440th Airlift Wing

History

| Introduction | Emblem | World War II Action | Post-World War II | Aircraft | Timeline (1960 - Current) | Awards & Commendations |
 

INTRODUCTION

In 1926, the Milwaukee County Park Commission purchased a 160-acre site know as Hamilton Field.  In 1942, the US Air Force changed the name of the field to General Billy Mitchell Field and, in 1986, the field was renamed General Mitchell International Airport.


WING EMBLEM

| Top | Introduction | World War II Action | Post-World War II Timeline | Aircraft | Timeline (1960 - Current) | Awards & Commendations |

440th Airlift Wing logo with Motto "Never Unprepared!"

The Wing's motto "NUNQUAM NON PARATUS" (Never Unprepared) was approved on 14 November 1958.

Significance - The emblem consists of Norwegian armor, blue (sky), yellow (sun), silver (stars), winged helmet symbolic of flight, sword (close support of troops), spear (interdictory mission), shield (defense of freedom), stars (Norwegian navigation, return from mission)  Ursa Major (Big Dipper)  North Star.

NOTE:  The 440th emblem is the only AFRC wing emblem to retain its motto after reorganization of all USAF heraldry in the early 1990's.


WORLD WAR II ACTION

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     In 1943, the 440th Troop Carrier Group (TCG) was activated at Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indiana, with a complement of  Douglas C-47 Skytrains (affectionately nicknamed the "Gooney Bird")C-47 Skytrain -- To learn more about this aircraft, click on the picture.

 

and Waco CG-4A Hadrian Gliders. CG-4A Hadrian Glider -- to learn more about this aircaft, click on the picture.

     The  440thís first operational mission was the airdropping of American paratroopers from 45 C-47s in the early morning hours of D-Day, June 6, 1944, behind the Normandy, France landing beaches of Omaha and Utah.  The men of the 440th also took part in the airborne assaults in Holland (Operation Market Garden), Southern France and Germany, and the aerial re-supply of the 101st Airborne Division while that unit was surrounded in Bastogne, Belgium, during the Battle of the Bulge.  Aircraft from the 440th also carried gasoline and supplies to General George S. Pattonís Third Army as it fought its way across France into Germany in 1944 - 45.


POST-WORLD WAR II TIMELINE

| Top | Introduction | Emblem | World War II Action | Aircraft | Timeline (1960 - Current) | Awards & Commendations |

  • 1947 -- Re-activated as the Reserve Flying Training Group, later (1949) becoming the Reserve Troop Carrier Wing
  • 1951 -- Called to active duty during the Korean Conflict and later went through a series of role and equipment changes as a troop carrier and fighter-bomber wing headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • February, 1952 -- the 924th Reserve Training Wing was activated at Billy Mitchell Field
  • July, 1952 -- Re-designated as the 438th Fighter Bomber
  • 1953 -- Re-designated as the 2473rd Air Force Reserve Training Center (AFRTC)
  • 1954 -- the 2473rd AFRTC was authorized to begin construction of the reserve training facilities at Billy Mitchell Field, and began acquiring land in the southwest corner of the airport
  • 1955 -- $2.8 Million was provided to construct the base
  • November, 1957 -- 2473rd AFRTC was de-activated and the 440th was transferred from Minneapolis to Milwaukee

AIRCRAFT

| Top | Introduction | Emblem | World War II Action | Timeline (1960 - Current) | Awards & Commendations |

Predecessor units of the 440th Airlift Wing flew the T-6 Texan, the P-51 Mustang and the F-80 Shooting Star aircraft.
To read more about each aircraft, click on the picture.

T-6 Texan -- To learn more about this aircraft, click on the picture.

T-6 Texan

P-51 Mustang -- To learn more about this aircraft, click on the picture.

P-51 Mustang

F-80 Shooting Star -- Click on picture to learn more about this aircraft.

F-80 Shooting Star

After moving to Milwaukee, the 440th Troop Carrier Group became the 440th Airlift Wing with a complement of Fairchild C-119 "Flying Boxcar" aircraft.

