The 932nd Airlift Wing is an Air Force Reserve unit located at Scott Air Force Base, Illinois. Designated the "Gateway Wing" because of its close, 30 minute drive to the Gateway Arch on the Mississippi riverfront at St. Louis, the 932nd AW is aligned under 22nd Air Force and the command headquarters is Air Force Reserve Command, Robins AFB, Georgia.
The 932nd AW headquarters has four groups assigned with eight supporting squadrons. The groups are the 932nd Operations Group, 932nd Medical Group, 932nd Maintenance Group, and the 932nd Mission Support Group. The subordinate units assigned to the Operations Group are the 73rd Airlift Squadron , the 932nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, the 932nd Operations Support Flight and the 12th Operations Weather Flight. Subordinate units under the Medical Group include the 932nd Aerospace Medicine Flight, the 932nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron, and the 932nd Medical Squadron. The Maintenance Group's subordinate units are the 932nd Maintenance Squadron, the 932nd Maintenance Operations Flight, and the 932nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. The Mission Support Group subordinate units include the 932nd Civil Engineer Squadron, the 932nd Mission Support Flight, and the 932nd Services Flight. The elements of the wing headquarters include the command chief master sergeant, financial management, chaplain, historian, wing plans, performance planning, safety, military equal opportunity, and judge advocate offices.
The wing is composed primarily of residents from the greater St. Louis area and 36 states. There are reservists in the wing that travel from as far away as New York, Texas, Colorado, Alaska, and Arizona. Personnel train one weekend each month and perform an annual 2-week tour as a unit or individually throughout the year.
The ancestry of the 932nd Airlift Wing dates back to World War II, which included participation in several campaigns. The 932nd AW's predecessor, the 73rd Troop Carrier Squadron, was awarded the "Distinguished Unit Citation" for its involvement in the D-Day and Normandy invasion. Three of its pilots were awarded the Purple Heart.
The 73rd TCS was constituted on 30 January 1943. Ten days later it was activated and assigned to the 434th Troop Carrier Group, stationed at Alliance Army Air Field, Nebraska, until September 1943, when it was moved to Baer Field Indiana. Follow-ing WWII, the 73rd TCS was inactivated on 31 July 1946. A year later, 1 August 1947, it was activated as a reserve component, assigned to the 434th TCG and stationed at to Lunken Airport, Ohio.
Elsewhere, in Southern Illinois, following World War II, several pilots from Illinois and Missouri resumed their military training as reservists at Scott Field. Flying P-51 Mustangs, they were supported and trained by an active duty organization, the 139th Army Air Force Base Unit. Eventually, the P-51s were replaced with AT-6s, AT-7s and AT-11s.
On 28 August 1948, the 139th AAFBU was redesignated the 2469th Air Force Reserve Pilot Training Center, and C-46s, B-26s and C-47s were added to the inventory. In the same year, Scott Field was redesignated Scott Air Force Base. For nearly a decade thereafter, the 2469th conducted training for several units, including the 928th Reserve Training Wing, the 419th Troop Carrier Wing, and the 8711th Pilot Training Wing.
On 1 July 1949, the 73rd TCS was redesignated the 73rd TCS (Medium) and transferred to Atterbury AFB, Ind.
During the Korean War, the unit was ordered to active duty on 1 May 1951 and sent to Lawson AFB, Ga., to train on the C-46. The 73rd remained at Lawson until 1 February 1953, when it returned to Reserve status at Atterbury. On 24 March 1954, the 73rd was inactivated. The 73rd TCS (Medium) was reactivated as a reserve unit on 8 June 1957 and was assigned to the 434th TCG and stationed at Dress Memorial Airport, Ind.
Five months later, on 16 November 1957, the 73rd TCS (Medium) unit was transferred to Scott AFB, Ill., as a detachment of the 434th TCG and attached to the 2469th Pilot Training Center at Scott. The 73rd arrived at Scott on the heels of the first shipment of C-119s and began training in the aircraft popularly dubbed the "Flying Boxcar". In 1958, the training of reservists was placed un-der the control of the new Air Reserve Technician (ART) program.
The year 1959 was a strategic one. With the inactivation of the 2469th, the 73rd Troop Carrier Squadron (Medium) stood up at Scott and took control of its own affairs, still assigned to the 434th TCG at Bakalar AFB, Indiana, but no longer merely a detach-ment.
