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442d Fighter Wing

Wing Shield embossed without shadow

The official shield of the 442d Fighter Wing.

The 442d Fighter Wing has a rich legacy of serving in the defense of the United States of America since World War II. The 442d has been involved in the Berlin Crisis, the Cold War, Desert Storm, and Operations Deny Flight, Southern Watch, Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and Atlantic Resolve. 


The 442d Fighter Wing came to Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., in 1994 and looks toward tomorrow with confidence and proven combat capability. 

Mission 

The mission of the 442d is to train and deploy America’s premier combat-ready Airmen. As the Air Force's only fighter plane designed for close-air support, the A-10 provides critical front-line support for U.S. and allied forces on the ground. The A-10 also conducts combat search and rescue missions and provides forward air control. 

List of Assigned Organizations 

442d Operations Group 
303rd Fighter Squadron 
442d Operations Support Flight 
442d Maintenance Group 
442d Maintenance Squadron 
442d Aircraft Maintenance Squadron 
442d Maintenance Operations Flight 
442d Mission Support Group 
442d Civil Engineer Squadron 
442d Security Forces Squadron 
442d Logistics Readiness Squadron 
442d Mission Support Flight 
442d Services Flight 
442d Communications Flight 
442d Medical Squadron 
476th Fighter Group, Moody Air Force Base, Ga. 
76th Fighter Squadron, Moody AFB, Ga. 
476th Maintenance Squadron, Moody AFB, Ga. 
476th Aerospace Medicine Flight, Moody AFB, Ga. 

Economic Impact Statement 

The annual payroll for the 442d Fighter Wing's work force in Fiscal Year 2010 was approximately $47.5 million. The 442d FW is the largest tenant unit at Whiteman Air Force Base and had a total economic impact of $65.1 million on the local community in Fiscal Year 2010. One of the wing's geographically separated units, the 476th Fighter Group at Moody AFB, Ga., impacted their local economy to the tune of approximately $920,000 in Fiscal Year 2008. 

Chronological History 

Tracing its roots to World War II, the 442d was constituted as the 442d Troop Carrier Group on May 28, 1943, and activated September 1,1943 through 1946 at Sedalia Army Air Field, Mo., which is now Whiteman Air Force Base. 

In 1949, the unit was reactivated at Fairfax Field, Kansas City, Kan., re-designated the 442d Troop Carrier Wing and assigned to the Air Force Reserve. 

Following another active-duty tour during the Korean Conflict, the 442d eventually relocated to Grandview Airport, Kansas City, Mo., in April 1955. The airport was renamed Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in 1957 for Lt. John F. Richards and Lt. Col. Arthur W. Gebaur, Jr., two Kansas City fliers who died in military combat. 

In 1991, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission recommended the closure and inactivation of Richards-Gebaur AFB. It was later announced that the Wing would relocate to Whiteman Air Force Base, Mo., and in June 1994 the 442d completed its move on schedule. 

The aircraft flown during the history of the 442d were the C-47 Skytrain, C-53 Skytrooper, C-46, C-119 Flying Boxcar, C-124 Globemaster II, C-130A and C-130E Hercules, and, currently, the A-10 Thunderbolt II. 

Past Unit Highlights 

The 442d's assignment on D-Day was aerial delivery of the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne Division in advance of the first seaborne landings at the Normandy beaches. The unit went on to participate in other major operations throughout the war in Europe. Following VE-Day, May 8, 1945, the Group remained in Europe as part of the Occupation Forces until it was inactivated in 1946. 

The 442d was recalled to active duty for the Berlin Crisis in 1961 and, from 1966 through 1971, provided support in Southeast Asia. 


The mission of the 442d changed to fighter aircraft in 1982 when the unit replaced its C-130 Hercules aircraft with the A-10 Thunderbolt II. 


In 1998, members of the 442d Fighter Wing deployed to the Persian Gulf area to support Operation Southern Watch, the United Nation's effort to deny Iraqi military access to southern Iraq. 

Making Air Force history in November of 1999, the 442d Fighter Wing served in the first of 10 Aerospace Expeditionary Forces (AEF). Aerospace Expeditionary Forces are the Air Force's method of managing the operations tempo associated with supporting contingency operations worldwide as part of a concept called the Expeditionary Aerospace Force. While the 442d's commitment to the AEF continued in 2000 the wing's responsibility shifted from Operation Southern Watch to flying Combat Search and Rescue missions for Operation Northern Watch from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. 

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, members of the wing and aircraft deployed to Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, to fly combat missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. 

In April 2003, 60 years after the 442d was organized for World War II, wing members and aircraft were once again called to arms and deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The 442d was the first U.S. fighter unit to seize and occupy an enemy airfield since World War II, when the unit began flying operations from Tallil Air Base, Iraq, in April 2003. Members of the 442d Services Flight were also activated and deployed to various locations worldwide supporting Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. 

In May 2006, the 442d FW returned to Bagram Airfield in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, providing A-10 operations, maintenance, intelligence and public affairs support for the 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. 


From May to July 2008, the wing deployed aircraft and maintenance Airmen to Bagram Airfield for the third time to provide close air support, combat search and rescue and forward-air-control combat capability to the Air Force's 455th Air Expeditionary Wing. 

 

In December 2011, the wing deployed to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan, but transitioned during that deployment back to Bagram, returning home in April 2012.

 

Again, from April to October 2014, 442d pilots and maintainers deployed to Bagram, performing CAS and CSAR missions in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

 

Between December 2016 and January 2017, the 442d Mission Support Group deployed more than 150 members in support roles to Al Udied Airbase, Qatar, and Ali Al Salem AB, Kuwait. Nearly one-third of the wing's reservists in combat support roles have deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan at various times since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. 

Unit Awards 

Rome-Arno Battle Streamer - 1944 
Normandy Invasion Battle Streamer - 1944 
Presidential Unit Citation for the Normandy Invasion - 1944 
Northern France Battle Streamer - 1944 
Southern France Battle Streamer - 1944 
Rhineland Battle Streamer - 1944-1945 
Central Europe Battle Streamer - 1945 
Vietnam Service Battle Streamer 
United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - March 1, 1976 - Feb. 28, 1978 
United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - June 1, 1987 - July 31, 1988 
United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Nov. 1, 1989 - Oct. 31, 1991 
United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Oct. 1, 1997 - Aug. 31, 1999 
United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Oct. 1, 2003 - Aug. 31, 2005 
United States Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - March 1, 2005 - Feb. 28, 2007 

(Current as of May 2017)