|327th Aircraft Sustainment Wing
|Active||1942–1944, 1955–1966, 2005–2010|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Material Command|
Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center
|Motto(s)||Ne Defecit Animus Latin |
(Courage Does Not Fail Me) (1942–1958)
Intercipere Recognoscere Destuere Latin
(Intercept, Identify, Destroy) (1958–1966)
|327th Aircraft Sustainment Wing emblem|
|Patch with 327th Fighter Group (Air Defense) emblem (Approved 12 May 1958)|
|327th Fighter Group emblem (Approved 27 February 1943)|
The 327th Aircraft Sustainment Wing is an inactive wing of the United States Air Force last based at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. It was last assigned to Air Force Material Command's Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center.
The wing was first activated in 1942 as the 327th Fighter Group. It initially flew the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk in the air defense role, but later acted as an operational and replacement training unit on Republic P-47 Thunderbolts until it was disbanded in a major 1944 reorganization of the Army Air Forces.
In 1955, as part of Air Defense Command's Project Arrow, which was aimed at reviving fighter units that had served during World War II, the group was reactivated at Paine Field, where it replaced the 520th Air Defense Group. It provided air defense for the Pacific northwest with North American F-86 Sabres and Convair F-102 Delta Daggers until it was inactivated in 1966.
The group was upgraded to wing size in 2005 and activated at Tinker Air Force Base when Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) replaced its traditional directorate organizations with wings, groups and squadrons. It controlled logistic support systems for various large aircraft until 2010, when it was inactivated as AFMC returned to its previous organizational structure.
The 327th Fighter Group was activated at Mitchel Field, New York flying Curtiss P-40 Warhawks and assigned to I Fighter Command in late August 1942 with the 323d, 324th, and 325th Fighter Squadrons assigned. Within a few days of activation, the group moved to Philadelphia Airport, and the following month to Richmond Army Air Base, Virginia. The group was part of the air defense force in the Mid-Atlantic region, and also served as an Operational Training Unit (OTU). The OTU program involved the use of an oversized parent unit to provide cadres to "satellite groups."
In February 1943, the 327th replaced its Warhawks with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts and added a fourth squadron, the 443d Fighter Squadron, to the group. In 1944 the group became a Replacement Training Unit (RTU) training replacement Thunderbolt pilots for combat duty. As an RTU, the group split, with group headquarters and the 323d and 324th Squadrons remaining at Richmond, while the 325th and 443d Squadrons moved to Norfolk Army Air Field, Virginia.[note 1] However, the Army Air Forces was finding that standard military units, based on relatively inflexible tables of organization were not well adapted to the training mission. Accordingly, it adopted a more functional system in which each of its bases was organized into a separate numbered unit. In the general reorganization, the group was disbanded on 10 April 1944 and replaced by Army Air Forces Base Units at Richmond and Norfolk as part of a major reorganization of the Army Air Forces.
The group was reconstituted, redesignated as the 327th Fighter Group (Air Defense), and activated in 1955 to replace the 520th Air Defense Group as part of Air Defense Command'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. It assumed the personnel and equipment of the 520th, while the 520th's operational squadrons, the 432d and 456th Fighter-Interceptor Squadrons transferred their personnel and rocket armed and radar equipped North American F-86D Sabres to the 323d and 325th Fighter-Interceptor Squadrons, which moved on paper to Truax from Larson Air Force Base, Washington and Hamilton Air Force Base, California respectively. These moves were made because another purpose of Project Arrow was to reunite fighter squadrons with their traditional groups. The group was assigned air defense of Great Lakes area and also was the host organization for USAF units at Truax. It was assigned a number of support organizations to fulfill its host responsibilities.
The group's 323d Squadron converted to Convair F-102A Delta Daggers in November 1956, while the 325th Squadron followed in February 1957. In October 1957, the 61st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was assigned to the group and moved to Truax Field from Ernest Harmon Air Force Base, Canada, where it had been part of the 4731st Air Defense Group, in a swap with the 323d, which replaced the 61st at Ernest Harmon. The group was reduced to a single operational squadron in 1960, when the 61st inactivated.
On 22 October 1962, at the beginning of the Cuban Missile Crisis, when President Kennedy announced the presence of Soviet intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. Continental Air Defense Command (CONAD) directed the dispersal of interceptors within the United States. The group sent one third of its aircraft to Grand Island Airport, Nebraska. All group aircraft, including those at home and those at Grand Island were armed and placed on fifteen-minute alert status. The increased alert posture was maintained through mid-November, when CONAD returned units to their normal alert status, except for those under the control of its 32d Region, which controlled air defense in the Southeastern United States.
Although the number of ADC interceptor squadrons remained almost constant in the early 1960s, attrition (and the fact that production lines closed in 1961) caused a gradual drop in the number of planes assigned to a squadron, from 24 to typically 18 by 1964. The force reduction continued, finally resulting in a reduction in the number of interceptor units, and the group was inactivated in the spring of 1966.
The group was redesignated the 327th Aircraft Sustainment Wing and activated in 2005 as part of the Air Force Materiel Command Transformation initiative that replaced traditional staff offices in the command's centers with wings, groups, and squadrons. The wing organized, directed and controlled total life-cycle management of 94 Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, 585 Boeing KC-135 Stratotankers and C-135s, 69 Rockwell B-1 Lancers and 416 contractor logistics (including tanker, trainer, telemetry, airlift, command & control and US Presidential aircraft) aircraft. Other supported systems included the Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit, Boeing E-3 Sentry aircraft, Air Traffic Control and Landing Systems (TRACALS), and the worldwide High Frequency Global Communications System. The wing was also responsible for modification and upgrades to these systems. It was inactivated in 2010 and replaced by the Aerospace Sustainment Directorate of Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center when Materiel Command returned to its traditional organizational structure.
|American Theater without inscription||25 August 1942 – 10 April 1944||327th Fighter Group|
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