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35TH FIGHTER SQUADRON

Posted 4/23/2013 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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35th Fighter Squadron
35th Fighter Squadron "Pantons": Current Shield.
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The 35th Fighter Squadron flies the F-16 Fighting Falcon out of Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea, and is one of two fighter squadrons assigned to the 8th Fighter Wing, the Wolf Pack.

History

The 35th Fighter Squadron heritage dates back to June 12, 1917, when the unit activated as the 35th Aero Squadron. Originally an aircraft maintenance squadron, the unit served in France from September 1917 to February 1919. Upon the unit's return to the United States after the armistice, it demobilized March 19, 1919 during the American disarmament.

Recognizing the need for a strong air arm, American defense officials reconstituted the squadron in June 1932 and redesignated it the 35th Pursuit Squadron. For the next few years, the 35th flew P-12, PB-2, A-17 and P-36 aircraft out of Langley Field, Va. In 1939, the unit was redesignated the 35th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) and moved to Mitchell Field, N.Y., to fly the P-40 Warhawk.

In March 1942, the newly named 35th Fighter Squadron entered combat in the Pacific. During World War II, its members flew a variety of aircraft, including the P-40 and the P-38 Lightning and accounted for 124 kills. During this time, the unit was based in Australia, New Guinea, Leyte and le Shima. The squadron scored the final American aerial victories of the war on Aug. 14, 1945. By war's end, the 35th moved to Fukuoka Air Base, Japan, to fly P-51 Mustangs.

When the Korean War began, the redesignated 35th Fighter Bomber Squadron entered combat. Once on the offensive, the 35th moved from base to base in Korea, flying the F-80 Shooting Star and later the F-86 Sabre. At one time, the 35th was stationed at Pyongyang, now the capital of North Korea.

When the Korean War ended, the squadron started flying F-100 Super Sabres at its new location at Itazuke Air Base, Japan. In 1963, the squadron received F-105 Thunderchiefs to replace the F-100s and moved to Yokota Air Base, Japan.

In 1964, the 35th deployed to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as one of the first units to fight in Southeast Asia. It later moved to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. During this deployment, the squadron's new home became Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea.

On March 15, 1972, the 35th moved to Kunsan Air Base to fly the F-4 Phantom. In September 1981, the 35th and its sister squadron, the 80th Tactical Fighter Squadron, became the first overseas units to convert to the F-16 Fighting Falcon. The squadrons and wing dropped the "tactical" designation from their titles during an Air Force-wide reorganization Jan. 31, 1992.

On Nov. 17, 2000, the 35th Fighter Squadron received its first Block 40 F-16s. The new aircraft carry Low-Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night, or LANTIRN, pods. The combination of LANTIRN and night-vision goggles allows the Wolf Pack to take the fight into the night. The 35th completed the conversion in February 2001.


(Current as of Feb. 9, 2007)




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