United States Army Air Force - USAAF units

Curtiss H-81A Hawk - Tomahawk photo gallery

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk photo gallery

18th Fighter Group

Organized as 18th Pursuit Group in Hawaii in Jan 1927. Redesignated 18th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) in 1939, and 18th Fighter Group in 1942. Before World War II the group engaged in routine flying and gunnery training and participated in joint Army-Navy maneuvers, using DH-4, PW-9, P-12, P-26, P-36, and other aircraft. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 Dec 1941, the group, which had recently converted to P-40s, sustained severe losses. The two planes that its pilots were able to get into the air during the attack were quickly shot down. The group, assigned to Seventh AF in Feb 1942, had to be re-equipped before it could resume training and begin patrol missions.

Moved to the South Pacific in Mar 1943. Assigned to Thirteenth AF. Began operations from Guadalcanal. Flew protective patrols over US bases in the Solomons; later, escorted bombers to the Bismarcks, supported ground forces on Bougainville, and attacked enemy airfields and installations in the northern Solomons and New Britain. Used P-38, P-39, P-61, and P-70 aircraft. Moved to New Guinea in Aug 1944. Equipped with P-38s. Escorted bombers to targets in the southern Philippines and Borneo, and attacked enemy airfields and installations in the Netherlands Indies. Received a DUC for actions at Ormoc Bay: on 10 Nov 1944 the group withstood intense flak and vigorous opposition from enemy interceptors to attack a Japanese convoy that was attempting to bring in additional troops for use against American forces that had landed on Leyte; on the following day a few of the groups planes returned to the same area, engaged a large force of enemy fighters, and destroyed a number of them. Moved to the Philippines in Jan 1945. Supported ground forces on Luzon and Borneo, attacked shipping in the central Philippines, covered landings on Palawan, attacked airfields and railways on Formosa, and escorted bombers to such widely-scattered targets as Borneo, French Indochina, and Formosa.

Remained in the Philippines as part of Far East Air Forces after the war. Flew patrols and trained with F-80s. Lost all personnel in Mar 1947 but was remanned in Sep 1947. Equipped first with F-47s, later with F-51s, and still later (1949) with F-80s. Redesignated 18th Fighter-Bomber Group in Jan 1950.

Moved to Korea in Jul 1950 and entered combat, using F-51s. Supported UN ground forces and attacked enemy installations and supply lines. Maj Louis Sebille was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his action on 5 Aug 1950: although his plane was badly damaged by flak while attacking a concentration of enemy trucks, Maj Sebille continued his strafing passes until he crashed into an armored vehicle. The group converted to F-86s early in 1953 and remained in Korea for some time after the war. Moved to Okinawa in Nov 1954.

emblem USAAF 6th FS emblem USAAF 12th FS emblem USAAF 19th FS emblem USAAF 19th FS emblem USAAF 36th FS emblem USAAF 44th FS emblem USAAF 55th FS emblem USAAF 67th FS emblem USAAF 68th FS
emblem USAAF 70th FS emblem USAAF 73th FS emblem USAAF 74th FS emblem USAAF 74th FS emblem USAAF 78th FS emblem USAAF 33rd FS emblem USAAF 33rd FS emblem USAAF 419th FS

6th FS - 12th FS - 19th FS - 19th FS - 36th FS - 44th FS - 55th FS - 67th FS - 68th FS - 70th FS - 73th FS - 74th FS - 74th FS - 78th FS - 333d FS - 333d FS - 419th FS

Squadrons: 6th Fighter Squadron: 1927-1943. 12th Fighter Squadron: 1943-. 19th Fighter Squadron: 1927-1943. 36th Fighter Squadron: 1931-1932. 44th Fighter Squadron: 1941-1942, 1943-. 55th Fighter Squadron: 1931. 67th Fighter Squadron: 1945-. 68th Fighter Squadron: 1945-. 70th Fighter Squadron: 1943-1945. 73d Fighter Squadron: 1929-1931, 1941-1942. 74th Fighter Squadron: 1929-1932. 78th Fighter Squadron: 1940-1943. 333d Fighter Squadron: 1942-1943. 419th Fighter Squadron: 1943-1944.

Stations: Wheeler Field, TH, Jan 1927; Espiritu Santo, 11 Mar 1943; Guadalcanal, 17 Apr 1943; Sansapor, New Guinea, 23 Aug 1944; Lingayen, Luzon, c. 13 Jan 1945; San Jose, Mindoro, c. 1 Mar 1945; Zamboanga, Mindanao, 4 May 1945; Palawan, 10 Nov 1945; Floridablanca, Luzon, Mar 1946; Clark Field, Luzon, 16 Sep 1947; Taegu, Korea, 28 Jul 1950; Ashiya, Japan, 8 Aug 1950; Tongnae, Korea, 8 Sep 1950; Pyongyang, Korea, c. 21 Nov 1950; Suwon, Korea, 1 Dec 1950; Chinhae, Korea, 9 Dec 1950; Hoengsong, Korea, 26 Dec 1952; Osan-Ni, Korea, 11 Jan 1953; Kadena AB, Okinawa, 1 Nov 1954-.

