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507th Air Refueling Wing


507th Air Refueling Wing

507th Air Refueling Wing
A 465th ARS KC-135R refuels an F-22A from the 90th FS near Guam, 2010.
Active 12 October 1944 — present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Wing
Role Air Refueling
Size 1,500 Personnel
Part of   Air Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQ Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma
Tail Code Blue tail stripe "Tinker" in yellow


  • World War II
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (1944–1945)
Decorations DUC
Colonel Russell Muncy
507th Air Refueling Wing emblem
Aircraft flown
Tanker KC-135 Stratotanker

The 507th Air Refueling Wing (507 ARW) is an Air Reserve Component (ARC) of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the Fourth Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, stationed at Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. If mobilized, the Wing is gained by the Air Mobility Command.


  • Overview 1
  • Units 2
  • History 3
    • World War II 3.1
    • Cold War 3.2
    • Air Force Reserve 3.3
    • BRAC 2005 3.4
    • Lineage 3.5
    • Assignments 3.6
    • Components 3.7
    • Stations 3.8
    • Aircraft 3.9
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The 507th Air Refueling Wing supports Air Mobility Command’s airlift and air refueling requirements, United States Strategic Command’s (USSTRATCOM) Single Integrated Operational Plan (SIOP) requirements, including overseas deployment, in times of peace, war, and national emergency as well as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight inspection requirements.

The 507th employs approximately 996 men and women. Approximately 210 members of the 507th are Air Reserve Technicians (ARTs) who serve as a full-time support cadre along with civilian employees and traditional reservists.


The 507th Air Refueling Wing consists of the following major units:

  • 507th Operations Group
465th Air Refueling Squadron
  • 507th Maintenance Group
  • 507th Mission Support Group
  • 507th Medical Squadron


World War II

The 507th Fighter Group was organized in Bruning AAF, Nebraska, in 1944. At least one of the pilots (1st Lt. Walter R. Frederick) re-enlisted after putting in 300 hours in the European theatre. On 12 December 1944, the 507th was reassigned to Dalhart AAF, near Dalhart, Texas. There the group's personnel received intensive training from its war-trained pilots in preparation for assignment to the Pacific Theatre. For four months they received combat training for long-range escort, strafing, and dive-bombing. The 507th Fighter group had three casualties during training: Second Lt. Glenn W. Dexler, Second Lt. Alden L. Kaylor, and Flight Officer Jack F. Anderson.

Following months of delays, the 507th arrived in the Pacific Theater, being assigned to Ie Shima in the Ryukyu Islands on 28 June 1945 from Saipan/Tinian. The group was assigned to the Twentieth Air Force VII Fighter Command, 301st Fighter Wing.

The 507th flew from Tinian to Saipan on 27 June so as to have a long runway for the fuel load needed to get to Ie Shima. On 1 July 1945 it began flying airstrikes from Ie Shima, targeting enemy ships, railroad bridges, airfields, factories, and barracks in Japan, Korea, and China. On 8 August 1945 the group escorted B-29 bombers on a raid, shooting down several Japanese fighters.

The group earned a Distinguished Unit Citation for outstanding performance in engaging and destroying Japanese interceptor aircraft during a long-range fighter sweep to Korea on 13 August 1945.

The 507th Fighter Group had ninety-five P-47s and 150 pilots. Between flying their first combat mission on 1 July and war's end on 15 August, the pilots logged over 8700 combat hours. They destroyed thirty-eight aircraft in the air, fired over 600,000 rounds of 50-caliber ammunition, dropped more than 480,000 pounds of CP bombs, 70,000 gallons of napalm firebombs and consumed a million gallons of gasoline.

During these forty-six days of combat, the 507th flew forty-six missions: 1492 sorties, 367 bomber escorts, 178 photo escorts, and 115 dumbo escorts. The group also flew 351 dive bombing sorties, 254 napalm firebomb sorties and 135 fighter sweeps. Pilots averaged 55.8 combat hours and 9½ completed sorties.

With the end of the war, the 507th was reassigned to Yontan Air Base, Okinawa in January 1946. It was inactivated on 27 May 1946.

