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1st Special Operations Squadron [1st SOS]

The 1st Special Operations Squadron was traces its lineage to the 1st Pursuit Squadron, originally constituted as the 1st Pursuit Squadron [Single Engine], and activated, on 1 August 1939 at Maxwell Field, AL. It was assigned to the 23rd Composite Group (later, Air Corps Proving Ground Detachment; Air Corps Proving Ground Group), it was tasked with gunnery testing and training, using P-36 (1939-1942); YP-37 (1939-1940); O-38 (1940); B-12 (1940); C-40(1940); P-40 (1941-1942) aircraft. It was redesignated as the 1st Pursuit Squadron [Interceptor], on 6 December 1939. It was disbanded on 1 May 1942 at Eglin Field, FL.

It was reconstituted and consolidated on 19 September 1985 with the 1st Liaison Squadron and the 1st Special Operations Squadron.

The 1st Liason Squadron traced its origins to the 1st Liaison Flight which was constituted on 27 September 1949 and activated on 24 October 1949 at Biggs AFB, TX, under Twelfth Air Force (though attached to the 2602nd Tow Target Squadron (24 October 1949-22 May 1950); and the 1st Tow Target Squadron (27 May 1950-22 July 1952). The squadron was tasked with flying administrative flights using L-13 (1949-1952); C-45 (1952); and L-20(1952) aircraft. It was reassigned to Fourteenth Air Force, on 1 July 1950; to Tactical Air Command, on 1 August 1950; and Ninth Air Force, on 10 August 1951. The squadron inactivated on 22 July 1952.

Redesignated as the 1st Liaison Squadron on 13 February 1953, it reactivated on 8 April 1953 at George AFB, CA, assigned to Ninth Air Force (though attached to the 479th Fighter-Bomber Wing, from 8 April 1953-18 January 1954). It inactivated on 18 January 1954. Aicraft flown by the squadron during that period were the L-20 (1953-1954) and the H-19 (1953-1954).

The 1st Special Operations Squadron was originally constituted as the 1st Air Commando Squadron, Composite, and activated, on 17 June 1963 under Pacific Air Forces. It organized on 8 July 1963 at Nien Hoa AB, South Vietnam, and was assigned to the 34th Tactical Group. It was reassigned the following year, on 8 July, to the 6251st Tactical Fighter Wing (though attached to the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, from 21 November 1965-8 March 1966).

Relocating to Pleiku AB, South Vietnam, it was reassigned to 2nd Air Division, on 18 February 1966, and to the 14th Air Commando Wing, on 8 March 1966. Redesignated as the 1st Air Commando Squadron, Fighter, on 15 August 1967, it next moved to Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand, on 20 December 1967, upon its reassignment to the 56th Air Commando (later, 56th Special Operations) Wing.

It was redesignated as the 1st Special Operations Squadron on 1 August 1968. It was reassigned to the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing on 15 December 1972 and relocated to Kadena AB, Japan (though a segment of squadron operated from Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, from 15 December 1972-28 January 1973).

The 1st SOS saw combat in Southeast Asia, from 8 July 1963-7 November 1972 and from 15 December 1972-28 January 1973. It also trained Vietnamese Air Force pilots in counterinsurgency operations, from July 1963-November 1972. Aicraft flown by the 1st SOS were the B-26 (1963-1964); T-28 (1963-1964); U-10 (1963-1966); C-47 (1963-1966); RB-26 (1963-1964); A-1 (1964-1972); FC-47 (1964-1965); AC-47 (1965); and the C(later, MC)-130 beginning in 1972.

The 1st SOS was reassigned to the 18th Tactical Fighter Group, on 1 May 1978; and to the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, on 15 January 1981, relocating i the process to Clak AB, Philippines.

The squadron was once again reassigned; this time to 2nd Air Division on 1 March 1983; to Twenty-third Air Force on 1 February 1987; and to the 353d Special Operations Wing (later, 353d Special Operations Group), on 6 April 1989.

The 1st SOS relocated to Kadena AB, Japan, on 5 February 1992.

In August 2000, a crew from the 1st SOS, along with another from the 17th SOS, flew a C-130 each to deliver 19 tons of disaster relief aid across the Pacific to assist in Vietnam's worst flooding in a century. Nearly 22,000 pounds of plastic sheeting, 3,600 blankets and 5,000 water containers were flown from Guam, to Okinawa and then on to Vietnam by two Kadena-based C-130s.

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Page last modified: 05-07-2011 02:11:10 ZULU