Commanders: Unkn, 1927-1940; Maj Kenneth M Walker, 22 Mar 1940; Maj William R Morgan, 1941; Lt Col Aaron W Tyer, Dec 1941; Lt Col W H Councill, 10 Dec 1943; Col Milton B Adams, 8 Jul 1944; Col Harry L Donicht, 24 May 1945; Lt Col Bill Harris, 1 Aug 1945; Lt Col Wilbur Grumbles, 18 Oct 1945-unkn; Col Victor R Haugen, 1946; Col Homer A Boushey, 7 Aug 1946-Mar 1947; Maj Kenneth M Taylor, 16 Sep 1947; Lt Col Joseph Kruzel, 1 Oct 1947; Col Marion Malcolm, 3 Sep Lt Col Henry H Norman Jr, 24 Jul 1949; Col Ira L Wintermute, 16 Jun 1950; Lt Col Homer M Cox, 20 Feb 1951; Col William P McBride, May 1951; Col Ralph H Saltsman Jr, 5 Jun 1951; Col Seymour M Levenson, 30 Nov 1951; Col Sheldon S Brinson, 17 May 1952; Lt Col Albert Freund Jr, 25 Nov 1952; Col Maurice L Martin, 24 Jan 1953; Lt Col Edward L Rathbun, 17 Dec 1953; Col John H Buckner, 1 Feb 1954; Lt Col Edward L Rathbun, 24 May 1954; Lt Col Clifford P Patton, 17 Aug 1954; Col Nathan Adams, 7 Sep 1954; Col John B Murphy, 1 Nov 1954; Lt Col Clifford P Patton, 10 Nov 1954; Col Paul E Hoeper, 1 Jan 1955; Lt Col Joseph E Andres, 22 Jul 1955; Col Leo C Moon, 21 Nov 1955-.

Campaigns: World War II: Central Pacific; China Defensive; New Guinea; Northern Solomons; Bismarck Archipelago; Western Pacific; Leyte; Luzon; Southern Philippines. Korean War: UN Defensive; UN Offensive; CCF Intervention; 1st UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea Summer-Fall, 1953.

Decorations: Distinguished Unit Citations: Philippine Islands, 1-11 Nov 1944; Korea, 3 Nov 1950-24 Jan 1951; Korea, 22 Apr-8 Jul 1951. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations: 24 Jul 1950-31 Jan 1951; 1 Feb 1951-31 Mar 1953.

Insigne: Shield: Or, a fighting cock with wings displayed sable wattled and combed gules. Crest: On a wreath or and sable two wings conjoined and displayed tenne (orange).

Motto: Unguibus Et Rostro - With Talons and Beak. (Approved 21 Feb 1931.)

emblem USAAF 6th FS

6th Fighter Squadron

World War II

The 6th Night Fighter Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with Seventh Air Force, being inactivated at Wheeler Field, Hawaii on February 20, 1947. It saw combat in Central, South, and Southwest Pacific, December 7, 1941 – August 14, 1945.


Organized as 6th Aero Squadron on March 13, 1917
Redesignated: 6th Squadron on March 14, 1921
Redesignated: 6th Pursuit Squadron on January 25, 1923
Redesignated: 6th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on December 6, 1939
Redesignated: 6th Fighter Squadron on May 15, 1942
Redesignated: 6th Night Fighter Squadron on January 17, 1943
Inactivated on: February 20, 1947

emblem USAAF 19th FS emblem USAAF 19th FS

19th Fighter Squadron

World War I

Originally established as an Army Flying School Squadron, the 19th was based in Texas, Ohio, and New York for short periods. After a few weeks at the Air Service Replacement Concentration Barracks in St. Maixent, from 1 January 1918, the squadron moved for Seventh Aviation Instruction Center (repair) at Aulnat Aerodrome, east of Clermont-Ferrand, France, to train and observe the French company Michelin's airplane manufacture and assembly procedures. It stayed with 7th AIC until the end of 1918. Moving for Cenac, near Bordeaux on 29 December, the squadron left France on 18 March 1919.

Inter-war years

Renamed the 19th Pursuit Squadron, the squadron flew from various locations in the Hawaiian Islands beginning in 1923.

World War II

The squadron suffered six casualties as a result of the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese on 7 December 1941, but no fatalities.

The squadron was then stationed aboard the USS Natoma Bay, off Saipan. Upon arriving, the 19th flew night and day missions, strafing and using general purpose bombs and rockets in support of advancing U.S. ground troops. Using homemade napalm bombs made out of napalm, gasoline, and oil placed inside fuel tanks, the 19th helped U.S. forces successfully invade and capture Saipan, Tinian, and Guam islands in only three months. The squadron's mission then changed to long-range bomber escort missions with occasional strike missions to nearby Pagan Island and Iwo Jima. The squadron then relocated to Okinawa, where the first 19 FS pilots were awarded their 'ace' rating. Later, in August 1945, after numerous aerial victories and assorted bombing missions, it participated in the Japanese surrender.

Cold War

From 1982–1993, it trained for close air support, air-to-air superiority, and maintained a state of readiness to deploy worldwide. In June 1987, the 19th set a new world record for the number of F-16 sorties flown in one day with 160, besting the previous record of 144. In September 1992 the 19th deployed to Southwest Asia to fly combat air patrol missions to enforce terms of United Nations cease fire agreement following Operation Desert Storm.

Modern era

On 1 January 1994, the 19th took over personnel, facilities and equipment of 43d Fighter Squadron at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. It won the Hughes Trophy in recognition as the top air superiority squadron in the USAF for 2001. Since 1994, it has mobilized, deployed, and employed fighter aircraft worldwide to accomplish air superiority in support of warfighting commanders.

In 2010 the 19th became part of the 15th Wing at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The 19th is an associate unit with the Hawaii Air National Guard's 199th Fighter Squadron.


