336th Fighter Squadron

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336th Fighter Squadron
336th Fighter Squadron Emblem 2014.png
336th Fighter Squadron
Active 22 August 1942-
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Fighter
Role Air Interdiction
Part of

Air Combat Command

9th Air Force

4th Fighter Wing
Nickname Rockets
Colors Yellow
Engagements World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Operations Northern Watch, Operation Southern Watch, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom
Carroll W. McColpin
336th Fighter Squadron F-15E on alert in Afghanistan
4th FW F-15Es in Southwest Asia in 1992.
F-4E-61-MC Phantom 74-1629 of the 336th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 1984.
North American F-100C-1-NA Super Sabre, AF Serial No. 53-1743 of the 336th TFS (yellow) with two F-100F-10-NA Super Sabres (AF S/Ns 56-3868 and 56-3842) of the 333d TFS (red) of the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing.
56-3842 was sold to Denmark in 1974, later being sold on the civilian marketplace, being registered as N417FS in 1982.
Risner F-86 Korea.jpg
336th F-86 Korea.jpg
Gentile P-51B Shangri-La.jpg
North American P-51D-10-NA Mustang AAF Serial No. 44-14277 of the 336th Fighter Squadron. This aircraft was shot down over Prague 16 April 1945 and the pilot was taken POW.

The 336th Fighter Squadron (336 FS) is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 4th Operations Group and stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

The 336th was constituted on 22 August 1942 as an incorporation of the Royal Air Force 133 Squadron into the United States Army Air Forces' VIII Fighter Command. 133 Squadron was one of three RAF Eagle Squadrons composed of American volunteer pilots who enlisted in the RAF and fought in World War II prior to the United States entry into the war.

At the height of conversion training, the 4th TFW was one of the first units tasked to react to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. The 335th and 336th Tactical Fighter Squadrons and support personnel deployed to Saudi Arabia, beginning in August 1990. The combat record of the 4th TFW in Saudi Arabia was exceptional, with the 336th TFS flying 1,088 combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. The unit dropped more than six-million pounds of bombs on Scud missile sites, bridges and airfields. Most of the missions were flown at night.[1]


The "Rocketeers" fly the McDonnell-Douglas (now Boeing) F-15E Strike Eagle. It was the first operational F-15E squadron in the Air Force. Its aircraft are identified by the "SJ" tail code and yellow fin flash.

Currently the squadron provides worldwide deployable aircraft and personnel capable of executing combat missions in support of worldwide Aerospace Expeditionary Force deployments to combat areas as part of the Global War on Terrorism. To date, the 336th have destroyed 459 enemy aircraft including the 4th Fighter Wing's sole MiG kill in Vietnam.


On 23 September 1942 the 4 FG moved to its initial airfield at RAF Debden; however, the 336 FS moved to a satellite field at RAF Great Sampford. They conducted operations from there until rejoining the group at Debden on 30 October 1942.

Fighter aircraft escorted first bombing raid over Berlin, March 1944. On 21 June 1944, escorted bombers in the first shuttle bombing mission from England to Russia. Received Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for destroying enemy aircraft and attacking air bases in France, 5 March – 24 April 1944.

In 1946 trained in jet aircraft; participated in air shows around the US; began night flying in late 1947. Combat in Korea, December 1950-July 1953. Received second and third DUCs for combat in Korean War, 22 April – 8 July 1951 and 9 July – 27 November 1951.

Deployed to Florida in October 1962 during Cuban missile crisis.

From January–June 1968, deployed to Korea; tasked with operations associated with USS Pueblo incident. Combat in Southeast Asia, April–September 1972 and March 1973.

During the 1980s, trained in combat readiness in order to maintain worldwide commitment and air-to-air mission capability. Deployed to Europe under dual-based mission concept in support of NATO objectives, 1978-1985.

Participated in initial attack on Iraq, 17 January 1991. During 1990-1994, shared quarterly rotation duties to Southwest Asia with 334 and 335 FS.

Since 1991, trained as combat ready fighter squadron prepared for rapid world wide deployment of fighter aircraft to accomplish air-to-ground, air-to-air, strategic attack and deep interdiction missions.

Deployed to combat areas in Middle East as part of Global War on Terrorism, 2001–present.

On 18 July 2009, F-15E tail #90-0231 from the 336th Fighter Squadron crashed in eastern Afghanistan, killing the two-man crew, Captain Mark R. McDowell and Thomas J. Gramith. The US military reported that the jet was not downed by enemy action.[2]

2013 Sequestration[edit]

Air Combat Command officials announced a stand down and reallocation of flying hours for the rest of the fiscal year 2013 due to mandatory budget cuts. The across-the board spending cuts, called sequestration, took effect 1 March when Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan. [3]

Squadrons either stood down on a rotating basis or kept combat ready or at a reduced readiness level called “basic mission capable” for part or all of the remaining months in fiscal 2013.[3] This affected the 336th Fighter Squadron with a stand-down grounding from 9 April-30 September 2013.[3]


  • Constituted 336th Fighter Squadron on 22 August 1942
Activated on 12 September 1942
Redesignated 336th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 20 August 1943
Inactivated on 10 November 1945
  • Activated on 9 September 1946
Redesignated: 336th Fighter Squadron, Jet Propelledon 23 April 1947
Redesignated: 336th Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 14 June 1948
Redesignated: 336th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 20 January 1950
Redesignated: 336th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 8 March 1955
Redesignated: 336th Fighter-Day Squadron on 25 April 1956
Redesignated: 336th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 July 1958
Redesignated: 336th Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991
Designated as: 336th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron and placed in provisional status when deployed to United States Air Forces Central as part of the Global War on Terrorism after 11 September 2001.


An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 336th patrols over Florida as the Space Shuttle Atlantis launches in the background
  • 4th Fighter Group, 12 September 1942 – 10 November 1945
  • 4th Fighter (later, 4th Fighter-Interceptor; 4th Fighter-Bomber; 4th Fighter-Day) Group, 9 September 1946
Attached to: 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 19 November 1954
Attached to: 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 7 August 1956
Attached to: 313th Air Division, 1 February – 8 December 1957
Attached to: 65th Air Division, 12 August 1963 – 7 January 1964
Attached to: Seventeenth Air Force, 25 May – 30 August 1965
Attached to: 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, 12 April – 30 September 1972 and 9 March – 7 September 1973
Attached to: 314th Air Division, 22 March – 17 April 1977
Attached to: 86th Tactical Fighter Wing, 11 September – 13 October 1978, 31 August – 1 October 1979, 26 August – 26 September 1980, 5 September – 3 October 1983, and 26 August – 26 September 1985
Attached to: 4th Tactical Fighter Wing [Deployed], 9 August – 20 December 1990
Attached to: 4th Tactical Fighter Wing Provisional, 20 December 1990-c. 13 March 1991
  • 4th Operations Group, 22 April 1991–present



Notable squadron members[edit]



 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • Freeman, Roger A. The Mighty Eighth War Diary (1990) Motorbooks International
The Mighty Eighth: A History of the Units, men and Machines of the US 8th Air Force (1991) Motorbooks International
The Mighty Eighth War Manual (1991) Motorbooks International

iCasualties.org: Operation Enduring Freedom http://icasualties.org/OEF/ByNationality.aspx

External links[edit]