354th Fighter Squadron [354th FS]
The 354th Fighter Squadron was activated in November 1942, as part of the 355th Fighter group in Orlando, Fla. During World War II, the 354th FS's mission was to escort bombers attacking industrial areas in Germany, and it supported Allied advances in the European offensive with the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-51 Mustang. The unit received the Distinguished Unit Citation for its role in the European theater of operations.
The squadron was deactivated in 1946. In 1952, the squadron was reactivated as part of the Air Defense Command and flew fighter-interceptor missions in the P-51, F-94 Starfire, and the Republic F-86 Sabre Jet. It received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award prior to its deactivation in January 1958.
The squadron was reactivated in April 1962 as a Tactical Fighter Squadron flying the F-105 Thunderchief. The 354th received five Presidential Unit Citations and three Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with combat "V" devices and acquired the nickname "PACAF's Pride" in recognition of its accomplishments in Southeast Asia.
In April 1971, the 354th was assigned to D-M in the Air Force's newest close air support system, the A-7D Corsair II. After six months of combat in Southeast Asia, the squadron became the first A-7 training unit in the Air Force, The unit was again deactivated in January 1993, and reactivated as a combined A/OA-10 unit at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., as a geographically separated unit of the 355th Wing at D-M. It was deactivated at McChord AFB and reactivated at D-M in October 1994.
The 354th Fighter Squadron is a combat-coded A/OA-10 squadron of 22 aircraft and more than 245 combat-ready professionals poised to deploy at a moment's notice anywhere in the world. The squadron performs close air support, air interdiction and combat search and rescue missions in support of in-place and deployed contingency/joint and combined Army and Air Force close air support units world wide. The Bulldogs complete an annual flying hour program of more than 11,000 hours.
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