19th Aero Squadron
Organized as the 14th Aero Squadron on 14 June 1917
Redesignated 19th Aero Squadron on 26 June 1917
Demobilized on 14 April 1919
Reconstituted and consolidated with the 19th Pursuit Squadron on 20 December 1923
19th Fighter Squadron
Constituted as the 19th Squadron (Pursuit) on 30 August 1921
Organized on 1 October 1921
Inactivated on 29 June 1922
Redesignated 19th Pursuit Squadron on 25 January 1923
Activated on 1 May 1923
Redesignated: 19th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 6 December 1939
Redesignated: 19th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Redesignated: 19th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 20 August 1943
Inactivated on 12 January 1946
Redesignated 19th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 11 December 1981
Activated on 1 April 1982
Redesignated: 19th Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991
Inactivated on 31 December 1993
Activated on 1 January 1994


Unknown, 14 June 1917 – February 1918
Seventh Aviation Instruction Center, February–December 1918
Unknown, January–April 1919
Ninth Corps Area, 1 October 1921 – 29 June 1922
17th Composite Group, 1 May 1923
5th Composite Group, 15 January 1924
18th Pursuit (later, 18th Fighter) Group, January 1927
318th Fighter Group, 16 March 1943 – 12 January 1946
363d Tactical Fighter (later, 363d Fighter) Wing, 1 April 1982
363d Operations Group, 1 May 1992 – 31 December 1993
3d Operations Group, 1 January 1994 – 2010
15th Operations Group, 2010–Present


Camp Kelly, Texas, 14 June 1917
Wilbur Wright Field, Ohio, 1 August 1917
Garden City, New York, 31 October–3 December 1917
St Maxient, France, 1 January 1918
Aulnat aerodrome, France, 6 February 1918
Cénac, Bordeaux, France, c. 29 December 1918-c. 18 March 1919
Mitchel Field, New York, c. 5–14 April 1919
March Field, California, 1 October 1921 – 29 June 1922
Wheeler Field, Hawaii, 1 May 1923
Luke Field, Hawaii, 15 January 1924
Wheeler Field, Hawaii, 11 January 1927
Bellows Field, Hawaii, 20 February 1942
Kualoa Airfield, Hawaii, 22 May 1942
Bellows Field, Hawaii, 20 October 1942
Barbers Point Naval Air Station, Hawaii, 9 February 1943
Kipapa Airfield, Hawaii, 30 May 1943
Stanley Field, Hawaii Territory, 4 September 1943
Kualoa Airfield, Hawaii, 26 December 1943
Bellows Field, Hawaii Territory, 18 April 1944
East Field, Saipan, Mariana Islands, 29 June 1944
Ie Shima Airfield, Ryukyu Islands, 30 April 1945
Naha Airfield, Okinawa, November–December 1945
Fort Lewis, Washington, 11–12 January 1946
Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, 1 April 1982 – 31 December 1993
Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, 1 January 1994 – 2010
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, 2010–present


Curtiss JN-6H (1921–1922, 1923–1926)
Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 (1921–1922, 1923–1926)
Thomas-Morse MB-3 (1923–1926)
Airco DH.4 (1923–1926)
Boeing PW-9 (1927–1930)
Boeing P-12 (1931–1937, 1938–1941)

Boeing P-26 Peashooter (1938–1941) Curtiss P-36 Hawk (1938–1941)
A-12 Shrike (1938–1941)
North American BT-9 (1938–1941)
Douglas OA-3 Dolphin (1938–1941)
Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (1941–1943)
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (1943–1945)
Lockheed P-38 Lightning (1944–1945)
General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon (1982–1993)
McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle (1994–2010)
Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor (2010–present)

emblem USAAF 36th FS

36th Fighter Squadron

World War I

The unit came into existence shortly after the United States entered World War I as the 36th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas in June 1917. Later that year, First Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt, the son of President Theodore Roosevelt, briefly commanded the squadron. After a brief training period, the squadron moved overseas on the RMS Baltic. Landing in France in September 1917, the squadron shortly stopped at the Étampes aerodrome before settling at the 3rd Aviation Instruction Center on Issoudun Aerodrome, where it helped building the new center before being declared operational some time at the end of year. On 21 February 1918, the 36th Aero Sqn (Repair) arrived at the Cazaux aerodrome, home of the French Aerial Gunnery School, where it helped maintaining the aircraft of the American detachment. On 5 November, it moved to the newly created American Aerial Gunnery School, in St. Jean de Monts, France.

On 16 February 1919, the squadron reached the harbor of St. Nazaire, France, from where it sailed back to the United States on 14 March, on the USS Manchuria and was demobilized in the spring of 1919 at Garden City, New York.

Interwar period

The squadron was reconstituted in 1923 as the 36th Pursuit Squadron. Although inactive, it was originally allotted to the Sixth Corps Area. In 1929 the squadron was designated as a "Regular Army Inactive" unit. Although remaining inactive as a regular unit, officers of the Organized Reserves were assigned to the unit and performed summer training with the squadron at Kelly Field for the next few years.

In October 1930 the squadron was once again activated at Selfridge Field, Michigan,[note 2] where it was attached to the 1st Pursuit Group and equipped with various models of the Curtiss Hawk series of single engine biplane pursuit aircraft. By 1932, the squadron's primary aircraft became the Boeing P-12, although the squadron continued to fly the P-6 model of the Hawk. As part of its mission to develop pursuit tactics, the squadron continued to fly a variety of other aircraft, notably including the Berliner-Joyce P-16 and Consolidated P-30 two-seat fighters. Training of fighter pilots and testing of tactics continued after 1932 when the squadron moved to Langley Field, Virginia, where it was assigned to the 8th Pursuit Group.

