|317th Fighter Interceptor Squadron|
317th Fighter Interceptor Squadron Patch
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The 317th Fighter Interceptor Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit, last assigned to Aerospace Defense Command, being stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. The squadron was inactivated on 31 December 1969.
History[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]
The 317th Fighter Squadron was activated on 1 July 1942 at Theodore Green Airport, Providence, Rhode Island, as part of the 325th Fighter Group, the "Checker Tails". After six months of intensive training in the P-40 Warhawk, the 317th embarked for North Africa aboard the USS Ranger, in consort with its sister squadrons, the 318th and 319th. The 317th flew its first combat mission in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) under Twelfth Air Force on 17 April 1943. Flying P-40 Warhawks, P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs, the 317th fought in 13 separate campaigns where it earned two Distinguished Unit Citations in action over Italy and Sardinia. In October 1945, after the conclusion of the European air war, the 317th returned to the United States and was inactivated.
Air Defense Command[edit | edit source]
In May 1947, the squadron was reactivated at Mitchel Field, New York and equipped with P-61 Black Widows. Reassigned to Moses Lake AFB, Washington, the squadron was re-equipped with the new F-82 Twin Mustang in October 1948. The squadron was assigned for the defense of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Eastern Washington. One month later it was reassigned to Hamilton Field, California, and in April 1950, returned to McChord AFB, Washington.
In 1951. the squadron was re-designated as the 317th Fighter Interceptor Squadron. a component of the 25th Air Division, Air Defense Command, During the period between 1947 to 1956. the 317th flew the F-82. the F-94 Starfire, and the F-86D Sabre interceptor. In 1955 and 1956, at Vincent AFB, Yuma, Arizona, flying the F-86D, the 317th engaged in airborne rocket competition, breaking all records previously set. In August 1956 the squadron was selected as the best air defense unit in the Air Force and was awarded the Hughes Trophy, In addition, the squadron received its first Outstanding Unit Award for high combat readiness for the period of 1953 through 1956. In November 1956, the 317th began transitioning into the F-102 Delta Dagger.
Alaskan Air Command[edit | edit source]
In November 1956, the 317th began transitioning into the F-102A Delta Dagger, becoming the second squadron to receive the new delta winged supersonic aircraft. In August 1957, the 317th was reassigned in force, to Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, where it assumed air defense mission of the southern portion of Alaska and the northwestern approaches to the United States.
In the summer of 1960. the 449th FIS was inactivated and Ladd AFB was closed. leaving the entire Alaska air defense mission to the 317th FIS. To carry out this mission, the squadron was authorized 40 aircraft and 60 pilots. The squadron received its second Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for maintaining full combat readiness during and after the 1964 Alaska earthquake on 27 March 1964.
In the summer of 1965, the 317th was reduced to 29 aircraft and the manning reduced accordingly, but the air defense mission remained the same. In October 1965, the squadron was awarded the Hughes Trophy for the second time, and a third Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for combat readiness.
In December 1969, due to budget reductions, the 317th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron was inactivated.
Lineage[edit | edit source]
- Constituted 317th Fighter Squadron on 24 June 1942
- Activated on 3 August 1942.
- Inactivated on 28 October 1945.
- Activated on 25 August 1947
- Redesignated: 317th Fighter Squadron (All Weather) on 10 May 1948
- Redesignated: 317th Fighter-All Weather Squadron on 20 January 1950
- Redesignated: 317th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 1 May 1951.
- Inactivated on 31 December 1969
Assignments[edit | edit source]
- 325th Fighter Group, 3 August 1942 – 28 October 1945
- Fourth Air Force, 25 August 1947
- Air Defense Command
- 325th Fighter (later Fighter-All Weather; Fighter-Interceptor) Group, 31 December 1947
- 4704th Air Defense Wing, 6 February 1952
- 567th Air Defense Group, 16 February 1953
- 325th Fighter Group, 18 August 1955
- 10th Air Division, 15 August 1957
- 5070th Air Defense Wing, 25 August 1960
Stations[edit | edit source]
Aircraft[edit | edit source]
- Curtiss P-40, 1942–1943
- P-47 Thunderbolt, 1943–1944
- P-51 Mustang, 1944–1945
- P-61 Black Widow, 1947–1948
- F-82 Twin Mustang, 1948–1951
- F-94A Starfire, 1950–1953
- F-86D Sabre Interceptor, 1953–1956
- F-102 Delta Dagger, 1956–1969
References[edit | edit source]
- 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.
- USAF Aerospace Defense Command publication, The Interceptor, January 1979 (Volume 21, Number 1).
- Northrop P-61 Black Widow—The Complete History and Combat Record, Garry R. Pape, John M. Campbell and Donna Campbell, Motorbooks International, 1991.
- 414th combat Training Squadron at Globalsecurity.org
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