398th Air Expeditionary Group

The 398th Air Expeditionary Group is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe. The 398 AEG may be activated or inactivated at any time.

During World War II, its predecessor unit, the 398th Bombardment Group (Heavy) was an Eighth Air Force B-17 Flying Fortress unit in England, stationed at RAF Nuthampstead. The group flew 195 combat missions, the last being on 25 April 1945.



World War II

601st Bombardment Squadron B-17G[note 1]

The group was constituted as the 398th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 15 February 1943, and equipped with the B-17 Flying Fortress. It was activated 1 March 1943 at Ephrata Army Air Base, Wash., with the 600th, 601st, 602d, and 603d Bombardment Squadrons. The Group assembled at Blythe Army Airfield, California, and then moved to Geiger Field, Washington, on 20 April 1943 to complete training. On 20 June 1943 moved to Rapid City Army Air Base, South Dakota, to take up Replacement Training Unit duties. Trained 326 B-17 crews from August to December 1943 but at the beginning of the New Year reverted to training for combat. Ground echelon began movement overseas on 4 April 1944. The unit moved to Camp Myles Standish, Massachusetts, on 7–12 April 1944. Personnel embarked on USS Wakefield. Sailed to Boston on 13 April, and arrived in Liverpool on 21 April 1944.

Moved to England in April 1944 and assigned to Eighth AF. The 398th BG entered combat in May 1944, and until V-E Day operated primarily against strategic objectives in Germany, attacking targets such as factories in Berlin, warehouses in Munich, marshalling yards in Saarbrücken, shipping facilities in Kiel, oil refineries in Merseburg, and aircraft plants in Münster.

The group temporarily suspended strategic missions to attack coastal defenses and enemy troops on the Cotentin Peninsula during the Invasion of Normandy in June 1944. The group struck gun positions near Eindhoven in support of the air attack on Holland in September 1944, and raided power stations, railroads, and bridges during the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944 – January 1945. The group flew missions attacking airfields to aid the Allied assault across the Rhine in March 1945.

The 398th flew its last combat mission, attacking an airfield in Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, on 25 April 1945. After V-E Day the group transported liberated prisoners from Germany to France.

From Nuthampstead, the 398th Bomb Group flew 195 combat missions. Redeployed USA in May/June 1945. The aircraft left on 21–27 May 1945. The Ground unit went to Greenock on 22 June 1945 and sailed on Queen Elizabeth arriving in New York on 29 June 1945. After 30 days R & R some personnel assembled at Drew Field, Florida, where the Group was inactivated on 1 September 1945.

Post Cold War

AV-8B Harrier taking off in Sierra Leone - May 2006 (Defense Visual Information Center, USMC, USDoD)
AV-8B of the 398th Air Expeditionary Group taking off in Sierra Leone as part of Joint Task Force Liberia, 14 August 2003.

The 398th BG was redesignated as the 398th Operations Group and activated 1 June 1992. Reactivated in 1992 as 398th Operations Group. Assigned first to 340th Air Refueling Wing, later to 97th Air Mobility Wing as a KC-135 air refueling group. From 1 June 1992 – 31 March 1995 the 93d Air Refueling Squadron was part of the group. The 398th OG was inactivated on 31 March 1995.

During Operation Iraqi Freedom the title 398th Air Expeditionary Group was given to a collection of units and personnel operating from Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece. Colonel Marcelyn A. Atwood commanded the group.[3]

Later in 2003, the unit participated in Operation Shining Express in Liberia, a rescue operation directed by United States European Command to evacuate civilians from parts of Liberia affected by the Second Liberian Civil War. Among the groups contributions was delivering a United States Marine Corps security forces team.


  • Constituted as the 398th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 15 February 1943[4]
Activated on 1 March 1943
Redesignated 398th Bombardment Group, Heavy c. 20 August 1943
Inactivated on 1 September 1945[4]
  • Redesignated 398th Operations Group in 1992
Activated on 1 June 1992
Inactivated on 31 March 1995
  • Redesignated 398th Expeditionary Air Refueling Group and converted to provisional status on 5 February 2001
  • Redesignated 398th Air Expeditionary Group on 18 March 2003
Activated in c. 13 July 2003
Inactivated on 8 October 2003
Activated in 2004
Inactivated on 17 June 2004
Activated on 25 March 2006
Inactivated on 8 April 2006
Activated on 14 March 2008
Inactivated on 30 April 2008

Air Expeditionary Service with Joint Task Force Liberia 2003; 2008. During this period the group flew the HH-60 helicopter, and Marine units attached to the group in 2003 operated the AV-8B Harrier.


Combined Air Forces North Fact Sheet April 2003
Headquarters, Combined Air Forces-North and Headquarters, 16th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force fact sheet, dated April 16, 2003
16th Air and Space Expeditionary Task Force, circa 16 April 2003
3d Expeditionary Air and Space Task Force, c. 13 July - 8 October 2003
Attached to Third Air Force, 2004 - 17 June 2004
Attached to Air Command Europe, 25 March - 8 April 2006
323d Air Expeditionary Wing, 14 March - 30 April 2008





  1. ^ Aircraft is Lockheed/Vega B-17G-80-VE Flying Fortress serial 44-8771. This B-17 was assigned to the 398th BG on 2 March 1945. It flew 6 combat missions before being flown back to the United States on 23 May.


