439th Airlift Wing's ancestry harkens back to 1943

  • Published
  • By Dr. Héctor Manuel Torres-Camacho
  • 439th Airlift Wing

The 439th Airlift Wing’s earliest ancestry takes us back to the 439th Troop Carrier Group, which was constituted in 14 May 1943. 

The group, specializing in the C-46 Commando and C-47 Skytrain aircraft, was based in England and dropped paratroopers from the 101st and 82nd airborne divisions in Normandy and Nijmegen.  It later released combat gliders in the Riviera and the Battle of the Bulge, besides providing airlift services through Belgium, England, France, and Germany. 

The group, inactivated on 1 April 1951, was reactivated on 15 June 1952 and allotted to the Reserve as the 439th Fighter-Bomber Group.  By April 1955, it had been incorporated into the 439th Fighter-Bomber Wing.

Emblem: On a blue shield, a brave beaver holding a white bomb marked in black and red, supported by aircraft wings.  On the right wing, the national aircraft markings in their proper colors.

Significance: The beaver stands for the determined and aggressive spirit inherent to the organization.  The bomb and wings symbolize air power, readiness, and vigilance in defense of freedom and the American way of life.