4th Fighter Squadron

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4th Fighter Squadron
4th Fighter Squadron General Dynamics F-16C Block 40C Fighting Falcon 88-0462 1992.jpg
General Dynamics F-16C Block 40C Fighting Falcon 88-0462, about 199
Active 15 January 1941 – 7 November 1945
9 November 1946 – 31 December 1969
1 July 1971 – 31 March 1973
1 September 1974 – 11 May 2010
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Squadron
Role Worldwide fighter operations
Garrison/HQ Hill Air Force Base, Utah
Nickname Fightin' Fuujins
Mascot Fuujin
Engagements
  • European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Streamer.jpg
    World War II EAME Theatre
  • Korean Service Medal - Streamer.png
    Korean War
  • Vietnam Service Streamer.jpg
    Vietnam War
  • Southwest Asia Service Streamer.png
    1991 Gulf War (Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation of Kuwait)
Decorations
  • Streamer PUC Army.PNG
    Distinguished Unit Citation (2x)
  • Streamer PUC Army.PNG
    Presidential Unit Citation (2x)
  • AFOUA with Valor.jpg
    Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device (4x)
  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg
    Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (2x)
  • Vietnam Gallantry Cross - Streamer.jpg
    Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Commanders
Current
commander
388th Operations Group
Insignia
Emblem of the 4th Fighter Squadron 4th Fighter Squadron.png

The 4th Fighter Squadron (4 FS) "Fighting Fuujins" is part of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. It operates the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft conducting air superiority, strike, and close air support missions.

Mission[edit]

Conduct air-to-air and air-to-ground operations for daylight and nighttime missions.[1]

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

The 4th was activated at Selfridge Field, Michigan on 15 January 1941 and trained under Third Air Force as a tactical fighter squadron. Moved to several U.S. bases before relocating to Northern Ireland and England in 1942. Equipped with the British Supermarine Spitfire, was assigned to Twelfth Air Force during the North African Campaign in late 1942. Moved across Algeria and Tunisia flying ground support missions for American ground forces; taking part in the invasion of Sicily and Italy in 1943. Participated in the liberation of Corsica in 1943; then returning to Italy and being re-equipped with P-51D Mustangs in May 1944. Participated in Northern Italian Campaign, returning to the United States in August 1945 and inactivating.[1]

United States Air Force[edit]

Far East Air Force[edit]

North American P-82G Twin Mustang 4th Fighter Squadron 46-400 "Call Girl" 1950 at Naha Air Base, Okinawa.

Reactivated as part of Thirteenth Air Force in Okinawa, assuming personnel and P-61 Black Widows of the inactivated 418th Night Fighter Squadron. Performed air defense role over Okinawa during Chinese Civil War on the mainland during 1947-1950. Re-equipped with new F-82G Twin Mustangs in 1949, retiring war-weary F-61s in early 1950. Deployed flight of F-82s to Japan in June 1950 as part of Far East Air Force mobility upon breakout of Korean War. Engaged in combat operations over South Korea during 1950, until F-51D Mustangs and F-84 Thunderjets arrived in the Korean theater. Then few combat missions from Japan, rotating flights of F-82s from Okinawa during 1950-1951, largely performing long-range weather reconnaissance flights over North Korea. Began receiving F-94C Starfire jet interceptors to replace F-82s in 1951, retiring the last of its Twin Mustangs in late 1951. Continued air defense mission of Okinawa until 1954; moving to Japan and taking over interceptor mission until 1954 flying first F-86D Sabres then F-102As. Also train pilots of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, the Republic of Korea and the Royal Thai Air Force, and flew combat missions over Korea and Vietnam.[1]

Vietnam War[edit]

In June 1965, the 4th moved to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and was renamed the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron, under the aegis of the 33d Tactical Fighter Wing, becoming the fourth Air Force fighter squadron trained in the F-4C Phantom IIs. Deployed in July 1967, to Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, where they were designated as the 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron and immediately began combat operations. Reassigned in 1969 to Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam; flying tactical bombing missions over North Vietnam as part of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing. Remained in Vietnam until United States redeployment from DaNang Air Base in mid-1972. The squadron attained the U.S. Air Force's last Southeast Asia aerial victory, downing a MiG-21 on 8 January 1973. In all the 4th downed four enemy aircraft in combat over Vietnam.[1]