  1. ^ a b Watkins pp. 84-85
  2. ^ See Maurer, Combat Units, p. 284 (no approved emblem)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 December 2008. Retrieved 10 February 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b Maurer, Combat Squadrons' , p. 284
  5. ^ Wilson
  6. ^ Station number in Anderson
  7. ^ World War II stations in Maurer, Combat Units, p. 284


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

External links

16th Air Expeditionary Task Force

The 16th Air Expeditionary Task Force (16 AETF) is a provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe. It was last activated at Izmir Air Base, Turkey on 1 December 2006, and inactivated on 30 April 2008.

The 16 AETF may be activated or inactivated at any time.

Formerly designated as Sixteenth Air Force(16th AF), the command was the first newly established Numbered Air Force (NAF) by the USAF after World War II, It was activated in 1954 as a Joint Military Group to provide command and control of USAF activities in Spain, being designated a NAF in 1956. In 1957 16th AF was realigned under Strategic Air Command(SAC) to provide command and control of SAC bases and B-47 Stratojet rotational units assigned and deployed to Spain and Morocco.

In 1966 after SAC withdrew its forces from Europe, 16th AF became part of the United States Air Forces in Europe, providing command and control of USAFE forces initially in Spain and North Africa, and later in Italy and Turkey until 2006. It later became a provisional Air Expeditionary Task Force under USAFE as part of the Global War on Terrorism.


398th may refer to:

398th Air Expeditionary Group, provisional United States Air Force unit assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe

398th Bombardment Squadron, inactive United States Air Force unit last assigned with the 92d Operations Group at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington

398th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, inactive United States Air Force unit, last assigned to the Air Defense Command stationed at Hamilton AFB, California

712th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron

The 712th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. In February 2001, the squadron was converted to provisional status and assigned to United States Air Forces Europe to activate or inactivate as needed. It was activated in 2008 for exercises with the Hungarian Air Force.

The squadron was first activated as the 712th Bombardment Squadron during World War II. After training in the United States, it deployed to the European Theater of Operations, and served in the strategic bombing campaign against Germany with the 448th Bombardment Group. After V-E Day, the squadron returned to the United States, where it converted to the Boeing B-29 Superfortress. It was inactivated in August 1946 and replaced by another unit. It was active in the reserve from 1947 until 1951, when it was mobilized for the Korean War and inactivated after its personnel were used to man other units.

It was redesignated the 712th Air Refueling Squadron and served with the 19th Operations Group at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia from 1994 to 1996.

900th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron

The 900th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It was last known to be assigned to the 398th Air Expeditionary Group at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey.

The squadron was first activated during World War II as the 600th Bombardment Squadron. The squadron saw combat in the European Theater of Operations with Eighth Air Force and returned to the United States, where it was inactivated in the fall of 1945.

The squadron was activated again under Strategic Air Command in 1962 as the 900th Air Refueling Squadron. It maintained aircraft on alert at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas and deployed aircraft and crews to support Operation Arc Light and Operation Young Tiger in Southeast Asia. It was inactivated in 1966.

In 1985, the two squadrons were consolidated, but remained inactive until activated as the 900th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron.

Marcelyn A. Atwood

Marcelyn Adkins "Marcy" Atwood is a retired United States Air Force (USAF) Colonel who flew as a navigator in KC-135 Stratotankers, E-4B National Airborne Operations Center, and the RC-135 Rivet Joint aircraft over her 24-year USAF career. She is also the first woman to command a flying training squadron and the first U.S. Air Force officer to command a Navy squadron.

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United States Air Forces Central Command

United States Air Forces Central Command (USAFCENT/AFCENT) is a Named Air Force of the United States Air Force headquartered at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. It is the Air Force Service Component of United States Central Command (USCENTCOM), a joint Department of Defense combatant command responsible for U.S. security interests in 27 nations that stretch from the Horn of Africa through the Persian Gulf region, into Central Asia.Activated as 9th Air Force on 8 April 1942, the command fought in World War II both in the Western Desert Campaign in Egypt and Libya and as the tactical fighter component of the United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSTAF), engaging enemy forces in France, the Low Countries and in Nazi Germany. During the Cold War, it was one of two Numbered Air Forces of Tactical Air Command.

Co-designated as United States Central Command Air Forces (CENTAF) on 1 January 1983, on 2009 as part of a complicated transfer of lineage, the lineage and history of the Ninth Air Force was bestowed on USAFCENT, and a new Ninth Air Force, which technically had no previous history, was activated. It has fought in the 1991 Gulf War, War in Afghanistan (OEF-A, 2001–present), the Iraq War (OIF, 2003–2010), as well as various engagements within USCENTCOM.


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