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74th Fighter Squadron

74th Fighter Squadron
A-10Cs of the 74th Fighter Squadron
Active 4 July 1942 – 5 January 1946
10 October 1946 – 24 September 1949
12 January 1951 – 25 June 1958
1 July 1972 – 15 February 1992
15 June 1993 - present
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Fighter
Part of Air Combat Command
9th Air Force
23d Wing
23d Fighter Group
Garrison/HQ Moody Air Force Base
Nickname(s) Flying Tigers

  • Asia-Pacific Theater World War II

  • Armed Forces Expeditionary (Vietnam Ceasefire 1973)

  • 1991 Gulf War

  • Distinguished Unit Citation

  • Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (9x)

  • Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
Emblem of the 74th Fighter Squadron

The 74th Fighter Squadron (74 FS) is a Georgia.

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.


  • History 1
    • World War II 1.1
    • United States Air Force 1.2
    • Lineage 1.3
    • Assignments 1.4
    • Stations 1.5
    • Aircraft 1.6
  • References 2


World War II

The 23d was the 1st American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Chinese Air Force when the AVG was disbanded.[1] Some members of the AVG joined or rejoined the United States Airforce.[2][3][4] Some volunteered to serve for an extra short period to help with the changover.[5]

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

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 lived up to its proud history by receiving 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 reactivated 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.[6]


Emblem of the 74th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron
  • Constituted 74th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 17 Dec 1941
Re-designated as: 74th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Activated on 4 Jul 1942
Re-designated as: 74th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 28 Feb 1944
Inactivated on 5 Jan 1946
  • Activated on 10 Oct 1946
Inactivated on 24 Sep 1949
  • Re-designated as: 74th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 19 Dec 1950
Activated on 12 Jan 1951
Inactivated on 25 Jun 1958
  • Re-designated as: 74th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 18 May 1972
Activated on 1 Jul 1972
Re-designated as: 74th Fighter Squadron on 1 Nov 1991
Inactivated on 15 Feb 1992
  • Activated on 15 Jun 1993[7]





 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ AFCENT command chief visits departing 74th EFS, AMU, 451st Air Expeditionary Wing Public Affairs
  7. ^ a b c d AFHRA 74th Fighter Squadron Lineage and History
  • A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Maurer, Maurer. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force: World War II. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1982.
  • USAF Aerospace Defense Command publication, The Interceptor, January 1979 (Volume 21, Number 1).
  • USAF 74th Fighter Squadron History
  • 23d Fighter Group Fact Sheet

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