477th Fighter Group (477th FG)
The 477th is an Associate Group of the active Air Force's 3rd Wing. It operates the F-22A Raptor at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. When fully manned, the 477th Fighter Group will be responsible for recruiting, training, developing and retaining a combat-ready force of approximately 425 Air Reserve Technicians and Traditional Reservists to support the active duty and Expeditionary Air Force.
The 477th Fighter Group was originally known as the 477th Bombardment Group (Medium) and was manned by the famed African American aviators, known as the Tuskegee Airmen. The 477th Bombardment Group was established on 13 May 1943. It was activated on 1 June 1943, inactivated on 25 August 1943. During this period it was assigned to Third Air Force and was located at MacDill Field, Florida. The group was commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Andrew O. Lerche. Assigned to the Group were the 616th, 617th, 618th, and 619th Bombardment Groups.
After being inactivated in May 1943, the unit was reactivated on 15 January 1944. It was assigned to First Air Force and relocated to Selfridge Field, Michigan. Colonel Robert R. Selway Jr. assumed command of the unit on 21 January 1944. At the time the Group consisted of the 616th Bombardment Group. On 15 April 1944, the 617th Bombardment Group was also reassigned to the unit. In May 1944, the 618th and 619th Bombardment Groups were reassigned to the Group. On 6 May 1944, the unit had again relocated to Goldman Field, Kentucky.
On 21 June 1945, Colonel Benjamin O. Davis Jr. assumed command of the Group. The unit was redesignated the 477th Composite Group on 22 June 1945. On that same date it gained the 99th Fighter Squadron. In March 1946, the unit relocated again to Lockbourne Army Air Base, Ohio. In January 1947 the unit was reassigned to the Ninth Air Force before being inactivated on 1 July 1947.
On 1 October 2007, the group was reactivated and redesignated as the 477th Fighter Group, an associate unit of the active Air Force's 3rd Wing at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, designed to support active duty by flying and maintaining the world's newest fighter, the F-22A. Colonel Eric S. Overturf was appointed the new commander of the 477th Fighter Group.
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