The names of those in the 507th Fighter Group who made the ultimate sacrifice are: First Lt. George W. Bradley, Second Lt. Willis E. Bean, Capt. Lanham C. Connally, First Lt. Walter R. Frederick, Second Lt. Earl G. Graham, Flight Officer Paul Lynn, Flight Officer Joseph B. Lawhon, Flight Officer Neal T. McGinnis, First Lt. Frank W. Mrneck, and First Lt. John R. Ranger.

The 507th Fighter Group was awarded the Asiatic – Pacific ribbon with three battle stars -China Offensive, Ryukus Campaign and the Air Offensive Japan Campaign. The 507th also received the Presidential Unit Citation. Many of their pilots received the Air Medal.

Cold War

438th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron Convair F-102A-80-CO Delta Dagger 56-1499 507th Fighter Group, Kincheloe AFB, Michigan, July 1958

From August 1955 to September 1968, the 507th served in an air defense role, training with interceptor aircraft and participating in various exercises. It trained for tactical fighter missions, participating in numerous tactical, joint, and combined exercises, May 1972-March 1973 and October 1975-September 1994.

Air Force Reserve

The 507th was transferred to the Air Force Reserve and activated on 17 October 1975. It was the first Air Force Reserve group to participate in Red Flag exercises (1978), and the first to deploy to Turkey for an annual tour (1982).

It converted in 1994 from fighter to worldwide air refueling operations. From March 1996 to April 1997, the wing also controlled the 513th Air Control Group, the only Reserve organization flying the E-3 Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) aircraft.

BRAC 2005

Wing aircraft on the parking apron at Tinker AFB

In its 2005 BRAC Recommendations, DoD realigned Will Rogers AGS by relocating the 137th Airlift Wing (ANG) to Tinker AFB and associate with the 507th Air Refueling Wing (AFR). Associating the ANG operation at Will Rogers (64-airlift) with the AFR operation at Tinker (4-tanker) would consolidate and streamline Air Force reserve component operations in Oklahoma City at a base of high military value.

In another recommendation, DoD recommended to realign Portland IAP AGS, OR. It would realign the 939th Air Refueling Wing (AFR) by distributing the wing’s KC-135R aircraft to the 507th Air Refueling Wing (AFR), Tinker AFB, OK (four aircraft) and another installation. Operations and maintenance manpower for four aircraft from the 939th Air Refueling Wing would be realigned with the aircraft to Tinker AFB. This recommendation would realign Portland's KC-135R tanker aircraft to Tinker(4) because of its higher military value than Portland (71) for the tanker mission. It would remain operationally effective due to their proximity to air refueling missions. This recommendation would also robust the Reserve squadron size at Tinker. Finally, an Air National Guard and Reserve KC-135 unit association would be established at Tinker to access Reserve experience and maximize regional Reserve participation in the aerial refueling mission.


  • Established as 507th Fighter Group on 5 October 1944
Activated on 12 October 1944
Inactivated on 27 May 194
  • Re-designated as 507th Fighter Group (Air Defense) on 20 June 1955
Activated on 18 August 1955
Discontinued, and inactivated, on 1 February 1961
  • Re-designated as 507th Tactical Fighter Group on 4 May 1972
Activated in the Reserve on 20 May 1972
Inactivated on 25 March 1973
  • Activated in the Reserve on 17 October 1975
Consolidated (31 January 1984) with the 507th Fighter Wing (Air Defense)
Established, and activated, on 28 December 1960
Organized on 1 February 1961, assuming assets of 507th Fighter Group (Air Defense) (Inactivated)
Inactivated on 30 September 1968
Consolidated organization retained designation 507th Tactical Fighter Group
Re-designated as: 507th Fighter Group on 1 February 1992
Re-designated as: 507th Air Refueling Group on 1 April 1994
Status changed from Group to Wing, 1 October 1994
Re-designated as: 507th Air Refueling Wing on 1 October 1994
507th Operations Group established, assigned as subordinate unit, and activated in the Reserve, on 1 October 1994
Re-designated as: 507th Wing on 15 March 1996
Re-designated as: 507th Air Refueling Wing on 1 August 1997







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

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • 507th Air Refueling Wing Factsheet
  • 507 ARW Home Page
  • World War II on Ie Shima

External links

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