302d Fighter Squadron

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302d Fighter Squadron
302d Fighter Squadron.jpg
302d Fighter Squadron Patch
Active 13 October 1942 – 6 March 1945
8 October 1956 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Fighter
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
Tenth Air Force
477th Fighter Group
Garrison/HQ Elmendorf Air Force Base
Decorations Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA
USAF F-16D block 32 #87-0381 assigned to the 944th FW taxis onto the runway at Luke AFB to commence another training mission. This F-16 was assigned to the United States Air Force Demonstration Team (Thunderbirds) between 1992 and 1999.

The 302d Fighter Squadron (302 FS) is part of the Air Force Reserve Command's 477th Fighter Group at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. It operates the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor conducting an air superiority mission.


The 302d Fighter Squadron trains in the fighter missions of offensive counter-air (OCA), defensive counter-air (DCA) and suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD)], as well as strategic attack and interdiction.


The 302d was one of four African-American fighter squadrons to enter combat during World War II. It saw combat in the European Theater of Operations and Mediterranean Theater of Operations from 17 February 1944 – 20 February 1945.

From 1956-1974, the squadron was assigned to the Air Force Reserve (AFRES) where it trained for and performed search and rescue (SAR) in addition to medical air evacuation missions, mainly in the southwestern United States.

In 1974, its mission changed to training for a combat SAR (CSAR) role, while continuing to perform traditional humanitarian/non-combat search and rescue. The squadron's mission changed again in 1987 to a fighter role, training for counterair, interdiction, and close air support missions.

The unit that had been the 302d was reflagged as the 71st Special Operations Squadron and physically relocated to Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ. Concurrently, a new AFRES fighter squadron was established at Luke AFB, AZ and took over the 302d lineage as the 302d Tactical Fighter Squadron. With the transition of AFRES to Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC), the squadron deployed several times since late 1992 to Turkey to help enforce the no-fly zone over Iraq and to Italy to support UN air operations in the Balkans.[1]

In 2007, the squadron relocated from Luke AFB to Elmendorf AFB, AK and transitioned from the F-16 Fighting Falcon to the F-22 Raptor, which it operates as an Associate AFRC unit the active duty Air Force's 3rd Wing (3 WG).



  • 302d Fighter Squadron (1942–1944)
  • 302d Fighter Squadron, Single Engine (1944–1956)
  • 302d Air Rescue Squadron (1956–1966)
  • 302d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (1966–1974)
  • 302d Special Operations Squadron (1974–1987)
  • 302d Tactical Fighter Squadron (1987–1992)
  • 302d Fighter Squadron (1992 – present)


Bases stationed[1][edit]

Aircraft operated[1][edit]




See also[edit]