Air Mail scandal

In 1934, following a Congressional investigation of how air mail contracts had been awarded by the United States Postal Service, President Franklin D. Roosevelt cancelled all existing air mail contracts and assigned the duty of flying the mail to the Air Corps. The squadron began flying its P-12s on air mail routes, but they proved unsuitable for the work, lacking instruments to fly at night or in adverse weather. Moreover, they could only carry about 50 lbs of mail, and with the mail load, the planes were tail heavy and difficult to fly. The P-12s were withdrawn from the project within a week, although the larger observation aircraft continued to fly mail until May, when new air mail contracts were awarded.

World War II

During World War II, the squadron flew P-40 Warhawk, P-39 Airacobra, P-47 Thunderbolt, and P-38 Lightning fighters in a number of Pacific Theater campaigns. These included the defense of New Guinea and the battle for the Philippines. They moved to Fukuoka, Japan at the end of the war.

Korean War

When the communist forces attacked the Republic of Korea in June 1950, the 36th found itself in the fight from the beginning of the conflict. Flying F-80 Shooting Stars, the squadron attacked advancing North Korean tanks, trucks, artillery, and troops. The unit later converted back to the piston-engined F-51 Mustang, considered more suitable for operations in Korea. The 36th ended the war equipped with F-86 Sabres, flying bombing and strafing missions against enemy air fields. The 36th returned to Japan after the Korean War, operating out of Itazuke Air Base for the next 10 years.

Vietnam War

During the Vietnam War, the 36th flew combat missions into Southeast Asia from Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base. 36th pilots flew F-105 Thunderchiefs, escorting rescue aircraft and suppressing anti-aircraft fire. The squadron was re-equipped with F-4 Phantom II fighters in December 1967 and stationed at Yokota Air Base, Japan, with regular deployments to Kunsan Air Base beginning in March 1971. The 36th moved to Kunsan in May 1971, establishing a forward operating location at Osan Air Base. The squadron permanently moved to Osan and was assigned to the 51st Composite Wing (Tactical) in September 1974.

Post Cold War

The 36th ushered in the era of the "Viper" on 10 August 1988, when squadron commander Lieutenant Colonel Al Spitzer landed the first F-16 Fighting Falcon at Osan. The squadron's combat capabilities were transformed in 1990 when the squadron converted to the Block 40 Low Altitude Navigational and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) F-16C/D. The addition of LANTIRN gave the Fiends the current ability to fly at low levels and deliver precision guided munitions during nighttime conditions. Upgrades to the Block 40 in recent years have included GBU-31 JDAM capability for all weather precision engagement. The 36th FS, more recently, have begun training with the AIM-9X Sidewinder and the AN/AAQ-33 Sniper XR Advanced Targeting Pod. Additionally, in the Spring of 2012 the Fiends acquired the AN/ASQ-213 HARM Targeting System, becoming the first Block 40 SEAD squadron in the United States Air Force.


Organized as the 36th Aero Squadron on 12 June 1917
Redesignated 36th Aero Squadron (Construction) c. 1918
Demobilized on 7 April 1919
Reconstituted and redesignated 36th Pursuit Squadron on 24 March 1923
Activated on 2 October 1930
Redesignated 36th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) on 6 December 1939
Redesignated 36th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 12 March 1941
Redesignated 36th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Redesignated 36th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine on 19 February 1944
Redesignated 36th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 1 April 1946
Redesignated 36th Fighter Squadron, Jet on 1 January 1950
Redesignated 36th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 20 January 1950
Redesignated 36th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 July 1958
Redesignated 36th Fighter Squadron on 7 February 1992


Unknown, 12 June – c. 24 September 1917
Third Aviation Instruction Center, c. 24 September 1917
École de Tirage Aérienne, c. 21 February 1918
Aerial Gunnery School, c. 5 November 1918 – c. 16 February 1919
Unknown, – 7 February April 1919
2d Bombardment Wing, 2 October 1930 (attached to 1st Pursuit Group)
8th Pursuit Group, 1 April 1931 (attached to 1st Pursuit Group)
18th Pursuit Group, 30 June 1931 (attached to 1st Pursuit Group)
8th Pursuit Group (later 8th Fighter Group, 8th Fighter-Bomber Group), 15 June 1932 (attached to 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing after 1 February 1957)
8th Fighter-Bomber Wing (later 8th Tactical Fighter Wing), 1 October 1957 (attached to 41st Air Division after 13 May 1964)
41st Air Division, 18 June 1964 (attached to 2d Air Division, 9 August – 5 October 1964, 6 March – 4 May 1965)
6441st Tactical Fighter Wing, 1 April 1965 (attached to 2d Air Division, 26 August – 28 October 1965)
41st Air Division, 15 November 1966
347th Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 January 1968
3d Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 May 1971
8th Tactical Fighter Wing, 16 September 1974
51st Composite Wing (later 51st Tactical Fighter Wing), 30 September 1974
51st Fighter Group (later 51st Operations Group), 1 October 1990 – present


