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496th Tactical Fighter Squadron


496th Tactical Fighter Squadron

496th Tactical Fighter Squadron

496th Tactical Fighter Squadron Patch
Active 1942–1991
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Fighter
Engagements World War II

The 496th Tactical Fighter Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit, last assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe, 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, being stationed at Hahn AB, Germany. The squadron was inactivated on 15 May 1991.


During World War II, the squadron served as an operational training and a replacement training unit. Also participated occasionally in demonstrations and maneuvers 1942–1944.

Activated in the Reserve in 1949 to train as a fighter corollary of the 52d Fighter Wing, All Weather in the regular Air Force, but apparently undermanned and thus performed very little training. During its only 2-week summer encampment (12–26 June 1950), the squadron had only four pilots capable of flying the F-82 Twin Mustangs it was assigned to provide training, and the 52d Wing made little use of its corollary unit. The squadron was ordered to active service on 1 June 1951, inactivated the next day, and its few people became "fillers" in other USAF units.

Activated briefly at Hamilton AFB, California in early 1953, equipped with F-86F Sabres, performed air defense of the West Coast of the United States. Re-assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe, assigned to the 86th Fighter-Bomber Wing at Landstuhl Air Base, West Germany in 1954. Mission in USAFE was air defense of West Germany, flying F-86D Sabre Interceptors.

Moved to Hahn Air Base in November 1956, remaining assigned to the 86th FIW. Operated from Hahn for the next decade, being re-equipped with the F-102A Delta Dagger in 1959, being assigned to the 86th Air Division (Defense).

Reassigned to the host 50th TFW at Hahn in 1968 as part of the withdrawal of the F-102 from Europe, being re-equipped with F-4E Phantom IIs and becoming a tactical Fighter Squadron. Continued routine training operations throughout the 1970s, upgrading to F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft in 1979.

Inactivated in 1991 with the host 50th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hahn and part of the closure of the base and the end of the Cold War.


  • Constituted 301st Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 13 January 1942
Activated on 10 February 1942
Redesignated: 301st Bombardment Squadron (Dive) on 27 July 1942
Redesignated: 496th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 10 August 1943
Disbanded on 1 April 1944
  • Reconstituted, and redesignated 496th Fighter Squadron (All Weather), on 16 May 1949
Activated in the reserve on 1 June 1949
Redesignated: 496th Fighter-All Weather Squadron on 1 March 1950
Ordered to active service on 1 June 1951
Inactivated on 2 June 1951
  • Redesignated: 496th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 11 February 1953
Activated on 20 March 1953
Redesignated: 496 Tactical Fighter Squadron, 1 November 1968
Inactivated: 15 May 1991


Attached to 86th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 1 July 1954
Attached 1–24 November 1968
Assigned 25 November 1968 – 15 May 1991




  • 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).
  • USAFHRA 50th Space Wing Fact Sheet

External links

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