568th Air Defense Group


568th Air Defense Group
Air Defense Command.png
5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron North American F-86D-45-NA Sabre 52-4159 1955.jpg
Active1945–1946, 1952–1954
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
TypeFighter Interceptor
RoleAir Defense
Part ofAir Defense Command

The 568th Air Defense Group is a disbanded United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Air Defense Command (ADC)'s 4709th Air Defense Wing at McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, where it was inactivated in 1954. The group was originally activated as a support unit for a combat group at the end of World War II on Guam, but was soon inactivated.

The group was activated once again in 1952 to replace the support elements of the inactivating 52d Fighter-Interceptor Wing. A year later ADC established it as an operational headquarters for fighter-interceptor squadrons as well. It was replaced in 1954 when ADC transferred McGuire to Military Air Transport Service and its operational squadrons were transferred to other ADC units.


World War II

The group was activated toward the end of World War II as the 568th Air Service Group as part of 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. It was designed to support a single combat group.[1] Its 1031st Air Engineering Squadron provided maintenance that was beyond the capability of the combat group, its 1032nd Air Materiel Squadron handled all supply matters, and its Headquarters & Base Services Squadron provided other support.[1] The unit provided support for one combat group in the Pacific Theater. It was disbanded in 1948.[2]

Cold War

2d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron Lockheed F-94A

During the Cold War the group was reconstituted, redesignated as the 568th Air Base Group, and activated at McGuire AFB in 1952[3] in a major reorganization of ADC responding to ADC's difficulty under the existing wing base organizational structure in deploying fighter squadrons to best advantage.[4] It replaced the 52nd Air Base Group as host unit for McGuire.[5] The group was assigned seven squadrons to perform its support responsibilities.[6][7] It also maintained aircraft stationed at McGuire.[8]

Republic F-84G as briefly flown by the 2d FIS

The group was redesignated as the 568th Air Defense Group in 1953[3] and assumed responsibility for air defense of Northeast United States.[citation needed] It was assigned the 2d and 5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadrons (FIS), flying early radar equipped and 20mm cannon armed Lockheed F-94 Starfire aircraft[9] from the 4709th Defense Wing as its operational elements.[10] The 2nd and 5th FIS were already stationed at McGuire.[10] The same month that it transferred to the 568th, the 2nd FIS briefly traded its F-94s for Republic F-84 Thunderjet Aircraft.[9] Both the 2nd and 5th FIS converted to radar equipped and Mighty Mouse rocket armed North American F-86 Sabres in July 1953.[9]

In 1954, McGuire AFB transferred from ADC to Military Air Transport Service,[5] and the group was inactivated.[3] The group's support components were replaced by elements of the 1611th Air Transport Wing[5] Its operational flying squadrons were assigned back to the 4709th Air Defense Wing.[10] The group was disbanded once again in 1984.[11]


  • Constituted as 568th Air Service Group
Activated ca. 5 June 1945
Inactivated ca. 31 May 1946
Disbanded on 8 October 1948
  • Reconstituted and redesignated as 568th Air Base Group on 1 January 1952
Activated on 1 February 1952
  • Redesignated as 568th Air Defense Group on 16 February 1953
Inactivated on 8 July 1954
Disbanded on 27 September 1984



Operational Squadrons

  • 2d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 16 February 1953 – 8 July 1954[12]
  • 5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 16 February 1953 – 8 July 1954[13]

Support Squadrons


  • Guam, Mariana Islands, 1945 – 1946
  • McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, 1 February 1952 – 8 July 1954


  • Republic F-84G Thunderjet, 1953
  • North American F-86D Sabre, 1953–1954
  • Lockheed F-94A Starfighter, 1953

See also



  1. ^ a b Coleman, p. 208
  2. ^ Department of the Air Force Letter, 322 (AFOOR 887e), 8 October 1948, Subject: Disbandment of Certain Inactive Air Force Units
  3. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 85
  4. ^ Grant, p. 33
  5. ^ a b c Mueller, pp. 411–415
  6. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 134
  7. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 152
  8. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p. 142
  9. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p.113
  10. ^ a b c Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 14, 34
  11. ^ Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 575q, 27 September 1984, Subject: Disbandment of Units
  12. ^ Robertson, Patsy (1 April 2008). "Factsheet 2 Fighter Squadron". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 7 August 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  13. ^ Haulman, Daniel L. (1 August 2008). "Factsheet 5 Flying Training Squadron (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 13 February 2012. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
  14. ^ a b c d e See Mueller, p. 413


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

  • 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)
  • Coleman, John M (1950). The Development of Tactical Services in the Army Air Forces. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
  • Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946–1980 (PDF). Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center.
  • Grant, C.L., (1961) The Development of Continental Air Defense to 1 September 1954, USAF Historical Study No. 126
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.

Further reading

  • Leonard, Barry (2009). History of Strategic Air and Ballistic Missile Defense (PDF). Vol I. 1945-1955. Fort McNair, DC: Center for Military History. ISBN 978-1-4379-2131-1. |volume= has extra text (help)
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.

External links

  • Abstract, History of 568th Air Service Group, Feb-May 1946 (accessed 17 June 2012)