Delaware Air National Guard Heritage

1. Pioneers of the Delaware Air National Guard
The Lineage and Genesis of the organization in September 1946, rosters of the founding members, their equipment,
profiles of some 15 of the first members.

2. Delaware Air Guard during the Korean War
A first test, complete rosters of the men activated, those lost to combat, memories of mobilization, newspaper
accounts, role of those who stayed in Delaware

3. Sabres Over Brandywine
Rebuilding post Korean War, transitioning to F-86s, modernizing the Delaware ANG, Ricks Trophy Race, tragic
losses to accidents

4. A New Mission; Strategic Airlift
Arrival of C-97G, Group Status, Aeromedical Evacuation mission, Communications Flight added, race riots,
Atkinson appointed as Adjutant General

Delaware Air National Guard Profiles, short biographies of DANG people through the years.

Accidents, Calamities, and Fatalities, an account of aircraft accidents, wrecks, and aircrew fatalities in the
Delaware Air Guard

Aircraft Serial Numbers, Delaware Air National Guard

Delaware Air National Guard Bibliography, Books, periodicals and other sources of further information.

Delaware National Guard Campsite Names, honoring Delaware National Guardsmen

Delaware Air National Guard, Deployments/Exercises/Missions/Encampments

Delaware Air National Guard Poetry and Prose, writings by Delaware Air Guardsmen

BRAC 2005, Delaware Air National Guard, A Close Call with Extinction


People
Below are links to people who have served in the Delaware Air National Guard.  It is by no means meant to be
complete of comprehensive.  It merely represents the progress we have made so far.

Maj. Gen. Clarence E, "Ed" Atkinson,  Founder, Delaware Air National Guard, former Adjutant General of
Delaware

Major General Hugh T. Broomall, Special Assistant to the Director, Air National Guard.

Brig. Gen. William F. Hutchison, Korean War jet pilot, Commander DE ANG

Lt. Col. David F. McCallister Jr. WWII, Korea, DE ANG leader, race winner, record setter

Capt. James R. Shotwell Jr., WWII aviator,  DE ANG jet pilot, killed in line of duty

Brig. Gen. William W. Spruance (Ret.), WWII, Founder of Delaware Air Guard

Brigadier General Ernest G. Talbert, Delaware National Guard's first black general

Carol Anne Timmons, Brig. Gen. First Delaware National Guard female general officer, Gulf War, Iraq,
Afghanistan

SSgt Kennard R. Wiggins Sr., WWII, Founding member

Places

New Castle Air Base, Home to the Delaware Air National Guard

Equipment

Fighters

P-47 Thunderbolt, Delaware Air Guard, 1946-1949

F-86, Sabrejet, 142nd Fighter Squadron, Delaware Air National Guard, 4th Fighter Wing, at New Castle Air
Base,  336th Fighter Squadron at Dover AFB

Transport

C-97 Stratofreighter, 166 Airlift Group, Delaware Air National Guard

C-130 Hercules, 166 Airlift Wing, Delaware Air National Guard


On September 6, 1946, the formal federal recognition and activation of Delaware's first Air National Guard Unit
(142nd Fighter Squadron) took place at a ceremony in the Wilmington Armory.  The ceremony was conducted by
Brigadier General Paul R. Rinard, the Adjutant General and Colonel John B. Grier, U.S. Property and Disbursing
Officer for Delaware. Shortly afterwards the squadron received it first fighter planes, F-47N "Thunderbolts."  In late
1946, two L-5s and two AT-6s training aircraft were received to assist in the training of new pilots. 1947 brought
the addition of several more airplanes including C-47's and a B-26.

Prior to being
federalized for Korea on February 1, 1951, the unit received F-84C's.  In February 1951, Colonel
Spruance was assigned the task of reorganizing the air section of the state staff and establishing the Headquarters,
Delaware Air National Guard. On May 17, 1951, the unit was redesignated the 142nd Fighter-Interceptor
Squadron and in September 1951 the unit exchanged its F-84C (Thunder jet) for the F-94 "Starfire" aircraft to fit the
unit's new mission.

On November 1, 1952, the 142nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was released from active duty in Korea and
reorganized as the Delaware Air National Guard. On December 1, 1952 the unit was redesignated the 142nd
Fighter Bomber Squadron and reverted to propeller-driven aircraft, the F-51H "Mustang."

In 1954 a brand new T-33, the trainer version of the F-80 "Shooting Star," was received by the 142nd Fighter-
Bomber Squadron and later that year the unit received
F-86 "Saberjets" replacing the F-51H "Mustang." The F-86
was the same plane the active Air Force flew at the Greater Wilmington Airport prior to activation for Korea.

In July 1956,
Major David F. McCallister (142nd Fighter Bomber Squadron Commander) set a fighter record by
flying his F-86 Sabre jet 1,922 miles in three hours, 30 minutes, to win the Earl T. Ricks Memorial Trophy.

