52d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron

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52d Fighter Squadron
Active 1941–1951
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Fighter

The 52d Fighter Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the Western Air Defense Force, based at Hamilton Air Force Base, California. It was inactivated on 8 June 1951.


World War II[edit]

Activated on 1 January 1941 as one of the three squadrons assigned to the 32d Pursuit Group as part of the United States buildup of forces after the eruption of World War II. The squadron was equipped with Curtiss P-36A Hawks and Boeing P-26A Peashooters drawn from the 16th and 37th Pursuit Groups. After being formed at Albrook Field, Panama Canal Zone, the squadron was moved to Río Hato Army Air Base, Panama.

Following its stay at Rio Hato, the unit was ordered to France Field on 1 January 1942, and the squadron was equipped with Bell P-39 Airacobras. In early 1942, the Squadron was actively engaged in anti-submarine patrols, for which duty the aircraft were each armed with a 350 pound depth charge. Either 75 foot or 150 foot hydrostatic fuses were used, but, in every case, these were always dropped prior to returning to base.

On 12 May 1942, "C" Flight of the Squadron was sent to Seymour Island Airfield in the Galapagos Islands (just before the unit was redesignated as the 52d Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942), becoming one of the very first fighter detachmentst he stationed there, although the main squadron remained at France Field. The Galapagos Detachment was redesignated as "E" Flight on 31 October. The detachment's stay on the Galapagos lasted until 1 December 1942.

By 18 January 1943, the 52d was at France Field. However, by 16 June, Detachments were located at Rio Hato Army Air Base, Corozal (Canal Zone) and David Field, Panama, with Squadron Headquarters at France Field.

The unit ended its assignment to France Field on 23 March 1944 and, with the gradual wind-down of Sixth Air Force, was one of the units slated to be disbanded. The unit was subsequently disbanded on 25 May 1944.

The 52d Fighter Squadron was never authorized an official squadron emblem.

Air Force Reserve[edit]

Activated in the reserve in June 1949 to train as an interceptor corollary squadron of the 78th Fighter-Interceptor Wing at Hamilton AFB. Was brought to active duty in June 1951 as a result of the Korean War, inactivated a week later after its personnel were reassigned to become "fillers" in other USAF units.


  • Constituted 52d Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) on 22 November 1940
Activated on 1 January 1941
Redesignated 52d Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Disbanded on 25 May 1944
  • Reconstituted on 16 May 1949
Activated in the reserve on 27 June 1949
Redesignated 52d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 8 March 1950
Ordered to active service on 1 June 1951
Inactivated on 8 June 1951.



Detachment at Seymour Island Army Airfield, Baltra, Galápagos Islands, 5 June-1 December 1942


Operational history[edit]

Air defense for the Panama Canal during World War II.


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

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Hagdedorn, Dan (1995), Alae Supra Canalem: Wings Over the Canal, Turner Publishing, ISBN 1-56311-153-5

External links[edit]