|301st Fighter Squadron|
Emblem of the 301st Fighter Squadron (AETC)
13 October 1942 – 19 October 1945 |
1 July 1947 – 1 July 1949
1 August 1958 – 2 July 1969
1 January 2000 – present
|Branch||United States Air Force|
Air Force Reserve Command |
Tenth Air Force
301st Fighter Wing
44th Fighter Group
|Garrison/HQ||Holloman Air Force Base|
The 301st Fighter Squadron (301 FS) is a United States Air Force Reserve squadron, assigned to the 44th Fighter Group, stationed at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. It is a corollary unit of the active duty 49th Fighter Wing (49 FW).
History[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]
The 301st was one of four African-American fighter squadrons to enter combat during World War II. One of the famous all-black squadrons of the 332d Fighter Group, activated on 19 February 1942 at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama, but which remained largely unmanned until it arrived at Selfridge Field, Michigan, late in March 1943. There it received sufficient personnel and the squadron began operational training with the P-39 and P-40 aircraft. The 100th completed training in December 1943 and prepared to move overseas.
The squadron sailed in early January 1944 aboard the USS William Few and arrived in Italy in early February 1944, becoming part of the Twelfth Air Force, Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO). The 301st flew its first combat mission on 19 February 1944. The squadron became engaged in various missions—harbor protection, point-to-point patrol, convoy escort, and armed reconnaissance. It also performed air rescue and strafing missions. In May 1944, the 301st was reassigned to the Fifteenth Air Force and thereafter the squadron’s primary duty was providing escort for bombers striking enemy oil and industrial targets in central Europe and the Balkans. While initially equipped with P-39 and P-47 aircraft, in June 1944 the squadron received P-51 aircraft which they retained throughout the remainder of the war.
In August 1944, the unit attacked enemy positions on the French coast in preparation for the invasion of southern France. They escorted bombers of the Fifteenth Air Force in attacks on the assault beaches on 15 August 1944. After this they returned to escorting heavy bombers to targets in Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Romania. They also attacked targets of opportunity—enemy airdromes, troop concentrations, communications lines, and enemy aircraft—when the opportunity arose. The unit received a Distinguished Unit Citation for its performance during an escort to Berlin on 23 March 1945. The squadron, along with other squadrons of the 332d Group, fought off a large enemy force, including jets, allowing the bomber formation to complete their mission. The 301st flew its last mission in Europe on 30 April 1945. On 30 September 1945, the 301st sailed for the United States aboard the Levi Woodbury and arrived at Camp Kilmer, NJ, on 17 October 1945. The squadron was inactivated on 19 October 1945.
Cold War[edit | edit source]
It trained in P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft between 1947 and 1949 at Lockbourne AFB, Ohio. until the squadron was inactivated on 1 July 1949. On 19 September 19 September 1985, the Air Force consolidated the 301st Fighter Squadron with the 901st Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy. The 901st ARS was activated at Columbus AFB, Mississippi on 1 August 1958, and was equipped with the KC-135 Stratotanker. Assigned initially to the Strategic Air Command provisional 4228th Strategic Wing, it provided air refueling to B-52 Stratofortresses on a worldwide basis, and to Tactical Air Command aircraft as required.
Reassigned to the 454th Bombardment Wing at Columbus on 1 February 1963, the squadron continued its worldwide mission supporting SAC B-52s combat aircraft with refueling over the Gulf of Tonkin and South China Sea. It was inactivated on 2 July 1969. Reactivated in provisional status 1972, at U-Tapao RTAFB, Thailand during 1972-1974. Aircraft were used in combat operations at the end of the Vietnam War and during expeditionary combat operations over Cambodia and Laos, 1972-August 1973. Supported United States tactical forces in Thailand 1973-1975 including Operation EAGLE PULL, the evacuation of United States citizens from Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 1975.
Modern era[edit | edit source]
Reactivated by Air Force Reserve Command as an AETC F-16 Fighting Falcon Flight Training squadron at Luke AFB, Arizona, as part of the 944th Fighter Wing. Sixty-four 64 Air Force Reserve Command pilots integrated with the 56th Operations Group fighter squadrons providing instruction to teach and graduate the Combat Air Forces newest F-16 pilots. The 56th Fighter Wing was one of the first units to integrate Reservists into its flying operation in 2000.
