466th Fighter Squadron

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466th Fighter Squadron
466th Fighter Squadron.png
Official crest of the 466th Fighter Squadron
Active 5 October 1944–25 November 1945
19 June 1952–11 May 1956
23 June 1972 – 1 February 1992
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
Tenth Air Force
419th Fighter Wing
419th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Hill Air Force Base
Nickname(s) Diamondback
F-16 Fighting Falcon see "Aerospace vehicles" section below
Decorations see "Lineage and honors" section below
F-16C block 30 #87-0340 from the 466th FS "Diamondback" flies a training mission over the Great Salt Lake. The 419th is one of approximately 30 flying wings in the reserve and is the only Air Force Reserve unit in Utah. If the wing were mobilized for active duty, its aircraft and most of its members would be assigned to Air Combat Command. This image was used in the April 2000 Airman Magazine article"High-fivin' 'n' Huggin'." and was taken on 1 April 2000

The 466th Fighter Squadron (466 FS) is the 419th Fighter Wing's designated flying squadron. They are located at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.


The 419th uses 15 F-16C/D model aircraft, which are light, air-to-air daytime fighters. The 466th Fighter Squadron first saw action in 1998, participating for the first time in the exercise Cape Tiger. This is a drill which puts reserve pilots shoulder to shoulder with members of the Thailand and Singapore Air Forces. Later that year, the 466th was deployed to Kuwait in time for Operation Southern Watch. The 466th was part of a unit attempting to hold off Iraqi movements toward Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabia.


Formed in late 1944 under Second Air Force as one of the last P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter Squadrons, programmed for deployment to Western Pacific theater with long-range P-47N for B-29 Superfortress escort missions. Arrived in Hawaii in early 1945, assigned to Seventh Air Force. Lack of a serious fighter defense over Japan at high altitudes and reprogramming of B-29 raids over Japan to night low-level fast attacks led to reassignment as a replacement training unit based in Hawaii; also performed air defense of the islands until inactivation in November 1945.

Reactivated as Strategic Air Command fighter-escort squadron for B-50 Superfortress and B-36 Peacemaker bombers. Performed fighter-escort training throughout the 1950s, inactivated in 1956 with the phaseout of the escort mission and retirement of the B-36.

Transferred to Tactical Air Command but not activated until 1972 as an F-105 Thunderchief squadron, being equipped with aircraft returned from inactivated Vietnam War squadrons to train other tactical fighter squadrons in Wild Weasel SAM suppression tactics. Since 1984 has trained to fly interdiction, close air support, and counter-air missions. Deployed periodically for contingency operations, or for training exercises with other units.


  • Constituted 466th Fighter Squadron on 5 October 1944
Activated on 12 October 1944.
Inactivated on 25 November 1945
  • Redesignated 466th Fighter-Escort Squadron on 19 June 1952.
Activated on 1 July 1952
Redesignated 466th Strategic Fighter Squadron on 20 January 1953
Inactivated on 11 May 1956
  • Redesignated 466 Tactical Fighter Squadron on 23 June 1972
Activated in the Reserve on 1 January 1973
Redesignated 466 Fighter Squadron on 1 February 1992.





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

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