Base Squadron, 16 Feb 1953 - 18 Aug 1955
  • 503rd Materiel Squadron, 16 Feb 1953 - 18 Aug 1955[14]
  • 503rd Medical Squadron (later 503rd USAF Infirmary),[26] 16 Feb 1953 - 18 Aug 1955
  • 745th Air Materiel Squadron, 6 June 1945 - 15 Aug 1947 (not manned 15 Feb 1946-unknown)[27]
  • 921st Air Engineering Squadron, 6 June 1945 - 15 Aug 1947 (not manned 14 Feb 1946-Apr 1946)[28]

Stations[edit | edit source]

Aircraft[edit | edit source]

  • F-86F Sabre, 1953
  • F-89D, 1954–1955
  • F-94A, 1953–1954
  • F-94B, 1953

Commanders[edit | edit source]

  • Unknown, 6 June 1945 - 11 June 1945
  • Lt Col. Michael J. King, 11 June 1945 - unknown[1]
  • Lt Col. Hugh A. Griffith, ca. 22 May 1946 - 1946[5]
  • Lt Col. John A. Carey, 1946 - unknown[7][31]
  • Col. Frank W. Seifert, December 1946 - 14 January 1947[32]
  • Lt Col. John W. Gaff, Jr. 14 January 1947 - 1947[32]
  • Unknown, 16 February 1953 - 18 August 1955

Awards[edit | edit source]

  • Streamer NOS E.JPG
World War II Army of Occupation

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Abstract, History of 503rd Air Service Group, Jun 1945 (retrieved Jan 4, 2012)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Coleman, John M (1950). The Development of Tactical Services in the Army Air Forces. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. p. 208. 
  3. Robertson, Patsy AFHRA Fact Sheet, 86th Operations Group (4/27/2010 retrieved March 20, 2012)
  4. Robertson, Patsy AFHRA Fact Sheet, 56th Operations Group 5/18/2009 (retrieved March 20, 2012)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Abstract, History of 503rd Air Service Group, May 1946-Jun 1946 (retrieved Jan 4, 2012)
  6. Abstract, History of 503rd Air Service Group, Oct 1946 (retrieved Jan 4, 2102)
  7. 7.0 7.1 Abstract, History of 503rd Air Service Group, Nov 1946 (retrieved Jan 4, 2012) (Maj. James F. Schilke commanded the detachment)
  8. Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 10. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/combat_wings.pdf. 
  9. Goss, William A (1955). "The Organization and its Responsibilities, Chapter 2 The AAF". In Craven, Wesley F & Cate, James L. The Army Air Forces in World War II. VI, Men & Planes. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. p. 75. LCCN 48-3657. 
  10. Department of the Air Force Letter, 322 (AFOOR 887e), 8 October 1948, Subject: Disbandment of Certain Inactive Air Force Units
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946 - 1980. Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. p. 81. http://www.usafpatches.com/pubs/handbookofadcorg.pdf. 
  12. Cornett & Johnson, p.127
  13. 13.0 13.1 Maurer, Maurer, ed (1982). Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 445. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/combat_sq_of_the_af_wwii.pdf. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 Cornett & Johnson p. 146
  15. 15.0 15.1 Cornett & Johnson, p. 130
  16. Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p.599
  17. Maurer, Maurer, ed (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 215. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/af_combat_units_wwii.pdf. 
  18. Buss, Lydus H.(ed), Sturm, Thomas A., Volan, Denys, and McMullen, Richard F., History of Continental Air Defense Command and Air Defense Command July to December 1955, Directorate of Historical Services, Air Defense Command, Ent AFB, CO, 1956, p.6
  19. Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 575q, 27 Sep 1984, Subject: Disbandment of Units
  20. Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 648q, 31 Jul 1985, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Organizations
  21. Abstract, History of 503rd Air Service Group, Oct 1945 (retrieved Jan 4, 2012)
  22. Abstract, History of 503rd Air Service Group. Dec 1945 (retrieved Jan 4, 2012)
  23. see Abstract, History of 745th Air Materiel Squadron, Feb 1946 (retrieved Jan 4, 2012)
  24. Robertson, Patsy AFHRA Fact Sheet, 357th Fighter Squadron 12/4/2012 (retrieved March 3, 2012)
  25. Robertson, Patsy AFRHA Factsheet, 497th Combat Training Flight 6/20/2011 (retrieved March 3, 2012)
  26. See Abstract, History of 503d USAF Infirmary, Jan-Jun 1955 (retrieved June 19, 2012)
  27. Abstract, History of 745th Air Materiel Squadron, Feb 1945 (retrieved June 19, 2012)
  28. Abstract, History of 921st Air Engineering Squadron, Feb 1946 (retrieved Jan 4, 2012)
  29. Abstract, History of 503rd Air Service Group, September 1945 (retrieved Jan 4, 2012)
  30. Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 44. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. http://www.afhso.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-100921-026.pdf. 
  31. Abstract, History of 503rd Air Service Group, Aug 1946 (retrieved Jan 4, 2012)
  32. 32.0 32.1 Abstract, History of 503rd Air Service Group, Jan 1947 (retrieved Jan 4, 2012)

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

Further reading

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.