961st Airborne Air Control Squadron [961st AACS]
(Base Code: ZZ)
The 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron [961st AACS] was originally constituted as the 61st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 20 November 1940. It was activated on 15 January 1941 at Ft Douglas, UT, and assigned to the 39th Bombardment Group, flying the B-17 aircraft. From 1942 to 1944, the squadron was an operational and later replacement training unit. The squadron converted to the B-24 aircraft in 1942.
The unit inactivated on 1 April 1944 at Davis-Monthan Field, AZ.
Redesignated as the 61st Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, it reactivated, on 1 April 1944 at Smoky Hill AAFld, KS and was assigned to the 39th Bombardment Group. That same year, the 61st transitioned to the B-29 aircraft and, from c. 6 April-14 August 1945, saw combat in the Western Pacific while stationed at North Field, Guam(18 February-16 November 1946).
The squadron inactivated on 27 December 1945at Camp Anza, CA.
It was consolidated on 19 September 1985 with the 961st Airborne Early Warning and Control Squadron, which was constituted on 11 October 1954 and activated on 18 December 1954 at Otis AFB, MA. Assigned to the 551st Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing, the 961st operated the C-121 aircraft and was tasked with conducting radar surveillance along eastern coast of US. The 961st inactivated on 31 December 1969.
Redesignated as the 961st Airborne Warning and Control Support Squadron on 31 December 1979, it was activated on 1 October 1979 at Kadena AB, Japan. Flying the E-3, the 961st was assigned to the 552d Airborne Warning and Control Wing (later, 552d Airborne Warning and Control Division).
In 1980, the 961st mission was changed to one of airborne command and control for Commander-in-Chief, United States Pacific Command and of supporting US forces counter air interdiction, close air support, rescue, reconnaissance, and airlift operations.
The squadron provided coverage of salvage operations of a downed Korean Airliner, Flight 007, from 1-10 September 1983.
Redesignated as the 961st Airborne Warning and Control Squadron on 1 January 1982, it was reassigned to the 28th Air Division, on 1 April 1985. The 961st was reassigned to the 313th Air Division (attached to Fifth Air Force for operational control) on 1 October 1990.
The squadron was reassigned to the 18th Wing's Operations Group on 1 October 1991 and was redesignated as the 961st Airborne Air Control Squadron on 1 August 1994.
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