35th Fighter Squadron [35th FS]
[Base Code: WP]
The 35th Fighter Squadron "Pantons" performs both air-to-ground and air-to-air missions in support of numerous taskings throughout the Pacific. The sqadron's mission took a major step forward when the first three of more than 20 upgraded F-16 Fighting Falcons landed 17 November 2000. The upgraded fighters, known as Block-40s -- to designate a level of improvement based on the original design -- are assigned to Kunsan's 35th Fighter Squadron. Prevsiouly, the 35th and 80th FSs operated Block-30 F-16Cs and were primarily limited to daylight flying operations. The addition of this edition of the F-16 gave Kunsan's Wolf Pack the ability to fight day or night, in all weather. Kunsan received 18 F-16C models and three 'D' models.
Block-40s significantly enhanced the 8th Fighter Wing's warfighting capability by adding a Low Altitude Navigation Targeting Infrared Night system, which are intake-mounted pods that allow pilots to locate and mark enemy targets at day or night. Block-40s also give pilots precision targeting capability. The 35th FS received the 21 total Block-40 F-16s from Moody Air Force Base, Ga., by February 2001. The Block-30 F-16s assigned to the 35th FS were transfered to a Reserve unit at Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., and a Guard unit at Great Falls, Mont. In addition, Kunsan's 35th and 80th FSs began using Night Vision Goggles.
The 35th Fighter Squadron was originally organized as the 35th Aero Squadron on 12 June 1917 at Camp Kelly, TX. from November 1917 to January 1919, it was assigned to the Third Aviation Instruction Center and tasked with assembling and maintaining aircraft as well as constructing facilities in France. It was demobilized on 19 March 1919 in Garden City, NY.
The unit was reconstituted, and redesignated as the 35th Pursuit Squadron, on 24 March 1923. It was activated on 25 June 1932 at Langley Field, VA, and assigned to the 8th Pursuit (later, 8th Fighter; 8th Fighter-Bomber) Group (though attached to 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 1 February-30 September 1957), operating P-12(1932-1936) ans some P-6(period 1933-1936), later transitionning to the PB-2(1936-1939), the P-36(1939-40) and some YP-37 and A-17(1938-1940).
The squadron was redesignated as the 35th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) on 6 December 1939; the 35th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 12 March 1941; the 35th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942; the 35th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 19 February 1944. Deploying to locations in Australia, New Guinea, New Britain, the Schouten Islands, Morotai, Leyte, Mindoro and Japan, the squadron saw combat in Southwest and Western Pacific, from 30 April 1942-14 August 1945. Aircraft flown by the squadron during the course of WWII, included the P-40(1940-1941, 1943-1944); the P-39(1941-1943); the P-400(1942-1943); and the P-38(1944-1946).
The squadron, while stationned in Japan, was redesignated as the 35th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 8 January 1946, converting to the P(laterF)-51; as the 35th Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 1 January 1950; and the 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 20 January 1950. The F-80 was in the unit's aircraft inventory from 1949-1950 and from 1950-1953.
The 35th then relocated to South Korea, taking part in combat operations there from 27 June 1950-27 July 1953. Thereafter, the squadron was tasked with providing air defense in Japan and Korea until 1971. In 1953 and until 1957, the squadron began flying the F-86. The squadron returned to Japan, at Itazuke AB, on 20 October 1954. The squadron began transitioning to the F-100 in 1956. It 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). It was redesignated as the 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 July 1958.
1963 saw the squadron convert to the F-105 aircraft.
Relocating to Yokota AB, Japan, on 13 May 1964 (though deployed at Korat RTAFB, Thailand, 24 Sep-20 Nov 1964; Takhli RTAFB, Thailand, 4 May-25 Jun 1965 and 19 Oct-15 Nov 1965; Osan AB, South Korea, 10 Jun-16 Jul 1968, 22 Aug-1 Oct 1968, 23 Nov-26 Dec 1968, 21 Mar-23 Apr 1969, 30 Jun-6 Aug 1969, 17 Oct-29 Nov 1969, 30 Jan-7 Mar 1970, 8-30 May 1970, 11 Jul-8 Aug 1970, 2-30 Oct 1970, and 26 Dec 1970-23 Jan 1971), the 35th was reassigned to the 41st Air Division, 18 June 1964 (attached to 2d Air Division, 24 September-20 November 1964).
The 35th was then reassigned to the 6441st Tactical Fighter Wing, on 1 April 1965 (attached to 2d Air Division, 4 May-26 June 1965 and 19 October-15 November 1965); to the 41st Air Division, on 15 November 1966; to the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing, on 15 January 1968 (attached to Detachment 1, 347th Tactical Fighter Wing, 10 June-16 July 1968, 22 August-1 October 1968, 22 November-26 December 1968, 21 March-23 April 1969, 30 June-6 August 1969, 17 October-29 November 1969, 30 January-7 March 1970, 8-30 May 1970, 11 July-8 August 1970, 2-30 October 1970, and 26 December 1970-23 January 1971). The squadron transitioned to the F-4 in 1967.
The 35th relocated to Kunsan AB, South Korea, on 15 March 1971, upon its reassignement to the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing (attached to 366th Tactical Fighter Wing at DaNang AB, South Vietnam(3 April-12 June 1972); 388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Korat RTAFB, Thailand(12 June-c. 12 October 1972)).
The 35th saw combat in Southeast Asia, from 5 October-c. 20 November 1964, 5 May-25 June 1965, 28 October-7 November 1965, and c. 3 April-10 October 1972.
It was reassigned to the 8th Tactical Fighter (later, 8th Fighter) Wing, on 16 September 1974. The squadron converted to the F-16 in 1981. It was again reassigned to the 8th Fighter Wing's Operations Group, on 3 February 1992 at which point it was redesignated as the 35th Fighter Squadron.
The 35th Fighter Squadron made Pacific Air Force history as they dropped the first Joint Direct Attack Munitions bombs during a training mission on September 24, 2002.
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