43rd Electronic Combat Squadron [43rd ECS]
The 43rd ECS has a long and varied history beginning Aug. 17, 1917, as the 86th Aero Squadron. It served as part of the zone of advance in France during the latter part of World War I. Then in 1935, it was an observation squadron operating as part of the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Alabama. Beginning Dec. 7, 1941, the squadron conducted patrols over the Hawaiian islands.
The squadron then switched yet again. As a combat mapping squadron, the unit's aircrews flew over Japanese held islands photographing and mapping the terrain and enemy positions. The 86th prepared the way for the taking of the Marshall Islands, Wake, Saipan. Guam, and Iwo Jima. Finally, in 1944, the squadron made the first photographic mosaics of Tokyo. The squadron was redesigned as the 43rd Reconnaissance Squadron (long range photographic) in 1945 then was deactivated in 1946. In January 1954, the 43rd was again activated, this time at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. The squadron's aircrews flying RB-57 and RB-66 aircraft, accomplished a bight photographic mission. The unit was deactivated in 1959.
Redesigned, the 43rd Electronic Combat Squadron, the unit was activated June 6, 1986, at Sembach Air Base, Germany. It served in Europe until 1991, then came to Davis-Monthan AFB and the 355th, May 1, 1992, as the sister squadron to the 41st. The 43rd earned a combat streamer for its duties in World War I and six more for missions flown in the Pacific during World War II.
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