Presidential Unit Citation (United States)
The Presidential Unit Citation called the Distinguished Unit Citation, is awarded to units of the Uniformed services of the United States, those of allied countries, for extraordinary heroism in action against an armed enemy on or after 7 December 1941. The unit must display such gallantry and esprit de corps in accomplishing its mission under difficult and hazardous conditions so as to set it apart from and above other units participating in the same campaign. Since its inception by Executive Order on 26 February 1942, retroactive to 7 December 1941, to 2008, the Presidential Unit Citation has been awarded in conflicts such as World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, Iraq War, the War in Afghanistan; the collective degree of valor against an armed enemy by the unit nominated for the PUC is the same as that which would warrant award of the individual award of the Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross or Navy Cross. In some cases, one or more individuals within the unit may have been awarded individual awards for their contribution to the actions for which their entire unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation.
The unit with the most Presidential Unit Citations is the USS Parche with 9 citations. The Army citation was established by Executive Order 9075 on 26 February 1942, superseded by Executive Order 9396 on Dec. 2, 1943, which authorized the Distinguished Unit Citation. As with other Army unit citations, the PUC is in a larger frame than other ribbons, is worn above the right pocket. All members of the unit may wear the decoration, whether or not they participated in the acts for which the unit was cited. Only those assigned to the unit at the time of the action cited may wear the decoration as a permanent award. For both the Army and Air Force, the emblem is a solid blue ribbon enclosed in a gold frame; the Air Force PUC was adopted from the Army Distinguished Unit Citation after the Air Force became a separate military branch in 1947. By Executive Order 10694, dated Jan. 10, 1957 the Air Force redesignated the Distinguished Unit Citation as the Presidential Unit Citation. The Air Force PUC is the same color and design as the Army PUC but smaller, so that it can be worn in alignment with other Air Force ribbons on the left pocket following personal awards.
As with the Army, all members of a receiving unit may wear the decoration while assigned to it, but only those assigned to the unit at the time of the action cited may wear the decoration as a permanent award or if any member of a receiving unit had it their last duty station prior to being either discharged or retired they may continue to wear the decoration as prescribed. The Citation is carried on the receiving unit's colors in the form of a blue streamer, 4 ft long and 2.75 in wide. For the Army, only on rare occasions will a unit larger than battalion qualify for award of this decoration. Citations "to Naval and Marine Corps Units for Outstanding Performance in Action" was established by Executive Order 9050 on 6 February 1942; the Navy version has navy blue and red horizontal stripes, is the only Navy ribbon having horizontal stripes. To distinguish between the two versions of the Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy version, more referred to as the Presidential Unit Citation, is referred to as the Navy Presidential Unit Citation and sometimes as the "Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation", the Army and Air Force version is referred to by the Army and Air Force as the Army Presidential Unit Citation and Air Force Presidential Unit Citation.
The ribbon is worn by only by those Navy and Marine service members who were assigned to the unit for the "award period" of the award. In the Army, those who join the unit after the "award period" may wear it while assigned to the unit. ALNan 137-43 states that the first award has a blue enameled star on the ribbon and additional stars for subsequent awards. In 1949, the award changed with no star for bronze stars for subsequent awards. To commemorate the first submerged voyage under the North Pole by the nuclear-powered submarine USS Nautilus in 1958, all members of her crew who made that voyage were authorized to wear their Presidential Unit Citation ribbon with a special clasp in the form of a gold block letter N. Currently, US Navy sailors assigned to the USS Nautilus memorial at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton, are permitted to wear the Navy Presidential Unit Citation; as of 2014, the same device may be awarded for the Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal for those personnel who work in direct support of ICBM operations who serve 179 non-consecutive days dispatched to a missile complex.
