334th Fighter Squadron

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334th Fighter Squadron
Air Combat Command.png
334th Fighter Squadron - F-15E Eagle.jpg
334th Fighter Squadron F-15E Strike Eagle taking off[note 1]
Active 1942–1945; 1946–present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Role Attack
Garrison/HQ Seymour Johnson Air Force Base
Nickname(s) Eagles
Equipment F-15E Strike Eagle
Engagements European Theater of Operations
Korean War
Vietnam War
Gulf War[1]
Decorations Distinguished Unit Citation
Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm[1]
Commanders
Current
commander
Lt Col Levi Hall
Insignia
334th Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 27 September 1950)[1] 334th Fighter Squadron.jpg

The 334th Fighter Squadron is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 4th Operations Group and stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, North Carolina.

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. After the United States entered the war, the squadron was transferred to the U.S. Army Air Forces. It was officially constituted by War Department letter on 12 August 1942, and was activated at Bushey Hall, England on 12 September 1942.

Overview[edit]

The "Eagles" fly the McDonnell Douglas 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.

History[edit]

World War II[edit]

Supermarine Spitfire MK V

of the 334th Fighter Squadron]]

334th Fighter Squadron in January 1945

The 334th, along with the 335th and 336th Fighter Squadrons, was 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 Republic P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft in 1943. After about a year the squadron switched to North American P-51 Mustangs. During World War II, the 334th had a total of 395 kills against the Luftwaffe; 210 kills in the air and 185 on the ground.

Korean War[edit]

334th F-86E Sabre at Kimpo[note 2]

Equipped with the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star, the 334th moved to Andrews Air Force Base in April 1947. In 1949 the 334th moved to Langley Air Force Base, where they were reequipped with the North American F-86 Sabre.

In November 1950, the 334th were sent to the war in Korea. During the war they were credited with 142 kills, and they had six pilots who achieved ace status.

The 334th remained in Korea until 8 December 1957. They moved to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base as a unit of the 4th Fighter Wing. The 334th flew the North American F-100 Super Sabre until 1959, when the squadron started to fly the Republic 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.

Vietnam War[edit]

334th F-4E Phantom II at Seymour Johnson[note 3]

In September 1965 the 334th relocated to Holmsted AFB[clarification needed] because the runway at their home base SeymourJohnson AFB was being re-built. In August the 334th TFS moved to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas and exchanged their F105Fs for F-105Ds, and flew non-stop to Hickam Air Force Base, then on to Anderson Air Force Base, Guam, and on to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. From Takhli combat missions were flown to North Vietnam and Laos. Being on temporary duty, the 334th left their Thuds to be part of the developing 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, and in February 1966 returned to Seymour-Johnson. In January 1968 the 334th went to Korea to support operations during the Pueblo incident. The 334th then returned to Seymour Johnson.

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.

Gulf War[edit]

The 334th flew its first sorties with the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle 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

Lineage[edit]

  • Constituted as the 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[1]

Assignments[edit]

Stations[edit]

Aircraft[edit]

Notable squadron members[edit]

  • Art Donahue
  • James Jabara
  • Manuel J. "Pete" Fernandez
  • George A. Davis
  • Frederick "Boots" Blesse
  • Gus Grissom
  • Chuck Yeager

Emblems[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ Aircraft is McDonnell Douglas F-15E-43-MC Strike Eagle serial 87-189.
  2. ^ Aircraft is North American F-86E-10-NA Sabre serial 51-2802 named "Bonnie and Cuddles" in 1952.
  3. ^ Aircraft is McDonnell Douglas F-4E-51-MC Phantom serial 72-142 in 1978. This airplane was retired to Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center as FP0685 on 5 June 1991.
Citations
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Robertson, Patsy (September 24, 2008). "Factsheet 31 Fighter Wing (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved July 29, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Station number in Anderson.
Bibliography

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

External links[edit]