History of the 179th Airlift Wing
Published April 24, 2008
The 164th Fighter Squadron was formed and federally recognized at Mansfield Municipal Airport on 20 June 1948 due to the far- sightedness of community leaders. The community leaders formed an advisory committee chaired by Colonel Alan P. Tappan (owner of Tappan Stove). Their objective was to locate an Air National Guard Unit in Mansfield, Ohio.
The committee received an ultimatum from the Air force: Provided the amount of men required to support a unit, and Mansfield would receive their unit. For three days in May 1948, Mansfield supported a major recruiting drive, thus resulting in the first 353 member unit.
Heir of the 363rd Fighter Squadron which distinguished itself during World War II in the European Theatre of Operations, the 164th included 158 Charter members.
Designing the unit began in 1949 with the construction of the old hanger. At a cost of $640,00, it seemed expensive at the time. The hanger was followed by the supply building, the motorpool, the base operations in 1951.......
History of the 179th Airlift Wing as of 1998
The unit was organized at Mansfield on 20 June 1948 as the 164th Fighter Squadron, with 30 officers and 115 airmen. Predecessor units can be traced back to the 363rd Fighter Squadron of World War II, which was originally activated on 1 December 1942 and saw combat in the European Theater of Operations. The 164th received F-51D Mustang fighters, a B-26 Invader attack bomber, and a C-47 transport. In 1953 the unit entered the jet age with the arrival of the F-80A Shooting Star, which was subsequently replaced by the F-84E and F-84F.
On 10 November 1958 the unit was redesignated the 164th Tactical Fighter Squadron. It was called to active duty on 1 October 1961 during the Berlin Crisis and contributed personnel and equipment to the 7121st Tactical Fighter Wing stationed at Etain Air Base, France. In August 1962, the unit was released from active duty and reverted to the control of the State of Ohio. Shortly thereafter, on 19 October 1962, the unit was redesignated the 179th Tactical Fighter Group, with the Fighter Squadron retaining the original 164th designation.
An impressive air show marked the dedication of a new administration building on 9 September 1967. The building was named in honor of Brigadier General Frank P. Lahm. In 1972 the unit was converted to the newer and faster F-100 aircraft.
The unit closed out its tactical fighter mission on 5 January 1976, after eight years and eight months of accident-free flying in jet fighter aircraft. At that time it was redesignated as a Tactical Airlift Group and equipped with eight C-130B aircraft.
The years 1990 and 1991 were another transitional period. The last C-130B model aircraft left the base on 30 November 1990 to make way for the new C-130H "Hercules" models which came in April 1991.
Effective 16 March 1992, the 179th Tactical Airlift Group was redesignated the 179th Airlift Group (AG) as a result of the reorganization in the Air Force and the Air National Guard. On 1 October 1995 the 179th Airlift Group was redesignated again to become the 179th Airlift Wing (AW).
The 179th AW has been the recipient of many awards, decorations, and recognitions, including the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. Recently the 179th AW received the Alan P. Tappan Memorial Trophy, which designates the outstanding Air National Guard unit in the State of Ohio; and the Rusty Metcalf Award, which acknowledges the unit as one of the best in the entire Air Force. The 179 AW was recognized for its high level of professionalism in military activities and training, minority participation, community relations, and other areas. The unit completed its 34th year of accident-free flying in 2001.