The 132d Wing (132d WG) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Iowa Air National Guard and located at Des Moines Air National Guard Base, Iowa. The 132nd's World War II predecessor unit, the 365th Fighter Group was a IX Fighter Command unit, serving in the European Theater of Operations. The 365th, known as the "Hell Hawks", was one of the most successful P-47 Thunderbolt fighter groups of the Ninth Air Force when it came to air combat. The 365th was awarded two Distinguished Unit Citations; Order of the Day, Belgium Army; Belgium Fourragère, and the Belgium Croix de Guerre. The 365th Fighter Group flew its last mission on 8 May 1945. After having operated manned fighter aircraft for all of its prior history, the wing was equipped with the MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aerial vehicle in 2013.
The units of the 132d Wing include:
Constituted as 365th Fighter Group on 27 April 1943. Activated on 15 May 1943. Trained with P-47's. Moved to RAF Gosfield England in December 1943. Assigned to Ninth Air Force. It was several weeks before the 365th received a full complement of 75 P-47D Thunderbolts and mid-February 1944 before they were placed on operational status. Their first mission, flown on 22 February, was a bomber support sweep of short duration over enemy-held territory.
Early missions were flown in support of Eighth Air Force B-17 and B-24 bomber operations and on one of these on 2 March, the 365th had its first encounter with enemy fighters in the Bastogne area resulting in the loss of one Thunderbolt and claims of six of the enemy shot down. Oberstleutnant Egon Mayer. one of the most successful Luftwaffe aces flying in the West with 102 victories, fell in this battle.
On 5 March, with only nine missions to its credit the group moved south to RAF Beaulieu in Hampshire. The group was stood down three days after arrival so that it could undertake a two-week intensive course in ground attack and fighter-bombing. After training, the 365th flew dive-bombing missions to attack such targets as bridges, aerodromes, rail facilities, gun positions, and V-weapon sites prior to the invasion of the Continent.
On D-Day, its duties were attacking gun emplacements and communications facilities behind the bridgehead. Two P-47s were lost. On the following day when 12 separate squadron-sized missions were flown five aircraft failed to return.
An unusual accident occurred on 9 June when two P-47s being delivered to Beaulieu by ferry pilots landed on different runways at the same time and collided at the runway intersection with one pilot being killed.