335th Fighter Squadron [335th FS]
(Base Code: SJ)
One of six operational F-15E squadrons in the U.S. Air Force, the 335th Fighter Squadron traces its ancestry back to the Royal Air Force 121 Squadron, formed on 14 May 1941 as the second of three "Eagle Squadrons" of the RAF. These squadrons were composed of American volunteers, flying Hurricanes and Spitfires out of England prior to the entry of the United States into World War II.
The "Chief's Head" insignia dates back to the original emblem of the RAF 121 Squadron, which featured in its center a profile of the head of an American Indian Chief. Following the entry of the US into the war, the three Eagle Squadrons were transferred to the US Army Air Forces as the 334th, 335th, and 336th Fighter Squadrons, then combined to form the 4th Fighter Group flying P-47 Thunderbolts and P-51 Mustangs. During World War II, the 335 FS destroyed 262 enemy aircraft. The Chiefs flew P-80 Shooting Stars until 1949 when they received the F-86 Sabrejet, which they took to Korea on 10 November, 1950. By the end of the Korean War the 335 FS led all squadrons with 218.5 kills. The Chiefs remained in the Far East until 8 December 1957, when they moved to Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina and converted to the F-100 Super Sabre. In May of 1958, the 335 FS became the first squadron in the Air Force to receive the F-105 Thunderchief. They were sent to Eglin AFB FL, and tasked with operational testing of the new aircraft for the next three years. In 1967, the Chiefs received the airframe they would fly for the next twenty three years--the F-4 Phantom II. Before this period had ended the Chiefs had deployed to Korea to support the Pueblo Incident, flew in the Vietnam Conflict out of Ubon AB, Thailand, became the first operational squadron to qualify with the GBU-15, and in doing so exceeded 100,000 consecutive accident-free hours. On 1 March 1990, the Chiefs passed another milestone in their history. In conjunction with the fifty-first change of command, their final F-4 sortie and first F-15E sortie were flown.
On December 27-28 1990, the 335 FS deployed twenty four F-15Es along with support personnel and equipment to Al Kharj Air Base in central Saudi Arabia. On the night of January 16, the Chiefs participated in the initial assault on Iraq, hitting communications, power networks and airfields around Baghdad. Given the mission of finding and destroying Iraq's SCUD missile launchers, the 335 FS brought Iraq's use of this terror weapon to a virtual halt, earning the squadron the nickname "SCUD BUSTERS". The 335 FS made aerial warfare history by downing an Iraqi helicopter in the air using a laser guided bomb. During the war, the Chiefs flew 1,097 combat missions over Iraq and occupied Kuwait, dropping over 4.8 million pounds of ordnance. The Chiefs still periodically deploy to Saudi Arabia to enforce the U.N. sanctions against Iraq.
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