On November 10, 1958 the unit was redesignated the
142nd Tactical Fighter Squadron and was reassigned from
the Air Force's Air Defense Command to the Tactical Air Command.

On June 4, 1961, Colonel David F. McCallister (Commander, 142nd Tactical Fighter Squadron) and Brigadier
General
William W. Spruance (Assistant Adjutant General for Air) were flying a T-33 jet trainer out of Scott AFB,
when the aircraft exploded. Colonel McCallister died and General Spruance received serious injuries.

In March 1962,
Lt Colonel Clarence E. Atkinson was named Commander of the 142nd Tactical Fighter Squadron.
On April 7, 1962 the Delaware Air National Guard enlarged to "group status" as the 166th Air Transport Group
and was reassigned from the Tactical Air Command to the Military Air Transport Service. The Delaware Air
National Guard gave up its F-86 jets for the four engine
C-97 "Stratofreighter" cargo planes. On October 22, 1962 a
new unit "142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Flight," was added to the Delaware Air National Guard.

During the period from 1964-1974 the Delaware Air National Guard flew missions to Vietnam.

In September 1965, only three years after receiving the C-97, the Delaware Air National Guard received the
McCallister Trophy as the Air National Guard Outstanding Transport Unit.

Dr. Harold Brown, Secretary of the Air Force, announced that effective January 1, 1966, the Military Air Transport
Service would be redesignated as the Military Airlift Command. In addition to the name change certain Air
National Guard units were also redesignated, including Delaware. We were named the 166th Military Airlift
Group. In April 1966, the unit was awarded the Outstanding Unit Trophy by the Air Force Association based on
our impressive collection of achievements and safety record. On June 16, 1966 another unit, 166th Communications
Flight, was added to the Delaware Air National Guard.

On April 9, 1968, the Delaware Air National Guard was called to state duty to quell civil disturbance and violence
in the city of Wilmington, Delaware. The unit was released from state duty after several weeks. However, many
individuals remained on state duty through 20 January 1969.

January 1969, Colonel Atkinson became the Adjutant General for Delaware - the first Air National Guard member
to do so. Lt Colonel Charles R. Skinner became the new base detachment commander and Lt Colonel Robert L.
Fuller became the Group Commander. On November 8, 1969 the 166th Civil Engineering Flight organized as a
separate unit in the Delaware Air National Guard.

On May 12, 1971 the Delaware ANG changed its name from the 166th Military Airlift Group to the 166th Tactical
Airlift Group and replaced its C-97s with C-130A "Hercules" prop-jet cargo plane, and began transition from the
Military Airlift Command to the Tactical Airlift Command.

In September 1972 Colonel William F. Hutchison, Jr. was named Commander of the 166th Tactical Airlift Group, a
position he held for 11 years.

On February 10, 1973 Staff Sergeant Linda VanVechten was the first enlisted female to enlist in the Delaware Air
National Guard.

In March 1972, Captain Carolyn R. Doolittle became the first female to command a unit in the Delaware Air
National Guard when she was appointed acting commander of the 142nd Aeromedical Evacuation Flight.

From February 6, 1978 through February 9, 1978 selected individuals from the Delaware Air National Guard were
placed on state duty during a snow storm. These members assisted in removing snow from highways,
transporting patients and staff to the local hospitals, and manning telephone lines for emergencies.

On July 1, 1979 the 166th Resource Management Squadron was added to the unit.

In 1983 the Delaware Air National Guard brought a new Commander, Lt Colonel Judson E. Wooding.

On July 1, 1985 the 166th Communications Flight was redesignated the 166th Information Systems Flight and took
on the additional responsibility of data automation, and the 166th Civil Engineering Flight was redesignated the
166th Civil Engineering Squadron.

On October 16, 1985, the Delaware Air National Guard began replacing its aging, antiquated C-130A's with the
delivery of a brand new factory fresh C-130H.

In January 1986 the unit received the last of eight C-130H aircraft. In September 1986 the Delaware Air National
Guard celebrated its 40th Anniversary.

December 1, 1986 the 166th Information Systems Flight was redesignated the 166th Communications Flight.

On July 1, 1987 the Quad-Deputy reorganization of support units was implemented in the Delaware Air National
Guard. The 166th Combat Support Squadron was redesignated the 166th Mission Support Squadron.

March 8, 1988 a new unit, the Mission Support Flight, consisting of Administration, Data Automation, Audio
Visual, and Communications Maintenance was established. These sections were previously elements of the 166th
Mission Support Squadron. December 3, 1988, Colonel James V. Dugar became Commander of the 166th Tactical
Airlift Group.

From June 26, 1989 to June 28, 1989, selected unit members were placed on state duty to aid in the clean up of the
Oil Spill in the Wilmington/Claymont, Delaware area. On November 22, 1989 the 166th Aircraft Maintenance
Squadron was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period covering March 1, 1987 through
February 28, 1989.

