74th Fighter Squadron

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74th Fighter Squadron
USAF A-10C's during training exercise in 2010.jpg
A-10Cs of the 74th Fighter Squadron
Active1942–1946; 1946–1949; 1951–1958; 1972–1992; 1993-present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part ofAir Combat Command
Garrison/HQMoody Air Force Base
Nickname(s)Flying Tigers
  • Asiatic-Pacific Streamer.png
    Asia-Pacific Theater World War II
  • Southwest Asia Service Streamer.png
    1991 Gulf War
74th Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 4 May 1979)[1]74th Fighter Squadron.svg
74th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron emblem (approved 24 September 1952)[2]74th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron - Emblem.png
74th Fighter Squadron emblem (World War II)[3]74 Fighter Sq emblem (WW II).png

The 74th Fighter Squadron is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 23d Fighter Group and stationed at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia. The squadron is equipped with the Fairchild Republic A-10C Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft.

During World War II, the 74th Fighter Squadron was one of the three original squadrons (74th, 75th, 76th) of the 23d Fighter Group.

On 17 December 1941, the AVG 1st Fighter Squadron was redesignated as the 23d Pursuit Group 74th Pursuit Squadron and subsequently the 74th Fighter Squadron.


World War II[edit]

The 23d was the United States Army Air Forces China Air Task Force organization took over the operations of the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force when the AVG was disbanded.[4] Some members of the AVG joined or rejoined the United States Air Force.[5][6][7] Some volunteered to serve for an extra short period to help with the change-over.[8]

The 74th was one of the original squadrons in the 23d to see combat action in the Far East. The Fighter Group used P-40 Warhawks, and later P-51 Mustangs, to cover a large operational area and diverse combat roles. The area of operation extended beyond China into Burma, French Indochina (Vietnam), and Formosa.

The mission taskings included counter air campaigns, strafing and bombing Japanese forces and installations, escorting bombers, flying reconnaissance missions, and intercepting Japanese bombers. The fighter group excelled in these roles and received the Distinguished Unit Citation for its exceptional performance during the war.

United States Air Force[edit]

Following World War II, the 74th was activated at various times and locations throughout the world. From 1946-1949 the 74th flew the P-47 at Northwest Field, Guam. During the years of 1951-1954, the 74th flew the F-86 and F-94 at Presque Isle AFB, Maine. The 74th then moved to Thule AB, Greenland, from 1954–1958 and flew the F-89. During the period 1958-1972, the 74th was inactive.

In July 1972, the 74th rejoined its sister squadrons for the first time since 1949 when the 23d Tactical Fighter Wing was activated at England Air Force Base LA. The 74th began operations flying the A-7 Corsair II in 1972 and transitioned into the A-10 "Thunderbolt II" in the summer of 1981.

During the 1980s, the 74th received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award five different times. The most recent combat tasking for the 74th was during Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM. From September 1990 until 11 April 1991, the 74th earned high praise for its performance during the campaign against Iraq's elusive Scud-B mobile missile launchers.

On 15 February 1992, the 74th was again inactivated at England Air Force Base as part of the Air Force's force structure realignment. It was activated 15 June 1993 at Pope AFB NC as part of the 23d Wing, the second composite wing built from the ground up. The 74th began operations at Pope AFB flying the F-16C/D Fighting Falcon. In July 1996, the F-16s departed Pope AFB and the 74th Fighter Squadron transitioned back to the A-10 aircraft.

The unit completed a deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.[9]

Defense.gov reported in January 2018 that the 74th deployed personnel and equipment to form the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. The expeditionary squadron took part in Operation Inherent Resolve. The squadron focused it efforts in Raqqa for about three months, providing close air support to friendly forces fighting ISIL in the city.[10] On 14 March 2019, the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron was awarded the Gallant Unit Citation for this operation. According to the citation, squadron pilots faced persistent surface-to-air threats and repeated intercepts by Russian aircraft while developing "new tactics to strike enemy fighters fortified in deep enemy terrain while protecting civilians and coalition forces" from July 2017 to January 2018, while operating from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. As the major force provider for the expeditionary squadron, this honor is bestowed on the 74th. It is only the fifth award of the citation and the first to an individual squadron.[11]

On 18 October 2018, the squadron won the prestigious Hawgsmoke 2018 competition by being named Top Overall Team. The 74th were also awarded Top Tactical and Top Conventional team awards. The biennial A-10 bombing, missile and tactical gunnery competition was held at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.[12]


  • Constituted as the 74th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 17 December 1941
Redesignated 74th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Activated on 4 Jul 1942
Redesignated 74th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 28 February 1944
Inactivated on 5 January 1946
  • Activated on 10 October 1946
Inactivated on 24 September 1949
  • Redesignated 74th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 19 December 1950
Activated on 12 January 1951
Inactivated on 25 June 1958
  • Redesignated 74th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 18 May 1972
Activated on 1 July 1972
Redesignated 74th Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991
Inactivated on 15 February 1992
  • Activated on 15 June 1993[1]






  1. ^ a b c d e Robertson, Patsy (6 May 2013). "Factsheet 74 Fighter Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  2. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 271-272
  3. ^ Watkins, p. 24
  4. ^ Older, Chuck (1980s). "Hammerhead Stalls and Snap Rolls". The Flying Tigers - American Volunteer Group - Chinese Air Force.
  5. ^ Rossi, J.R. "Older biography". The Flying Tigers - American Volunteer Group - Chinese Air Force.
  6. ^ Rossi, J.R. "Adair biography". The Flying Tigers - American Volunteer Group - Chinese Air Force.
  7. ^ Rossi, J.R. "Bailey biography". The Flying Tigers - American Volunteer Group - Chinese Air Force.
  8. ^ Rossi, J.R. "Poshefko biography". The Flying Tigers - American Volunteer Group - Chinese Air Force.
  9. ^ Carbajal, SRA David (4 October 2011). "AFCENT command chief visits departing 74th EFS, AMU". 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 1 April 2012. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
  10. ^ Rhynes, SSG Trevor (12 January 2018). "A-10s Bring Thunder to Fight Against ISIS". Defense.gov. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  11. ^ Rempfer, Kyle (4 April 2019). "Dropping sniper nests in four story buildings: A-10 Warthogs earn gallantry award in Syria". Air Force Times. Retrieved 4 April 2019.
  12. ^ "74th FS out guns competition during Hawgsmoke 2018". Retrieved 3 March 2020.


Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

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