340th Flying Training Group


340th Flying Training Group

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 340th Flying Training Group


caption= 340th Flying Training Group Insignia
dates= 1942 - Present
country= United States
allegiance=
branch= United States Air Force
type=
role= Bombardment, Refueling, Pilot Training
size=
command_structure= Tenth Air Force
current_commander=
garrison= Air Force Reserve Command
ceremonial_chief=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
nickname=
patron=
motto=
colors=
march=
mascot=
battles=
anniversaries=

Activated on 1 July 1997, the 340th Flying Training Group at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, administers and executes the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) and Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) Associate Instructor Pilot Program and provides Active Guard Reserve and Traditional Reserve IPs to augment the cadre of active duty pilots conducting pilot training.

During wartime, or in the event of hostilities, the unit is mobilized to offset anticipated losses of experienced active duty pilot contributions to the instructor pilot training programs.

Units

The Group is assigned to the AFRC Tenth Air Force and consists of a headquarters element at Randolph AFB and five Associate Reserve Flying Training Squadrons flying the T-37B, T-38/AT-38 and T-1.
* 5th Flying Training Squadron at Vance AFB, Oklaholma
* 43rd Flying Training Squadron at Columbus AFB, Mississippi
* 96th Flying Training Squadron at Laughlin AFB, Texas
* 97th Flying Training Squadron at Sheppard AFB, Texas
* 100th Flying Training Squadron at Randolph AFB

History

Lineage

* 340th Bombardment Group (1942-1945, 1947-1949)
* 340th Bombardment Wing (1952-1966)
* 340th Bombardment Group (1968-1971)
* 340th Air Refueling Wing (1977-1992)
* 340th Flying Training Group (1997-Present)

Major Commands

* Ninth Air Force (1943)
* Twelfth Air Force (1943-1945)
* Strategic Air Command (1947-1992)
* Air Mobility Command (1992)
* Air Force Reserve Command (1997-Present)

Stations Assigned

United States Army Air Forces
* Columbia AAB, South Carolina, 20 Aug 1942
* Walterboro, South Carolina 30 Nov 1942-30 Jan 1943
* El Kabrit, Egypt Mar 1943
* Medenine, Tunisia Mar 1943
* Sfax, Tunisia Apr 1943
* Hergla, Tunisia 2 Jun 1943
* Comiso, Sicily c. 2 Aug 1943
* Catania, Sicily 27 Aug 1943
* San Pancrazio, Italy c. 15 Oct 1943
* Foggia, Italy 19 Nov 1943
* Pompeii, Italy c. 2 Jan 1944
* Paestum, Italy 23 Mar 1944
* Corsica c. 14 Apr 1944
* Rimini, Italy c. 2 Apr-27 Jul 1945
* Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina 9 Aug 1945
* Columbia AAB, South Carolina 2 Oct-7 Nov 1945

United States Air Force
* Tulsa Municipal Airport, Oklaholma, (1947-1949)
* Sedalia (later Whiteman) AFB, Missouri, (1952-1963)
* Bergstrom AFB, Texas, (1963-1966)
* Carswell AFB, Texas, (1968-1971)
* Altus AFB, Oklaholma, (1977-1992)
* Randolph AFB, Texas, (1997-Present)

Aircraft Flown

* North American B-25 Mitchell (1942-1945)
* B-29 Superfortress (1947-1949)
* B-47D Stratojet (1952-1963)
* B-52G Stratofortress (1963-1966)
* General Dynamics FB-111A (1968-1971)
* KC-135A/Q Stratotanker (1977-1992)
* Cessena T-37B (1997-Present)
* T-38A Talon (1997-Present)
* T-1 Jayhawk (1997-Present)

Operational History

Word War II

The 340th Bombardment Group was a World War II United States Army Air Forces combat organization. It served primarily in the Mediterranean, African, and The Middle East Theatres of World War II.

