313th Tactical Fighter Squadron

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313th Tactical Fighter Squadron
United States Air Forces in Europe.png
313th Tactical Fighter Squadron - General Dynamics F-16C Block 25A Fighting Falcon - 83-1130.jpg
313th Tactical Fighter Squadron F-16C Fighting Falcon[note 1]]]
Active 1942-1945; 1976-1991
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Fighter
Part of United States Air Forces Europe
Motto(s) Lucky 313th Tac Fighter Squadron
Engagements European Theater of Operations[1]
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Cited in Order of the Day, Belgian Army[1][2]
313th Tactical Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 16 November 1942)[1] 313 Fighter Sq emblem.png
313th TFS McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom - 72-0165, about 1980

The 313th Tactical Fighter Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing and stationed at Hahn Air Base, Germany.


World War II[edit]

Established under the Northeast Air District as a pursuit squadron, initially equipped with second-line aircraft. Transferred to Southeast Air District (later Third Air Force) in late 1941, re-equipped with Curtiss P-40 Warhawks. Trained in the southeast, becoming a training squadron at the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics in Florida in 1943.

Re-equipped with North American P-51 Mustangs and trained as an operational squadron, being deployed to the European Theater of Operations, being assigned to IX Fighter Command in England in May 1944. Re-equipped with Republic P-47 Thunderbolts, the squadron supported Allied ground forces in France after D-Day, attacking enemy strong points, troop concentrations, armor formations, bridges and other targets. Moved to Normandy and operated from several forward bases in Northeast France during the summer of 1944 as Allied ground forces moved eastwards towards Germany. Supported the Fifth Army movement from Southern France though the Lyon Valley, then into Occupied Germany as part of the Western Allied invasion in the spring of 1945. Remained in Germany as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe occupation forces, demobilizing over the summer. Inactivated in Colorado, November 1945.

European fighter operations[edit]

Reactivated on 15 November 1976 at Hahn Air Base, Germany, but remained nonoperational through 26 December.[3] From this perspective the 313th made a huge jump from P-47 Thunderbolts to the McDonnell F-4E Phantom II. In 1981 the 313th became the first unit to operate the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon in USAFE. Inactivated at the end of the Cold War on 30 December 1991.


  • Constituted 313th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor)' on 21 January 1942.
Activated on 9 February 1942
Redesignated 313th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Redesignated 313th Fighter Squadron (Special) on 28 May 1942[citation needed]
Redesignated 313th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine c. 21 January 1944[citation needed]
Inactivated on 7 November 1945[4]
  • Redesignated 313th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1976
Activated on 15 November 1976[5]
Inactivated on 30 December 1991




  • BT-13 Valiant, 1941-1942
  • P-35 Guardsman, 1941-1942
  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, 1942-1943[1]
  • North American P-51 Mustang, 1943-1944
  • Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, 1943-1945[1]
  • McDonnell F-4E Phantom II, 1976-1981
  • General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon, 1981-1991



Explanatory notes
  1. ^ Aircraft is General Dynamics F-16C Block 25A Fighting Falcon serial 83-1130, taken in 1986.
  1. ^ a b c d e Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 380-381
  2. ^ "Air Force Personnel Services: Unit Awards". Air Force Personnel Center. Retrieved September 10, 2017.  (search)
  3. ^ a b Ravenstein, p. 81
  4. ^ a b Lineage, including assignments, through 1945 in Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 380-381, except as noted.
  5. ^ a b See Ravenstein, p. 81 (assignment to 50th Wing).
  6. ^ Station number in Anderson.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Station number in Johnson.
  8. ^ Stations through 1945 in Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 380-381, except as noted.


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