To commemorate the first submerged circumnavigation of the world by the nuclear-powered submarine Triton during its shakedown cruise in 1960, all members of her crew who made that voyage were authorized to wear their Presidential Unit Citation ribbon with a special clasp in the form of a golden replica of the globe. United States Coast Guard units may be awarded either the Navy or Coast Guard version of the Presidential Unit Citation, depending on which service the Coast Guard was supporting when the citation action was performed; the current decoration is known as the "Department of Homeland Security Presidential Unit Citation". The original Coast Guard Presidential Unit Citation was established under the authority of Executive Order 10694, amended by Section 74 of Executive Order 13286 to transfer the award of the USCG PUC to the Secr
McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed by McDonnell Douglas to gain and maintain air supremacy in all aspects of aerial combat. Following reviews of proposals, the United States Air Force selected McDonnell Douglas's design in 1967 to meet the service's need for a dedicated air-superiority fighter; the Eagle first flew in July 1972, entered service in 1976. It is among the most successful modern fighters, with over 100 victories and no losses in aerial combat, with the majority of the kills by the Israeli Air Force; the Eagle has been exported to Israel and Saudi Arabia. The F-15 was envisioned as a pure air-superiority aircraft, its design included a secondary ground-attack capability, unused. The aircraft design proved flexible enough that an all-weather strike derivative, the F-15E Strike Eagle, an improved and enhanced version, developed, entered service in 1989 and has been exported to several nations; as of 2017, the aircraft is being produced in different variants with production set to end in 2022.
The F-15 can trace its origins to the early Vietnam War, when the U. S. Air Force and the U. S. Navy fought each other over future tactical aircraft. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara was pressing for both services to use as many common aircraft as possible if performance compromises were involved; as part of this policy, the USAF and Navy had embarked on the TFX program, aiming to deliver a medium-range interdiction aircraft for the Air Force that would serve as a long-range interceptor aircraft for the Navy. In January 1965, Secretary McNamara asked the Air Force to consider a new low-cost tactical fighter design for short-range roles and close air support to replace several types like the F-100 Super Sabre and various light bombers in service. Several existing designs could fill this role; the A-4 and A-7 were more capable in the attack role, while the F-5 less so, but could defend itself. If the Air Force chose a pure attack design, maintaining air superiority would be a priority for a new airframe.
The next month, a report on light tactical aircraft suggested the Air Force purchase the F-5 or A-7, consider a new higher-performance aircraft to ensure its air superiority. This point was reinforced after the loss of two Republic F-105 Thunderchief aircraft to obsolete MiG-15s or MiG-17s on 4 April 1965. In April 1965, Harold Brown, at that time director of the Department of Defense Research and Engineering, stated the favored position was to consider the F-5 and begin studies of an "F-X"; these early studies envisioned a production run of 800 to 1,000 aircraft and stressed maneuverability over speed. On 1 August, Gabriel Disosway took command of Tactical Air Command and reiterated calls for the F-X, but lowered the required performance from Mach 3.0 to 2.5 to lower costs. An official requirements document for an air superiority fighter was finalized in October 1965, sent out as a request for proposals to 13 companies on 8 December. Meanwhile, the Air Force chose the A-7 over the F-5 for the support role on 5 November 1965, giving further impetus for an air superiority design as the A-7 lacked any credible air-to-air capability.
Eight companies responded with proposals. Following a downselect, four companies were asked to provide further developments. In total, they developed some 500 design concepts. Typical designs featured variable-sweep wings, weight over 60,000 pounds, included a top speed of Mach 2.7 and a thrust-to-weight ratio of 0.75. When the proposals were studied in July 1966, the aircraft were the size and weight of the TFX F-111, like that aircraft, were designs that could not be considered an air-superiority fighter. Through this period, studies of combat over Vietnam were producing worrying results. Theory optimized aircraft for this role; the result was loaded aircraft with large radar and excellent speed, but limited maneuverability and lacking a gun. The canonical example was the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, used by the USAF, USN, U. S. Marine Corps to provide air superiority over Vietnam, the only fighter with enough power and maneuverability to be given the primary task of dealing with the threat of Soviet fighters while flying with visual engagement rules.