One of the 73rd TCS's accomplishments was its unique role in the US space program in the early 1960's - performing mid-air catches of nose-cone capsules as they were returning from space by parachute. This tedious assignment required specialized training in three 3-model C-119s called the "Beavertail."
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 73rd TCS was among 38 Reserve units ordered to active duty status by President Kennedy on 28 October 1962. However, the unit remained at Scott and supported operations to the Dominican Republic. It was relieved of active duty status 30 days later.
On 11 February 1963 the 932nd Troop Carrier Group (Medium) was constituted and activated at Scott AFB and assigned to the 434th TCG at Bakalar AFB, Ind. Under the same special order, the 73rd TCS was assigned to the 932nd TCG.
The 932nd TCG continued to fly the C-119. They participated in several operations and exercises in support of the Tactical Air Command, including stateside missions in OPERATION CHRISTMAS STAR. This November 1965 operation involved airlifting holiday gifts for servicemen in Vietnam.
On 1 October 1966, the 932nd TCG was released from assignment to the 434th TCW and reassigned to the 442nd Military Airlift Wing at Richards-Gebaur AFB, Missouri, in preparation for heavy cargo operations.
Subsequently, the 932nd TCG was redesignated the 932nd Military Airlift Group on 1 April 1967 and reassigned to the Military Airlift Command. Mission aircraft became the C-124 Globemaster. Aircrews were tasked to fly personnel and equipment over an area ranging from Labrador to the Caribbean, to many bases throughout Europe, to Vietnam.
In mid-1969, a new designation, the 932nd Aeromedical Airlift Group, reflected a new mission. Since that time, the group has augmented the active duty 375th Airlift Wing, flying its C-9A Nightingales (the military version of the DC-9 jetliner), airlifting patients throughout the continental United States.
As an associate group, the 932nd aircrews and medical crews serve alongside their active duty counterparts on aeromedical missions. Most of the missions have integrated crews, part Reserve and part active, while some are entirely Reserve.
In 1975, aircrew members participated in OPERATION HOMECOMING, the project which airlifted former Vietnam prisoners of war to their destinations within the United States.
From August 1981 to August 1984, along with their active duty counterparts, crews airlifted over 500 Vietnam veterans to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to participate in a special head injury study.
In 1987 the 13th Contingency Hospital participated in a real-life emergency crisis when a crippled Trans World Airlines jet made an emergency landing at Scott AFB.
In 1989, the aircrews, along with their active duty counterparts, were called upon for OPERATION JUST CAUSE, flying pa-tients stateside.
In December 1990, the first contingent of the 932nd to be mobilized during the Persian Gulf War was the civil engineering squadron's firefighters. The firemen augmented the firehouse at Scott. Three more 932nd units were mobilized the next month--the 52nd Aeromedical Patient Staging Squadron, the 932nd USAF Clinic, and the 13th USAF Contingency Hospital. The 52nd APSS deployed 96 medical personnel to Saudi Arabia; the 13th deployed 164 to Oman; while the rest of the hospitals medical per-sonnel augmented Scott's USAF Medical Center along with the 932nd Clinic.
In February 1991, three more units were called to serve in the war--the 73rd Aeromedical Airlift Squadron, the 73rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, and the 932nd Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (now 932nd Maintenance Squadron). Their call-up was to help with the anticipated war casualties.
Altogether, 81 percent of the 932nd was mobilized for the war. Twenty-nine percent deployed to the Middle East; 16 percent deployed in continental US hospitals; and 55 percent remained at Scott augmenting the active duty forces. Although members of the group's headquarters staff were not mobilized, except for three reservists from the chaplain's office, they provided day-to-day guidance and support functions.
In the summer of 1993, scores of 932nd AAG personnel volunteered to help provide relief to victims of the Great Mississippi River Flood.
In October 1994, the 932nd Aeromedical Airlift Group became the 932nd Airlift Wing and was aligned directly under 4th Air Force, then at McClellan AFB, California.
In June 1996, Reservists from the 932nd AES and 73rd AS volunteered to fly to Eglin AFB, Fla., where they picked up wounded Air Force personnel from the June 1996 bombing in Dhahrah, Saudi Arabia, that killed 19 servicemen and wounded several hun-dred others. In September of that same year, 25 medical reservists from the 932nd CH deployed to Honduras for the fourth time in three years to perform physicals and minor medical treatment to Hondurans.