Operational squadrons of the 340th Bomb Group and tail codes were the 486th(6B), 487th(6N), 488th(7T), and 489th(9T) Bombardment Squadron.

The unit was constituted as 340th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 10 August 1942 and was activated on 20 August. Trained with B-25 Mitchell bombers for duty overseas. Arrived in the Mediterranean theater in March 1943. Assigned first to the Ninth Air Force IX Bomber Command and later (in August 1943) to the Twelfth Air Force when the Ninth was reassigned to England.

The 340th served in combat from April 1943 to April 1945. Engaged chiefly in support and interdictory missions, but sometimes bombed strategic objectives. Targets included airfields, railroads, bridges, road junctions, supply depots, gun emplacements, troop concentrations, marshalling yards, and factories in Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, France, Austria, Bulgaria, Albania, Yugoslavia, and Greece.

Also dropped propaganda leaflets behind enemy lines. Participated in the reduction of Pantelleria and Lampedusa in June 1943, the bombing of German evacuation beaches near Messina in July, the establishment of the Salerno beachhead in September, the drive for Rome during January-June 1944, the invasion of Southern France in August, and attacks on the Brenner Pass and other German lines of communication in northern Italy from September 1944 to April 1945.

The 340th Received a Distinguished Unit Citation for the period April-August 1943 when, although handicapped by difficult living conditions and unfavorable weather, the group supported the British Eighth Army in Tunisia and Allied forces in Sicily. Received second DUC for the destruction of a cruiser in the heavily defended harbor of La Spezia on 23 September 1944 before the ship could be used by the enemy to block the harbor's entrance.

With the end of the war in Europe, the 340th returned to the United States during July-August 1945. It was inactivated on 7 November 1945 at Columbia, South Carolina.

Cold War

The unit was reactivated and continued performing medium bombardment training in the Air Force Reserve from October 1947 to August 1949 at Tulsa Municipal Airport, Oklaholma with B-29 Stratofortresses.

B-47 Era

The United States Air Force Strategic Air Command established the 340th Bombardment Wing, (Medium) on October 3, 1952. It was activated on October 20, 1952 at Sedalia (later Whiteman) AFB, Missouri. The 320th Bombardment Group was it's operational component, with the 441st, 442d and 443d Bomb Squadrons. The 320th was assigned to Second Air Force. The 340th replaced and absorbed the resources of the 4224th Air Base Squadron in October 1952. Whiteman at the time was undergoing a massive modernization program, from its World War II configuration of temporary buildings and short runways designed for glider and pilot training to that of a modern, permanent Air Force Base. The wing devoted it's efforts to supervising base rehabilitation and new construction until May 1954, This was done by the 340th Air Base Group. The wing headquarters, tactical and maintenance squadrons had minimum manning during this period and were basically "paper" units. The Wing received it's first Boeing B-47E Stratojet in March 1954 and on July 1, 1955, was declared combat ready. The wing also supported the 340th Air Refueling Squadon with KC-97 Stratotankers. On December 3, 1955, Sedalia AFB became Whiteman AFB.

The 340th BMW achieved recognition as one of SAC's first units to reorganize under the Deputy Commander concept of command and control. It tested the feasibility of assigning Aviation Depot Squadron functions to the Deputy Commander for Maintenance. SAC later adopted the plan and accomplished a command-wide change which included the formation of Munitions Maintenance Squadrons. Until 1960, the 340th BMW played a key role in SAC's mission of strategic deterrence. Its men and women were on the front line of the nation's strategic defense -- a force for peace that helped preserve America's freedom and safeguarded the world from another world war.

In anticipation of a misison change, SAC redesignated the wing as the 340th Bombardment Wing (Heavy) in September 1962 in preparation for the phase-in of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress and the KC-135 air refueling tanker. The B-47s were reassigned to other SAC wings and on 1 September 1963 the 340th Bomb Wing was inactivated as Whiteman became an Minuteman ICBM Strategic Missile base.

