388th Operations Group

The 388th Operations Group (388 OG) is the flying component of the 388th Fighter Wing, assigned to the Air Combat Command Twelfth Air Force. The group is stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 388th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was an Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England, stationed at RAF Knettishall (Station 136). The group earned four Distinguished Unit Citations, flying over 300 combat missions (17 August 1943 – Regensburg; 26 June 1943 – Hanover; 12 May 1944 – Brux and 21 June 1944 on a shuttle mission to Russia). It also conducted Aphroditie radio-controlled B-24 Liberators as test guided bombs.

388th Operations Group
Emblem of the 388th Operations Group
Active1942–1945; 1953–1957; 1991–present
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Air Force
Col. Joshua Wood[1]
388th OG F-16s
The final 388th Fighter Wing Block 40 F-16 to undergo Common Configuration Implementation Program upgrades is handed over to Col. Scott Dennis (right), 388th FW commander


The 388th Operations Group is responsible for the readiness of a combat-capable fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-35A Lightning II

Operations squadrons of the group (Tail Code: HL) are:


For additional history and lineage, see 388th Fighter Wing

World War II

Emblem of the 388th Bombardment Group
B-17F "Tom Paine" of the 388th Bomb Group, WW2
Boeing B-17F-90-BO Fortress Serial 42-30793

Activated on 24 December 1942 at Gowen Field in Idaho. Nucleus at Gowen moved to Wendover Field, Utah in early February 1943. Final training was conducted at Sioux City AAF SD from early May 1943 to 1 June 1943. The aircraft then began their overseas movement, taking the northern route via Newfoundland and Greenland, and finally from Iceland to Prestwick, Scotland. The ground unit left Sioux City on 12 June 1943 for Camp Kilmer, New Jersey and sailed on the Queen Elizabeth on 1 July 1943, arriving in Clyde on 7 July 1943. Assigned to the Eighth Air Force's 45th Combat Bombardment Wing. Its group tail code was a "Square-H".

The 388th BG began combat operations on 17 July 1943 by attacking an aircraft factory in Amsterdam. The unit functioned primarily as a strategic bombardment Organization until the war ended. Targets included industries, naval installations, oil storage plants, refineries, and communications centers in Germany, France, Poland, Belgium, Norway, Romania, and the Netherlands.

The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for withstanding heavy opposition to bomb a vital aircraft factory at Regensburg on 17 August 1943. The 388th received another DUC for three outstanding missions: an attack against a tire and rubber factory in Hanover on 26 July 1943; the bombardment of a synthetic oil refinery in Brux on 12 May 1944; and a strike against a synthetic oil refinery at Ruhland on 21 June 1944, during a shuttle raid from England to Russia.

The unit attacked many other significant targets, including aircraft factories in Kassel, Reims, and Brunswick; airfields in Bordeaux, Paris, and Berlin; naval works at La Pallice, Emden, and Kiel; chemical industries in Ludwigshafen; ball-bearing plants in Schweinfurt; and marshalling yards in Brussels, Osnabrück, and Bielefeld. Operations also included support and interdictory missions. It helped prepare for the invasion of Normandy by attacking military installations in France, and on D-Day struck coastal guns, field batteries, and transportation. Continued to support ground forces during the campaign that followed, hitting such objectives as supply depots and troop concentrations. Bombed in support of ground forces at Saint-Lô in July 1944 and at Caen in August. Covered the airborne assault on the Netherlands in September 1944 by attacking military installations and airfields at Arnhem. Aided the final drive through Germany during the early months of 1945 by striking targets such as marshalling yards, rail bridges, and road junctions.

Altogether the 388th flew 331 raids to European targets including nineteen Operation Aphrodite missions from nearby RAF Fersfield. After V-E Day, the group flew food to the Netherlands to relieve flood-stricken areas.

Redeployed to the US from June to August 1945 . The aircraft left RAF Knettishall between 9 June 1945 and July 1945. The ground unit sailed on the Queen Elizabeth from Greenock on 5 August 1945 and arrived in New York on 11 August 1945. The group was established at Sioux Falls AAF, South Dakota, and was inactivated there on 28 August 1945.

Cold War

North American F-86F-35-NA Sabre Serial 53-1117 of the 563d TFS. In 1957 this aircraft was transferred to the Norwegian Air Force

The unit was reactivated as a fighter-bomber group in 1953 and equipped with F-86s. It was deployed to France from Clovis AFB, New Mexico in December 1954.

