4th Medical Group History

The history of the 4th Medical Group is an illustrious one, firmly anchored in a past of service to mankind. The unit was constituted as the 4th Station Medical Group on 14 June 1948. It was activated at Andrews Air Force Base, Camp Springs, Maryland, effective 1 August 1948 by General Order 29, Headquarters, Strategic Air Command, and was assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing.

On 1 April 1949, the organization was redesignated the 4th Medical Group and was transferred to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia under the 4th Fighter Interceptor Wing on 26 April 1949. The location was later changed on 16 November 1950 to Johnson Air Base, Honshu, Japan. In 1951, the unit moved three times: 17 February, Obfu Air Base, Japan; 10 March, Suwon Air Base, Korea; and 25 August, Kimpo Air Base, Seoul, Korea. It was redesignated the 4th Tactical Hospital, 8 March 1954, and on 10 November 1954, again moved to Chitose Air Base, Hokkaido, Japan.

On 8 December 1957, the unit found its home at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Goldsboro, North Carolina and was inactivated with its parent group. It was reactivated 25 January 1959 as the 4th Tactical Hospital and on 8 August 1959, was reassigned to the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing per Tactical Air Command General Order 57, 6 August 1959.

Its present location, a one and three-quarter million dollar hospital, the 4th Tactical Hospital was dedicated 4 December 1959. The single level structure was completely air conditioned and could accommodate 75 beds and expand to 100 beds with additional construction. On 24 May 1971, it was renamed the United States Air Force Hospital Seymour Johnson by Special Order G126-21, May 1971, when all United States Air Force hospitals were named by their locations.

On 21 October 1975, a ground-breaking ceremony to mark beginning construction of a composite medical/dental complex adjacent to the existing United States Air Force hospital facility took place. The dental complex was programmed for completion in approximately one year with hospital additions and alterations continuing through 1977. Per Fourth Combat Support Group Special Order G-32, 9 June 1977, the dental clinic was redesignated Kiecker - in honor of the only United States Air Force dental officer to lose his life as a result of hostilities in Southeast Asia. Effective 15 March 1987, Special Order GB-10, Headquarters, Tactical Air Command, the USAF.

In August 1990 in response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, the 4th Medical Group deployed over fifty percent of its active duty personnel to Southwest Asia. The 4th Medical Group staffed a fully operational 50-bed air transportable hospital. Remaining personnel, with the assistance of over 250 Reserve and Guard personnel, representing 47 different units, maintained operational capabilities of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing Hospital. The 4th Tactical Fighter Wing Hospital then redeployed to a new bare base, Al Kharj Air Base, Saudi Arabia, in December 1990, where they constructed, from the ground up, a 50-bed air transportable hospital. The redeployment and demobilization of involved personnel were achieved in March and April 1991.

The 4th Medical Group Hospital was redesignated the Thomas Koritz Hospital on 6 Aug 1993 by Special Order G-0042, in honor of Major Thomas F. Koritz, who lost his life during a bombing mission over Iraq during Operation Desert Storm. Maj Koritz, a flight surgeon working at the 4th Medical Group, was one of five Air Force pilot-physicians. Since its inception, the unit earned and has been awarded seven Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards, the Distinguished Unit Citation, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, and six campaign streamers.