4713th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron
|4713th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron|
Emblem of the 4713th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Type||Radar evaluation and testing|
The 4713th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 21st Air Division, Aerospace Defense Command at Westover AFB, Massachusetts. It was inactivated on 15 April 1974.
Activated at Griffiss AFB, New York in 1954, the mission of the squadron was to provide Electronic Counter-Measure (ECM) training and evaluation services to the various Aircraft Control and Warning Squadrons.
In order to provide the necessary training, the squadron was initially assigned TB-29 Superfortresses, and some TB-25 Mitchells. The B-29s and B-25s contained an assortment of Radar jamming devices to provide the required ECM and a C-47 was used as a support aircraft to ferry personnel and equipment. During the period that the 4713th operated these aircraft, they provided the operators radar squadrons with thousands of hours of ECM training. Effective 8 July 1958, the ADC re-designated the unit as the 4713th Radar Evaluation Squadron (ECM).
By 1959 the World War II aircraft were very expensive to operate, needing excessive amounts of maintenance to remain airworthy and not supportable due to a lack of spare parts. (Note: The last USAF B-29 (a TB-29 radar evaluation aircraft, B-29-15-MO serial number 42-65234) was retired from the USAF inventory at 2010 hours on 21 June 1960, when Major Clarence C. Rarick of the 6023d Radar Evaluation Squadron landed at Naha Air Base, Okinawa, bringing the era of B-29 Superfortress military service to an end.)
The Martin B-57 Canberra, originally developed as a medium bomber for Tactical Air Command was being phased out in favor of the F-100 Super Sabre. Some of these B-57s were reassigned to the squadron to replace the B-29s and B-25s. Also the squadron was moved to Stewart AFB, New York as Griffiss was being turned over to Strategic Air Command.
In addition to the ECM training for Radar Sites, the B-57s could operate at altitudes over 40,000 feet and train interceptor squadrons with exercises being carried out with F-86D Sabre, F-94C Starfire, and F-89D Scorpions. Later, the B-57Es were adapted to electronic countermeasures and faker target aircraft against F-102 and F-106 interceptors. Following a new electronics fit in the 1960s, the B-57Es were redesignated EB-57E. These specially-equipped EB-57Es were operated until 1974 when the squadron was inactivated as part of the phase-down of ADCOM.
- Activated as 4713th Radar Evaluation Flight, 18 March 1954
- Re-designated 4713th Radar Evaluation Squadron (ECM), 8 July 1958
- Re-designated 4713th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron, 1 January 1960
- Inactivated 15 April 1974
- Eastern Air Defense Force, 18 March 1954
- 26th Air Division, 1 July 1959
- 4063d Air Base Group, 20 October 1959
- Aerospace Defense Command, 1 December 1969
- 21st Air Division, 2 October 19972-15 April 1974
- Griffiss AFB, New York, 18 March 1954
- Stewart AFB, New York, 1 August 1959
- Otis AFB, Massachusetts, 1 December 1969
- Westover AFB, Massachusetts, 15 September 1972 – 15 April 1974
- TB-29 Superfortress, 1954-1959
- TB-25 Mitchell, 1954-1959
- B-57B (later EB-57E) (Later EB-57A) Canberra, 1959-1974
- A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado