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42d Attack Squadron
42d Attack SquadronII.PNG
42d Attack Squadron
Active 1917-1919
1922-1936
1940-1963
since 2006
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Unmanned Aerial vehicle
Garrison/HQ Creech AFB, Nevada
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
US Navy Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon.png Navy PUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA

Emblem of the 42d Expeditionary Attack Squadron

Emblem of the 42d Bombardment Squadron

The 42d Attack Squadron (42 ATKS) of the United States Air Force flies MQ-9 Reaper UAVs and is currently based out of Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada. The 42d will oversee the training and combat deployment of aerial vehicle and sensor operators assigned to the new MQ-9 Reaper. According to its first squadron commander, Lt Col Jon Greene, by 2009, the 42d Attack Squadron should have 18 Reapers assigned for training and deployment purposes. All aircraft will employ the AN/AAS-52 Multi-Spectral Targeting System developed by Raytheon.[1]

History[edit | edit source]

The squadron was organized as the 42d Aero Squadron on 17 June 1917, shortly after the United States declared war on Germany. Based at Camp Kelly, Texas, the squadron flight-trained new pilots as part of the Air Service until demobilized on 21 February 1919.

The squadron was reconstituted in 1922 and became the 42d School Squadron in January 1923 as part of the 10th School Group at Kelly Field. In 1924 its lineage was consolidated with that of the 42d Aero Squadron. The 42d School Squadron continued its flying training role as part of the Air Corps in 1926, and was assigned to the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field in 1931.

On 1 March 1935, with the activation of the General Headquarters Air Force, the squadron was redesignated a bombardment squadron, although it remained a training squadron at Kelly until its inactivation in September 1936.

The 42d Bombardment Squadron was reactivated on 1 February 1940, in the expansion of the Air Corps anticipating U.S. participation in World War II, as part of the 11th Bombardment Group based at Hickam Field, Territory of Hawaii. Initially flying B-18s, the squadron was converting to B-17 Flying Fortresses when Hickam was attacked by Japanese carrier aircraft as part of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The 42d Bomb Squadron deployed with the 11th Bomb Group to Espiritu Santo, where it participated in the Guadalcanal Campaign. It conducted long-range reconnaissance and bombing missions throughout the South, Southwest, Central, and Western Pacific areas until the end of the war, converting to B-24 Liberator bombers in 1943.

In 1946, while based on Guam, the 42d BS was briefly equipped with B-29 Superfortresses, but had no aircraft or flying mission from 1947 to its inactivation on in 1948.

The squadron was re-activated as a unit of the United States Air Force on 1 December 1948. Assigned to the 11th Bomb Wing as part of the Strategic Air Command, it flew B-36 Peacemaker intercontinental bombers from Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. In 1957 it moved to Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, to convert to B-52 Stratofortresses.

In 1960 was reassigned to SAC provisional 4043d Strategic Wing, being re-equipped with B-52E Stratofortress intercontinental heavy bombers. Was reassigned to Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio by SAC to disperse its heavy bomber force. Conducted worldwide strategic bombardment training missions and providing nuclear deterrent. Was inactivated in 1963 when SAC inactivated its provisional Strategic Wings, redesignating them permanent Air Force Wings. Squadron was inactivated with aircraft/personnel/equipment being redesignated 34th Bombardment Squadron in an in-place, name-only transfer.

On 9 November 2006, the squadron was re-designated the 42d Attack Squadron and re-activated at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, initially as part of the 57th Wing before being assigned as one of the six unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) squadrons of the 432d Air Expeditionary Wing, and the only squadron designated as an attack squadron.

The 42d ATKS received its first MQ-9 on 13 March 2007.[2] Officially combat-operational in Afghanistan since September 2007, the typical MQ-9 system consists of several aircraft, a ground control station, communications equipment/links, spares, and active duty and/or contractor personnel. The crew consists of one unmanned aerial system (UAS) pilot, one sensor operator and one mission intelligence coordinator (MIC).

Lineage[edit | edit source]

  • Organized as 42d Aero Squadron, 13 June 1917
Demobilized 21 February 1919
  • Authorized 10 June 1922, as 42d Squadron
Organized 5 July 1922
Redesignated 42d School Squadron, 25 January 1923
42d Aero Squadron reconstituted and consolidated 8 April 1924 with 42d School Squadron
Redesignated 42d Bombardment Squadron, 1 March 1935
Inactivated 1 September 1936
Redesignated 42d Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on inactive list, 22 December 1939
  • Activated 1 February 1940
Redesignated 42d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11 December 1940
Redesignated 42d Bombardment Squadron (Very Heavy), 30 April 1946
Inactivated 20 October 1948
  • Redesignated and activated as 42d Bomb Squadron (Heavy), 1 December 1948
Discontinued, and inactivated on 1 February 1963; personnel/aircraft/equipment redesignated as 6th Bombardment Squadron
  • Redesignated and activated as 42d Attack Squadron, 9 November 2006
  • Designated as 42d Expeditionary Attack Squadron and placed in provisional status when elements in combat areas after 9 November 2006

Assignments[edit | edit source]

Stations[edit | edit source]

References for commands and major units assigned, components and stations:[3][4][5]

Aircraft[edit | edit source]

Decorations[edit | edit source]

Streamer PUC Army.PNG

South Pacific, 31 July-30 November 1942

U.S. Navy Presidential Unit Citation streamer.png

Pacific Theater, 7 August-9 December 1942

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg

6 August 1954-15 July 1957
27 October 1958-1 June 1960

See also[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. "Multi-Spectral Targeting System". Raytheon. http://www.history.army.mil/books/R&H/R&H-3CV.htm. Retrieved 10 May 2009. 
  2. Las Vegas Review-Journal, 14 March 2007, Page 3B
  3. Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9
  4. Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  5. Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978. Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.

References[edit | edit source]

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

External links[edit | edit source]


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