88th Fighter-Bomber Squadron
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|88th Fighter-Bomber Squadron|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The 88th Fighter-Bomber Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 438th Fighter-Bomber Group, based at General Mitchell Field, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It was inactivated on 16 Nov 1957.
Activated in June 1943 under I Troop Carrier Command and equipped with C-47 Skytrains. Trained in various parts of the eastern United States until the end of 1943. Deployed to England and assigned to IX Troop Carrier Command, Ninth Air Force.
Prepared for the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe. On 5 June 1944, the squadron took off for assigned drop zones in Occupied France, commencing at 23:48 hours. Despite radio black-out, overloaded aircraft, low cloud cover and lack of marked drop zones, they carried parachute infantry of the 101st Airborne Division's 502d Parachute Infantry Regiment, who were dropped soon after midnight in the area northwest of Carentan. Glider-borne reinforcement missions followed, carrying weapons, ammunition, rations, and other supplies.
On 20 July departed for Canino airbase in Italy in preparation for the August invasion of Southern France, Operation Dragoon. In the invasion, dropped paratroops and towed gliders that carried reinforcements.
During Operation Market Garden in September 1944, the group released gliders carrying troops and equipment for the airborne attack in the occupied Netherlands. Re-supply missions were flown on 20 September and on the 21st to Overasselt and on the 21st to Son.
During the Battle of the Bulge (December 1944 – January 1945), flew air supply missions to battle areas, including the first two flights into beleaguered Bastogne, re-suppllying the 101st Airborne Division.
After moving to France in February 1945, flying combat operations from rough Resupply and Evacuation airfields carrying supplies and ammunition to front line forces, evacuating wounded personnel to rear-zone hospitals. The unit released gliders in support of an American crossing of the Rhine River called Operation Varsity in March 1945.
After V-E Day, the unit evacuated prisoners of war and displaced persons to relocation centers. Returned to the United States in August 1945, until demoblizing. Inactivated as an administrative unit in September 1945.
Reactivated in the reserve in 1949, associated with Strategic Air Command at Offut AFB, Nebraska. Flew C-46 Commando medium transports between various SAC bases with logistical support and personnel movement. Brought to active duty in 1951 due to Korean War, personnel and aircraft being assigned to MATS units as fillers. Inactivated as an administrative unit shortly afterwards.
Again activated in 1952 in the reserve as a Tactical Air Command fighter-bomber squadron at Billy Mitchell Field, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Initially equipped with F-51 Mustangs, later upgraded to T-33 and F-80 Shooting Star jets. Inactivated in November 1957 due to budget reductions.
Operations and Decorations
- Combat Operations: Airborne assaults on Normandy, Southern France, Holland, and Germany; relief of Bastogne; transportation of cargo and personnel in ETO and MTO during World War II.
- Campaigns: Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe.
- Decorations: Distinguished Unit Citation: France, [6-7] Jun 1944.
- Constituted 88th Troop Carrier Squadron on 14 May 1943
- Activated on 1 Jun 1943
- Inactivated on 22 Sep 1945
- Re-designated 88th Troop Carrier Squadron (Medium) on 10 May 1949
- Activated in the reserve on 27 Jun 1949
- Ordered to active service on 10 March 1951
- Inactivated on 14 March 1951
- Re-designated 88th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 26 May 1952
- Activated in the reserve on 15 Jun 1952
- Inactivated on 16 Nov 1957.
- 438th Troop Carrier Group, 1 Jun 1943-22 Sep 1945
- 438th Troop Carrier Group, 27 Jun 1949-14 Mar 1951
- 438th Fighter-Bomber Group, 15 Jun 1952-16 Nov 1957
- C-47 Skytrain, 1943-1945
- Curtiss C-46 Commando, 1949–1951
- North American F-51 Mustang, 1953–1954
- Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star, 1954–1957
- North American F-86 Sabre, 1957
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.