|477th Fighter Group
477th Fighter Group - F-22A Raptor
|Active||1943; 1944-1947; 2007-present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Force Reserve Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska|
|Decorations||Air Force Outstanding Unit Award|
|Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.|
|477th Fighter Group emblem (approved 5 October 2007)|
|477th Bombardment Group emblem|
|Fighter||Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor|
The 477th Fighter Group is an Air Reserve unit of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the Tenth Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The 477th FG is an associate unit of the 3d Wing of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), and if mobilized the wing is gained by PACAF.
The 477th Fighter Group was reactivated on 1 October 2007 as the first Air Force Reserve unit to fly, maintain, and support the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor. The group is an associate unit responsible for recruiting, training, developing and retaining Citizen Airmen to support 3d Wing and Air Force expeditionary unit mission requirements.
The 477th Fighter Group provides a combat-ready force of approximately 425 Air Reserve Technicians, Traditional Reservists, and civil servants assigned to the following squadrons:
The men and women of the 477th Fighter Group will functionally integrate with their active duty Air Force partners in almost all F-22A mission areas to increase efficiency and overall combat capability while retaining Reserve administrative support and career enhancement. The 477th Fighter Group will leverage the traditional Reserve Component strengths of experience and continuity to fly, and fight, and win as Unrivaled Wingmen on the Total Force team at Elmendorf.
The 477th was originally established in May 1943 at MacDill Field, Florida as the United States Army Air Forces 477th Bombardment Group (Medium). Assigned to Third Air Force, the group trained with Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers. The unit was subsequently inactivated on 25 August 1943.
The 477th was reactivated as the 477th Composite Group at Selfridge Field, Michigan on 15 January 1944 and assigned to First Air Force. The 477th's new mission was to train what would become the legendary World War II African-American aviators known as the Tuskegee Airmen with Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters and North American B-25 Mitchell bombers. During World War II, continued pressure from African-American civilian leaders led the Army to let blacks train as members of bomber crews, a step that opened many more skilled combat roles to them.
The morale of the 477th was poor because the field was not suited to use by the B-25 and because black officers, including combat veterans of the 332d Fighter Group who had transferred to the bomber unit, were not being advanced to command positions. By early 1945, however, the 477th reached its full combat strength. It was scheduled to enter combat on 1 July, which made it necessary to relocate once more, this time to Freeman Field, a base fully suited to use the B-25.
At Freeman Field, the Freeman Field Mutiny took place as a result of racial discrimination. As a result of the protest, the 477th was relocated back to Godman Field. Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., took command on 1 July, and black officers replaced white officers in lower command and supervisory positions. Training was to be completed by 31 August, but the war ended on 14 August with Japan's surrender.
Never deployed in combat, the 477th was downsized when the war ended. In 1946, it was reassigned to Lockbourne Army Air Base, Ohio. On 1 July 1947, the 477th was inactivated.