304th Rescue Squadron

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304th Rescue Squadron
Air Force Reserve Command.png
USAF PJs 2006-05-11 N-9500T-120.jpg
Pararescuemen from the 304th Expeditionary Rescue Squadron free-fall during a high-altitude jump over the Gulf of Tadjoura, Africa,
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleSearch and Rescue
Motto(s)"These Things We Do, That Others May Live."[1]
DecorationsAir Force Outstanding Unit Award
304th Rescue Squadron emblem (approved 7 October 1991)[2]304th Rescue Squadron.jpg
304th Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Squadron emblem (approved c. February 1986)[3]304 Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Sq emblem.png

The 304th Rescue Squadron is an Air Force Reserve Command combat search and rescue unit located at Portland Air National Guard Base, Oregon. The squadron is a geographically separated unit assigned to the 943d Rescue Group at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, and the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.[1]


The peacetime mission of the 304th is to train and maintain rescue capability for Department of Defense personnel, humanitarian and disaster relief activities. The 304th's wartime mission is to provide combat rescue capabilities to recover downed aircrew members and isolated personnel. They can provide this capability under the harshest of circumstances to include, day/night, inclement weather and all terrain rescue conditions.[1]


The 304th trained for combat search and rescue (CSAR) capability from its inception. The 304th was activated in the Reserves on 16 November 1957 at Portland IAP. In 1961, Pararescuemen (PJs) were added to the unit. Since then, the 304th has been training, equipping and employing Combat Rescue Officers, PJs, and support personnel worldwide in support of U.S. national security interests. It performed search, rescue, and medical evacuation missions primarily in the Northwestern United States, including over 100 missions immediately following the Mt. St. Helens volcanic eruption in May 1980. The unit responded to the crash of United Flight 173 in 1978. It maintained helicopter air refueling capability from 1985 to 1997 and deployed to provide SAR coverage worldwide, including Keflavík, Iceland, during and after the Gulf War and to the Persian Gulf region from 1990-2003. Since 2001, personnel from the 304th RQS have deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.


  • Constituted as the 304th Air Rescue Squadron on 24 October 1957
Activated in the reserve on 16 November 1957
Redesignated 304th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron on 18 January 1966
Redesignated 304th Air Rescue Squadron on 1 April 1990
Redesignated 304th Rescue Squadron on 1 February 1992[2]


  • 2343d Air Reserve Flying Center, 16 November 1957
  • 2346th Air Reserve Flying Center, 1 December 1957
  • 2345th Air Reserve Flying Center, 8 April 1958
  • Fourth Air Force, 8 April 1960
  • Sixth Air Force Reserve Region, 1 September 1960
  • Western Air Force Reserve Region, 31 December 1969
  • 403d Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Wing (later 403 Rescue and Weather Reconnaissance Wing), 15 March 1976
  • 939th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Group (later 939 Air Rescue Wing, 939 Rescue Wing), 8 April 1985
  • 939th Operations Group, 1 August 1992
  • 920th Operations Group, 1 April 2003
  • 943d Rescue Group, 12 February 2005 – present[2]




  1. ^ a b c "920th Rescue Wing Factsheet: 304th Rescue Squadron". 920th Rescue Wing Public Affairs. August 7, 2014. Archived from the original on September 26, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Dollman, TSG David (October 7, 2016). "Factsheet 304 Rescue Squadron (AFRC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  3. ^ "Approved insignia for: 304th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron". National Archives Catalog. February 4, 1986. Retrieved December 2, 2017.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.