For the next two years, the squadron remained at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, flying cover for evacuations of Phnom Penh, Cambodia and Saigon, Republic of Vietnam. The 4th performed strike missions in support of a recovery operation for the SS Mayaguez, a merchant freighter captured by Cambodian Khmer Rouge guerillas in May 1975.[1]

388th Fighter Wing[edit]

In December 1975, the 4th moved to Hill Air Force Base, Utah, and formed the initial cadre of the relocation of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing flying the F-4D Phantom IIs.[1]

McDonnell F-4D-28-MC Phantom 65-0721, about 1978

In March 1980, the squadron began conversion to the F-16 Fighting Falcon as the Air Force's first operational F-16 tactical fighter squadron. The squadron upgraded to the F-16C Block 40 in January 1990.[1]

When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the 4th found deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Desert Shield. Their deployment took 16 hours non-stop with 10 aerial refuelings (five at night). This set a record as the longest distance flown non-stop in the F-16.[1] The squadron dropped more than 2,000 tons of conventional munitions on strategic and tactical targets in Iraq and Kuwait during more than 1,000 daytime combat sorties while only two of their aircraft were damaged by enemy fire and none lost in combat.[1]

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.[2]

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.[2] This affected the 4th Fighter Squadron with a reduction of its flying hours, grounding all assigned pilots from 5 April-30 September 2013.[2]

Lineage[edit]

4th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron - Emblem
  • Constituted 4th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 20 November 1940
Activated on 15 January 1941
Re-designated: 4th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Re-designated: 4th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 20 August 1943
Inactivated on 7 November 1945
  • Re-designated 4th Fighter Squadron (All Weather) on 19 December 1946
Activated on 20 February 1947, absorbing personnel and equipment of 418th Night Fighter Squadron
Re-designated: 4th Fighter Squadron, All Weather, on 10 August 1948
Re-designated: 4th Fighter-All Weather Squadron on 20 January 1950
Re-designated: 4th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 25 April 1951
Re-designated: 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 20 June 1965
Re-designated: 4th Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991.[3]

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i 4 FS Fact Sheet
  2. ^ a b c Reduced flying hours forces grounding of 17 USAF combat air squadrons
  3. ^ a b c d AFHRA 4th Fighter Squadron Lineage and History

Further reading[edit]

  • Carter, Kit C. and Mueller, Robert. U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II. Combat Chronology 1941-1945. Ft. Belvoir : Defense Technical Information Center, 1991. OCLC 713530089.
  • Dickey, James. History of 418th. Night Fighter Squadron : from activation-1 April 1943 to deactivation-24 February 1947. [S.l. : s.n., between 1989 and 1992?]. OCLC 40503405.
  • Drendel, Lou. The Air War in Vietnam. New York: Arco Pub. Co., 1968. OCLC 2605.
  • Klinkowitz, Jerome. Yanks over Europe : American flyers in World War II. Lexington, Ky. : University Press of Kentucky, 1996. ISBN 0-813-11961-8 OCLC 33946900.
  • Logan, Stanley E., Sullivan, David O. and Sullivan, Millie. History of the 418th Night Fighter Squadron : from New Guinea to Japan in World War II : activated, 1 April 1943, deactivated, 20 February 1947. Santa Fe : S.E. Logan Books, 2001. OCLC 48060338.
  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Edison, NJ: Chartwell Books, 1994. ISBN 0-785-80194-4 OCLC 30111671.
  • Maurer, Maurer. World War II Combat Squadrons of the United States Air Force: The Official Military Record of Every Active Squadron. New York, NY: Smithmark Publishers, 1992. ISBN 0-831-71501-4 OCLC 25200303.
  • Nalty, Bernard C., John F. Shiner, George M. Watson, and Alfred M. Beck. With Courage: The U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II. Washington DC: Air Force History & Museums program, 1994. OCLC 638798122
  • Office, Army Air Force Historical. 12th Air Force in the North African Winter Campaign: 11 November 1942 to the. [S.l.]: Military Bookshop, 2012. ISBN 1-782-66231-6 OCLC 872524096
  • Rust, Kenn C. Twelfth Air Force Story : ...in World War II. Temple City, California : Historical Aviation Album, 1975. OCLC 464216532.
  • 4th. Fighter Squadron, Commando. 1945. OCLC 17597789.

External links[edit]