303d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
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|303d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron|
303d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron RF-84F Thunderflash
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||United States Air Forces Europe|
|Patch with the 302d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron emblem|
The 303d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron was activated on 1 January 1953 as part of the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Group at Shaw AFB, South Carolina. It was initially equipped with second-line RF-51D Mustangs and trained in tactical air reconnaissance. Its parent organization was programmed for deployment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In mid-1953 it was equipped with RF-80A Shooting Star jet aircraft that had returned to the United States from use in the Korean War.
The 303d deployed to Sembach Air Base, West Germany, where it became part of United States Air Forces in Europe's Seventeenth Air Force during the summer of 1953. It performed reconnaissance training at Sembach, and was upgraded to the new Republic RF-84F Thunderflash in 1955. The squadron trained with NATO forces in Europe during the summer months. However, due to poor weather conditions in central Europe during the winter months, the unit deployed frequently to Wheelus Air Base, Libya and Nouasseur Air Base, Morocco for training.
The squadron moved to Laon-Couvron Air Base, France in mid-1958 due to severe problems with the Sembach runway, but it operated from Phalsbourg Air Base until September while improvements were made to the Laon runway.
In early 1959 it was announced that the RF-84 equipped squadrons assigned to the 66th TRW were to be inactivated and their places in the 66th taken by McDonnell RF-101C Voodoo equipped squadrons being deployed from Shaw. These new squadrons arrived at Laon in May 1959 and the 303d was inactivated in late June.
- Constituted as the 303d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 15 November 1952
- Activated on 1 January 1953
- Inactivated on 20 June 1959
- 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 1 January 1953
- 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, 8 December 1957 - 20 June 1959
- Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, 1 January 1953 – 1 July 1953
- Sembach Air Base, West Germany, 7 July 1953
- Laon-Couvron Air Base, France, 10 July 1958 – 20 June 1959
- North American RF-51D Mustang, 1953
- Lockheed RF-80A Shooting Star, 1953–1955
- Republic RF-84F Thunderflash, 1955–1959
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 132–133. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 104–105. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) . Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.