455th Tactical Fighter Wing
(4th Tactical Fighter Wing)
The 455th Tactical Fighter Wing is located at Chiayi Air Base and is comprised of some 76 F-16A/B aircraft, three fighter squadrons, and a training squadron. The 455th is also referred to in some publications, most notably Jane's Sentinel as the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing.
The predecessor of the 4th Wing was the Air Force 4th Group and was established in Hangzhou on October 16, 1936, and was stationed at Wuhan in December 1936. The wing was then transferred to Lanzhou to take over the I-15 and I-16 aircrafts shortly after, and took the defense of northwest China at the base in Lanzhou in 1941. In 1942 and 1944, the wing went to India to take over the P-40 and P-43 from USA, respectively. In December 1948, the tide of the civil war turned unfavorable to the government that the 4th Group was ordered to station in Chiayi, Taiwan en route Qingdao and Shanghai, and continued to defend different regions in Mainland China. This wing has engaged in the battles of supporting friendly forces in Dinghai, Hengyang, and Hainan Island.
The 4th Group was expanded and organized into the 4th Wing on January 14, 1953, and has been equipped with a variety of fighters in different generations including the P-47, P-51, AT-6, T-33, F-84G, F-100A/F, F-5E/F, F-16A/B, and was well-trained in flying these fighters. On July 21, 1956, Captain Ouyang Yi-Feng drove a F-84G fighter to engage in the air battle of Minhai, and has shot down 2 MIG-17 and hardly hit another two. His bravery deed was astounding and was decorated with the ROC National Award.
The Wing aims at upgrading the air force combat power in the 21st century and tried hard to seek a breakthrough in the unfavorable political, diplomatic, and military environment. After more than 2 decades of negotiation, we have finally got the approval of USA to supply us with the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The 455th Wing was lucky to be the first to be equipped with the F-16 Fighting Falcon, with the formation of the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd Squadrons on October 4, 1997, July 23, 1998, and December 17, 1998, respectively. On August 18, 1999 an F-16 aircraft from the 455th Tactical Fighter Wing crashed on runway injuring one member of the crew. The cause of the accident are unknown.
In December 2001 the 455th Tactical Fighter Wing was "commissioned" as a F-16 A/B fighter wing at Chiayi Air Base. This was the first of two units to be transitioned to the F-16 after having flown the F-5E and F-104. The ceremony attended by President Chen Shui-bian and top military officials. President Chen Shui-Bian hosted the ceremony for the establishment of the force on December 18, 2001. It marked a new milestone for the armament of the force. On November 1, 2004, the 4th Group and the 14th Group were combined to form the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd Combat Squadrons, which helped to consolidate the formation of the wing.
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