Camp Kelly (later Kelly Field), Texas, 12 June – 11 August 1917
Étampes, France, 19 September 1917
Issoudun, France, 24 September 1917
Cazaux, France, 21 February 1918
Saint-Jean-de-Monts, France, 5 November 1918
Saint-Nazaire, France, 16 February – 14 March 1919
Garden City, New York, 25 March – 7 April 1919
Selfridge Field, Michigan, 2 October 1930
Langley Field, Virginia, 13 June 1932
Mitchel Field, New York, 15 November 1940 – 26 January 1942
Brisbane, Australia, 6 March 1942
Lowood, Australia, 13 March 1942
Townsville, Queensland, Australia, 4 April 1942
Port Moresby, New Guinea, 26 April 1942
Townsville, Australia, 30 June 1942
Milne Bay, New Guinea, 18 September 1942
Mareeba, Australia, 22 February 1943
Port Moresby, New Guinea, 22 May 1943
Nadzab, New Guinea, 22 December 1943
Finschhafen, New Guinea, 9 January 1944
Nadzab, New Guinea, 14 March 1944
Owi, Schouten Islands, 17 June 1944
Morotai, Philippines, 19 September 1944
Dulag Airfield, Leyte, Philippines, 5 November 1944 (operated from Morotai until 30 November 1944)
San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines, 20 December 1944
Ie Shima Airfield, Okinawa, 6 August 1945
Fukuoka, Japan, 24 November 1945
Ashiya Air Base, Japan, 22 May 1946
Itazuke Air Base, Japan, 6 September 1946
Ashiya Air Base, Japan, Japan, 14 April 1947
Itazuke Air Base, Japan, 25 March 1949
Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, 11 August 1950
Suwon Air Base, South Korea, 5 October 1950
Kimpo Air Base, South Korea, 29 October 1950
Pyongyang Air Base, North Korea, 25 November 1950
Seoul Air Base, South Korea, 3 December 1950
Itazuke Air Base, Japan, 10 December 1950
Kimpo Air Base, South Korea, 25 June 1951
Suwon Air Base, South Korea, c. 26 August 1951
Itazuke Air Base, Japan, 19 October 1954
Yokota Air Base, Japan, 13 May 1964
Deployed to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, 9 August – 5 October 1964; Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, 6 March – 4 May, 26 August – 28 October 1965; Osan Air Base, South Korea, 1 October – 24 November 1968, 18 February – 24 March 1969, 27 May – 1 July 1969, 9 September – 18 October 1969, 27 December 1969 – 31 January 1970, 10 April – 9 May 1970, 20 June – 11 July 1970, 4 September – 2 October 1970, 27 November – 26 December 1970
Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, 15 May 1971
Osan Air Base, South Korea, 13 November 1971 – present


Douglas O-2 (1930–1932)
Curtiss P-1 Hawk (1930–1932)
Curtiss P-6 Hawk (1930–1932, 1932–1935, 1936–1937)
Berliner-Joyce P-16 (1932–1935)
Boeing P-12 (1932–1936)
Fokker O-27 (1932–1935)
Consolidated P-30 (PB-2) (1937–1939)
Curtiss P-36 Hawk (1939–1940)
Curtiss YP-37 (1938–1940)
Northrop A-17 Nomad (1938–1940)
Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (1940–1941)
Bell P-39 Airacobra (1941–1943)
Bell P-400 Airacobra (1942–1943)
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (1943–1944)
Lockheed P-38 Lightning (1944–1946)
North American P-51 Mustang (1946–1950)
Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star (1949–1953)
North American F-86 Sabre (1953–1957)
North American F-100 Super Sabre (1957–1963)
Republic F-105 Thunderchief (1963–1966)
McDonnell F-4 Phantom II (1967–1989)
General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon (1988 – present)

emblem USAAF 55th FS

55th Fighter Squadron

World War I

The 55th Fighter Squadron's roots trace back to 9 August 1917. Originally organized as the 55th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas, by November the squadron was deployed to Issoudun, France. The squadron was demobilized on 6 March 1919, following the war. The squadron was reactivated in November 1930, at Mather Field, California, flying Boeing P-12 aircraft, later joined by DH-4 aircraft in 1931. The squadron moved several times in the next decade, flying the P-26, P-36, and finally the P-40 at Hamilton Field.

World War II

At the beginning of World War II, the 55th sent its personnel to units fighting overseas and continued to train aviators for squadrons in Europe and the Pacific. In May 1942, it was redesignated a fighter squadron and transitioned to the P-39 Airacobra, operating from several locations in the United States before acquiring P-38 Lightnings.

The 55th was in the skies over Europe by August 1943, operating from RAF Wittering, England. The squadron flew 175 combat missions with the Lightning before acquiring the P-51 (F-6) Mustang in 1944. With the rest of the 20th Fighter Group, the 55th flew daily strafing, long-range-patrol and bomber-escort missions. In June, they provided air cover during the massive allied invasion of Normandy.

As the war progressed, the 55th performed escort and fighter-bomber missions supporting the Allied advance through Central Europe and the Rhineland. In December 1945, they took part in the Battle of the Bulge, escorting bombers to the battle area. The squadron's 175th and last combat mission in the P-51 was flown in April 1945, the day after American and Soviet forces met at the Elbe River. The 55th was demobilized on 18 October 1945, after the war's end, but was reactivated on 29 July 1946, at Biggs Field, Texas, flying air power demonstrations and training operations in the P-51.

Cold War

The 55th entered the jet age in February 1948, with the F-84G Thunderjet. In January 1950, it was redesignated the 55th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. The squadron returned to England at RAF Wethersfield in June 1952. The squadron transitioned to the F-100 Super Sabre in 1957 and in 1958 was redesignated the 55th Tactical Fighter Squadron.