In practice, due to policy and practical reasons, aircraft were closing to visual range and maneuvering, placing the larger US aircraft at a disadvantage to the much less expensive day fighters such as the MiG-21. Missiles proved to be much less reliable than predicted at close range. Although improved training and the introduction of the M61 Vulcan cannon did much to address the disparity, these early outcomes led to considerable re-evaluation of the 1963 Project Forecast doctrine; this led to John Boyd's energy–maneuverability theory, which stressed that extra power and maneuverability were key aspects of a successful fighter design and these were more important than outright speed. Through tireless championing of the concepts and good timing with the "failure" of the initial F-X project, the "fighter mafia" pressed for a lightweight day fighter that could be built and operated in large numbers to ensure air superiority. In early 1967, they proposed that the ideal design had a thrust-to-weight ratio near 1:1, a maximum speed further reduced to Mach 2.3, a weight of 40,000 pounds, a wing loading of 80 lb/ft².
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Clark Air Base
Clark Air Base is a Philippine Air Force base on Luzon Island in the Philippines, located 3 miles west of Angeles, about 40 miles northwest of Metro Manila. Clark Air Base was a United States military facility, operated by the U. S. Air Force under the aegis of Pacific Air Forces and their predecessor organizations from 1903 to 1991; the base covered 14.3 square miles with a military reservation extending north that covered another 230 square miles. The base was a stronghold of the combined Filipino and American forces during the final months of World War II and a backbone of logistical support during the Vietnam War until 1975. Following the departure of American forces in 1991 due to the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the base became the site of Clark International Airport, the Clark Freeport Zone and the Air Force City of the Philippine Air Force. In April 2016, an "Air Contingent" of USAF A-10s and HH-60s was deployed from U. S. air bases in Okinawa to Clark. The Air Contingent was composed of five A-10C Thunderbolt IIs from the 51st Fighter Wing, Osan AB, South Korea.
The primary mission of the contingent appears to be to patrol disputed South China Sea islands, "to provide greater and more transparent air and maritime domain awareness to ensure safety for military and civilian activities in international waters and airspace." The air contingent builds upon previous deployments by U. S. Navy P-8 Poseidon aircraft to Clark. Clark Air Base was established as Fort Stotsenburg in Sapang Bato, Angeles in 1903 under control of the U. S. Army. A portion of Fort Stotsenburg was set aside for the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps and named Clark Field in September 1919 after Harold M. Clark. Clark served as a landing field for U. S. Army Air Corps medium bombers and accommodated half of the heavy bombers stationed in the Philippines during the 1930s, it was large for an air field of its day, in the late summer and fall of 1941, many aircraft were sent to Clark in anticipation of a war with Imperial Japan. However, most of them were destroyed on the ground during an air raid nine hours after the Pearl Harbor attack.
The base was overrun by Japanese forces in early January 1942 and became a major center for Japanese air operations. Japanese aircraft flying out of Clark participated in the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle of the Second World War. During the war, the Allied prisoners on the Bataan Death March passed by the main gate of Clark Air Base as they followed the railway tracks north towards Camp O'Donnell. Clark Air Base was recaptured by Americans in January 1945, after three months of fierce fighting to liberate the Philippines, it was returned to U. S. Army Air Forces control. Clark grew into a major American air base during the Cold War, serving as an important logistics hub during the Vietnam War; the base was closed by the United States in the early 1990s due to the refusal by the Philippine government to renew the lease on the base. After extensive damage from the Mount Pinatubo volcanic eruption of 1991, the Philippine government attempted to reopen base lease talks, but terms could not be reached and the lease was not extended.
In November 1991, the United States Air Force lowered the U. S. transferred Clark Air Base to the Philippine government. With the United States military's withdrawal from Clark, the base was systematically looted by the local population and was left abandoned for several years, it became the Clark Freeport Zone, the site of Clark International Airport and parts of it are still owned and operated by the Philippine Air Force, retaining the same name, Clark Air Base. In June 2012, the Philippine government, under pressure from Chinese claims to their seas, agreed to the return of American military forces to Clark. During much of the Cold War, Clark Air Base's activity revolved around the 405th Fighter Wing renumbered as the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing in September 1974 and its fleet of F-4 Phantom II fighter jets, it hosted an interceptor squadron and a flight school, all of which flew a variety of other combat aircraft. Transient aircraft of many types cargo jets, were common. Fighter planes visited to participate in aerial warfare exercises at Crow Valley about 30 miles to the northwest.
