311th Fighter Squadron

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311th Fighter Squadron
311th Fighter Squadron General Dynamics F-16D Block 42E Fighting Falcon 89-2157
Active 9 February 1942 – 20 February 1946
10 July 1952 – 1 July 1958
18 January 1970 – 1 April 1994
1 January 1995 -
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
Type Fighter Training
  • World War II - American Campaign Streamer (Plain).png
    World War II American Theater
  • Asiatic-Pacific Streamer.png
    World War II Asia-Pacific Theater
  • Korean Service Medal - Streamer.png
    Korean War
  • Streamer PUC Army.PNG
    Distinguished Unit Citation (2x)
  • US Air Force Outstanding Unit Award - Stremer.jpg
    Air Force Outstanding Unit Award (7x)
  • Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines) Streamer.png
    Presidential Unit Citation (Philippines)
  • Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation Streamer.png
    Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
311th Fighter Squadron emblem 125px

The 311th Fighter Squadron (Sidewinders) is part of the 54th Fighter Group at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico which is a geographically separated unit under the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke AFB, Arizona. It operates the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft conducting advanced fighter training.

The squadron previously operated the F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft conducting advanced fighter training at Luke and was inactivated due to budget constraints after the end of the Cold War. It was recently reactivated at Holloman and the aircraft were received from the 309th Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB.


World War II

The 311th Fighter Squadron was constituted on 21 January 1942, as the 310th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) and was activated on 9 February at Harding Field, Louisiana, where it flew the P-39 and P-40 aircraft. During 1942 and early 1943 the squadron was both an Operational and a Replacement Training Unit initially under III Fighter Command, being reassigned to I Fighter Command in October 1942. Also was part of the air defense of the Northeast United States, being a component of several Air Defense fighter wings (Philadelphia, New York, Boston), under First Air Force.

Was converted into an operational squadron in March 1943 at Bradley Field, Connecticut, being re-equipped with P-47 Thunderbolts. Was deployed to the Southwest Pacific Theater, being assigned to Fifth Air Force in Australia in November 1943. Began combat operations in February 1944, providing protection for U.S. bases and escorting transports initially, then escorting bombers over New Guinea and sea convoys to Admiralty Islands. From Noemfoor, bombed and strafed Japanese airfields and installations on Ceram, Halmahera, and the Kai Islands.

Moved to the Philippines in Nov, flew fighter sweeps against enemy airfields, supported U.S. ground forces, and protected sea convoys and transport routes. Beginning in July 1945, attacked railways, airfields, and enemy installations in Korea and Kyushu, Japan from Okinawa. After V-J Day, flew reconnaissance missions over Japan. Moved without personnel or equipment to the Philippines in Dec to be inactivated in January 1946 at Fort William McKinley, Luzon.

Cold War

Reactivated during the Korean War at Taegu Air Base, South Korea, being re-designated the 311th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. First equipped with the Republic F-84G Thunderjet, the squadron adopted the North American F-86 Sabrejet in 1954 and kept it through 1958. During the Korean War, the squadron flew primarily air-to-ground missions supporting ground operations. The 311th FBS participated in the Korea Summer-Fall 1952, Third Korean Winter, and Korean Summer-Fall 1953 campaigns, the squadron again distinguished itself, earning the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.

After the armistice in 1953, the squadron was moved to Osan Air Base on 19 March 1955. Remained in South Korea to provide deterrence against any armistice violations by North Korea. Inactivated 1 July 1958 due to budget restraints.

Pilot training

311th TFTS F-4C-19-MC Phantom 63-7584, marked as Wing Commander's aircraft. Now at McChord Air Museum, Washington.

Reactivated in January 1970 as the 310th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, assuming personnel and equipment of the provisional 4515th Combat Crew Training Squadron, carried tail code "LA" with yellow fin cap. Initially operated the F-100D Super Sabres of the 4515th CCTS, re-equipped with the McDonnell F-4C Phantom II in August 1971, performing F-4 pilot training role previously performed by Davis-Monthan AFB units.

Re-equipped with Block 1, 5 and 10 F-16A/B Fighting Falcon aircraft in late 1982. F-16s carried tail code "LF". In 1988 the squadron began receiving brand new block 42 F-16C/Ds to replace the F-16A/B. Inactivated 1 April 1994 with the phase down of combat training at Luke after the end of the Cold War.

Reactivated in January 1995 with F-16C/D block 42s to train Foreign Military Sales customers, mission and aircraft reassigned to the 152d Fighter Squadron, Arizona Air National Guard at Tucson Air National Guard Base and inactivated late September 1995[1]

The 311th Fighter Squadron was reactivated in 2014 as a part of the also newly reactivated 54th Fighter Group. The group is a detachment of the 56th Fighter Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.[2]


File:311th Fighter-Bomber Squadron - Emblem.png
311th FBS historical emblem, 1950s, South Korea
  • Constituted 311th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 21 January 1942
Activated on 9 February 1942
Re-designated: 311th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Re-designated: 311th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 20 August 1943
Inactivated on 20 February 1946
  • Re-designated 311th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 25 June 1952
Activated on 10 July 1952
Inactivated on 1 July 1958
  • Re-designated 311th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron on 12 January 1970
Activated on 18 January 1970
Re-designated: 311th Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991
Inactivated on 1 April 1994
  • Activated on 1 January 1995
Inactivated on 26 September 1995[1]
  • Activated on 1 March 2014


Attached to 58th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 1 March – 7 November 1957



See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

  • USAF 311th Fighter Squadron History
  • Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  • Martin, Patrick. Tail Code: The Complete History of USAF Tactical Aircraft Tail Code Markings. Schiffer Publishing, 1994. ISBN 0-88740-513-4.