321st Air Expeditionary Group
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|321st Air Expeditionary Group|
Emblem of the 321st Air Expeditionary Group
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Combat Command|
The 321st Air Expeditionary Group (321 AEG) is a provisional United States Air Force Air Combat Command unit. Although the units location and mission is officially undisclosed, it is believed to be stationed at Jacobabad Airbase, Pakistan.
The group's World War II predecessor unit, the 321st Bombardment Group (Medium) flew B-25 Mitchells in combat with Twelfth Air Force in the North African and Italian Campaigns. In twenty months of combat operation, the Group maintained a record of destroying twenty enemy fighters for each of its bombers lost.
The squadrons of the group are currently undisclosed.
- See the 321st Air Expeditionary Wing for additional history and lineage
- Constituted as 321st Bombardment Group (Medium) on 19 Jun 1942
- Activated on 26 Jun 1942
- Inactivated in Italy on 12 Sept 1945.
- Redesignated 321st Bombardment Group (Light). Allotted to the reserve
- Activated in the US on 29 Jun 1947
- Inactivated on 27 Jun 1949
- Activated as 321st Missile Group on 1 Jul 1994
- Inactivated: 30 Sept 1998
- Converted to provisional status and allocated to Air Combat Command to activate or inactivate any time after 1 Oct 2001.
- Redesignated as 321st Air Expeditionary Group on 1 Oct 2001 and activated
- III Bomber Command, 26 Jun 1942-21 Jan 1943
- 47th Bombardment Wing, 12 Mar 1943
- 57th Bombardment Wing, 8 Aug 1943-12 Sept 1945
- Tactical Air Command, 29 Jun 1947-27 Jun 1949
- 57th Air Division, 1 Jul 1994-30 Sept 1988
- Air Combat Command, 1 Oct 2001-Present
- Probably attached to Air Forces Central
- 445th Bombardment Squadron: 19 Jun 1942-12 Sept 1945; 29 Jun 1947-27 Jun 1949
- 446th Bombardment Squadron: 19 Jun 1942-12 Sept 1945; 29 Jun 1947-27 Jun 1949
- 447th Bombardment Squadron: 19 Jun 1942-12 Sept 1945; 29 Jun 1947-27 Jun 1949
- 448th Bombardment Squadron: 19 Jun 1942-12 Sept 1945; 29 Jun 1947-27 Jun 1949
Aircraft and missiles assigned
- B-25 Mitchell, 1942-1945
- LGM-30G Minuteman III Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM), 1994-1998
- Undisclosed, 2001-Present
World War II
Constituted as 321st Bombardment Group (Medium) on June 19, 1942 and activated on June 26 at Barksdale Field, Louisiana. The group's operational squadrons were the 445th, 446th, 447th and 448th Bombardment Squadrons.
The group trained for overseas duty with North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers at several Third Air Force training bases in the southeast. Was assigned and deployed to the Mediterranean theater in January 1943, arriving in Algeria in March. The 321st was assigned to Twelfth Air Force.
In North Africa, the 321st engaged primarily in support and interdictory operations, bombing marshalling yards, rail lines, highways, bridges, viaducts, troop concentrations, gun emplacements, shipping, harbors, and other objectives in North Africa. Later targets shifted to Southern France, Sicily, Italy, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, and Greece.
The 321st also engaged in psychological warfare missions, dropping propaganda leaflets behind enemy lines. Took part in the Allied operations against Axis forces in North Africa during March–May 1943, the reduction of Pantelleria and Lampedusain June, the invasion of Sicily in July, the landing at Salerno in September, the Allied advance toward Rome during January–June 1944, the invasion of Southern France in August 1944, and the Allied operations in northern Italy from September 1944 to April 1945.
The group received two DUC's: for completing a raid on an air drome near Athens, October 8, 1943, in spite of intense flak and attacks by numerous enemy interceptors; and for bombing a battleship, a cruiser, and a submarine in Toulon harbor on August 18, 1944 to assist the Allied invasion of Southern France.
The 321st Bombardment Group was inactivated near Pomigliano d'Arco, Italy on September 12, 1945. It was later briefly activated as part of the Air Force Reserve at Mansfield Airport, Ohio as the 321st Bombardment group (Light) (June 1947 – June 1949) and equipped with A-26/B-26 Invaders, then inactivated.
In March 1993, the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission selected the 321st Strategic Missile Wing for deactivation. The wing was downgraded to group status in 1994, and the 321st Missile Group was given a dual mission: To operate, maintain and secure combat-ready ICBM forces for the National Command Authority and to safely and securely transfer its alert responsibilities to the 341st Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Montana.
The 321st Missile Group was inactivated in 1995.
Global war on Terrorism
Converted to provisional status and activated as 321st Air Expeditionary Group in 2001.
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.
- War on Terrorism forces