In November 1973, headquarters for the 374th Tactical Airlift Wing was transferred to Clark Air Base. With this move came two squadrons of C-130E transport aircraft, the 21st Tactical Airlift Squadron and the 776th Tactical Airlift Squadron. Clark was served by cargo and passenger flights to and from Andersen AFB, Guam. During the 1970s, passengers arrived via Trans International Douglas DC-8 and Braniff International DC-8s flights from Travis AFB, California. By 1980, the base had grown to such an extent that weekly Flying Tigers Boeing 747 service to St. Louis had begun; the 747 service was taken over by Tower Air sometime in the late 1980s and was augmented with a weekly Hawaiian Airlines L-1011 or Douglas DC-8 to Guam-Honolulu-Los Angeles. On 29 October 1987, unidentified gunmen killed three airmen. On 14 May 1990, suspected New People's Army communist rebels killed two airmen. Clark Air Base was arguably the most urbanized military facility in history and was the largest American base overseas.
At its peak around 1990, it had a permanent population of 15,000. It had a base exchange
Kadena Air Base
Kadena Air Base is a United States Air Force base in the towns of Kadena and Chatan and the city of Okinawa, in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. It is referred to as the “Keystone of the Pacific”. Kadena Air Base is home to the USAF's 18th Wing, the 353d Special Operations Group, reconnaissance units, 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery, a variety of associated units. Over 20,000 American servicemembers, family members, Japanese employees live or work aboard Kadena Air Base, it is the largest and most active US Air Force base in the Far East. Kadena Air Base's history dates back to just before the 1 April 1945, Battle of Okinawa, when a local construction firm completed a small airfield named Yara Hikojo near the island's village of Kadena; the airfield, used by Imperial Japanese warplanes, was one of the first targets of the Tenth United States Army 7th Infantry Division. The United States seized it from the Japanese during the battle. What the Americans captured was a 4,600 feet strip of badly-damaged coral runway.
Army engineers from the 13th Combat Engineer Battalion, 7th U. S. Infantry Division made repairs and, by nightfall the same day, the runway could accept emergency landings. Eight days and after some 6 inches of coral were added, the airfield was declared operational and put into immediate service by artillery spotting aircraft when the runway became serviceable on 6 April. Additional construction was performed by the 807th Engineering Aviation Battalion to improve the airfield for USAAF fighter and bomber use with fuel tank farms, a new 6,500 feet bituminous runway, a 7,500 feet runway for bomber aircraft, by August. Kadena airfield was under the control of Seventh Air Force, however on 16 July 1945, Headquarters Eighth Air Force was transferred, without personnel, equipment, or combat elements to the town of Sakugawa, near Kadena from RAF High Wycombe England. Upon reassignment, its headquarters element absorbed the command staff of the inactivated XX Bomber Command. Kadena was used by the headquarters staff for administrative flying requirements.
Upon its reassignment to the Pacific Theater, Eighth Air Force was assigned to the U. S. Army Strategic Air Forces with a mission to train new B-29 Superfortress bomber groups arriving from the United States for combat missions against Japan. In the planned invasion of Japan, the mission of Eighth Air Force would be to conduct strategic bombing raids from Okinawa. However, the atomic bombings of Japan led to the Japanese surrender before Eighth Air Force saw action in the Pacific theater; the surrender of Japanese forces in the Ryukyu Islands came on 7 September. General Joseph Stilwell accepted the surrender in an area that would become Kadena's Stearley Heights housing area. Known World War II units assigned to Kadena were: 319th Bombardment Group Assigned to Seventh Air Force and flew missions to Japan and China, attacking airdromes, marshalling yards, industrial centers, other objectives. 317th Troop Carrier Group Assigned to Seventh Air Force in the Philippines. Deployed aircraft to Kadena and flew courier and passenger routes to Japan, Guam and the Philippines, transported freight and personnel in the area.