C-119 Flying Boxcar -- to learn more about this aircraft, click on the picture.

C119 disappears in the Bermuda Triangle -- to learn more about this incident, click on the picture.

C130A -- to learn more about this aircraft, click on the picture.

C130H Hercules

On June 5 , 1965, flight number 680, under the command of Major Louis Giuntoli, with nine members aboard, was lost in the Bermuda Triangle without a trace and was never found.  To read more information concerning this incident, click here.


TIME LINE (1960 - Current)

| Top | Introduction | Emblem | World War II Action | Aircraft | Awards & Commendations |

  • 1962 -- Called to duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis

  • May, 1965 -- Volunteer aircrews were sent to support the Dominican Airlift

  • December, 1967 -- Provided emergency airlift of supplies to snowbound Indian reservations

  • Milwaukee was the temporary home to some nuclear-capable B-47s during this time

  • 1967 -- 440th Troop Carrier Wing was re-designated as a Reserve Tactical Airlift Wing
  • 1969 -- Flew equipment and supplies to Gulfport, Mississippi, after Hurricane Camille
  • 1970 -- 928th Tactical Airlift Group was assigned to the 440th Airlift Wing
  • 1971 -- Wing's C-119 aircraft replaced with C-130A
     
  • February 1978 -- Wing flew more that 145 tons of equipment and supplies to several areas along the eastern US coastline to help residents after severe blizzards
  • January 1979 -- Wing started a regular rotation with other Reserve National Guard airlift units to Panama to support operations of the US Southern Command
  • September, 1985 -- Wing fire-fighting units were first rescue units on the scene of the Midwest Airlines crash in the Milwaukee
  • 1989, the C-130A aircraft were replaced with C-130H Hercules aircraft , which are still in use today.  The first C-130H was dubbed "The Spirit of Wisconsin"
  • January, 1991 -- During Operation Desert Storm, the wing's medical squadron was activated in support of that effort
  • 1991, the 927th TAG, at Selfridge, Michigan, performed its first tactical re-supply airdrop mission of Operation Desert Storm.
  • 1993 -- Provided airlift support to US units and their allies in the Persian Gulf region and provided airdrop missions in Bosnia as part of Operation Provide Promise.
  • 1994 - 1995 the unit participated in Operation Uphold Democracy (operations in Haiti), Operation Safe Border (support of international observers along the Peru/Ecuador border during fighting between those two countries) and Defense Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC)
  • 1996 -- Participated in Operation Joint Endeavor - Bosnia
  • April, 1997 -- three members perished in a Honduran aircraft accident
  • 1997 -- Becomes AMC gained
  • 1999 -- Provided 13% of the total AFRC/ANG relief effort for Operation Shining Hope in Kosovo
  • 1999 - 2000 -- Continued the Coronet Oak mission which was transferring to Puerto Rico.  The 440th provides support for AEF participation
  • 2001 - Present -- Deployed aircraft, crew and support personnel in support of Operations Noble Eagle, Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom.

AWARDS AND COMMENDATIONS

| Top | Emblem | Introduction | World War II Action | Aircraft | Timeline (1960 - Current) |

  • Won the Air Force Association's Outstanding Reserve Unit during 1963, 1964, 1966 and 1968

  • 1968 -- March; Earned Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm:  14 Feb - 11 Mar 1968, for airlift operations to the Vietnam theater.

  • 1987 -- 440th earns its first Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period Oct 1985 - 30 Sep 1987.

  • 1990 -- 95th TAS recognized as the Best in AFRES with the Grover Leoning Trophy
  • 1993 -- Recognized as the Best of the Best at the AMC Rodeo competition.
  • 1993 -- 440th earns its second Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period 2 Oct 1992 - 2 Oct 1993.
  • 1998 -- Receives the highest score for a Reserve Unit in two years.
  • 1998 -- 440th earns its third Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period 1 Jun 1997 - 30 Sep 1998.

Today General Mitchell IAP ARS is home to 8 C-130H Hercules aircraft and supports real world missions.

Information was obtained from the 440th Airlift Wing History presentation and from the 440th Support Group General Base Plan