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History of the 143rd Airlift Wing

The 143d Airlift Wing traces its lineage back to 1915, when a group of Rhode Island residents purchased two Curtis Model "F" Flying Boats, one of which was assigned to the state national guard. From 1942 to 1975 the unit performed several varied missions including photo reconnaissance, air defense, re-supply and special operations. The aircraft assigned included P-47 Thunderbolts, P-51 Mustangs, the SA-16A Albatross, C-47 Skytrain, C-46 Commando, the U-10 Helio Courier, the HU-16 and the C-119G/L Flying Boxcar. Finally coming into its own in 1975, the unit became the 143d Tactical Airlift Group and was assigned the Lockheed C-130A Hercules aircraft.
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ANG: A Short Story

The Air National Guard as we know it today -- a separate reserve component of the United States Air Force -- was a product of the politics of postwar planning and interservice rivalry during World War II. The men who planned and maneuvered for an independent postwar Air Force during World War II didn't place much faith in the reserves, especially the state-dominated National Guard.

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