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512th Special Operations Squadron [512th SOS]

The 512th Special Operations Squadron was originally constituted as the 512th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 19 October 1942. It was activated on 31 October 1942 in Lydda, Palestine, flying the B-17(1942) and the B-24(1942-1945) and assigned to the 376th Bombardment Group.

The squadron was redesignated as the 512th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 3 May 1944 and as the 512th Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy on 23 May 1945. 1945 also saw the squadron operate the B-29 aircraft. It was reassigned to the 468th Bombardment Group, on 10 November 1945. During the course of WW II, the squadron was posted to locations in Libya, Tunisia and Italy, before returning home to the United States. It saw combat in MTO and ETO, from 1 November 1942-15 April 1943 but was not fully manned or equipped, from 10 November 1945-26 Mar 1946. It inactivated on 26 March 1946 at Roswell Aafld, NM.

It was redesignated as the 512th Reconnaissance Squadron, Very Long Range, Weather on 6 May 1947 and activated on 23 May 1947 at Gravelly Point, VA, though not manned until 20 September 1948. Assigned to the 376th Reconnaissance Group, it was reassigned to the Air Weather Service on 16 September 1947 and the 308th Reconnaissance Group on 14 October 1947. It inactivated on 20 September 1948.

It reactivated on 13 February 1949 at Fairfield-Suisun AFB, CA, as a unit assigned to the 308th Reconnaissance Group, and operating the B/RB/WB-29(1949-1951); the C-47(1949-1950); and the C-54(1950-1951). It was reassigned to the 2143d Air Weather Wing, on 14 November 1949, and relocated to Yokota AB, Japan, on 27 January 1950, before inactivating on 20 February 1951 at Misawa AB, Japan. The squadron provided weather reconnaissance during the Korean War, ca. 1 July 1950-February 1951.

Reactivated on 1 June 1951, flying the B-29 aircraft, and assigned to the 376th Bombardment Group, it was reassigned to the 376th Bombardment Wing on 16 JUne 1952. It transitioned to the B-47 in 1954. It relocated to Lockbourne AFB, OH, on 1 December 1957. In 1961, 512th converted to the EB-47 aircraft. It was discontinued and inactivated on 15 March 1965. The squadron was primarily trained in electronic countermeasures, ca. November 1952-March 1965.

Redesignated as the 512th Special Operations Squadron on 25 Mar 1994, it activated on 1 April 1994 at Kirtland AFB, NM, assigned to the 58th Special Operations Wing's Operations Group. The squadron began at that time operating the UH-1N and the HH-60G aircraft. The 512th was at that time tasked with conducting flying training in helicopters, as well as with being responsible for special operations contingencies, exercises, and humanitarian rescue missions.

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