B-52s Era

On September 1, 1963, SAC inactivated the temporary 4130th Strategic Wing at Bergstrom AFB, Texas. It's personnel and assets were absorbed by the 340th Bombardment Wing which was activated on that date. The 340th Bomb Wing consisted of the following operational squadrons:

* 486th Bombardment Squadron (B-52D)
* 910th Air Refueling Squadron (KC-135)

The 340th BW was under SAC's 19th Air Division of Eighth Air Force, and the wing continued SAC global strategic bombardment training and air refueling operations . Beginning in 1965, the Air Force decided to convert most of its B-52Ds to conventional warfare capability for service in Southeast Asia. Foremost among the changes needed was to give the B-52D the ability to carry a significantly larger load of conventional bombs. This led to the Big Belly project which was begun in December of 1965.

In 1966, Bergstrom AFB was transferred to Tactical Air Command, and in July it's aircraft were reassigned to the 22d Bomb Wing at March AFB, California. The 340th Bomb Wing was inactivated on October 2, 1966.

FB-111 Era

The 340th Bombardment Group (Medium) was reactivated on 2 July 1968 at Carswell AFB, Texas. Although it was given the designation of a bomb group, the 340th was organized and functioned as a SAC Wing. Its operational squadron was the 4007th Combat Crew Training Squadron (CCTS)

The 340th BMG was given the primary mission of conducting initial qualification training for General Dynamics FB-111 aircrew members. FB-111s were being produced at the huge General Dynamics plant, also known as Air Force Plant #4 in Fort Worth, and it shared the main runway at Carswell. The Group received its first production FB-111A aircraft from General Dynamics on August 30, 1968. A second FB-111A was delivered on October 25. The 340th's staff and instructor received training in the F-111A at Nellis AFB, Nevada with the 4527th CCTS. The Group also maintained a combat crew force capable of conducting bombardment operations if necessary with the FB-111. On October 7 1970, the 340th BMG's first major aircraft accident occurred when FB-111A 68-0253 crashed at Carswell AFB, causing the deaths of Lt. Col Robert S. Montgomery (9th BMS's Commander) and his navigator, Lt. Col Charles G. Robinson. The 340th BG participated in SAC's annual Bombing and Navigation Competition held at McCoy AFB, Florida from November 13-20, 1970. Showing an outstanding performance, the group finished the competition first in bombing and second in navigation. The 340th also participated in the Strike Command Bombing and Navigation held April 17-23, 1971. The FB-111A was not allowed to compete for the trophies but flew in the competition.

The last production FB-111A (68-0291) was delivered to SAC on June 30, 1971, and the 340th Bomb Group was inactivated on 31 December 1971 with the end of FB-111 production. A total of 76 FB-111A aircraft were produced, and when group was inactivated the 4007th CCTS was reassigned to Plattsburgh AFB, New York and became part of the 380th Strategic Aerospace Wing with 38 FB-111A aircraft

KC-135 Era

The unit was redesignated as the 340th Air Refueling Group (Heavy) and reactivated on 1 July 1977 at Altus AFB, Oklaholma. It was redesignated the 340th Air Refueling Wing (Heavy) in October 1984 and reassigned to Fifteenth Air Force, in June 1988 with subsequent redesignation as the 340th Air Refueling Wing on 1 September 1991.

With the inactivation of SAC, the wing was reassigned to Air Mobility Command on 1 June 1992, and was inactivated on 1 October 1992 as part of the general drawdown of the USAF after the Cold War ended.

See also

References

* Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
* Mueller, Robert (1989). Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. USAF Reference Series, Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6
* Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0912799129.
* Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
* [http://www.csd.uwo.ca/~pettypi/elevon/baugher_us/ Joe Baugher's Encyclopedia Of Military Aircraft (B-52, FB-111)]
* [http://www.strategic-air-command.com Strategic Air Command.Com (Whiteman AFB, 340th Wing)]

External links


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