352d Tactical Fighter Squadron

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This article is about the 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron. For the 352d Fighter Squadron of World War II, see 159th Fighter Squadron.
352d Tactical Fighter Squadron
352d Tactical Fighter Squadron - F-100 Super Sabre.jpg
F-100D of the 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron dropping napalm near Bien Hoa
Active 1943-1944; 1944-1945; 1957-1971
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Tactical Fighter
Motto Latin:Dum Spiro Pugno (While I Breathe I Fight)
Engagements American Theater of World War II
European Theater of World War II
Vietnam Service
Insignia
352d Tactical Fighter Squadron Emblem[1] 352d Fighter Squadron - Emblem.png
Viet Nam Tail Code VM

The 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force fighter squadron. Its last assignment was with the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing at Phan Rang Air Base, South Vietnam, where it was inactivated on 31 July 1971.

The first predecessor of the squadron was activated in 1943 as the 372d Fighter Squadron, which served as a Lockheed P-38 Lightning Replacement Training Unit until it was disbanded in 1944.

The second predecessor of the squadron was the 652d Bombardment Squadron, which conducted weather reconnaissance in the European Theater of Operations.

The 352d Fighter-Day Squadron was formed during the Cold War, the squadron was attached to NATO, and stood on alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Deployed to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, the squadron fought with distinction. The squadron was inactivated in 1971.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Fighter Replacement Training[edit]

The 372d Fighter Squadron was activated in early 1943 at March Field, California as one of the three original squadrons of the 360th Fighter Group,[2] but moved on paper to Glendale Airport the same day.[3] It operated as a Lockheed P-38 replacement training unit. Replacement training units were oversized units which trained aircrews prior to their deployment to combat theaters.[4] In January 1944 the squadron moved away from its parent group and established a separate RTU at Santa Maria Army Air Field, California.[2][3]

However, the Army Air Forces found that standard military units, based on relatively inflexible tables of organization were proving less well adapted to the training mission. Accordingly a more functional system was adopted in which each base was organized into a separate numbered unit.[5] This resulted in the 372d, along with other units at Santa Maria, being disbanded in the spring of 1944[3] and being replaced by the 440th AAF Base Unit (Fighter Replacement Training Unit, Twin Engine).

Weather Reconnaissance in the European Theater[edit]

652d Bombardment Squadron Emblem (approved 21 February 1945)[6]

The second predecessor of the squadron was the 652d Bombardment Squadron, which conducted weather reconnaissance in the European Theater of Operations.[6]

The 652d Bombardment Squadron replaced what began as a provisional weather reconnaissance detachment that was formed on 31 August 1943 with Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, then transferred to RAF St Eval on 8 September 1943 to conduct meteorological fights over the Atlantic Ocean. On 25 October 1943 this provisional unit was formalized as Detachment A of the Combat Weather Detachment, 1st Combat Crew Replacement Center at RAF Bovingdon. On 23 November 1943 the detachment joined its parent at Bovingdon. On 28 March 1944 Eighth Air Force replaced the detachment with the 8th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) (Provisional). The squadron was one of the three squadrons of the 8th Reconnaissance Group (Provisional) (later the 802d Reconnaissance Group, Special (Provisional).

In August 1944 Eighth Air Force replaced its provisional weather reconnaissance units with permanent ones and the 652d was activated.[6] The 652d primarily flew B-17Gs, although at first it also had B-24Ds and B-24Hs. Its missions were long-range weather flights code named "Epicure" In which the aircraft flew a box pattern 700 miles out over the Atlantic. Weather readings were taken every 50 miles at heights varying from 50 to 30,000 feet. The average flight time for these flights was over 12 hours. For thirteen months the squadron maintained an average of 1.5 aircraft in the air over the Atlantic at all hours of the day and night, and for the last nine months of the war the average exceeded two aircraft in the air for all hours of the day and night.

When its parent 25th Bombardment Group returned to the United States after the German surrender in May 1945, the 652d was assigned to 1st Air Division and continued to fly weather missions. The squadron returned to the United States in December and was inactivated when it reached the Port of Embarkation.[6]

Cold War[edit]

352d TFS North American F-100D Super Sabre 56-3413, about 1960.

On 25 September 1957 Tactical Air Command (TAC) activated the 352d Fighter-Day Squadron and assigned it to the 354th Fighter-Day Wing[7] at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina. The squadron was equipped with the North American F-100 Super Sabre.