The mission of the 388th FBG was to train for and conduct tactical nuclear weapons delivery. Its secondary mission was to conduct non-atomic tactical air operations. Upon arrival of 388th Wing Headquarters at Etain, the construction delays and other problems seriously hampered the ability of the Wing to use the base for its flying operations. The 562nd FBS was forced to operate from Spangdahlem Air Base, the 563rd from Bitburg Air Base and the 561st from Hahn Air Base in West Germany for the winter of 1954–55.

In April and May 1955, rotational deployments to Wheelus Air Base, Libya began for their first gunnery and bombing training since their arrival in Europe. In the fall, with enough facilities construction completed, the three flying squadrons were transferred from Germany and took up their home assignment at Étain.

On 22 November 1955, Det #1, 388th FBG was activated at Hahn Air Base to stand nuclear alert with the Wing's F-86's. Personnel and aircraft primarily came from the 561st FBS. In February 1956 the detachment was transferred to more spacious facilities at Spangdahlem Air Base. Rotational deployments of 8 F-86's and support personnel to Germany continued until the fall of 1957 when the 388th was inactivated.

In the fall of 1956 the 388th began planning for conversion to the F-100D/F "Super Sabre" Due to the adverse flying conditions at Etain for conversion training, the new aircraft were deployed to Nouasseur Air Base in Morocco, with the squadrons deploying their F-86's to Nouasseur, then returning to France or Spangdahlem in their new F-100's for Zulu Alert duties.

During this transition period, the 388th experienced a significant personnel crisis, with many of its officers and NCO's completing their two-year unaccompanied tour in France. The personnel problem became worse in the fall of 1957 with many single airmen completing their three years of overseas service and were rotating back to the United States (CONUS). The manning of the 388th fell to about 65 percent when on 8 December 1957 HQ USAFE inactivated the 388th FBG due to budgetary and personnel constraints. On 9 December the personnel and assets of the 388th were transferred to the 49th Fighter-Bomber Group.

Modern era

On 1 December 1991, the 388th Operations Group (388 OG) was activated as a result of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing implementing the USAF objective wing organization. Upon activation, the 388th OG was bestowed the lineage and history of the 388th Tactical Fighter Group and all predecessor organizations. In addition, the 388th OG was assigned the flying squadrons of the redesignated 388th Fighter Wing.

The group had a continuing commitment of approximately six months per year to Operation Southern Watch, protecting the no-fly zone south of the 33rd parallel in Iraq. The 729th ACS also had a continuous presence in South America supporting the war on drugs.

The 388th OG flew the F-16's 5 millionth flying hour at Hill Air Force Base 4 December 1996.

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD recommended to close Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico. As a result, it would distribute the 27th Fighter Wing's F-16s to 388th OG at Hill AFB (six aircraft) and several other installations.

In September 2017 the group's last F-16 Fighting Falcon departed for Holloman Air Force Base as the group completed the replacement of its F-16s with the new F-35 Lightning II.[2]


  • Established as the 388th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 19 December 1942
Activated on 24 December 1942
Redesignated 388th Bombardment Group, Heavy on 20 August 1943
Inactivated on 28 August 1945
  • Redesignated 388th Fighter-Bomber Group on 5 November 1953
Activated on 23 November 1953
Inactivated on 10 December 1957
  • Redesignated 388th Tactical Fighter Group on 31 July 1985 (Remained inactive)
  • Redesignated 388th Operations Group and activated on 1 December 1991


Attached to: 403 Provisional Combat Wing Bombardment, 13 July 1943






  1. ^ Cone, Allen. "U.S., Australia, Britain conduct training aviation exercise in Nevada". UPI.
  2. ^ a b Potter, Donovan K. (11 September 2017). "Hill AFB bids farewell to 'Viper'". 388th Fighter Wing. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  3. ^ Garbarino, Micah. "First operational F-35As arrive at Hill AFB". 75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs. Retrieved 6 September 2015.


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

  • Huntzinger, Edward J. The 388th at War. San Angelo, Texas: Newsfoto Yearbooks, 1979.
  • 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.
  • Rogers, Brian. (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, UK: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.
  • Uncredited. The History of the 388th Bomb Group. San Angelo, Texas: Newfoto Publishing Company, 1946.

