1st Antisubmarine Squadron
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|1st Antisubmarine Squadron|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The 1st Antisubmarine Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 480th Antisubmarine Group, based at Clovis Army Airfield, New Mexico. It was inactivated on 29 January 1944.
The squadron was organized in Utah, then formed in Washington state and began training as a Second Air Force bombardment unit flying patrols in the northwest with Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, it was prepared for deployment to England as an Eighth Air Force heavy bombardment Squadron.
Reassigned to Langley Field, Virginia, it converted into a Consolidated B-24 Liberator antisubmarine unit, being redesignated the 1st Antisubmarine Squadron. It deployed to RAF St Eval in England as part of the 1st Antisubmarine Group (Provisional); it trained with RAF Coastal Command on aerial antisubmarine tactics.
The squadron deployed to Port Lyautey in French Morocco in March 1943 to shore up scanty Allied antisubmarine defenses in the Atlantic approaches to the Straits of Gibraltar. It was part of the 2037th Antisubmarine Wing (Provisional) under the operational control of the United States Navy Fleet Air Wing 15, which answered to the commander of the Moroccan Sea Frontier.
The squadron flew antisubmarine hunter killer missions from Morocco, deploying to stations in Tunisia in September 1943. It operated 24 hours a day until the landing of the United States Fifth Army at Salerno in Italy. It extended antisubmarine patrols until 9 September to cover the sea west of Sardinia and Corsica. One B-24 destroyed three German flying boats northwest of Sardinia. In addition to the antisubmarine patrols, the 1st Squadron flew escort for several Allied convoys and covered the escape of Italian naval vessels from Genoa and Spezia to Malta following Italy's surrender. Both the 1st and 2nd Antisubmarine Squadrons made-up the 480th Antisubmarine Group under the command of Colonel Jack Roberts. In June 1943, the group was assigned to the Northwest African Coastal Air Force under the command of Air Vice-Marshal Hugh Lloyd, RAF, but the group operated under the control of the USN FAW-15 at Port Lyautey, French Morocco, (now Kenitra, Morocco).
The squadron returned to Morocco on 18 September and operated in the Moroccan Sea Frontier until it returned to the United States in November 1943, it was inactivated in January 1944.
- Constituted 361st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 28 January 1942
- Activated on 15 July 1942
- Redesignated: 1st Antisubmarine Squadron (Heavy) on 23 November 1942
- Disbanded on 29 January 1944.
- 304th Bombardment Group, 15 July 1942
- Air echelon attached to VIII Bomber Command, c. 10 November 1942-15 January 1943
- 25th Antisubmarine Wing, 30 December 1942
- Attached to: 1st Antisubmarine Group [Prov], 15 January-1 March 1943
- Attached to: 2037th Antisubmarine Wing [Prov], 1 March-21 June 1943
- 480th Antisubmarine Group, 21 June 1943-29 January 1944.
- Salt Lake City AAB, Utah, 15 July 1942
- Geiger Field, Washington, 15 September 1942
- Ephrata, Washington, 1 October 1942
- Langley Field, Virginia, 29 October-26 December 1942
- Operated from: Agadir, French Morocco, July 1943
- Operated from: Protville, Tunisia, 2–18 September 1943
- Clovis Army Air Field, New Mexico, c. 4–29 January 1944.
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.