333d Bombardment Group Assigned to Eighth Air Force for planned invasion of Japan. Operations terminated. For a time after the war the group ferried Allied prisoners of war from Japan to the Philippines. Inactivated May 1946. 346th Bombardment Group Assigned to Eighth Air Force for planned invasion of Japan. Operations terminated. After the war the group participated in several show-of-force missions over Japan and for a time ferried Allied prisoners of war from Okinawa to the Philippines. Inactivated June 1946. 316th Bombardment Wing Assigned to Eighth Air Force for planned invasion of Japan. Operations terminated. Reassigned to U. S. Far East Air Forces January 1946. Redesignated as 316th Composite Wing in January 1946, 316th Bombardment Wing in May 1946. Inactivated June 1948. 413th Fighter Group Assigned to Eighth Air Force and served as a part of the air defense and occupation force for the Ryukyu Islands after the war. Inactivated October 1946. On 7 June 1946, Headquarters Eighth Air Force moved without personnel or equipment to MacDill AAF, Florida.
It was replaced by the 1st Air Division which directed fighter reconnaissance, bomber organizations and provided air defense for the Ryukyu Islands until December 1948. Twentieth Air Force became the command and control organization for Kadena on 16 May 1949; the Korean War emphasized the need for maintaining a naval presence on Okinawa. On 15 February 1951, the US Naval Facility, was activated and became commissioned on 18 April. Commander Fleet Activities, Ryukyus was commissioned on 8 March 1957. On 15 May 1972, upon reversion of Okinawa to Japanese administration, the two organizations were combined to form Commander Fleet Activities, Okinawa. With the relocations of Commander Fleet Activities, Okinawa to Kadena Air Base on 7 May 1975, the title became Commander Fleet Activities, Okinawa/US Naval Air Facility, Kadena. Twentieth Air Force was inactivated in March 1955. Fifth Air Force became the control organization for Kadena. Known major postwar USAAF/USAF units assigned to Kadena have been: 6th Bombardment Group Participated in show-of-force flights over Japan an
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a World War II era fighter aircraft produced by the United States from 1941 through 1945. Its primary armament was eight.50-caliber machine guns and in the fighter-bomber ground-attack role it could carry five-inch rockets or a bomb load of 2,500 pounds. When loaded the P-47 weighed up to eight tons making it one of the heaviest fighters of the war; the P-47 was designed around the powerful Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp engine, used by two U. S. Navy/U. S. Marine Corps fighters, the Grumman F6F Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair; the Thunderbolt was effective as a short-to-medium range escort fighter in high-altitude air-to-air combat and ground attack in both the World War II European and Pacific theaters. The P-47 was one of the main United States Army Air Forces fighters of World War II, served with Allied air forces including France and Russia. Mexican and Brazilian squadrons fighting alongside the U. S. flew the P-47. The armored cockpit was roomy and comfortable and the bubble canopy introduced on the P-47D offered good visibility.
A present-day U. S. ground-attack aircraft, the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II, takes its name from the P-47. The P-47 Thunderbolt was a design of Georgian immigrant Alexander Kartveli, was to replace the Seversky P-35, developed earlier by Russian immigrant Alexander P. de Seversky. Both had fled from their homeland to escape the Bolsheviks. In 1939, Republic Aviation designed the AP-4 demonstrator powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 radial engine with a belly-mounted turbocharger. A small number of Republic P-43 Lancers were built but Republic had been working on an improved P-44 Rocket with a more powerful engine, as well as on the AP-10 fighter design; the latter was a lightweight aircraft powered by the Allison V-1710 liquid-cooled V-12 engine and armed with eight.50 in M2 Browning machine guns. The United States Army Air Corps backed the project and gave it the designation XP-47. In the spring of 1940, Republic and the USAAC concluded that the XP-44 and the XP-47 were inferior to Luftwaffe fighters.
