582d Helicopter Group

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582d Helicopter Group
111213-F-FW079-098 90th Security Forces Group prepare to jump out of UH-1N at Warren.jpg
37th Helicopter Squadron Bell UH-1N at F. E. Warren AFB
Active 1943-1958; 2015-present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Helicopter support for missile wings
Part of Twentieth Air Force
Garrison/HQ F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming
Nickname(s) Snafu Snatchers
Engagements Southwest Pacific Theater
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation
Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation
Commanders
Current
commander
Col. David Smith[1]
Insignia
582d Helicopter Group emblem 582 Helicopter Gp emlem.png
2d Emergency Rescue Squadron patch (World War II) 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron patch.png

The 582d Helicopter Group was activated in January 2015 at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming to provide a unified headquarters for the helicopter squadrons located on the intercontinental ballistic missile bases of Air Force Global Strike Command.

The group was first activated in 1943 as the 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron at Hamilton Field, and after training, moved to the South Pacific Theater, where it served until the end of World War II, earning two Distinguished Unit Citations and a Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation for combat search and rescue and special operations missions. Following the end of the war, the squadron served as part of the occupation forces at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa from 1947 until 1950.

In May 1950 the squadron, now designated the 2d Rescue Squadron moved to Clark Air Base in the Philippines. In 1952, the unit was expanded to group level as the 2d Air Rescue Group and its lettered flights became air rescue squadrons. The group provided rescue support for units of Thirteenth Air Force and the southwest Pacific until 1955, when it moved to Wheeler Air Force Base, where it became the headquarters for all rescue units in the Pacific. The group was inactivated at Wheeler in June 1958.

In 2015, the group was redesignated to its current name and activated at F. E. Warren, where it replaced a provisional unit that had been organized in 2014 to test the unification of helicopter units supporting missile wings under a single unit.

History

World War II

The 582d Helicopter Group was first activated in mid December 1943 as the 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron at Hamilton Field, California, but remained a cadre only until the end of the month, when the squadron was brought up to full strength. In February, the unit moved by train to Gulfport Army Air Field, Mississippi, where it received its first aircraft, Consolidated OA-10 Catalinas, and began operational training. By April 1944 training was complete and the squadron departed Mississippi for the port of embarkation.[2]

Boeing SB-17G of the 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron

In late May 1944, the squadron arrived in New Guinea.[3] However, movement of the flight echelon was delayed and it was 17 July before it departed the United States. The first squadron aircraft arrived in New Guinea on 22 July and the first mission was flown on the 27th, rescuing five crewmembers of a downed Consolidated B-24 Liberator in Geelvink Bay, New Guinea.[4] Upon the reunion of the flight and ground echelons, the squadron's flights began to disperse to coastal stations in New Guinea.[4][5] Because there were few OA-10s in the Southwest Pacific Theater, supply shortages in the Army system were frequent, and the squadron was forced to fly aircraft to Australia, where Army Air Forces depots were located, for repairs unless it could obtain parts from the Navy, whose PBY-5A Catalinas were near duplicates of the OA-10A.[5] Later. combat attrition caused some squadron OA-10As to be replaced by PBY-5As.[6]

In late October 1944, Thirteenth Air Force formed the provisional 5320th Rescue Composite Group, combining the squadron with the 15th Emergency Rescue Boat Squadron.[7] The following month, contact was established with guerrilla forces in the Philippines and arrangements were made for cooperating with them to return fliers shot down over the Philippines.[7]

The squadron was awarded its first Distinguished Unit Citation in April 1945 for conducting extensive search and evacuation missions in adverse weather in their vulnerable and lightly armed aircraft. Squadron aircrews landed in dangerously heavy seas, often under direct enemy shore fire, to pick up flyers in distress. The squadron also established a station at Labo, Camarines Norte, Mindanao behind enemy lines, from which it furnished gasoline, arms and ammunition, food and medical supplies to Philippine guerrilla forces. The squadron's ground echelon kept the unit's aircraft in operational condition, despite frequent damage from enemy action and water landings and take-offs. During this period the squadron performed seven open sea rescues, saving 23 lives, while also evacuating 53 men from enemy territory.[8]

