80th Fighter Squadron [80th FS]
[Base Code: WP]
The 80th Fighter Squadron operates Block-30 F-16Cs and is primarily limited to daylight flying operations. Kunsan's 35th and 80th Fighter Squadrons have begun using Night Vision Goggles.
The 80th Fighter Squadron was originally constituted as the 80th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 6 January 1942. It was activated on 10 January 1942 at Mitchel Field, NY, and assigned to the 8th Pursuit (later, 8th Fighter) Group. The squadron was redesignated the 80th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942; the 80th Fighter Squadron (Two Engine) on 22 July 1943; and the 80th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 20 August 1943. Flying the P-39 and P-400 aircraft, the squadron converted to the P-38 in 1943 and saw combat in Southwest and Western Pacific, from 22 July 1942 to 16 August 1945, deploying to Australia, New Guinea, the Schouten Islands, Morotai, Leyte, Mindoro, and Japan. The 80th inactivated on 26 December 1945 at Fukuoka, Japan.
Redesignated as the 80th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 14 January 1947, the squadron reactivated on 20 February 1947 at Itazuke AB, Japan, and was assigned to the 8th Fighter (later, 8th Fighter-Bomber) Group (though attached to 49th Fighter-Bomber Group, 11 August-25 September 1950; 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group, 25 September-27 October 1950; Twentieth Air Force, 21 October 1954-10 February 1955; 49th Fighter-Bomber Group, 10 February 1955-18 October 1956; 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 1 February-30 September 1957). The squadron operated the P (later, F)-51 from 1947 until 1950, at which point it transitioned to the F-80.
It was redesignated as the 80th Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 1 January 1950 and as the 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 20 January 1950. The 80th saw combat in Korea, from 27 June 1950-27 July 1953. 1953 saw the squadron begin flying the F-86 (until 1957). The F-84 was added to its inventory the following year, to be replaced in 1956 by the F-100.
Following the squadron's engagement in the Korean War, the 80th was tasked with providing air defense in Japan and Korea (1953-1954), in Okinawa (1954-1956), and in Japan and Korea(1956-1971).
The squadron was reassigned to the 8th Fighter-Bomber (later, 8th Tactical Fighter) Wing, on 1 October 1957 (attached to 41st Air Division, 13 May-17 June 1964). The following year, the squadron was redesignated as the 80th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 July.
The squadron transitioned to the F-105 in 1963. Relocating to Yokota AB, Japan on 13 May 1964 (though deployed at Korat RTAFB, Thailand, 30 October-29 December 1964; Takhli RTAFB, Thailand, 27 June-26 August 1965; Osan AB, South Korea, 26 December 1968-20 February 1969, 24 April-27 May 1969, 5 August-10 September 1969, 28 November-27 December 1969, 6 March-10 April 1970, 29 May-20 June 1970, 7 August-4 September 1970, 30 October-28 November 1970, and 23 January-15 February 1971), the 80th was assigned to the 41st Air Division on 18 June 1964 (but attached to 2nd Air Division, 30 October-29 December 1964).
The 80th was reassigned to the 6441st Tactical Fighter Wing, on 1 April 1965 (attached to 2nd Air Division, 27 June-26 August 1965). The squadron saw combat in Southeast Asia, from 12 November-25 December 1964 and c. 27 June-c. 26 August 1965.
The 80th was then reassigned to the 41st Air Division, on 15 November 1966; and to the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing, on 15 January 1968 (attached to Detachment 1, 475th Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 February-15 March 1971). 1968 saw the squadron transition to the F-4 aircraft.
Relocating to Kunsan AB, South Korea, on 15 February 1971, the 80th was reassigned a month later, on 15 March, to the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, and on 16 September 1974, to the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing.
The squadron converted to the F-16 aircraft in 1981.
The squadron was reassigned to the 8th Fighter Wing's Operations Group on 3 February 1992, and was redesignated as the 80th Fighter Squadron.
A new precision weapon capability was introduced to the 80th Fighter Squadron on July 8, 2003 when an F-16C Block 30 dropped two joint direct attack munitions over Chik-Do Island, Republic of Korea. The introduction of JDAM to the 80th FS will double the squadron's precision capability as well as increase the 8th Fighter Wing's by 25 percent.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|