The 55th moved with the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing to RAF Upper Heyford in June 1970. The next April, the 55th received its first F-111E Aardvark, becoming fully operational in November. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the 55th participated in countless North Atlantic Treaty Organization and U.S. exercises and operations, which directly contributed to containment of Soviet threats to Europe.

In January 1991, elements of the 55th deployed to Turkey during Operation Desert Storm. They flew more than 144 sorties, amassing 415 combat hours without a loss. These missions neutralized key facilities throughout northern Iraq and helped to liberate Kuwait and stabilize the region. The squadron was inactivated in December 1993.

Modern era

It was transferred and reactivated on 1 January 1994, to its present home, Shaw Air Force Base, flying the A-10 Thunderbolt II. In July 1996, the squadron transferred its aircraft to Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, and stood down.

In July 1997, the 55th made history when it stood up as a combat-ready F-16CJ squadron in only 60 days. It has since made numerous deployments to Southwest Asia, continuing to contain the Iraqi threat. In the meantime, the squadron has earned awards and recognition, including the David C. Schilling Award in 1999 and 2000, as well as the Air Force Association Citation of Honor.

In the summer of 2000, the 55th deployed to Southwest Asia for Operation Northern Watch. It followed that deployment with Operation Southern Watch in the fall of 2001, and in the winter of 2002, deployed again in support of Operation Northern Watch. Most recently the 55th deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in late 2008.


Designated 55th Aero Construction Squadron on 25 Aug 1917
Re-designated 467th Aero Construction Squadron on 1 Feb 1918
Demobilized on 16 Mar 1919
Reconstituted, and redesignated 55th Pursuit Squadron, on 24 Mar 1923
Activated on 15 Nov 1930
Re-designated: 55th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) on 6 Dec 1939
Re-designated: 55th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 12 Mar 1941
Re-designated: 55th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Re-designated: 55th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine) on 30 Dec 1942
Re-designated: 55th Fighter Squadron, Twin Engine, on 20 Aug 1943
Re-designated: 55th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 5 Sep 1944
Inactivated on 18 Oct 1945. Activated on 29 Jul 1946
Re-designated: 55th Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 15 Jun 1948
Re-designated: 55th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 20 Jan 1950
Re-designated: 55th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 8 Jul 1958
Re-designated: 55th Fighter Squadron on 1 Oct 1991
Inactivated on 30 Dec 1993
Activated on 1 Jan 1994.


U. S. Signal Corps, 28 Aug-Nov 1917
Third Aviation Instruction Center, Nov 1917
Aerial Gunnery School, May 1918
2d Air Depot, Nov 1918-Feb 1919
Unknown, Feb-16 Mar 1919
2d Bombardment Wing (attached to 20th Pursuit Group), 15 Nov 1930
8th Pursuit Group (attached to 20th Pursuit Group), 1 Apr 1931
20th Pursuit (later, 20th Fighter) Group, 15 Jun 1932 – 18 Oct 1945
20th Fighter (later, 20th Fighter-Bomber) Group, 29 Jul 1946
Attached to 20th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 15 Nov 1952 – 7 Feb 1955
20th Fighter-Bomber (later, 20th Tactical Fighter) Wing, 8 Feb 1955
Attached to 39th Tactical Fighter Group, 31 Aug – 23 Oct 1990
20th Operations Group, 31 Mar 1992 – 30 Dec 1993; 1 Jan 1994 – present

emblem USAAF 73rd FS

73d Fighter Squadron

Established in late 1941 as a pursuit squadron in the Hawaii Territory, initially equipped with obsolete P-26 Peashooters, later with some early model Curtiss P-40C Warhawks. Most aircraft were destroyed on the ground at Wheeler Field during the Pearl Harbor Attack; squadron was reassigned to Bellows Field for re-equipping, being re-formed by May 1942 and redesignated as a Fighter Squadron assigned to the new Seventh Air Force. Deployed to Midway Island after the Battle of Midway as a defensive squadron, providing air defense of the island. Reassigned back to Hawaii at the beginning of 1943, remained part of the Territory's air defense forces.

Received P-47D Thunderbolts in late 1943; deployed to Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. During the Marianas Campaign, worked closely with Marine ground forces, pioneered close infantry support and employed the first use of napalm. On Saipan the squadron was attacked by Japanese ground forces in June 1944 on Aslito Airfield soon renamed Isley Field, Saipan, sustaining modest casualties. Pilots and ground personnel took a crash course in infantry tactics afterward. Received the new long range P-47Ns in early 1945, before moving next door to Okinawa on Ie Shima.

With the P-47N the squadron pioneered Very Long Range (VLR) fighter operations across the Pacific with missions of historic length and duration: Kauai to Midway Atoll, Midway to Kaneohe and Makin to Jaluit and Maloelap. By 1945, with the long range P-47Ns, VLR sorties were the rule rather than the exception. In April 1945 the squadron began flying 1300 mile escorts and sweeps from Iwo Jima to Honshu. In May 1945 the 73d advanced to le Shima where they reached out to Japanese targets in Kyu-shu and China.

During the summer of 1945 was reassigned to the Twentieth Air Force and continued its fighter sweeps against Japanese airfields and other targets, in addition to flying long-range B-29 escort missions to Japanese cities, until the end of the war. Assigned to Eighth Air Force on Okinawa in August 1945, shortly after V-J Day. Returned to the United States and inactivated in Jan 1946.

Activated in the postwar air force reserve, but never manned or equipped. Inactivated due to budget shortages in 1949.