In June 1945, the 2d received its second operational type when two Boeing SB-17 Dumbos were added to its strength. Although these planes could not make water landings to rescue crews, they were equipped with Higgins boats, which they could drop near downed crews.[9]

Post-war service in the Pacific

Following the end of the war, the squadron served as part of the occupation forces at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa until 1950. In May 1950 the squadron, now designated the 2d Rescue Squadron, moved to Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Although the squadron was assigned to Air Rescue Service from May 1949, operational control of its two flights at Clark was still vested in Thirteenth Air Force, while Fifth Air Force controlled its flights at Kadena.[10][note 2]

SA-16B Albatross

Although combat search and rescue during the Korean War was the responsibility of the 3d Air Rescue Squadron, the 2d Air Rescue Squadron was tasked with providing escort coverage with its SB-29s for bombers based in Okinawa striking targets in North Korea. When the bombers entered enemy territory, the squadron aircraft would orbit just off the enemy coast.[11] The unit also dispatched SB-17 Dumbos to orbit offshore while Boeing RB-29 Superfortress aircraft flying reconnaissance missions over China were over hostile territory.[12] The squadron frequently provided similar precautionary coverage for fighter aircraft making overwater flights.[13]

Air Rescue Service SH-19

In 1952, the unit was expanded to group level as the 2d Air Rescue Group and its lettered flights became air rescue squadrons. A and B Flights at Clark were replaced by the 31st and 32d Air Rescue Squadrons, while C and D Flights at Kadena transferred their mission, personnel and equipment to the 33d and 34th Air Rescue Squadrons.[14] The group provided rescue support for units of Thirteenth Air Force and the southwest Pacific until 1955, when it moved to Wheeler Air Force Base. With the move, the 33d Squadron, now at Naha Air Base, was transferred to the 3d Air Rescue Group (which now controlled all rescue units in Fifth Air Force's area) and the 2d Group gained the 76th Air Rescue Squadron in Hawaii. The move made the 2d the highest command level for Air Force rescue units in the Pacific.[15]

In June 1957, when the 3d Air Rescue Group in Japan was inactivated, the 38th and 39th Air Rescue Squadrons at Misawa and Ashiya Air Bases were reassigned to the group, giving it direct responsibility for all rescue squadrons in Pacific Air Forces' area of responsibility.[16][17] The 38th Squadron was inactivated three months after it was assigned to the group and the 39th Squadron assumed responsibility for the 38th's area.[18] Two months later, the 39th was inactivated as well and it was determined that the 2d, along with other rescue groups, would be inactivated before the end of Fiscal Year 1958. For its remaining months as an active unit, the group focused on the changes required to make its squadrons self-sufficient.[19] The group was inactivated at Wheeler in June 1958 and its component squadrons were assigned directly to Air Rescue Service.[20]

Strategic missile support

Media related to 582d Helicopter Group (United States Air Force) at Wikimedia Commons

On 1 August 2014, the 20th Air Force Helicopter Operations Group (Provisional) stood up at F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming to support the three USAF intercontinental ballistic missile wings.[21] Prior to the activation of the provisional group, helicopter units supporting Minuteman missile wings were assigned to the missile wing's operations group; the 37th Helicopter Squadron at F. E. Warren to the 90th Operations Group, the 40th Helicopter Squadron at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana to the 341st Operations Group, and the 54th Helicopter Squadron at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota to the 91st Operations Group.[22][23][24] The formation of the group followed a recommendation from the Air Force Global Strike Command Force Improvement Program. It created an aviation-focused headquarters to support the missile mission for the first time. One hoped-for side effect was to improve morale in the helicopter crews that have been performing the nuclear support mission with the Bell UH-1 Huey since 1969. UH-1s would be used for by missile support units for the foreseeable future due to the cancellation of the Common Vertical Lift Support Platform in 2013.[21]

In 2015, the 2d Group was redesignated to its current name and activated at F. E. Warren, and the 37th, 40th, and 54th Helicopter Squadrons were relieved of attachment to the provisional group and became the new group's first units.[21]

