|142d Airlift Squadron|
Aircraft # 213, Delaware Air National Guard, parked on the ramp at New Castle air base, Del., after passing the 10,000 flying hour milestone on June 5, 2008, becoming the first C-130 aircraft in the unit to pass this mark since the fleet arrived in the mid-1980s.
|Branch||Air National Guard|
|Active||30 September 1942-Present|
|Part of||Delaware Air National Guard|
The mission of the 142d Airlift Squadron is to provide combat ready aircrew for state, national and worldwide deployment in support of any assigned mission. The squadron's mission capability includes all weather, day and night, airland, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation capability. The C-130 aircraft is inter-theatre and intra-theatre capable. The squadron is also capable of supplying specially trained aircrews for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) operations when called upon. The "flying" squadron consists of pilots, navigators, flight engineers and loadmasters, and includes life support and administrative support sections.
World War IIEdit
- see: 348th Fighter Group for World War II history
Established on 30 September 1942 at Mitchel Field, New York as the 342d Fighter Squadron, equipped with P-47 Thunderbolts. Deployed to the Southwest Pacific Area (SWA), and assigned to Fifth Air Force in New Guinea. Engaged in combat operations until August 1945, then becoming part of the Army of Occupation in Japan. Returned to the United States during May 1946 and was inactivated.
Delaware Air National GuardEdit
On 6 September 1946, the formal federal recognition and activation of the 142d Fighter Squadron, Delaware's took place at a ceremony in the Wilmington Armory. The ceremony was conducted by Brigadier General Paul R. Rinard, the Adjutant General and Colonel John B. Grier, U.S. Property and Disbursing Officer for Delaware. Shortly afterwards the squadron received it first fighter planes, F-47N Thunderbolts. Prior to being federalized during the Korean War on 1 February 1951, the unit received F-84C Thunderjets. On 17 May 1951, the unit was redesignated the 142d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron and in September 1951 the unit exchanged its F-84Cs for the F-94 Starfire interceptor aircraft to fit the unit's new air defense mission. On 1 November 1952, the 142d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was released from active duty in Korea and reorganized as the Delaware Air National Guard. On 1 December 1952 the unit was redesignated the 142d Fighter-Bomber Squadron and reverted to propeller-driven aircraft, the F-51H Mustang.
In 1954 the unit received F-86A Sabre day interceptor fighters replacing the F-51Hs. In July 1956, Major David F. McCallister (142d Fighter Bomber Squadron Commander) set a fighter record by flying his F-86 Sabre 1,922 miles in three hours, 30 minutes, to win the Earl T. Ricks Memorial Trophy. On 10 November 1958 the unit was redesignated the 142d Tactical Fighter Squadron and was reassigned from the Air Force's Air Defense Command to the Tactical Air Command.
On 7 April 1962 the Delaware Air National Guard enlarged the unit to "group status" and established 166th Air Transport Group and was reassigned from the Tactical Air Command to the Military Air Transport Service. The 142d Tactical Fighter Squadron was assigned to the 166th ATG and re-designated as the 142d Air Transport Squadron. The squadron was re-equipped with the four engine C-97 Stratocruiser cargo aircraft. During the period from 1964-1974 the Delaware Air National Guard flew missions to South Vietnam. In September 1965, only three years after receiving the C-97, the Delaware Air National Guard received the McCallister Trophy as the Air National Guard Outstanding Transport Unit.
Dr. Harold Brown, Secretary of the Air Force, announced that effective 1 January 1966, the Military Air Transport Service would be redesignated as the Military Airlift Command. In addition to the name change certain Air National Guard units were also re-designated. The 142d Air Transport Squadron was re-designated the 166th Military Airlift Squadron on 8 January 1966. In April 1966, the unit was awarded the Outstanding Unit Trophy by the Air Force Association based on our impressive collection of achievements and safety record. On 12 May 1971 the Group changed its name from the 166th Military Airlift Group to the 166th Tactical Airlift Group and replaced its C-97s with C-130A Hercules prop-jet cargo plane, and began transition from the Military Airlift Command to the Tactical Airlift Command. The 142d was subsequently re-designated as the 142d Tactical Airlift Squadron. The antiquated C-130Bs were upgraded in October 1985 with the delivery of a brand new factory fresh C-130H models.
On 25 January 1991 selected personnel were activated for the Persian Gulf War known as "Operation Desert Storm," (8 planes with crews and maintenance and support personnel.) A majority of the unit was stationed with the 1670th Tactical Airlift Group (Provisional) at Al Kharj Air Base, Saudi Arabia. On 30 June 1991 the aircraft/personnel were released from active duty performed in support of the Persian Gulf War. Another name change occurred on 16 March 1992 - the 166th Tactical Airlift Group was redesignated the 166th Airlift Group and the 142d Tactical Airlift Squadron was redesignated the 142d Airlift Squadron. In conjunction, the unit's gaining command (Military Airlift Command) was redesignated the Air Mobility Command. In September 1992, Colonel Dugar led a group of personnel as part of the Hurricane Andrew relief effort, and on 26 October 1993 the Gaining Command for the Delaware Air National Guard changed from Air Mobility Command to Air Combat Command. On 1 October 1995, the 166th Airlift Group was renamed the 166th Airlift Wing. On 20 November the 166th Airlift Wing (and all subordinate units) were awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period August 15, 1993 through August 14, 1995. On April 1, 1997 the Gaining Command of the Delaware Air National Guard changed from Air Combat Command to Air Mobility Command.
- Constituted 342d Fighter Squadron on 24 Sep 1942
- Activated on 30 Sep 1942
- Inactivated on 10 May 1946
- Re-designated 142d Fighter Squadron, and allotted to Delaware ANG, on 24 May 1946
- Received federal recognition and activated 1 July 1946
- Federalized and placed on active duty, 10 February 1951
- Re-designated: 142d Fighter Squadron (Jet), 10 February 1951
- Re-designated: 142d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 17 May 1951
- Released from active duty and returned to Delaware state control, 1 November 1952
- Re-designated: 142d Fighter-Bomber Squadron 1 December 1952
- Re-designated: 142d Tactical Fighter Squadron, 10 November 1958
- Re-designated: 142d Air Transport Squadron, 7 April 1962
- Re-designated: 142d Military Airlift Squadron, 8 January 1966
- Re-designated: 142d Tactical Airlift Squadron, 12 May 1971
- Re-designated: 142d Airlift Squadron, 16 March 1992-Present
- 348th Fighter Group, 30 Sep 1942-10 May 1946
- Attached to XII Bomber Command, c. 25 Aug-22 September 1944
- Delaware Air National Guard, 1 July 1946
- Gained by: Continental Air Command
- 53d Fighter Wing, 17 January 1947
- 111th Air Defense Wing, 1 November 1950
- 113th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 10 February 1951
- 4710th Air Defense Wing, 6 February 1952 – 1 November 1952
- 111th Strategic Reconnaissance Group, 1 November 1952
- 111th Fighter-Bomber Group, 1 January 1953
- 111th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 1 July 1955
- 166th Air Transport Group, 7 April 1962
- 166th Military Airlift Group, 8 January 1966
- 166th Tactical Airlift Group, 12 May 1971
- 166th Airlift Group, 1 June 1992
- 166th Operations Group, 10 January 1995 – Present
- A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
- Maurer, Maurer. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force: World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1982.
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