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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.

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 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


 Guadalcanal Province, Solomon Islands Map

This webpage was updated 1st April 2021