As a tenant unit at Luke the 301st F-16s carried the 'LR' (Luke Reserve) tailcode as opposed to the 'LF' of the resident 56th Fighter Wing. The squadron operated Block 32 F-16C/D models and were operated in the air to ground role.
On 9 March 2010, the pilots of the 301st Fighter Squadron changed their patch to the 69th Fighter Squadron during an inactivation ceremony on 5 March. The event marked the end of almost a decade of Tuskegee heritage at Luke AFB. The Air Force preserved the Tuskegee Airmen heritage with the 301st Fighter Squadron standing up Holloman AFB, New Mexico with the AFRC 44th Fighter Group on 9 April 2010.
Lineage[edit | edit source]
- Constituted 301st Fighter Squadron on 4 Jul 1942
- Activated on 13 Oct 1942
- Redesignated 301st Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, c. 21 Aug 1944
- Inactivated on 19 Oct 1945
- Activated on 1 Jul 1947
- Inactivated on 1 Jul 1949
- Consolidated (19 Sep 1985) with the 901st Air Refueling Squadron, Heavy
- Constituted on 7 Apr 1958
- Activated on 1 Aug 1958
- Inactivated on 2 Jul 1969
- Established in a Provisional Status as the (901st Air Refueling Squadron, Provisional) on 1 Jun 1972
- Disestablished on 30 September 1974
- Redesignated 301st Fighter Squadron on 1 Dec 1999
- Activated in the Reserve on 1 Jan 2000.
Assignments[edit | edit source]
- 332d Fighter Group, 13 Oct 1942 – 19 Oct 1945; 1 Jul 1947-1 Jul 1949
- 4228th Strategic Wing, 1 Aug 1958
- 454th Bombardment Wing, 1 Feb 1963 – 2 Jul 1969
- Attached to 4252d Strategic Wing, Dec 1965-Mar 1966 and Jul-Dec 1967
- Assigned in Provisional Status, to the 3101st Strategic Wing, Provisional, on 1 June 1972
- 307th Strategic Wing, 1 July 1974 – 30 Sep 1974
Stations[edit | edit source]
- Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama, 13 Oct 1942
- Selfridge Field, Michigan, 29 Mar 1943
- Oscoda Army Air Field, Michigan, 9 Nov 1943
- Selfridge Field, Michigan, 19 Nov 1943 – 23 Dec 1943
- Torretto Airfield, Italy, 29 Jan 1944
- Montecorvino Airfield, Italy, 8 Feb 1944
- Capodichino Airfield, Italy, 15 Apr 1944
- Ramitelli Airfield, Italy, 30 May 1944
- Cattolica Airfield, Italy, c. 4 May 1945
- Lucera Airfield, Italy, c. 18 Jul – 30 Sep 1945
- Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, 17-19 Oct 1945
- Lockbourne AAB (later, AFB), Ohio, 1 Jul 1947 – 1 Jul 1949
- Columbus AFB, Mississippi, 1 Aug 1958 – 2 Jul 1969
- U-Tapao Royal Thai Navy Airfield, Thailand, 1 June 1972 – 30 Sep 1974
- Luke AFB, Arizona, 1 Jan 2000 – 9 April 2010
- Holloman AFB, New Mexico, 9 April 2010 – Present
Aircraft[edit | edit source]
- P-39 Airacobra (1943–1944)
- P-40 Warhawk (1943–1944)
- P-47 Thunderbolt (1944, 1947–1949)
- F-51 Mustang (1944–1945)
- KC-135 Stratotanker (1958–1969. 1972-1974)
- F-16 Fighting Falcon (2000–2010)
- F-22A Raptor, 2010 – present
Operations[edit | edit source]
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Maurer, Maurer, ed (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/Publications/fulltext/combat_sq_of_the_af_wwii.pdf.
- AFHRA 301st Fighter Squadron History
- Squadron reactivates as Reserve unit at Luke
[edit | edit source]
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