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318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

 

318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

Emblem of the 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
Active 1942–1989
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Nickname "Green Dragons"
Engagements
  • World War II
European Campaign (1944–1945)



The 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with 25th Air Division based at McChord AFB, Washington. The squadron was inactivated on 7 December 1989.

History

World War II

Established in mid-1942 as a fighter squadron, trained under I Fighter Command primarily in the northeast with P-47 Thunderbolts. Deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) in Algeria, taking part in the North African Campaign supporting the United States Fifth Army's advance with tactical air support. Attacked enemy armored columns, troop concentrations, road transport, bridges and other targets of opportunity. Also flew combat missions over Sicily from airfields in Tunisia, supporting the Allied ground forces in the liberation of the island. Moved to Italy in late 1943 and continued tactical operations as part of Twelfth Air Force. Supported Fifth Army as it advanced into central and northern Italy during the Italian Campaign, being re-equipped with P-51D Mustangs in 1944. Continued combat operations until the German Capitulation; demobilizing in northern Italy during the summer of 1945. Inactivated in October.

Air Defense Command

Reactivated by Air Defense Command in May 1947 at Mitchell Field, New York. In December 1947 it was transferred to Hamilton Field, California where it received its first aircraft, P-61 Black Widows which had been pressed into the air defense mission. In the spring of 1948 the squadron received new F-82 Twin Mustangs and in November 1948 moved to McChord AFB, Washington. In the fall of 1950 the squadron transitioned into jet F-94As Starfire Interceptors.

In June 1953 the squadron moved to Thule Air Base, Greenland; under control of the Northeast Air Command. The squadron came back under ADC in August 1954 when it was moved from Thule to Presque Isle AFB, Maine with F-89D Scorpions. In August 1955 the squadron returned to McChord AFB and transitioned into F-86D Sabres. In March 1957 the squadron began a transition into F-102A Delta Daggers and three years later in March 1960 into F-106 Delta Darts.

On 22 Mar 1968 the 318th FIS deployed to Osan AB, Republic of Korea from McChord AFB, WA to provide air defense following the 26 January 1968 North Korea seizure of the USS Pueblo. This marked the first time in history that Aerospace Defense Command F-106 fighter interceptors had flown to a critical overseas area, using in-flight refueling along with tactical air units.

Returned to the United States after the Pueblo Crisis ended, and flew F-106s throughout the 1970s. The 318th converted to F-15 Eagles in 1983.

Lineage

  • Constituted 318th Fighter Squadron on 24 June 1942
Activated on 3 August 1942
Inactivated on 28 October 1945.
  • Activated on 21 May 1947
Redesignated: 318th Fighter Squadron (All Weather) on 10 May 1948
Redesignated: 318th Fighter-All Weather Squadron on 20 January 1950
Redesignated: 318th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 1 May 1951
Inactivated 7 December 1989.

Assignments

325th Fighter (later Fighter-All Weather; Fighter-Interceptor) Group, 21 May 1947

Stations

Aircraft

References

  • 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. Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1982.
  • USAF Aerospace Defense Command publication, The Interceptor, January 1979 (Volume 21, Number 1).
  • Northrop P-61 Black Widow—The Complete History and Combat Record, Garry R. Pape, John M. Campbell and Donna Campbell, Motorbooks International, 1991.

External links

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