The 354th wing was committed to NATO support, and the squadron frequently deployed to Europe. It deployed to Adana Air Base, Turkey in July 1958 in response to the Crisis in Lebanon, to support the pro-western government of Lebanon, which believed itself threatened by internal dissension supported by the United Arab Republic. The squadron returned in October.

After the Lebanon Crisis, TAC began to rotate combat squadrons to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey and Aviano Air Base, Italy in support of NATO alert commitments and Air Force weapons training at the Maniago Range. The 352d, along with the 354th wing's other squadrons periodically supported these rotations.

During the Berlin Crisis precipitated by the erection of the Berlin Wall by the German Democratic Republic in August 1961 and the subsequent face-off of American and Soviet tanks in Berlin, the squadron deployed to Hahn AB, German Federal Republic, in November 1961. Once tensions eased, the squadron returned in March 1962.

The squadron deployed a third time in response to a Cold War crisis, but this time the deployment was closer to home. During the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the 352 TFS deployed to McCoy AFB, Florida[7] in October where it became part of the forces attached to the Air Division, Provisional, 2d. After the crisis ended, the 352d returned home in December.

Vietnam War[edit]

As the intensity of the Viet Nam War increased in 1966, The United States Air Force began to replace its rotational units on temporary duty in Southeast Asia with permanent ones. As a result, the 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron moved to Phan Rang Air Base, South Vietnam on 15 August 1966, where it was assigned to the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing.[8] Two months later Pacific Air Forces moved the 366th Wing to Da Nang Air Base where it became a F-4 Phantom II wing, while the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing took its place at Phan Rang, with F-100 Super Sabre squadrons in a swap of wing headquarters designations.[9]

Squadron missions included close air support of ground forces, air interdiction, visual and armed air reconnaissance, escort, and rapid reaction alert.

During the Cambodian Campaign of 1970, the 352d struck enemy bases and supply caches in the Parrot's Beak area just inside the Cambodian border during April and May. The 352d also provided close air support and interdiction in support of South Vietnamese operations in Laos and Cambodia during January through June 1971.

In April 1971 the 352d began phasing down for inactivation and flew its last combat mission on 26 June 1971. The squadron was inactivated permanently, along with the 35th TFW on 31 July 1971 as part of the American drawdown in Vietnam. The squadron was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation and four Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards w/Combat "V" Device for its combat performance.[10][11]

Consolidation[edit]

In September 1985, the three squadrons were consolidated under the 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron designation, but have remained inactive.[12]

Lineage[edit]

352d Tactical Fighter Squadron
Constituted on 20 August 1957 as the 352d Fighter-Day Squadron
Activated on 25 September 1957
Redesignated 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron 1 July 1958
Inactivated 31 July 1971
Consolidated on 19 September 1985 with the 372d Fighter Squadron and the 652d Bombardment Squadron[12] (remained inactive)

Assignments[edit]

  • 360th Fighter Group: 15 January 1943 - 31 March 1944[3]
  • 25th Bombardment Group: 9 August 1944
  • 1st Air Division: 13 Jun 1945
  • 3d Air Division: 25 Aug 1945
  • VIII Fighter Command: 1 Nov 1945 - 19 December 1945[6]
  • 354th Fighter-Day Wing (later 354th Tactical Fighter Wing), 25 September 1957 (detached 16 July 1958 - 26 October 1958; 14 April 1959 - 23 April 1959; 12 January 1960 - 14 May 1960; 30 November 1960 - 5 December 1960; 15 February 1961 - 4 March 1961;14 November 1961 - 11 March 1962; 21 October 1962 - 1 December 1962; 14 January 1963 - 21 April 1963; 7 May 1963 - 18 May 1963; 30 June 1963 - 18 September 1963; 10 December 1963 - 12 March 1964; 20 November 1964 - 18 March 1965; 14 July 1965 - 27 August 1965)[7]
  • 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 August 1966[8]
  • 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, 10 October 1966 – 31 July 1971[9]

Stations[edit]