In January 1997, overseas trainers were added to the 932 AW's mission. In June of the same year, the Civil Engineer Squadron rendered aid to flood victims at Grand Forks, N.D.
In 1998, the 932nd AW joined in the Air Force's 50th Anniversary celebration; the 932nd has flown 13 different aircraft from the P51 to the C-9. In November 1998, one med-evac crew from the 932nd was tasked for indirect support of victims of Hurricane Georges. That same month, the new $2.4 million, 16,800-square foot Medical Training Facility was dedicated.
In January 1999, EOD personnel from the 932nd CES were deployed to St. Louis in anticipation of the visit by Pope John Paul II, and in April 1999, two more EOD people deployed to Washington DC for NATO's 50th Anniversary Summit. In May 1999, twenty 932 AW personnel deployed to Europe during the Kosovo Crisis in support of NATO's OPERATION ALLIED FORCE. In June 1999, a C-9 Nightingale crew made up of Reserve and active duty personnel took a last minute flight to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to pick up and transport injured military personnel after a traffic accident.
In September 2001, six C-9 Nightingale aircraft with twelve crews made up of Reserve and active duty personnel provided an aeromedical evacuation option for personnel wounded in the terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Half of the C-9s were flown by 73rd AS pilots.
During 2001-2004, a variety of job specialties were activated for the war on terrorism, including all the wing's security forces and many of the medical specialists. Reservists were and are being sent throughout the world to work side by side with active duty and relieve a high operations tempo.
In October 2003, the 932nd Airlift Wing became unit equipped when, by direction of Congress, three C-9A's were retired from active duty and turned over to the wing .
In 2005 the 932nd Airlift Wing received it's first C-9C aircraft to perform distinguished visitors airlift.
On February 26, 2007, the Illinois Air Force Reserve wing received the first of four C-40C aircraft direct from the the assembly line in Seattle. A ceremony was held at the base to celebrate the historical event and welcome the plane.
In early 2007, the Air Force Reserve Command officials announced that
the 932nd Airlift Wing has been selected as a winner of the 2006 Air
Force Outstanding Unit Award.
In 2005, the Saint Louis USO gave an award to a member of the 932nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron as part of their Salute To Heroes program...for exceptional achievement and extraordinary contribution to the United States Armed Forces. The 2004 Outstanding Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron, with C-130 as the primary aircraft, was awarded to the 932nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron. The 932nd AW received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for "exceptional meritorious service in support of military operations" in 1971,1973, 1977, 1982, 1988, 1994 and 2002. The 932nd Aeromedical Staging Squadron has been twice named Air Force Reserve Command's Outstanding ASTS Unit, in 1994 and 1996. The 932nd Maintenance Squadron received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award in 1998. Presented the National Safety Council Award of Honor for 1994 and 1995. The Air Mobility Command has presented the wing 17 Flight Safety Awards for accident-free flying. Presented the 15th Air Force Aircrew Excellence Award in 1999 and 2003.
In addition to representing the Air Force Reserve in their local communities, members of the 932nd AW conduct service projects including such drives as blood, food, toy and purchases for non-profit organizations. The wing can be seen in several major parades throughout the year. The 932nd Medical Squadron performs yearly physicals on homeless veterans in St. Louis in conjunction with the VA Hospital, while 932nd Services Squadron members in the past have prepared and served meals to the veterans.
CONTACTS FOR EACH GROUP:
Acting 932nd Wing Commander: Col. Michael Cruff
932nd Operations Group- Commander: Col. Michael Maloney (618-229-7100)
932nd Medical Group: Col. Christopher Matlack (618-229-7492)
- 73rd Airlift Squadron
- 932nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron
- 932nd Operations Support Flight
- 12th Operations Weather Flight
932nd Maintenance Group- Commander: (618-256-3511)
- 932nd Aerospace MedicineSquadron
- 932nd Aeromedica Staging Squadron
- 932nd Medical Squadron
932nd Mission Support Group- Commander: Col. Lance Turner (618-229-7300)
- 932nd Maintenance Squadron
- 932nd Maintenance Operations Flight
- 932nd Civil Engineer Squadron
- 932nd Force Support Squadron
- 932nd Security Forces Squadron
- 932nd Services Flight
- 932nd Logistics Readiness Flight
- <932nd Military Personnel Flight
Please contact the 932nd HISTORY OFFICE to update and or provide squadron historical information, reports and physical items (flags, plaques, etc.) for archiving in the history office.