Lineage

  • Constituted as the 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron and activated on 15 December 1943
Redesignated 2d Rescue Squadron on 15 March 1948
Redesignated 2d Air Rescue Squadron on 10 August 1950
Redesignated 2d Air Rescue Group on 14 November 1952
Inactivated on 24 June 1958[25]
  • Redesignated 582d Helicopter Group on 11 December 2014[26]
Activated on 6 January 2015[1][27]

Assignments

Components

Stations

  • Hamilton Field, California 15 December 1943
  • Gulfport Army Air Field, Mississippi, 12 February 1944
  • Keesler Field, Mississippi, 1 April 1944[31]
  • Camp Stoneman, California, 20 – 30 April 1944
  • Oro Bay, New Guinea, 29 May 1944[3]
  • Mokmer Airport, Biak, New Guinea, 5 September 1944
  • Sorido Airport, Biak, New Guinea, October 1944
  • Morotai, 10 October 1944
  • Clark Field, Luzon, Philippines, 16 September 1945
  • Kadena Field (later Kadena Air Force Base), Okinawa, 31 March 1947
  • Clark Air Base, Luzon, Philippines, 4 May 1950
  • Wheeler Air Force Base, Hawaii, 7 November 1955 - 24 June 1958[25]
  • F. E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming, 15 January 2015 – present[1]

Aircraft

Awards and campaigns

Award streamer Award Dates Notes
Streamer PUC Army.PNG Distinguished Unit Citation 1 April 1945-15 April 1945 Celebes and Molucca Islands, 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron[25]
Streamer PUC Army.PNG Distinguished Unit Citation 12 June-4 July 1945 Southwest Pacific, 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron[25]
Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines) Streamer.png Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation 10 October 1944-4 July 1945 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron[25]
Campaign Streamer Campaign Dates Notes
Streamer APC.PNG New Guinea May 1944-31 December 1944 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron[25]
Streamer APC.PNG Leyte 17 October 1944 – 1 July 1945 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron[25]
Streamer APC.PNG Luzon 15 December 1944 – 4 July 1945 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron[25]
Streamer APC.PNG Southern Philippines 27 February 1945 – 4 July 1945 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron[25]
Streamer NOS E.JPG World War II Army of Occupation (Japan) 31 March 1947 – 4 May 1950 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron (later 2d Rescue Squadron)

See also

References

Notes

  1. ^ Aircraft is restored as serial 44-33879 of the 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron
  2. ^ This was the flight attachment at the time they were replaced by squadrons. Earlier, A Flight was attached to 1st Air Division, B Flight to 7th Air Force, and C Flight to Thirteenth Air Force. Abstract, History 2 Rescue Squadron May-Jun 1959, Air Force History Index. Retrieved 10 May 2015
  3. ^ Bailey's Lineage & Honors statement says AAF Eastern Flying Training Command, but the rescue school at Gulfport and Keesler was assigned to the Technical Training Command.
  4. ^ Bailey's Lineage & Honors statement indicates the assignment to the 316th Wing continued until 1949. However, that wing was inactivated in 1948, so the assignment terminated. Maurer, p. 424.
  5. ^ Components stationed with group headquarters, except as noted.

