46th Fighter Training Squadron

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46th Fighter Training Squadron
46th Fighter Training Squadron Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II 79-0136
Active 1940-1993
Country  United States
Branch  United States Air Force
  • Asiatic-Pacific Streamer.png
    Asia-Pacific World War II
  • 150px
    Vietnam War
  • Streamer PUC Army.PNG
    Distinguished Unit Citation
Emblem of the 46th Tactical Fighter Squadron 150px

The 46th Fighter Training Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 917th Operations Group stationed at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. It was inactivated on 1 October 1993.


The 46th, who was initially assigned to the 15th Fighter/Pursuit Group, its history goes back to World War II, when the 15th Pursuit Group was largely destroyed during the 7 December 1941 Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor at Hickam Field.[1]

World War II

File:P-39Q Makin 1943.jpg
P-39Qs of the 46th Fighter Squadron at Makin Island in December 1943.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the squadron was assigned to the VII Fighter Command. Re-equipped initially with P-39 Airacobras and P-40 Warhawks, ts primary mission was the air defense of the Hawaiian Islands. In 1943, the squadron deployed to the Central Pacific Area, engaging in combat from Makin Island in December 1943. Returned to Hawaii and was again re-equipped with very long-range P-38 Lightnings and P-51D Mustangs. In early March 1945 deployed to Iwo Jima, being attached to the Twentieth Air Force. From Iwo Jima, the squadron performed escort missions with B-29 Superfortress bombers bombing the Japanese Home Islands. After the Japanese Surrender in September 1945, the squadron moved to Guam, where it operated until demobilizing and inactivating in October 1946.

United States Air Force

The squadron was redesignated the 46th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron and reactivated in November 1952 at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware and assigned to the 4710th Defense Wing[2] of Air Defense Command. The squadron assumed the mission, personnel, and Lockheed F-94 Starfire interceptors of the 148th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, which had been called to active service in the expansion of the United States Air Force for the Korean War which was returned to the control of the Pennsylvania Air National Guard.[3] the squadron's mission was the air defense of southeastern Pennsylvania, south New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. In 1956, as ADC prepared for the implementation of the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment system, the 4710th wing moved to Illinois and the squadron was briefly assigned to the 4709th Air Defense Wing before being transferred to what would become the automated New York Air Defense Sector. The unit was inactivated in 1958.[2]

46th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron Lockheed F-94C-1-LO Starfire 51-13600 Dover AFB, Delaware 1954

Was reactivated in 1962 at MacDill AFB, Florida, equipped with swept-wing F-84F Thunderflash tactical fighters. Received new F-4C Phantom II in 1964, one of the first squadrons in the Air Force to fly the new fighter. Conducted tactical fighter combat crew training for the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing. The squadron participated in a variety of exercises, operations and readiness tests of Tactical Air Command, becoming a replacement training unit for F-4 aircrews prior to their deployment to Southeast Asia beginning in 1965. During the 1968 Pueblo Crisis, the squadron deployed fighters to Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, backfilling fighters deployed to South Korea by the 4th Tactical Fighter Squadron. Transferred to the incoming 1st Tactical Fighter Wing in 1970 when the wing was moved from ADC to TAC. Inactivated in 1971, personnel and aircraft being transferred to the 71st Tactical Fighter Squadron when the former 15th TFW units were inactivated.

Reactivated in the Air Force Reserve in 1975 at Grissom AFB, Indiana, receiving A-37B Dragonfly counter-insurgency aircraft returned from the Vietnam War. Provided combat crew training in close air support tactics for USAF and friendly foreign nations until inactivated in 1978, transferring the A-37s to the 706th Tactical Fighter Squadron.

Equipped with A-10A Thunderbolt II ground attack aircraft in 1983 at Barksdale AFB, Louisiana, mission was to be an A-10 Replacement Training Unit (RTU) for Air Force Reserve pilots. Operated the A-10 at Barksdale until inactivated in 1993 as part of the post-Cold War drawdown, aircraft transferred to Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona where A-10 training was consolidating with the active-duty 355th Wing.


File:46th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron - Emblem.jpg
Air Defense Command 46th FIS emblem
File:46th Fighter Squadron.png
World War II 46th Fighter Squadron emblem
  • Constituted as the 46th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) on 22 November 1940
Activated on 1 December 1940
Re-designated 46th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 12 February 1942
Re-designated 46th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Inactivated on 10 October 1946
  • Re-designated 46th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 11 September 1952
Activated on 1 November 1952
Inactivated on 1 July 1958
  • Re-designated 46th Tactical Fighter Squadron, and activated, on 17 April 1962 (not organized)
Organized on 1 July 1962
Inactivated on 1 July 1971
  • Activated in the Air Force Reserve, 1 July 1975
Inactivated on 1 July 1978
  • Re-designated 46th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, and activated, on 30 September 1983
Re-designated 46th Fighter Training Squadron on 1 February 1992
Inactivated on 1 October 1993





  • Citations: Distinguished Unit Citation Japan, 7 April 1945.
  • Service Streamers: None
  • Emblem: Blue disc a black sabre-tooth tiger passant in front of a horizontal bank of white clouds. (Approved 11 March 1942.)

See also

List of United States Air Force Aerospace Defense Command Interceptor Squadrons



  1. Pearl Harbor History: Why Did Japan Attack?
  2. 2.0 2.1 Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. p. 204. ISBN 0-405-12194-6.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Cornett, Lloyd H; Johnson, Mildred W (1980). A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization, 1946–1980 (PDF). Peterson AFB, CO: Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center. p. 123.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Wheeler Field, Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Locations Of The United States Army Air Force 7 December 1941


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

Further reading

  • Rogers, Brian (2005). United States Air Force Unit Designations Since 1978., Hinkley, England: Midland Publications. ISBN 1-85780-197-0.

External links