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Happy Birthday 36th Wing and Andersen

Two maintenance Airmen look at a 29th Bomb Group B-29 Superfortress with nose art dedication to the Seabees at North Field, previous name for Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in July 1945. Aircrews flew hundreds of strategic daytime bombing missions from bases in the Marianas until the end of the World War II in August 1945. (U.S. Air Force photo from the 36th Wing history archives/Released)

Airmen from the "Fightin' 36" gather with bottles of French Champagne, gifts from Gen George S. Patton, in France in Sept. 1944. The 36th Wing began as the 36th Fighter Group flying missions over western Europe in World War II. (36th Wing history archives)(U.S. Air Force photo from the 36th Wing history archives/Released)

Airmen from the "Fightin' 36" gather with bottles of French Champagne, gifts from Gen George S. Patton, in France in Sept. 1944. The 36th Wing began as the 36th Fighter Group flying missions over western Europe in World War II. (36th Wing history archives)(U.S. Air Force photo from the 36th Wing history archives/Released)

Two maintenance Airmen look at a 29th Bomb Group B-29 Superfortress with nose art dedication to the Seabees at North Field, previous name for Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, in July 1945. Aircrews flew hundreds of strategic daytime bombing missions from bases in the Marianas until the end of the World War II in August 1945. (U.S. Air Force photo from the 36th Wing history archives/Released)

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam -- The first week of February is a special time for Andersen Air Force Base and the 36th Wing.

This year probably meant more than others because it was the 75th Anniversary of the 36th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) activation on February 1, 1940, and the 70th Anniversary of North Field, Guam's opening on Feb. 3, 1945.  As you can see those names don't exactly match up to our unit names today because things were just a little bit different over 70 years ago.

How different? Well, there wasn't a U.S. Air Force yet, so our birthday recipients were born or activated in the U.S. Army Air Corps, or in the case of North Field, the Army Air Forces.  The 36th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) was activated through a series of events after World War II began in Europe in 1939. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for 50,000 aircraft to be built a year, those aircraft, Airmen, and equipment needed to be organized into units.  Many of the current wings in the USAF today can trace their lineage back to Army air groups that fought in WWII.  Later, those same groups' lineage and honors earned during WWII were bestowed onto the wings, after the birth of the new Air Force on September 17, 1947.

Just before the liberation of Guam, the 36th Fighter Group flew its first combat mission on May 8, 1944, in the European theater.  They supported D-Day landings at Normandy in June 1944 and breakthrough at St. Lo, France in July 1944.  The unit acquired the nickname of the "Fightin' 36" while assisting Gen. George Patton's 3rd Army across Europe.  The unit also played a key role in the Battle of the Bulge, December 1944, and supported operations during airborne assault across the Rhine river in March 1945. Coincidently, the war in Europe ended exactly one year after the 36th's first combat mission on May 8, 1945. In those 364 days, the group flew 1,060 missions, 6,947 sorties, and moved airfields eight times. The Fightin' 36 also suffered 85 casualties: 48 missing in action, 25 killed in action, and 12 prisoners of war. In addition, the 36th laid claim to a great deal of battle damage including: 42 aircraft destroyed in the air, 250 aircraft destroyed on the ground, 262 armored vehicles, 420 locomotives, 2,868 railcars, 4,882 motor transports, 848 buildings, 309 gun emplacements, and 129 vessels.

Meanwhile on Guam, North Field was carved out of the jungle and limestone in an area known as Savana Grande, Yigo. The field was built out of necessity to strike the islands of Japan with the AAF's new B-29 Superfortress and to hopefully end the war as soon as possible.  North Field was the third of five B-29 combat airfields built. The next two were Isley Field, Saipan and North Field Tinian. The two after were West Field, Tinian and Northwest Field, Guam. The base wing at the time, 314th Bombardment Wing, would fly their first B-29 combat mission from North Field on February 25, 1945.  The 314 BW's subordinate units (19th, 29th, 39th, and 330th Bomb Groups) conducted 96 combat bombing missions over Japan.  There were daylight raids against strategic objectives, bombing aircraft factories, chemical plants, oil refineries and other targets. These units also participated in several incendiary raids on Tokyo and other Japanese cities. Immediately after the end of the war, the 314 BW aircraft also carried supplies to American prisoners of war.

After WWII, both the 36th Fighter Group and North Field, Guam went through many transfigurations. The 36th endured through many re-designations while being the "tip of the spear" at Bitburg Air Base, Germany, throughout the Cold War. Whereas North Field would change names many times until finally becoming Andersen AFB in 1949.  Andersen AFB continued to have an important mission as the only strategic bomber base in the Western Pacific during the Cold War. Plus, it fought another war flying B-52 Stratofortresses off those same  WW II runways for the duration of Operation Arc Light from 1965 to 1973. It must have been destiny to bring these two historic USAF units together in 1994. 

The 70th Birthday of Andersen AFB was commemorated during last year's Air Force Ball on September 13, 2014, called the "70th Liberation Day, The Dawn of Pacific Airpower on Guam" and the 36th Wing's birthday was celebrated during the Wing's Annual Awards Banquet on  Feb. 6, 2015. 

If interested in reading more about the history of the wing and the base please read the Andersen Heritage Pamphlet on the Andersen webpage:  http://www.andersen.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-140814-001.pdf.

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Not just a right - It's your responsibility. #Vote
Tomorrow (Jan 31st) CE Customer Service and both Andersen Family and Unaccompanied Housing Offices will be closed from 11 A.M.–4 P.M. For emergencies, please see additional information below: CE Customer Service: For any emergency issues, please call 366-2916/2917/2918. All other non-emergency issues can be sent to the CE Customer Service email org box at 36ces.service@us.af.mil. Housing Office: For any urgent Housing matters, please call 366-6240 or 653-4731. Normal operating hours will resume Monday, 3 February. Thank you, 36th Civil Engineer Squadron
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Every flight starts with planning! And a trip to Aircrew Flight Equipment. AFE Airmen maintain equipment used by pilots, which are essential for survival capabilities. AFE Airmen provide direct support to the Continuous Bomber Presence. Thanks, AFE!
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Exercise the very right you protect - your right to vote! We can help with registering to vote, requesting an absentee ballot and notifying your local election officials back home of a change of address. Below is Voter Registration application, Absentee Ballot Request form (SF-76), and mailing address. This form is for Uniformed Service members, family members of voting age, DoD civilians, and citizens residing outside the United States. You may access many voting related questions and answers on the FVAP website at http://www.fvap.gov. Please click the link below to access the direct-to-voter training video which goes through the process step by step. https://www.fvap.gov/militaryhowto If you have any questions please contact your designated squadron UVAO or IVAO at DSN: 366-8137 or email: Andersen.vote@us.af.mil
Congratulations to Staff Sgt. Shannen Lisbourne from the 36th WG/JA team for being recognized as one of Team Andersen's Best! Great job!
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Way to go, Security Forces! Sen. Joe San Augustin from the 35th Guam Legislature presented Airmen from the 36th Security Forces Squadron with a legislative resolution and certificates of appreciation, recognizing their volunteer efforts throughout the island community, Jan.16 at Tarague Beach. #TeamAndersen #OneGuam #Community #GoodNeighbors The Office of Senator Joe S. San Agustin Joint Region Marianas U.S. Pacific Air Forces The Guam Legislature
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