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516th Air Defense Group

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Title: 516th Air Defense Group  
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Subject: 35th Air Division, McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Willow Run Air Force Station, Bendix AN/FPS-14 Radar, Bendix AN/FPS-18 Radar
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516th Air Defense Group

516th Air Defense Group
North American F-86D Sabre as flown by the 516th Air Defense Group
Active 1945; 1953–1955
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Air Defense
Part of Air Defense Command
Motto Up and at 'Em
Patch showing the 516th Air Defense Group Emblem

The 516th Air Defense Group is a disbanded 35th Air Division at McGhee Tyson Airport, Tennessee. It was inactivated on 18 August 1955.

The group was originally activated as a support unit for the 460th Bombardment Group at the end of World War II in Italy and then redeployed to the Caribbean, where it supported units redeploying from the European Theater until it was inactivated in 1945.

The group was activated once again in 1953, when ADC established it as the headquarters for a dispersed fighter-interceptor squadron and the medical, maintenance, and administrative squadrons supporting it. It was replaced in 1955 when ADC transferred its mission, equipment, and personnel to the 355th Fighter Group in a project that replaced air defense groups commanding fighter squadrons with fighter groups with distinguished records during World War II.


World War II

The Army Air Forces (AAF) support groups in which the AAF replaced Service Groups that included personnel from other branches of the Army and supported two combat groups with Air Service Groups including only Air Corps units. The unit was designed to support a single combat group.[2] Its 942nd Air Engineering Squadron provided maintenance that was beyond the capability of the combat group, its 766th Air Materiel Squadron handled all supply matters, and its Headquarters & Base Services Squadron provided other support.[2] Supported the 460th Bombardment Group in Italy,[3] then moved to Trinidad and supported flying units redeploying from Europe to the United States until the group was inactivated in the Caribbean. It was disbanded in 1948.[4]

Cold War

105th Fighter Squadron
F-47N[note 1]

During the squadrons to perform its support responsibilities.[7][8]

The 469th FIS replaced its "Thunderbolts" with North American F-86 Sabre jet aircraft in July 1953[6] In March 1954, the 469th FIS was joined by the 460th FIS, flying HVAR rocket armed and airborne intercept radar equipped "Sabres".[6][9] The group was inactivated[5] and replaced by the 355th Fighter Group (Air Defense) in 1955[10][11] as part of ADC's Project Arrow, which was designed to bring back on the active list the fighter units which had compiled memorable records in the two world wars.[12] The group was disbanded again in 1984.[13]


  • Constituted as 516th Air Service Group
Activated on 25 Jan 1945
Inactivated on 26 Sep 1945
Disbanded on 8 Oct 1948
  • Reconstituted and redesignated 516th Air Defense Group on 21 Jan 1953
Activated on 16 Feb 1953
Inactivated on 18 August 1955
Disbanded on 27 Sep 1984


  • Unknown, 25 Jan 1945 - 1945 (probably XV Air Force Service Command)
  • Caribbean Division, Air Transport Command, 1945 - 26 Sep 1945
  • 35th Air Division, 1 January 1952 – 18 August 1955[5]


  • Spinazzola Airfield, Italy 26 Jan 1945 - ca. March 1945[1]
  • Garagnone, Italy, ca. March 1945 - ca June 1945[3]
  • Waller Field, Trinidad ca. June 1945 - 26 Sep 1945
  • McGhee Tyson Airport, Tennessee, 16 Feb 1953 – 18 August 1955



  • Republic F-47D Thunderbolt, 1953
  • Republic F-47N Thunderbolt, 1953
  • North American F-86A Sabre, 1953-1954
  • North American F-86D Sabre, 1954-1955


  • Lt Col. Robert L. Wehr, 25 January 1945 - March 1945[1][3]
  • Lt Col. D. Ross Ellis, March 1945 - 1945
  • Unknown 16 February 1953 - 18 August 1955

See also



Explanatory Notes

  1. ^ When the 105th FIS was returned to the control of the Air National Guard on 1 December 1952, its F-47s were transferred to the 469th FIS, which continued to fly them until equipping with F-86s.


  1. ^ a b c "Abstract, History of 516th Air Service Group Feb 1945". Air Force History Index. Retrieved January 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Coleman, p. 208
  3. ^ a b c "Abstract, History of 516th Air Service Group Mar 1945". Air Force History Index. Retrieved January 6, 2012. 
  4. ^ Department of the Air Force Letter, 322 (AFOOR 887e), 8 October 1948, Subject: Disbandment of Certain Inactive Air Force Units
  5. ^ a b c Cornett & Johnson, p. 82
  6. ^ a b c d e Cornett & Johnson, p. 129
  7. ^ a b Cornett & Johnson, p.147
  8. ^ a b See "Abstract, History 516 Infirmary, Jan-Jun 1955". Air Force History Index. Retrieved June 20, 2012. 
  9. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 567
  10. ^ Maurer, Combat Units, p. 237
  11. ^ Robertson, Patsy (November 8, 2011). "Factsheet 355 Fighter Wing (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 
  12. ^ Buss, Sturm, Volan & McMullen, p.6
  13. ^ Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 575q, 27 Sep 1984, Subject: Disbandment of Units
  14. ^ Robertson, Patsy (2011-06-21). "Factsheet 469 Flying Training Squadron (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved March 3, 2012. 


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Buss, Lydus H.(ed), Sturm, Thomas A., Volan, Denys, and McMullen, Richard F., History of Continental Air Defense Command and Air Defense Command July to December 1955, Directorate of Historical Services, Air Defense Command, Ent AFB, CO, (1956)
  • Coleman, John M (1950). The Development of Tactical Services in the Army Air Forces. New York, NY: Columbia University Press. 
  • Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946–1980. Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. 
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History.  
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History.  

Further Reading

External links

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