  • March Field, California, 15 January 1943
  • Glendale Airport, California, 15 January 1943
  • Muroc Army Air Field, California, 14 April 1943
  • Salinas Army Air Base, California, 21 September 1943
  • Santa Maria Army Air Field, California, 7 January 1944 - 31 March 1944[3]
  • RAF Watton, England, 9 August 1944
  • RAF Alconbury, England, 13 July 1945
  • RAF Raydon, England, 25 October 1945 - December 1945
  • Camp Kilmer, New Jersey 17 December 1945 - 19 December 1945[6]
  • Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, South Carolina, 25 September 1957[13] (deployed to:
Adana Air Base, Turkey, 16 July 1958 – 26 October 1958
Aviano AB, Italy and Incirlik AB, Turkey between 1959 and 1965
Hahn AB, West Germany, 14 November 1961 – 11 March 1962
McCoy AFB, Florida, 21 October – 1 December 1962
Palam Airport, India, 7–18 May 1963)
  • Phan Rang Air Base, Republic of Viet Nam, 9 August 1966 - 31 July 1971

Aircraft[edit]

Awards and Campaigns[edit]

Award streamer Award Dates Notes
Streamer PUC Army.PNG Presidential Unit Citation 10 October 1966 - 10 April 1967 Viet Nam, 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[10]
AFOUA with Valor.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/Combat "V" Device 3 September 1967 - 2 May 1968 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[10]
AFOUA with Valor.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/Combat "V" Device 1 October 1968 - 13 April 1969 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
AFOUA with Valor.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/Combat "V" Device 14 April 1969 - 13 April 1970 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
AFOUA with Valor.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/Combat "V" Device 1 Dec 1970 - 25 June 1971 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg Air Force Outstanding Unit Award 1 October 1962 - 31 December 1963 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[10]
VGCP Streamer.jpg Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm 3 June 1966 - 30 March 1971 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
VGCP Streamer.jpg Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm 24 February 1971 - 30 March 1971 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
Service and Campaign Streamers Campaign Dates Notes
World War II - American Campaign Streamer (Plain).png American Theater of World War II 15 January 1943-31 March 1944 372d Fighter Squadron[3]
Streamer EAMEC.PNG Northern France 9 August 1944-14 September 1944 652d Bombardment Squadron[6]
Streamer EAMEC.PNG Air Combat, EAME Theater 9 August 1944-11 May 1945 652d Bombardment Squadron[6]
Streamer VS.PNG Vietnam Air 3 June 1966-28 June 1966 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[10]
Streamer VS.PNG Vietnam Air Offensive 29 June 1966-8 March 1967 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[14]
Streamer VS.PNG Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II 29 June 1966-8 March 1967 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[14]
Streamer VS.PNG Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase III 29 June 1966-8 March 1967 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[14]
Streamer VS.PNG Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV 1 November 1968-22 February 1969 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
Streamer VS.PNG Tet 1969/Counteroffensive 23 February 1969-8 June 1969 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
Streamer VS.PNG Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969 9 June 1969-31 October 1969 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
Streamer VS.PNG Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970 3 November 1969-30 April 1970 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
Streamer VS.PNG Sanctuary Counteroffensive 1 May 1970-30 June 1970 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
Streamer VS.PNG Southwest Monsoon 1 July 1970-30 November 1970 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
Streamer VS.PNG Commando Hunt V 1 December 1970-14 May 1971 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]
Streamer VS.PNG Commando Hunt VI 15 May 1971-31 July 1971 352d Tactical Fighter Squadron[11]


References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Army and Air Force Fighters, p, 233
  2. ^ a b Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 243. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 461. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. 
  4. ^ Craven, Wesley F & Cate, James L, ed. (1955). "Introduction". The Army Air Forces in World War II. Vol. VI, Men & Planes. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. p. xxxvi. LCCN 48-3657. 
  5. ^ Craven & Cate, p. 7
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 696
  7. ^ a b c Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 187-189. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. 
  8. ^ a b Ravenstein, pp. 194-196
  9. ^ a b Ravenstein, pp. 60-63
  10. ^ a b c d e AF Pamphlet 900-2, Unit Decorations, Awards and Campaign Participation Credits Department of the Air Force, Washington, DC, 15 Jun 1971, p. 336
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n AF Pamphlet 900-2, Unit Decorations, Awards and Campaign Participation Credits, Vol II Department of the Air Force, Washington, DC, 30 Sep 1976 , p. 62
  12. ^ a b c d Department of the Air Force/MPM Letter 662q, 19 Sep 85, Subject: Reconstitution, Redesignation, and Consolidation of Selected Air Force Tactical Squadrons
  13. ^ Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 438. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. 
  14. ^ a b c There is a gap between 1966 and 1968 in awards registered in Volumes 1 and 2 of AFP 900-2. The squadron participated in combat during these campaigns

Bibliography[edit]

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

External links[edit]