|4th Fighter Squadron|
4th Fighter Squadron Patch
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Active|| 15 January 1941 – 7 November 1945 |
20 February 1947 - present
|Part of|| Air Combat Command |
12th Air Force
388th Fighter Wing
388th Operations Group
|Colors||Black and Yellow|
|Decorations|| DUC |
AFOUA w/V Device
RVGC w/ Palm
The 4th Fighter Squadron (4 FS) "Fighting Fuujins" is part of the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. It operates the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft conducting air superiority, strike, and close air support missions.
Conduct air-to-air and air-to-ground operations for daylight and nighttime missions.
The 4th was activated at Selfridge Field, Michigan on 15 January 1941 and trained under Third Air Force as a tactical fighter squadron. Moved to several U.S. bases before relocating to Northern Ireland and England in 1942. Equipped with the British Supermarine Spitfire, was assigned to Twelfth Air Force during the North African Campaign in late 1942. Moved across Algeria and Tunisia flying ground support missions for American ground forces; taking part in the invasion of Sicily and Italy in 1943. Participated in the liberation of Corsica in 1943; then returning to Italy and being re-equipped with P-51D Mustangs in May 1944. Participated in Northern Italian Campaign, returning to the United States in August 1945 and inactivating.
Reactivated as part of Thirteenth Air Force in Okinawa, assuming personnel and P-61 Black Widows of the inactivated 418th Night Fighter Squadron. Performed air defense role over Okinawa during Chinese Civil War on the mainland during 1947-1950. Re-equipped with new F-82G Twin Mustangs in 1949, retiring war-weary F-61s in early 1950. Deployed flight of F-82s to Japan in June 1950 as part of Far East Air Force mobility upon breakout of Korean War. Engaged in combat operations over South Korea during 1950, until F-51D Mustangs and F-84 Thunderjets arrived in the Korean theater. Then few combat missions from Japan, rotating flights of F-82s from Okinawa during 1950-1951, largely performing long-range weather reconnaissance flights over North Korea. Began receiving F-94C Starfire jet interceptors to replace F-82s in 1951, retiring the last of its Twin Mustangs in late 1951. Continued air defense mission of Okinawa until 1954; moving to Japan and taking over interceptor mission until 1954 flying first F-86D Sabres then F-102As. Also train pilots of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, the Republic of Korea and the Royal Thai Air Force, and flew combat missions over Korea and Vietnam.
In June 1965, the 4th moved to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and was renamed the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron, becoming the fourth Air Force fighter squadron trained in the F-4C Phantom IIs. Deployed in July 1967, to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, where they were designated as the 435th Tactical Fighter Squadron and immediately began combat operations. Reassigned in 1969 to Da Nang Air Base, Republic of Vietnam; flying tactical bombing missions over North Vietnam as part of the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing. Remained in Vietnam until United States redeployment from DaNang Air Base in mid-1972. The squadron attained the U.S. Air Force's last Southeast Asia aerial victory, downing a MiG-21 on 8 January 1973. In all the 4th downed four enemy aircraft in combat over Vietnam.
For the next two years, the squadron remained at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, flying cover for evacuations of Phnom Pehn, Cambodia and Saigon, Republic of Vietnam. The 4th performed strike missions in support of a recovery operation for the S.S. Mayagüez, a merchant freighter captured by Cambodian Khmer Rouge guerillas in May 1975.
In March 1980, the squadron began conversion to the F-16 Fighting Falcon as the Air Force's first operational F-16 tactical fighter squadron. The squadron upgraded to the F-16C Block 40 in January 1990.
When Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, the 4th found deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Desert Shield. Their deployment took 16 hours non-stop with 10 aerial refuelings (five at night). This set a record as the longest distance flown non-stop in the F-16. The squadron dropped more than 2,000 tons of conventional munitions on strategic and tactical targets in Iraq and Kuwait during more than 1,000 daytime combat sorties while only two of their aircraft were damaged by enemy fire and none lost in combat.
Air Combat Command officials announced a stand down and reallocation of flying hours for the rest of the fiscal year 2013 due to mandatory budget cuts. The across-the board spending cuts, called sequestration, took effect 1 March when Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.
Squadrons either stood down on a rotating basis or kept combat ready or at a reduced readiness level called “basic mission capable” for part or all of the remaining months in fiscal 2013. This affected the 4th Fighter Squadron with a reduction of its flying hours, grounding all assigned pilots from 5 April-30 September 2013.
- Constituted 4th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 20 November 1940
- Activated on 15 January 1941
- Redesignated: 4th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
- Redesignated: 4th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 20 August 1943
- Inactivated on 7 November 1945
- Redesignated 4th Fighter Squadron (All Weather) on 19 December 1946
- Activated on 20 February 1947, absorbing personnel and equipment of 418th Night Fighter Squadron
- Redesignated: 4th Fighter Squadron, All Weather, on 10 August 1948
- Redesignated: 4th Fighter-All Weather Squadron on 20 January 1950
- Redesignated: 4th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 25 April 1951
- Redesignated: 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 20 June 1965
- Redesignated: 4th Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991.
- 52d Pursuit (later, 52d Fighter) Group, 15 January 1941 – 7 November 1945
- 347th Fighter Group, 20 February 1947
- Attached to: 51st Fighter [later, 51st Fighter-Interceptor] Group), 20 February 1947-
- Twentieth Air Force, 24 June 1950
- Remained attached to: 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group to 24 June 1950
- Flight of 8 aircraft assigned to 347th Provisional Fighter Group (All-Weather), 27 June – 5 July 1950 for combat missions in Korea
- Attached to: 6302d Air Base Group, 20 September 1950-24 June 1951 for combat missions in Korea
- Attached to: 6351st Air Base Wing, 25 June 1951-unkn for combat missions in Korea
- Japan Air Defense Force, 10 August 1954
- Attached to: 39th Air Division, 10 August 1954-
- Fifth Air Force, 1 September 1954
- Remained attached to: 39th Air Division
- 39th Air Division, 1 March 1955
- 33d Tactical Fighter Wing, 20 June 1965
- 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, 12 April 1969
- 432d Tactical Reconnaissance (later, 432d Tactical Fighter) Wing, 31 October 1972
- 388th Tactical Fighter (later, 388th Fighter) Wing, 23 December 1975
- Attached to: 388th Tactical Fighter Wing (Deployed) [later, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing (Provisional)], 28 August 1990 – 27 March 1991
- 388th Operations Group, 1 December 1991–present
- World War II
- Korean War
- Vietnam War
- Operation Desert Shield
- Operation Desert Storm
- Operation Iraqi Freedom
- Operation Enduring Freedom
- Mauer, Mauer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. ISBN 0-89201-097-5
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 4 FS Fact Sheet
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Reduced flying hours forces grounding of 17 USAF combat air squadrons
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 AFHRA 4 FS Page
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