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26th Weapons Squadron
MQ-1 Predator.jpg
26th WPS MQ-1 Predator UAV in flight
Active 1940–Present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Training
Part of USAF Weapons School
Garrison/HQ Nellis AFB, Nevada
Tail Code "WA"
Engagements Asiatic-Pacific Streamer.png
World War II (Asia-Pacific Theater)
Decorations Streamer PUC Army.PNG
Distinguished Unit Citation
US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
26th Weapons Squadron emblem 26th Weapons Squadron - Emblem.png

The 26th Weapons Squadron is a United States Air Force unit, assigned to the USAF Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada

Overview[edit | edit source]

The 26th WPS is the first Unmanned Aircraft Systems Weapons Squadron, and will specialize in training and producing MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators. Missions for the 26th Weapons Squadron are flown from Nellis Air Force Base, as opposed to Creech Air Force Base, where most UAS operations are currently underway.

History[edit | edit source]

World War II[edit | edit source]

Activated at Hamilton Field, California in 1941 as a P-40 Pursuit Squadron to defend the West Coast. Deployed to the CBI in March 1942, initially arriving at Karachi, India moving via Australia and Ceylon. It was assigned to Tenth Air Force. The squadron defended the Indian terminus of the "Hump" airlift route over the Himalaya Mountains between India and China and airfields in that area, operating from the Assam Valley of northeast India. The squadron flew strafing, bombing, reconnaissance, and patrol missions in support of Allied ground troops during a Japanese offensive in northern Burma in 1943. Moved to southeast China in October 1943, being assigned to Fourteenth Air Force. The squadron defended the Chinese end of the Hump route and air bases in the Kunming area. Attached Japanese shipping in the Red River delta of Indochina and supported Chinese ground forces in their late 1944 drive along the Salween River. Was reequipped with North American P-51D Mustangs in 1945 to defend the eastern end of the route over the Hump, and to guard air bases in the Kunming area.

The returned to India in the fall of 1945 and sailed for the United States in November. Inactivated on 13 December 1945.

Cold War[edit | edit source]

Reactivated at Yontan Air Base Okinawa in 1946 and moved to Naha AB when Yontan closed in 1947. The squadron was assigned to the Twentieth Air Force, 301st Fighter Wing. The squadron served as part of the occupation force and provided air defense for Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands until 1955, Pilots engaging in combat operations in Korean War, 1950-1953. Moved to Clark AB, Philippines in 1955, providing air defense of the Philippines until 1959 when inactivated due to budget restraints.

Modern era[edit | edit source]

MQ-9 Reaper in Afghanistan

Conducted undergraduate pilot training at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, 1990–1992, flying T-38 Talons until inactivated as part of the post Cold War shutdown. Reactivated in 2008 at Nellis AFB, Nevada as part of the USAF Weapons School, specializing in training and producing MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper pilots and sensor operators.[1]

Lineage[edit | edit source]

1950s 26th FIS Emblem

  • Constituted as 26th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 20 Nov 1940
Activated on 15 Jan 1941
Re-designated: 26th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) on 12 Mar 1941
Re-designated: 26th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine) on 15 May 1942
Re-designated: 26th Fighter Squadron on 1 Jun 1942
Inactivated on 13 Dec 1945
  • Activated on 15 Oct 1946
Re-designated: 26th Fighter Squadron, Jet-Propelled, on 19 Feb 1947
Re-designated: 26th Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 10 Aug 1948
Re-designated: 26th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 1 Feb 1950
Inactivated on 9 Apr 1959
  • Re-designated 26th Flying Training Squadron on 13 Dec 1989
Activated on 19 Jan 1990. Inactivated on 1 Oct 1992
  • Re-designated 26th Weapons Squadron on 18 Sep 2008
Activated on 30 Sep 2008.

Assignments[edit | edit source]

Attached to: 6302d Air Base Group, September 20, 1950
Attached to: 6351st Air Base Wing, June 25, 1951
Attached to: Thirteenth Air Force, November 11, 1954

Stations[edit | edit source]

Detachments operated from: Nanning Airfield, China, c. March 8 – November 1944
Detachments operated from: Liangshan Airfield, China, May – June 20, 1944
Detachments operated from: Kweilin Airfield, China, June 20–30, 1944
Detachments operated from: Poseh Airfield, China, January 1945
Detachments operated from: Liangshan Airfield, China, January and March 1945
Detachments operated from: Laohokow Airfield, China, January–February 1945

Aircraft[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

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