26th Weapons Squadron
|26th Weapons Squadron|
26th WPS MQ-1 Predator UAV in flight
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Role||Advanced Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Training|
|Part of||USAF Weapons School|
|Garrison/HQ||Nellis AFB, Nevada|
World War II (Asia-Pacific Theater)
Distinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
|26th Weapons Squadron emblem|
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.
World War II
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.
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.
Conducted undergraduate pilot training at Vance AFB, Oklahoma, 1990–1992, flying T-38 Talons until inactivated as part of the post Cold War shutdown.
- 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.
- 51st Pursuit (later Fighter) Group, January 15, 1941 – December 13, 1945
- 51st Fighter (later Fighter-Interceptor) Group, October 15, 1946
- 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
- Thirteenth Air Force, 1 October 1957
- 6200th Air Base Wing, June 5, 1958 – April 9, 1959.
- 71st Flying Training Wing, 19 Jan 1990
- 71st Operations Group, 15 Dec 1991-1 Oct 1992
- USAF Weapons School, 30 Sep 2008–Present
- "26th weapons squadron reactivated". Retrieved 17 January 2012.
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- AFHRA 26th Weapons Squadron Factsheet