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460th Air Base Wing

The 460th Air Base Wing's mission is to "Operate Buckley AFB and provide superir support and services to the base operational missinos, to the Front Range Area Defense Community, its families and the retiree community".

The 460th Air Base Wing activated on October 1, 2001, at Buckley AFB, following the 821st Space Group's inactivation.

The history of the 460th Air Base Wing dates back to World war II with the establishment of the 460th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on May 19, 1943, and subsequent activation that July 1.

Key members attended the Army/Air Force Schoool of Applied Tactics in Florida Aug. 23 - Sept. 12, 1943. Meanwhile, remaining group members moved to Kearns AAB, UT, where they were joined by key personnel on September 16. As the group gained more combat crews in early October, it was nicknamed the Black Panther Group. By the end of October, it was moved to Chatham AAF, GA. There it received the new B-2411 aircraft in December and began preparing to relocate overseas.

The group's ground echelon moved to Camp Patrick, VA, in January 1944 and sailed aboard the Liberty Ship Thomas R. Marshall. It arrived in Spinazzola, Italy, on Feb. 11. The air echelon flew the group's aircraft via the southern route and arrived at Spinazzola shortly after teh ground echelon.

The unit enter combat as part of the 15th Air Force, flying its first combat mission March 19, 1944, against the marshalling yards at matkovic, Yugoslavia. It operated primarily as a strategic bombardment organization until April 1945. During that period, it attacked oil refineries, oil storage facilities, aircraft factories, railroad centers, industrial areas and other objectives throughtout Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Austria, Romania, Yugoslavia and Greece.

The group received a distinguished-unit citation for leading a wing formation through adverse weather and heavy enemy fire to attack an airdrome and aircraft facilities in Zwolfaxing, Austria, on July 26, 1944.

It also participated in some interdictory and support missions including the invasion of southern France in August 1944. It hit bridges, viaducts, ammunition dumps, railroads, and other targets to aid in the advance of allied forces in northern Italy flying its last combat mission April 26, 1945.

By June 1945, the group had moved to Trinidad and then to Brazil to support the Air Transport Command in moving re-deployed personnel from Europe to the United States. The goup was deactivaed on september 26, 1945.

Twenty years later, teh 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing was organized in february 1966 to control and administer tactical reconnaissance resources in Southeast Asia. Assigned and attached tactical and reconnaissance and tactical electronic warfare squadrons and squadron-sized detachments flew day and night visual, photographic, radar, thermographic, and electronic reconnaisance missions to meet the combat needs of the 2nd Air Division until April 1966 and for the 7th Air Force thereafter. It then divided reconnaissance in Southeast Asia with another wing in September 1966.

In October 1966, it assumed aircraft maintenance responsibility for all U.S. Air Force organizations using Tan Son Nhut AB, South Vietnam. It continued its reconnaissance operations through August 1971 and was inactivated Aug. 31 that year.

Historical Records show the unit was then re-designated as teh 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Group on Sept. 19, 1989, with activation on Oct. 1, also with the 7th Air Force. It was flying the RF-4 reconnaissance aircraft. The unit disbanded when the Air Force eliminated the RF-4 from its inventory. Only a year later, it was inactivated on Oct. 1, 1990 at Taegu AB, South Korea.

By then, the 460th had earned one service streamer, 23 campaign streamer and eight decorations. It also received the Republic of Vietnam's Gallantry Cross with Palm.

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Page last modified: 20-07-2011 23:25:37 ZULU