Welcome to the 386th Air Service Group!
This website has been developed
for the family, friends, and men of the 386th
ASG and all those appreciative of the men
and women that sacrificed a part of their
lives assuring that freedom and our way of
life could continue. This website celebrates
just one very small part of the struggle that
was WWII. While doing research for the site,
I found that the 386th ASG was a microcosm
of the whole, and portrayed the willingness
of the service people to do more than just
the job that they had been trained to do.
BIG NEWS! There is now a book on the 386th ASG! Click the link below to buy it on Amazon.
The Forgotten Unit of Iwo Jima: 386th ASG, USAAF by USMC (Ret.), Col. J.J. Preston
Here's the beginning of the book description on Amazon.com:
It was the first and only time during combat operations in the Pacific theater that an Army Air Force unit would land with U.S. Marine assault elements across a hostile beach. The date was February 24, 1945 (D+5), and the beach on which the men of the 386th Air Service Group (ASG), U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) landed was given the name of a color - Red. They possessed few of the combat skills Marine infantrymen would have had. They weren't trained to close with and destroy an enemy through close combat. They were specialists, trained in skills totally alien to the Marine "grunts" swarming ashore. Their skills, however, were critical to the successful execution and completion of Operation Detachment (code name for the island and battle destined to become legendary in the history of World War II). Red beach was one of the black sand beaches on the eastern shore of the island named - Iwo Jima. This is a brief history of the 386th ASG, USAAF. Their story could have been lost to history except for the tenacity of a few of the units' veterans and their descendants. It's the account of a group of men who could accomplish almost anything asked of them....
It's very exciting that we can order the book, post reviews and give it to descendants of the members of the 386th ASG. Enjoy!
What was envisioned as a 72
hour battle turned into a struggle that would
take nearly 7,000 American lives and wound
more than 20,000 others. Trained to service
aircraft, the 386th ASG disembarked onto Iwo
Jima on D + 5 and found themselves in the
middle of an epic battle. They were then enjoined
to aid the Marines by helping resupply, take
the wounded out to aid stations, and do whatever
other task developed. The men of the 386th
worked well beyond the call of duty. Major
Richard Feuille reports that the 386th was
the only non-Marine or Naval unit on Iwo Jima
to receive an award from the Marines. A copy
of the commendation
and award can be found on the Mission
This site is designed to enable
the men of the 386th ASG, their families,
and friends to communicate with one another
if they so desire, using the Message Board.
We have attempted to describe the Mission
in terms understandable to the children and
grandchildren of veterans. The History page
is filled with descriptions written by the
I will be forever grateful to
the following for their time and gracious understanding
to someone that needed a hand (several hands!)
in this endeavor:
- A. J. (Westy) Westheimer, 1st Lt. 611th
- Richard (Rickie) Feuille, Major, Headquarters
- Melinda Zipin, daughter-in-law, 1st Lt.
Martin Zipin, deceased, HQ Squadron
- Sandra Brown, daughter, Corporal Raymond
Minton Jr., HQ Squadron
and to my uncle, T/Sgt. Oswald (Ossie)
Villi, 490th AES, deceased, for his time and
gracious understanding when I needed it.
I welcome your mail at: email@example.com
or 41849 John Muir Drive, Coarsegold, CA, 93614
and your phone calls at 559-923-4235
12 Men of the 490th Air Engineering Squadron
Bottom row, left
to right kneeling:
Fred Sealander, Paul Reiser,
Charles Bierer, John Mizia, Joseph Tomasi, and Allen
Left to right standing: Richard Ball, Richard "Si"
Reid, Ernar "Swede" Lindskog, Foy R. Randall,
Oswald "Ozzie" Villi, and William T. Gaffey..
We believe in America and Americans.
We believe that Americans have
a sense of what
has been sacrificed in the past
for our Freedom today.
We believe that Americans are
and that given a particular
moment in time,
will step forward and demonstrate
that innate ability.
We believe that as Americans
we should reflect often upon
the heroes-in-waiting that did
step forward on Sept. 11,
and to those men and women who
done the same throughout our