External links

34th Fighter Squadron

The 34th Fighter Squadron is part of the United States Air Force′s 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. On 2 August 2016, the Air Force announced that the 34th had become the first squadron to achieve initial operating capability with the F-35A, the Air Force′s variant of the F-35 Lightning II. With an operational history extending back to World War II, and including the Cold War, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Desert Fox, Operation Noble Eagle, and the Afghanistan War, it had most recently operated F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft on air superiority missions prior to its reactivation as a F-35A squadron.


388th may refer to:

388th Electronic Combat Squadron, inactive United States Air Force unit

388th Fighter Squadron or 132nd Fighter Wing (132d W), United States Air Force unit assigned to the Iowa Air National Guard, located at Des Moines International Airport, Iowa

388th Fighter Wing, 4th Fighter Squadron (4 FS), conducts flying operations and equipment maintenance to maintain combat readiness of an 18-aircraft F-16C LANTIRN squadron

388th Operations Group, the flying component of the 388th Fighter Wing, assigned to the Air Combat Command Twelfth Air Force

388th Fighter Wing

The 388th Fighter Wing (388FW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command Twelfth Air Force. The unit is stationed at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

421st Fighter Squadron

The 421st Fighter Squadron is part of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. It operates the Lockheed Martin F-35A aircraft conducting air superiority missions. The squadron is one of the most decorated fighter squadrons in the United States Air Force, being awarded three Presidential Unit Citations and seven Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards for Valor in Combat.

The unit was originally formed as the 421st Night Fighter Squadron in 1943. After training, it was deployed to Fifth Air Force and ordered to New Guinea to provide air defense interceptor protection against Japanese night air raids on USAAF airfields. It later served in the Philippines Campaign where in addition to night interceptor missions it also flew day and night interdiction missions against enemy troop movements, bridges and other targets of opportunity. It later served on Okinawa and in Occupied Japan where it was inactivated in 1947.

It was reactivated by Tactical Air Command in 1962 as the 421st Tactical Fighter Squadron. Equipped with Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs, it deployed to Southeast Asia and engaged in combat operations over North Vietnam. It returned to the United States and was re-equipped with the McDonnell F-4D Phantom II and returned to Southeast Asia for a second and later third tour of duty in the Vietnam War. It was one of the first USAF squadrons equipped with the F-16A Fighting Falcon in 1980; and went on to serve in the 1991 Gulf War. In recent years, the squadron has deployed to the United States Air Forces Central Command, engaging in combat during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

4th Fighter Squadron

The 4th Fighter Squadron, "Fighting Fuujins" is part of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. It is transitioning to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II aircraft which replaced the unit's General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcons which conducted air superiority, strike, and close air support missions until August 2017.

The squadron was first activated in 1941 as the United States Army Air Corps expanded prior to the entry of the U.S. into World War II. The squadron served in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, where it earned two Distinguished Unit Citations. The squadron was reactivated in Okinawa as an all-weather fighter squadron in 1947. It served in the air defense of Japan until 1965 as the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, deploying to fly combat sorties during the Korean War.

The squadron returned to the United States in 1965, and reformed as the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron. In 1969, it moved to Thailand, where it flew missions during the Vietnam War. After the war, the squadron moved to its current base at Hill. It again entered combat when it deployed as part of a provisional fighter wing during Operation Desert Storm.

Hill Air Force Base

Hill Air Force Base (IATA: HIF, ICAO: KHIF, FAA LID: HIF) is a major U.S. Air Force base located in northern Utah, just south of the city of Ogden, and near the towns of Layton, Clearfield, Riverdale, Roy, and Sunset. It is about 30 miles (48 km) north of Salt Lake City. The base was named in honor of Major Ployer Peter Hill of the U.S. Army Air Corps, who died test-flying NX13372, the original Model 299 prototype of the B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. In this decade Hill AFB is still the sixth-largest employer in the state of Utah, and the third-largest one excluding the State Government and Higher Education employers.

Hill AFB is the home of the Air Force Materiel Command's (AFMC) Ogden Air Logistics Complex which is the worldwide manager for a wide range of aircraft, engines, missiles, software, avionics, and accessories components. The commander of the Air Logistics Complex is Brigadier General H. Brent Baker Sr. The Ogden Air Logistics Complex is part of the Air Force Sustainment Center.

The host unit at Hill AFB is the Air Force Material Command's 75th Air Base Wing (75 ABW), which provides services and support for the Ogden Air Logistics Complex and its subordinate organizations. The Wing and Installation Commander of Hill Air Force Base is Colonel Ronald Jolly. Additional tenant units at Hill AFB include operational fighter wings of the Air Combat Command (ACC) and the Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC).


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