((Upper Right) The Ceremonial Departmental Flag is displayed with a set of campaign streamers, one to recognize each battle or campaign fought by the Air Force, beginning with the Mexican Expedition (1916-17). Campaign credits prior to 1947, when the Air Force was part of the Army, are also commemorated by streamers on the Army Ceremonial Flag.
The Strategic Air Command (SAC) reorganization of 1952 retired the World War II histories of the air combat groups, but the SAC wings, having been created during or after 1947, possessed no World War II histories or honors. In addition, deviations from the wing-base plan by other commands, particularly Air Defense Command (ADC), affected the perpetuation of histories and honors of World War II groups.
In 1954 SAC and ADC leaders asked Headquarters USAF to perpetuate histories and honors of the World War II combat groups. The ad hoc committee that reviewed these requests rejected the idea of redesignating combat groups as wings. Instead, the committee recommended that combat groups and wings be maintained as separate and distinct organizations, and that the histories and honors of combat groups be bestowed upon the similarly designated combat wings.
Although the ad hoc committee's proposed bestowals ran counter to an Air Force longstanding policy which was against the transferring history and honors from one organization to another. Headquarters USAF accepted the recommendations. Beginning in November 1954 the Department of the Air Force in a series of letters bestowed upon each combat wing the history and honors of its similarly designated predecessor combat group; for example, 9th Bombardment Wing received by bestowal the history and honors of the 9th Bombardment Group.
In the years since its implementation, bestowal has generated much confusion. Many throughout the Air Force did not understand that the group and the wing remained two separate and distinct entities. To alleviate some of the confusion, the Air Force in the 1980s consolidated some combat wings with their predecessor combat groups. These consolidations were limited to wings and groups whose period of active service did not overlap, since consolidation of organizations with overlapping active service adds confusion, violates lineage principles, and contravenes Air Force policy.
By consolidation, the wing and group became one organization, eliminating the need for bestowal of group history and honors on the wing. Bestowal, however, continued to be the policy for the majority of active Air Force wings. In bestowing group histories and honors on wings, Department of the Air Force directives noted only that bestowals are temporary. Over the succeeding years, the Air Force formulated more specific rules governing temporary bestowals of histories and honors. Currently, the bestowal of a combat group's history and honors to a wing follows these guidelines.
The arrangement of information, and the terms and format used in USAF Decoration Statements are as follows:
Decorations include citations and awards recognizing distinguished or meritorious acts by an organization. In this list, the type of decoration is cited together with specific dates, if date appeared in the award document, usually a general or special order. Air Force Pamphlet 900-2, produced by the Air Force Military Personnel Center, contains the official listing of organization decorations up to circa mid-1991. In addition, since late 1988 each Major Command has been authorized to award some decorations to its subordinate units.
The decorations listed in this section of the L&H generally agree with those
appearing in the orders, but some revisions may be made based on actual
operations. For example, the dates stated in an order may cover a time before
an organization was active or after it became inactive. Corrected dates are
shown within brackets. The embroidery should be exactly the same as the
listing on the official Lineage and Honors History for the unit. For example:
Ploesti, Rumania, 01 August 1943.
The following decorations have been earned by the 9th Air Support Operations Squadron (ASOS) in service for their country.
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