444th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
|444th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Defense Command|
|Patch with 444th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron emblem (approved 13 July 1954|
The 444th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the Washington Air Defense Sector stationed at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, where it was inactivated on 30 September 1968.
World War II
The squadron was first activated at Tonopah Army Air Field, Nevada in February 1943, when the 328th Fighter Group expanded from three to four squadrons. The squadron was initially a Bell P-39 Airacobra replacement training unit. It moved to Concord Army Airfield, California and received Bell P-63 Kingcobra aircraft for training replacement pilots. Moved again to Santa Rosa Army Air Field, continuing mission until it was disbanded on 1 May 1944 and its personnel and equipment were absorbed by the 434th AAF Base Unit (Fighter Replacement Training Unit - Single Engine).
The squadron was reconstituted and activated in 1954 as part of Air Defense Command as an air defense squadron, was equipped with the North American F-86D Sabre and stationed at Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina with a mission for the air defense of Charleston and the military facilities in the region. Was upgraded to the North American F-86L Sabre in 1957, an improved version of the F-86D which incorporated the Semi Automatic Ground Environment, or SAGE computer-controlled direction system for intercepts.
The 444th was re-equipped with new McDonnell F-101B Voodoo supersonic interceptor, and the F-101F operational and conversion trainer in 1960. The two-seat trainer version was equipped with dual controls, but carried the same armament as the F-101B and were fully combat-capable. Operated the Voodoos until September 1968, the aircraft being passed along to the Air National Guard and the squadron inactivated as part of the general drawdown of the ADC active-duty interceptor force.
- Constituted as the 444th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 19 February 1943
- Activated on 1 March 1943
- Disbanded on 31 March 1944
- Reconstituted, and redesignated 444th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, on 23 March 1953
- 328th Fighter Group, 1 March 1943 – 31 March 1944
- 35th Air Division, 16 February 1954
- 32d Air Division, 15 November 1958
- Washington Air Defense Sector, 1 July 1961 – 30 September 1968
- Hamilton Field, California, 1 March 1943
- Tonopah Army Air Field, Nevada, 6 June 1943
- Concord Army Air Field, California, 18 September 1943
- Santa Rosa Army Air Field, California, 15 December 1943 – 31 March 1944
- Charleston Air Force Base, South Carolina, 16 February 1954 – 30 September 1968
- Bell P-39 Airacobra, 1943–1944
- Bell P-63 Kingcobra, 1944
- North American F-86D Sabre, 1954–1957
- North American F-86L Sabre, 1957–1960
- McDonnell F-101B Voodoo, 1960–1968
- Aircraft is McDonnell F-101B-90-MC Voodoo serial 57-354 at Charleston AFB, South Carolina in September 1962
- Aircraft is North American F-86L-60-NA Sabre serial 53-4047 at Charleston AFB, South Carolina in July 1957
- Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p.550
- Maurer, combat Units, pp. 209-210
- Lineage, including assignments through 1963 in Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p.550
- See Mueller, p. 89 (showing dates at Charleston AFB)
- Mueller, p. 89
- Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946 - 1980 (PDF). Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. Retrieved March 23, 2012.
- 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. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- Mueller, Robert (1989). Air Force Bases, Vol. I, Active Air Force Bases Within the United States of America on 17 September 1982 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-53-6. Retrieved December 17, 2016.
- "ADCOM's Fighter Interceptor Squadrons". The Interceptor. Aerospace Defense Command. 21 (1): 5–11, 26–31, 40–45, 54–59. January 1979.