Republic tried to improve the design, proposing the XP-47A but this failed. Kartveli designed a much larger fighter, offered to the USAAC in June 1940; the Air Corps ordered a prototype in September as the XP-47B. The XP-47A, which had little in common with the new design, was abandoned; the XP-47B was of all-metal construction with elliptical wings, with a straight leading edge, swept back. The air-conditioned cockpit was roomy and the pilot's seat was comfortable—"like a lounge chair", as one pilot put it; the canopy doors hinged upward. Main and auxiliary self-sealing fuel tanks were placed under the cockpit, giving a total fuel capacity of 305 U. S. gal. Power came from a Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp two-row 18-cylinder radial engine producing 2,000 hp —the same engine that would power the prototype Vought XF4U-1 fighter to just over 400 mph in October 1940—with the Double Wasp on the XP-47B turning a four-bladed Curtiss Electric constant-speed propeller of 146 in in diameter; the loss of the AP-4 prototype to an engine fire ended Kartveli's experiments with tight-fitting cowlings, so the engine was placed in a broad cowling that opened at the front in a "horse collar"-shaped ellipse.
The cowling admitted cooling air for the engine and right oil coolers, the turbosupercharger intercooler system. The engine exhaust gases were routed into a pair of wastegate-equipped pipes that ran along each side of the cockpit to drive the turbosupercharger turbine at the bottom of the fuselage, about halfway between cockpit and tail. At full power, the pipes glowed red at the turbine spun at 21,300 rpm; the complicated turbosupercharger system with its ductwork gave the XP-47B a deep fuselage, the wings had to be mounted in a high position. This was difficult since long-legged main landing gear struts were needed to provide ground clearance for the enormous propeller. To reduce the size and weight of the undercarriage struts and so that wing-mounted machine guns could be fitted, each strut was fitted with a mechanism by which it telescoped out 9 in when extended; the XP-47B was heavy compared with contemporary single-engined fighters, with an empty weight of 9,900 lb, or 65 per cent more than the YP-43.
Kartveli said, "It will be a dinosaur, but it will be a dinosaur with good proportions". The armament was eight.50 caliber "light-barrel" Browning AN/M2 machine guns, four in each wing. The guns were staggered to allow feeding from side-by-side ammunition boxes, each with 350 rounds. All eight guns gave the fighter a combined rate of fire of 100 rounds per second; the XP-47B first flew on 6 May 1941 with Lowry P. Brabham at the controls. Although there were minor problems, such as some cockpit smoke that turned out to be due to an oil drip, the aircraft proved impressive in its early trials, it was lost in an accident on 8 August 1942 but before that mishap, the prototype had achieved a level speed of 412 mph at 25,800 ft altitude and had demonstrated a climb from sea level to 15,000 ft in five minutes. The XP-47B gave the newly reorganized United States Army Air Forces cause for both optimism and apprehension. While possessing good performance and firepower, the XP-47B had its share of teething problems: Its sheer size and limited ground-propeller clearance in a fuselage-level attitude made for challenging takeoffs which required long runways—the pilot had to hold the tail low until considerable speed was attained on the initial run.
The sideways-opening can
347th Rescue Group
The United States Air Force's 347th Rescue Group is an active combat search and rescue unit assigned to the 23d Wing at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The 347th Rescue Group directs flying and maintenance of the one of two USAF active-duty Groups dedicated to Combat Search and Rescue. Responsible for training/readiness of 1,100 personnel, including a pararescue squadron, two flying squadrons, an operations support squadron. Deploys worldwide in support of National Command Authority taskings. 38th Rescue SquadronThe 38th Rescue Squadron trains and employs combat-ready pararescue and supporting personnel worldwide in support of U. S. national security interests and NASA. This squadron provides survivor contact and extraction during combat rescue operations, uses various fixed/rotary wing insertion/extraction assets and employs by any means available to provide combat and humanitarian search and medical assistance in all environments. 41st Rescue Squadron The 41st Rescue Squadron maintains combat-ready status as an HH-60G Combat Search and Rescue and Personnel Recovery squadron.