Citations

  1. ^ a b c McGuire, Carlie (1 April 2015). "582 Helicopter Squad Activated". News Channel CBS 5. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  2. ^ Teegarden, Jim Bob (1 May 2015). "2d Emergency Rescue Squadron". Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Abstract, History 2 Emergency Rescue Squadron, Apr-Jun 1944". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  4. ^ a b History 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron, July 1944
  5. ^ a b History 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron, August 1944
  6. ^ History 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron, March 1945
  7. ^ a b History 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron, November 1944
  8. ^ "Squadron History, Second Emergency Rescue Squadron Oct 1943-Apr 1944" (PDF). Jim Bob Teegarden. 1 May 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  9. ^ History 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron, May, June 1945
  10. ^ "Abstract, History 2 Air Rescue Group, Jul-Dec 1952". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  11. ^ Tifford, p. 9
  12. ^ a b "Abstract, Mission Report 2-B-24". Air Force History Index. 14 May 1951. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  13. ^ E.g., mission reports collected at Air Force History Index. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  14. ^ See "Abstract, History 2 Air Rescue Squadron Jul 1950". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 10 May 2015.  (giving stations for flights.)
  15. ^ a b "Abstract, History 2 Air Rescue Group Jul-Dec 1955". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  16. ^ "Abstract, History 2 Air Rescue Group, Jul-Dec 1956". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 
  17. ^ Bailey, Carl E. (2 January 2008). "Factsheet 563 Rescue Group (AFSOC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  18. ^ Bailey, Carl E. (16 March 2015). "Factsheet 38 Rescue Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  19. ^ "Abstract, History 2 Air Rescue Group Jan-Jun 1957". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  20. ^ Haulman, Daniel L. (20 December 2007). "Factsheet 76 Helicopter Flight (AFSPC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 7 May 2015.  (76th Air Rescue Squadron)
  21. ^ a b c Jennings, Gareth (3 August 2014). "USAF stands up new helicopter group to support ICBM forces". IHS Jane's Weekly. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  22. ^ Robertson, Patsy (28 November 2010). "Factsheet 341 Operations Group (AFSPC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  23. ^ Robertson, Patsy (28 May 2010). "Factsheet 90 Operations Group (AFSPC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  24. ^ Robertson, Patsy (28 May 2010). "Factsheet 91 Operations Group (AFSPC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 4 May 2015. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Bailey, Carl E. (undated), Lineage and Honors History of the 2 Air Rescue Group, Air Force Historical Research Agency
  26. ^ DAF/A1M Letter 559t, 11 December 2014, Subject: Activation of Certain Air Force Global Strike Command Units
  27. ^ a b c Air Force Global Strike Command Special Order GS-01, 6 January 2015
  28. ^ Robertson, Patsy (28 April 2011). "Factsheet 32 Air Expeditionary Group (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  29. ^ "Abstract, History 2 Air Rescue Group Jan-Jun 1955". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  30. ^ Fletcher
  31. ^ Hq, Technical School and Basic Training Center Special Order 91, 31 March 1944
  32. ^ "Abstract, History 2 Emergency Rescue Squadron, Mar 1945". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 10 May 2015.  (Squadron assigned two C-47s in March 1945.)
  33. ^ "Abstract, Mission Report 2-B-46". Air Force History Index. 11 December 1951. Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  34. ^ "Abstract, History 2 Air Rescue Group, Jan-Jun 1956". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 8 May 2015. 

Bibliography

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

  • Fletcher, Harry R (1993). Air Force Bases , Vol. II, Air Bases Outside the United States of America (PDF). Washington, DC: Center for Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. 
  • 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. 
  • Tifford, Jr., Earl H. (1992). Search and Rescue in Southeast Asia (PDF). Washington, DC: Center for Air Force History. ISBN 978-1410222640. LCCN 92-37232. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 

Further reading

  • Futrell, Robert F. (1983). The United States Air Forces in Korea 1950-1953. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-71-4. 
  • Jonasson, Jonas A. (1955). "Medicine, Morale and Air-Sea Rescue, Chapter 15 Air-Sea Rescue". In Craven, Wesley F; Cate, James L. The Army Air Forces in World War II. Vol. VII, Services Around the World. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press. LCCN 48003657. OCLC 704158. 
  • Ulanoff, Stanley M. (1964). MATS: The Story of the Military Air Transport Service. New York, NY: Franklin Watts, Inc. ISBN 978-1-19908-768-3. 

External links

  • Teegarden, Jim Bob (1 May 2015). "2d Emergency Rescue Squadron". Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  • "Big Flying Boats Snatch Pilots to Safety - Daring Rescue Feats Cheat Japs of Victims" (PDF). Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 29 September 1944. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  • "The Consolidated PBY Catalina: VP-44 Golden Pelicans". 22 May 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  • "Valor Awards for Frank Rauschkolb". Military Times. Retrieved 11 May 2015.  (citation for Distinguished Service Cross earned by squadron member)
  • "VP-71". Dave's Warbirds. 22 May 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2015.  (attachment of two Navy PBYs to 2d Emergency Rescue Squadron)
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