On March 1, 1990 the 166th Weapons System Security Flight was redesignated the 166th Security Police Flight.
During the period August 16, 1990 through October 1990 three aircraft, with supporting crews and many
volunteers of the Delaware Air National Guard, participated in Operation Desert Shield.

On January 25, 1991 selected units of the Delaware Air National Guard were activated for the Persian Gulf War
known as "Operation Desert Storm," (8 planes with crews and maintenance and support personnel.) A majority of
the unit was stationed at Al Kharj Air Base, Saudi Arabia. Over 150 personnel deployed to six other locations in
Europe and two stateside bases. The 166th Civil Engineer Squadron voluntarily deployed to Dover AFB and
performed the monumental accomplishment of enlarging Dover's Mortuary capacity - the assignment was
completed in a record 23 days. On June 30, 1991 the units/personnel were released from active duty performed in
support of the Persian Gulf War.

Another name change occurred on March 16, 1992 - the 166th Tactical Airlift Group was redesignated the 166th
Airlift Group and the 142nd Tactical Airlift Squadron was redesignated the 142nd Airlift Squadron. In
conjunction, the unit's gaining command (Military Airlift Command) was redesignated the Air Mobility
Command. In September 1992, Colonel Dugar led a group of personnel as part of the Hurricane Andrew relief
effort. Colonel Jacobs commanded a combined group from the 136th Airlift Wing (Dallas, TX) and 166th Airlift
Group to Mildenhall, United Kingdom as part of exercise "Phoenix Partner."

On October 1, 1993 the 166th Communications Flight was deactivated and on October 26, 1993 the Gaining
Command for the Delaware Air National Guard changed from Air Mobility Command to Air Combat Command.

In February 1994, several members of the Delaware Air National Guard were called to state duty as a result of
severe ice storms, to assist residents and state agencies with clearing roads and restoring normal services. On
March 1, 1994 the following units were redesignated: 166th Resource Management Squadron redesignated 166th
Logistics Squadron; 166th Security Police Flight redesignated 166th Security Police Squadron; 166th Tactical Clinic
redesignated 166th Medical Squadron; 166th Mobile Aerial Port Flight redesignated 166th Aerial Port Flight; 166th
Civil Engineering Squadron redesignated 166th Civil Engineer Squadron, 166th Consolidated Aircraft
Maintenance Squadron redesignated 166th Maintenance Squadron. July 1994, Captain Johnie A. Burton, Jr was
appointed the 166th Aerial Port Flight Commander, becoming the first minority commander in the history of the
Delaware Air National Guard. On August 30, 1994 the 166th Mission Support Squadron and the 166th Mission
Support Flight were inactivated. In conjunction, the following units were activated: HQ 166th Operations Group;
HQ 166th Logistics Group; HQ 166th Support Group; 166th Operations Support Flight, 166th Communications
Flight and the 166th Mission Support Flight.

On May 23, 1995 the 166th Aircraft Generation Squadron and the 166th Logistics Support Flight were activated.
On September 14, 1995, Colonel Jon D. Jacobs became Commander of the 166th Airlift Group and almost 40 years
after Colonel McCallister received his "Earl T. Ricks" Award, a crew from the 142nd Airlift Squadron received theirs
for heroism. On October 1, 1995, the 166th Airlift Group was renamed the 166th Airlift Wing. November 20, 1995
the 166th Airlift Wing (and all subordinate units) were awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the
period August 15, 1993 through August 14, 1995.

The Delaware Air National Guard celebrated its 50th Anniversary on September 6, 1996. The year 1996 brought
about many firsts in our history. On May 25, 1996 Senior Master Sergeant Lynn M. Davis became the first female
to attain the rank of Chief Master Sergeant (CMSgt). In October, CMSgt Joan Holder became the first female Senior
Enlisted Advisor for Headquarters, Delaware Air National Guard and CMSgt Melvin "Sonny" Gershman became
the first Senior Enlisted Advisor for the 166th Airlift Wing.

On April 1, 1997 the Gaining Command of the Delaware Air National Guard changed from Air Combat Command
to Air Mobility Command.

On July 16, 1997 the 166th Security Police Squadron was redesignated the 166th Security Forces Squadron.


Would you like to know more?
We recommend the following books available at local Delaware bookstores and from Arcadia Publishing.













Delaware Air National Guard
The Delaware Air National Guard got its start when a group of World War II veterans formed a new National
Guard unit composed of surplus airplanes, combat experience, a measure of hard work, camaraderie, and fun.
Some called this assemblage a gentleman’s flying club, but in a few short years, it was tested for the first time in
the Korean War. Since then, the Delaware Air National Guard has flown and fought in almost every corner of the
globe. It answered the call in Vietnam, the Middle East, the Balkans, and most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Celebrating 60 years of service, it has become a well-known local institution. The “Blue Hen Air Force” has
evolved into a professional organization that shoulders a significant operational role for the U.S. Air Force and
serves as a versatile emergency resource for the state of Delaware.
Delaware Military History