This squadron specializes in combat rescue of downed aircrews using night vision goggles, low-level formation, forward looking infrared cameras, aerial refueling, survivor recovery. Members assigned to this squadron mobilize and employ to provide combat and peacetime search and rescue in support of US national security interests and the NASA Space Shuttle; the 41st Rescue Squadron has all-environment capabilities. 71st Rescue SquadronThe 71st Rescue Squadron maintains combat-ready status with 11 aircraft as one of two active duty HC-130J, combat search and rescue squadrons. This squadron mobilizes and executes CSAR operations worldwide in support of national security interests; this mission requires the squadron to conduct low-level operations and air refueling using night vision goggles and airdrop pararescue personnel in support of combat personnel recovery. 347th Operations Support SquadronThe 347th Operations Support Squadron supports all warfighting operations associated with the Host Rescue Wing and ongoing deployments in support of U.
S. National interests, while developing and training leaders and productive members to ensure spectacular Air Force success. For additional lineage and history, see 347th Rescue Wing Established as 347th Fighter Group on 29 September 1942Activated on 3 October 1942 Inactivated on 1 January 1946Redesignated 347th Fighter Group on 19 December 1946Activated on 20 February 1947 Redesignated: 347th Fighter Group, All Weather, on 10 August 1948 Redesignated: 347th Fighter-All Weather Group on 20 January 1950 Inactivated on 24 June 1950Redesignated: 347th Tactical Fighter Group on 31 July 1985 Redesignated: 347th Operations Group on 1 May 1991Activated on 1 May 1991 Redesignated: 347th Rescue Group on 1 October 2006. 4th Fighter Squadron: 20 February 1947 – 24 June 1950 38th Rescue Squadron: 1 May 2001–present 41st Rescue Squadron: 1 April 1997–present 52d Airlift Squadron: 1 May 1994 – 16 September 1997 67th Fighter Squadron: 3 October 1942 – 1 November 1945 68th Fighter Squadron: 3 October 1942 – 1 November 1945.
Constituted as the 347th Fighter Group on 29 September 1942. Activated in New Caledonia on 3 October 1942. Detachments of the group, assigned to Thirteenth Air Force in January 1943, were sent to Guadalcanal, where they used Bell P-39 and P-400 Airacobra aircraft to fly protective patrols, support ground forces, attack Japanese shipping. Operational squadrons of the 347th FG were the 67th, 68th, 339th Fighter Squadrons; when the Allied campaign to recover the central and northern Solomon Islands began in February 1943, the detachments, still operating from Guadalcanal and using Lockheed P-38 Lightnings and P-39 Airacobras, escorted bombers and attacked enemy bases on New Georgia, the Russell Islands, Bougainville. It was P-38Gs of the 339th Fighter Squadron which, on 18 April 1943, flew the mission which resulted in the death of Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto. Only their aircraft possessed the range to engage. Pilots were informed that they were intercepting an "important high officer," although they were not aware of who their actual target was.
On the morning of 18 April, despite urgings by local commanders to cancel the trip for fear of ambush, Yamamoto's planes left Rabaul as scheduled. Shortly after, eighteen specially fitted P-38s took off from Guadalcanal, they wave-hopped most of the 430 miles to the rendezvous point, maintaining radio silence throughout. At 09:34 Tokyo time, the two flights met and a dogfight ensued between the P-38s and the six Zeroes escorting Yamamoto. 1st Lt. Rex T. Barber engaged the first of the two Japanese bombers, he sprayed the plane with gunfire. Barb
Gallantry Cross (South Vietnam)
The Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross known as the Vietnamese Gallantry Cross or Vietnam Cross of Gallantry is a military decoration of the former Government of South Vietnam. The medal was created on August 15, 1950 and was awarded to military personnel and Armed Forces units and organizations in recognition of deeds of valor or heroic conduct while in combat with the enemy. Individuals who received the medal, a citation were cited at the Armed Forces, Division, Brigade or Regiment level; the Republic of Vietnam authorized members of units and organizations that were cited, to wear the Gallantry Cross Unit Citation Emblem with Palm and Frame. The medal is gold in color, 35 mm wide, it consists of a Celtic cross with two crossed swords between the arms. The cross is superimposed over a wreath; the center of the cross contains a disc with the outline of the country of Vietnam between two palm branches joined at the bottom. A scroll is on top of the map and is inscribed "QUOC-GIA LAO-TUONG"; the suspension ribbon of the medal is 35 mm wide and is made up of the following stripes: 9 mm of Old Glory Red.