Reactivated in 1952 as a Strategic Air Command RB-36 Peacemaker strategic reconnaissance squadron at Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico; flew very long range intelligence gathering missions over the borders of the Soviet Union, North Korea and Communist China until 1959 when the B-36 was retired. In 1959 was reassigned to SAC provisional 4241st Strategic Wing, being re-equipped with B-52G Stratofortress intercontinental heavy bombers. Was reassigned to Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina by SAC to disperse its heavy bomber force. Conducted worldwide strategic bombardment training missions and providing nuclear deterrent.

Was inactivated in 1963 when SAC inactivated its provisional Strategic Wings, redesignating them permanent Air Force Wings. Squadron was inactivated with aircraft/personnel/equipment being redesignated 51st Bombardment Squadron in an in-place, name-only transfer.


Constituted 73d Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 4 October 1941
Activated on 5 October 1941
Redesignated 73d Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Inactivated on 12 January 1946
Activated in the reserve on 1 August 1947
Inactivated on 27 June 1949
Redesignated 73d Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) on 4 June 1952
Activated on 16 June 1952
Redesignated 73d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 1 October 1955.
Discontinued, and inactivated on 15 April 1963; personnel/aircraft/equipment redesignated as 51st Bombardment Squadron


18th Pursuit (later Fighter) Group, 5 October 1941
318th Fighter Group, 15 October 1942 – 12 January 1946
72d Reconnaissance Group, 1 August 1947 – 27 June 1949
72d Strategic Reconnaissance (later Bombardment) Wing, 16 June 1952
4241st Strategic Wing, 5 January 1959 – 15 April 1963


Wheeler Field, Hawaii Territory, 5 October 1941
Bellows Field, Hawaii Territory, 22 May 1942
Henderson Field, Midway Eastern Island, 17 June 1942
Kaneohe Field, Hawaii Territory, 26 January 1943
Mokuleia Field, Hawaii Territory, 5 May 1943
Bellows Field, Hawaii Territory, 8 November 1943
East Field Saipan, Mariana Islands, c. 23 June 1944
Ie Shima Airfield, Okinawa, 30 April 1945
Naha Airfield, Okinawa, November–December 1945
Fort Lewis, Washington, 11–12 January 1946
Hamilton Field (later AFB), California, 1 August 1947 – 27 June 1949
Ramey AFB, Puerto Rico, 16 June 1952
Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, 5 January 1959 – 15 April 1963


Boeing P-26, 1941
P-40 Warhawk, 1941–1943
P-47 Thunderbolt, 1943–1945
P-38 Lightning, 1944–1945
RB-36 Peacekeeper, 1953–1958
B-52G Stratofortress, 1959–1963

emblem USAAF 74th FS USAAF 23rd Fighter Group 74th Fighter Squadron USAAF 23rd Fighter Group 74th Fighter Squadron

74th Fighter Squadron

World War II

The 23d was the United States Army Air Forces China Air Task Force organization took over the operations of the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force when the AVG was disbanded. Some members of the AVG joined or rejoined the United States Air Force. Some volunteered to serve for an extra short period to help with the change-over.

The 74th was one of the original squadrons in the 23d to see combat action in the Far East. The Fighter Group used P-40 Warhawks, and later P-51 Mustangs, to cover a large operational area and diverse combat roles. The area of operation extended beyond China into Burma, French Indochina (Vietnam), and Formosa.

The mission taskings included counter air campaigns, strafing and bombing Japanese forces and installations, escorting bombers, flying reconnaissance missions, and intercepting Japanese bombers. The fighter group excelled in these roles and received the Distinguished Unit Citation for its exceptional performance during the war.

United States Air Force

Following World War II, the 74th was activated at various times and locations throughout the world. From 1946-1949 the 74th flew the P-47 at Northwest Field, Guam. During the years of 1951-1954, the 74th flew the F-86 and F-94 at Presque Isle AFB, Maine. The 74th then moved to Thule AB, Greenland, from 1954–1958 and flew the F-89. During the period 1958-1972, the 74th was inactive.

In July 1972, the 74th rejoined its sister squadrons for the first time since 1949 when the 23d Tactical Fighter Wing was activated at England Air Force Base LA. The 74th began operations flying the A-7 Corsair II in 1972 and transitioned into the A-10 Thunderbolt II in the summer of 1981.

During the 1980s, the 74th received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award five different times. The most recent combat tasking for the 74th was during Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM. From September 1990 until 11 April 1991, the 74th earned high praise for its performance during the campaign against Iraq's elusive Scud-B mobile missile launchers.

On 15 February 1992, the 74th was again inactivated at England Air Force Base as part of the Air Force's force structure realignment. It was reactivated 15 June 1993 at Pope AFB NC as part of the 23d Wing, the second composite wing built from the ground up. The 74th began operations at Pope AFB flying the F-16C/D Fighting Falcon. In July 1996, the F-16s departed Pope AFB and the 74th Fighter Squadron transitioned back to the A-10 aircraft.

The unit completed a deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.

Defense.gov reported in January 2018 that the 74th deployed personnel and equipment to form the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. The expeditionary squadron took part in Operation Inherent Resolve. The squadron focused it efforts in Raqqa for about three months, providing close air support to friendly forces fighting ISIL in the city.

On 18th October 2018, the squadron won the prestigious Hawgsmoke 2018 competition by being named Top Overall Team. The 74th were also awarded Top Tactical and Top Conventional team awards. The biennial A-10 bombing, missile and tactical gunnery competition was held at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.

