334th Fighter Squadron
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|334th Fighter Squadron|
334th Fighter Squadron Insignia
|Active||22 August 1942 – present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Role||Sustained Combat Operations|
|Garrison/HQ||Seymour Johnson AFB|
|Equipment||F-15E Strike Eagle|
|Engagements||World War II
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Operation Enduring Freedom
The 334th was constituted on 22 August 1942 as an incorporation of the No. 71 Squadron RAF, an Eagle Squadron of American volunteers in Great Britain's Royal Air Force (RAF). After the United States entered the war, the squadron was transferred to the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF). It was officially constituted by War Department letter on 12 August 1942, and was activated at Bushey Hall, England on 12 September 1942.
The "Eagles" fly the McDonnell-Douglas (now Boeing) F-15E Strike Eagle. Its aircraft are identified by the "SJ" tail code and blue fin flash.
Currently, the squadron provides worldwide deployable aircraft and personnel capable of executing combat missions in support of worldwide Aerospace Expeditionary Force deployments to combat areas as part of the Global War on Terrorism.
World War II
The 334th, along with the 335th and 336th, were assigned to the VIII Fighter Command 4th Fighter Group, which was the first United States Army Air Forces unit activated in the European Theater during World War II, which was located in Essex, England.
The 334th flew British Supermarine Spitfire fighters until the arrival of P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft in 1943. After about a year the squadron switched to P-51 Mustangs. During World War II, the 334th had a total of 395 kills against the German Luftwaffe; 210 kills in the air and 185 on the ground.
The 334th remained in Korea until 8 December 1957. They were reassigned to Seymour Johnson AFB as a unit of the 4th Fighter Wing. The 334th flew the F-100 Super Sabre until 1959, when the squadron started to fly the F-105 Thunderchief.
Major James Jabara, Captain Manuel J. "Pete" Fernandez, Major George A. Davis, Medal of Honor recipient and Major Frederick "Boots" Blesse; the second, third, fourth and sixth (respectively) leading aces of the Korean War were assigned to the 334th. Future Astronaut Captain Gus Grissom was assigned to the 334th during the Korean War.
In September 1965 the 334th TFS relocated to Holmsted AFB because the runway at their home base Seymour-Johnson AFB was being re-built. In August the 334th TFS moved to McConnel AFB, Kansas and exchanged F105Fs for F-105Ds, and flew non-stop to Hickam AFB, then on to Anderson AFB, Guam, and on to Takhli AB, Tailand. From Takhli AB Combat missions were flown combat missions to North Vietnam and Laos. Being TDY, the 334th TFS left their Thuds to be part of the developing 355 TFW, and in February 1966 returned to Seymour-Johnson AFB. In January 1968 the 334th went to Korea to support operations during the Pueblo incident. The 334th then returned to Seymour Johnson AFB.
From February 1968 through June 1969, 4TFW Commander Colonel Chuck Yeager flew with the 334th as an 'attached' pilot.
In April 1972, in the midst of an Tactical Air Command ORI, the 334th TFS was deployed to Ubon AB, Thailand after which the squadron was attached to the 25th TFS. The unit began combat operations almost immediately. Soon after the deployment to SEA, the operations officer, Maj Tokanel, lobbied for missions specifically flagged for the 334th TFS. The unit was deployed through Linebacker I and Linebacker II, flying air-to-ground and air-to-air combat missions. The squadron was redeployed back to Seymour Johnson AFB in March 1973.
The 334th flew its first sorties with the F-15E on 1 January 1991. Throughout the month the 334th served as the host unit for multiple units deploying to Operation Desert Shield. Also, 334th aircrews and support personnel deployed to Operation Desert Storm as augmentees. On 18 June 1991, the squadron became operational on the F-15E, and deployed to Saudi Arabia the next day to relieve elements of the 335th Fighter Squadron, providing combat air patrol and ground alert forces supporting withdrawal of troops from Operation Desert Storm
- Constituted 334th Fighter Squadron on 22 August 1942
- Activated on 12 September 1942
- Redesignated 334th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 20 August 1943
- Inactivated on 10 November 1945
- Activated on 9 September 1946
- Redesignated: 334th Fighter Squadron, Jet Propelled, on 23 April 1947
- Redesignated: 334th Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 14 June 1948
- Redesignated: 334th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 20 January 1950
- Redesignated: 334th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 8 March 1955
- Redesignated: 334th Fighter-Day Squadron on 25 April 1956
- Redesignated: 334th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 July 1958
- Redesignated: 334th Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991
- 4th Fighter Group, 12 September 1942 – 10 November 1945
- 4th Fighter (later, 4th Fighter-Interceptor;4th Fighter-Bomber; 4th Fighter-Day) Group, 9 September 1946
- 4th Fighter-Day (later, 4th Tactical Fighter; 4th) Wing, 8 December 1957
- Attached to: 65th Air Division, 1 April – 13 August 1963
- Attached to: Seventeenth Air Force, 15 February – 29 May 1965
- Attached to: 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, 2 September 1965 – 5 February 1966
- Attached to: 354th Tactical Fighter Wing, 16 December 1969-c. 31 May 1970
- Attached to: 8th Tactical Fighter Wing, 11 April – 5 August 1972 and 30 September 1972 – 18 March 1973
- Attached to: 86th Tactical Fighter Wing, 28 August – 29 September 1980, 26 August – 29 September 1981, and 22 May – 20 June 1984
- 4th Operations Group, 22 April 1991-.
Notable squadron members
- Art Donahue
- James Jabara
- Manuel J. "Pete" Fernandez
- George A. Davis
- Frederick "Boots" Blesse
- Gus Grissom
- Chuck Yeager
- Ralph "Kid" Hofer
- Michael C. Short