The center stripe has sixteen strands of Old Glory Red. DegreesThe Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross was awarded in four degrees, with a basic medal followed by higher degrees which were the equivalent of personal citations on an organizational level; the degrees of the Gallantry Cross are as follows: Gallantry Cross with Palm: cited at the Armed Forces level Gallantry Cross with Gold Star: cited at the Corps level Gallantry Cross with Silver Star: cited at the Division level Gallantry Cross with Bronze Star: cited at the Regiment or Brigade levelRibbon devicesThe devices to the Gallantry Cross are not worn but instead are upgraded to the next higher device which would replace the previous device for wear on the decoration. U. S. Marine Corps uniform regulations in 2003 state the recipient should wear only one Gallantry Cross award regardless of the number received. For multiple awards, wear as many authorized devices as will fit on one medal suspension ribbon or ribbon bar. Wear the devices for subsequent awards in order of seniority from the wearer's right.
The first palm is 6⁄8 inch on the service ribbon. Subsequent palms are 3⁄8 inch on the service ribbon. Stars are 3⁄8 inch. Service versionsThe Gallantry Cross was awarded to members of all military branches, as well as service members of foreign and allied militaries; the named decorations were the Air Gallantry Cross and Navy Gallantry Cross. These decorations were awarded under a different authority, with different criteria, were considered separate decorations; the Unit Citation Emblem of the colors of the Gallantry Cross is awarded to personnel in the South Vietnamese military and Allied military units that have been cited and presented a decoration, prescribed to be awarded on a collective basis. Known as the Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation with Palm, the Unit Citation Emblem in the colors of the Gallantry Cross with Palm, was created on January 20, 1968 and was issued with the Gallantry Cross ribbon bar with a 5⁄32 by 9⁄16 inch bronze palm and a gold frame; the former South Vietnamese military awarded the Gallantry Cross to specific military units that distinguished themselves to the same level as would be required for the individual award.
Regulations for the issuance of the Vietnam Gallantry Cross permit the wearing of both the individual and unit award since both are considered separate awards. The Gallantry Cross was awarded to every Allied nation; the Gallantry Cross became the most awarded Vietnamese decoration to foreigners, second only to the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. FourragereThe South Vietnamese military Fourragere in the colors of the Gallantry Cross represented a military unit cited two times, it was a brilliant golden-yellow, with red intermixed. Department of the Army message 111030Z from April 1974, established the policy that only one emblem for a unit award was authorized to be worn at a time; this change resulted in the fourragere being no longer authorized for wear, as it was representative of multiple awards. U. S. authorizationRepublic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross Unit Citation: U. S. Department of Defense: U. S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam and its subordinate units, 8 Feb 1962 to 28 Mar 1973 U.
S. Army and its subordinate units, 20 July 1965 to 28 Mar 1973 This permits all personnel who served in Vietnam to wear the RVN Gallantry Cross unit citation. Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation. S. Navy and Marine Corps: In addition to specific ships/units, all personnel who served "in country" Vietnam, 8 February 1962 to 28 March 1973; the United States military began authorizing the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross in March 1968 with retroactive presentation of the decoration to 1961. In 1974, Army General Order Number 8 confirmed eligibility for the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and Frame Unit Citation to every military unit of the United States Army which had served under the Military Assistance Command from 1961 to 1974, orders, specific as to dates and units, do exist for specific Army commands as well as for members of other services not affected by the Army General Order. Award requestsThe National Pe