On 14 March 2019, the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron was awarded the Gallant Unit Citation for this operation. According to the citation, squadron pilots faced persistent surface-to-air threats and repeated intercepts by Russian aircraft while developing 'new tactics to strike enemy fighters fortified in deep enemy terrain while protecting civilians and coalition forces' from July 2017 to January 2018, while operating from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. As the major force provider for the expeditionary squadron, this honor is bestowed on the 74th. It is only the fifth award of the citation and the first to an individual squadron.


Constituted as the 74th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 17 December 1941
Redesignated 74th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Activated on 4 Jul 1942
Redesignated 74th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 28 February 1944
Inactivated on 5 January 1946
Activated on 10 October 1946
Inactivated on 24 September 1949
Redesignated 74th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 19 December 1950
Activated on 12 January 1951
Inactivated on 25 June 1958
Redesignated 74th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 18 May 1972
Activated on 1 July 1972
Redesignated 74th Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991
Inactivated on 15 February 1992
Activated on 15 June 1993


23d Fighter Group, 4 July 1942 – 5 January 1946
23d Fighter Group, 10 October 1946 – 24 September 1949 (attached to 46th Fighter Wing December 1947 - 16 August 1948)
23d Fighter-Interceptor Group, 12 January 1951
4711th Defense Wing, 6 February 1952
528th Air Defense Group, 16 February 1953
64th Air Division, 21 August 1954
4734th Air Defense Group, 1 April 1957
64th Air Division, 1 May – 25 June 1958
23d Tactical Fighter Wing (later 23d Fighter Wing), 1 July 1972 – 15 February 1992 (attached to 354th Tactical Fighter Wing 2 July – 28 December 1973, Tactical Fighter Wing, 23, Provisional, 20 December 1990 – 20 April 1991)
23d Operations Group (later 23d Fighter Group), 15 June 1993 – present


Kunming, China, 4 July 1942
Yunnani, China, 12 March 1943
Kweilin, China, 19 May 1943 (detachment at Liuchow, China 16 February – 30 April 1944)
Luliang Air Base, China, 12 September 1944 (detachment at Tushan, China March - August 1945)
Liuchow, China, c. Aug 1945
Hanchow Airfield, China, c. 15 October – 4 December 1945
Fort Lewis, Washington, 3 – 5 January 1946
Northwest Field (later Northwest Guam Air Force Base), Guam, 10 October 1946 – 3 April 1949
Howard Air Force Base, Panama Canal Zone, 25 April – 24 September 1949
Presque Isle Air Force Base, Maine, 12 January 1951 – 19 August 1954
Thule Air Base, Greenland, 20 August 1954 – 25 June 1958
England Air Force Base, Louisiana, 1 July 1972 – 15 February 1992
(deployed to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, 2 July – 28 December 1973,
King Fahd Airport, Saudi Arabia 29 August 1990 – 20 April 1991)
Pope Air Force Base, North Carolina, 15 June 1993 – October 2006
Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, October 2006 – present


Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (1942–1944)
North American P-51 Mustang (1944–1945)
P-47 Thunderbolt (1946–1949)
Lockheed RF-80 Shooting Star (1949)
North American F-86E Sabre (1951)
North American F-86A Sabre (1951–1952)
Northrop F-89C Scorpion (1952, 1953-1958)
Lockheed F-94B Starfire (1952–1953)
LTV A-7D Corsair II (1972–1981)
General Dynamics F-16C Fighting Falcon (1993-1996)
General Dynamics F-16D Fighting Falcon (1993-1996)
Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II (1980–1992, 1996–present)

emblem USAAF 33rd FS emblem USAAF 33rd FS

333d Fighter Squadron

World War II

The squadron was first established in August 1942 at Bellows Field, Hawaii Territory as the 333d Fighter Squadron. It was initially part of the air defense of Hawaii, equipped with P-39 Airacobras. It also served as a Replacement Training Unit (RTU) and flew reconnaissance patrols over Hawaii until late 1943.

The 333d deployed to the Central Pacific as part of the Thirteenth Air Force island hopping campaign against Japanese in late 1943. It engaged in combat with the Japanese until April 1944, returning to Hawaii and being re-equipped and trained with long-range P-51 Mustangs. The squadron redeployed to the Western Pacific, and was stationed on Iwo Jima while the battle for the island was still ongoing and engaged in long-range B-29 Superfortress escort missions over Japan. It continued that mission until the end of hostilities in August 1945. The unit was reassigned to the Mariana Islands, as a Far East Air Forces fighter squadron, and was inactivated there in 1946.


Constituted as the 333d Fighter Squadron (Single Engine) on 18 August 1942
Activated on 23 August 1942
Inactivated on 12 January 1946


18th Fighter Group, 23 August 1942
318th Fighter Group, 11 January 1943 – 12 January 1946


Bellows Army Field, Hawaii Territory, 23 August 1942
Canton Army Airfield, Phoenix Islands, 11 September 1942
General Lyman Field, Hawaii Territory, 6 April 1943
Bellows Field, Hawaii Territory, 28 July 1943
East Field (Saipan), Mariana Islands, 6 July 1944
Ie Shima Airfield, Ryukyu Islands, 30 April 1945
Naha Airfield, Okinawa, November 1945 – December 1945
Fort Lewis, Washington, 11–12 January 1946
Barnes Municipal Airport, Massachusetts, 14 May 1946


P-39 Airacobra, 1942–1944
P-47 Thunderbolt, 1944–1945
P-38 Lightning, 1944–1945
F-47D Thunderbolt, 1947–1951


 Guadalcanal Province, Solomon Islands Map

This webpage was updated 1st April 2021