Open main menu

429th Electronic Combat Squadron

  (Redirected from 429th Tactical Fighter Squadron)

The 429th Electronic Combat Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 27th Operations Group and stationed at Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico.

429th Electronic Combat Squadron
429th Electronic Combat Squadron - EF-111A over Cannon AFB.jpg
Active1943–1945; 1952–1966; 1968–1989; 1992–1998
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleElectronic combat
Part ofAir Combat Command
Nickname(s)Black Falcons[1]
EngagementsEuropean Theater of Operations
Korean War
Vietnam War[1]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Belgian Fourragère
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Vietnamese Gallantry Cross with Palm[1]
429th Electronic Combat Squadron emblem (approved 5 November 1987)[1]429th Electronic Combat Squadron.svg
429th Fighter-Bomber Squadron emblem (approved 7 July 1955)[1][2]429 Fighter-Bomber Sq emblem.png
429th Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 28 February 1944)[1][3]429th Fighter Squadron - Emblem.png

The squadron was the last USAF unit to fly the General Dynamics F-111.



World War IIEdit

Activated in August 1943 as a Lockheed P-38 Lightning fighter squadron under IV Fighter Command in Southern California. Trained with the fighter over the Mojave Desert, moving to the European Theater of Operations, being assigned to Ninth Air Force in England during March 1944.

Engaged in combat operations beginning in April, making low level sweeps over Occupied France, attacking enemy transportation targets and military convoys, bridges, armor formations and airfields. During D-Day, the squadron flew patrols over the invasion fleet. Remained in England after D-Day until August, moving to France and primarily provided ground-air support to the United States First Army in Northern France. Moved to Occupied Germany at the end of the war, becoming part of the United States Air Forces in Europe army of occupation during the summer of 1945.

Personnel demobilized in Europe during 1945, returned to the United States in November as an administrative unit and was inactivated without personnel or equipment.

Cold WarEdit

Reactivated in Japan under Far East Air Forces, July 1952 as a result of the Korean War. Replaced a federalized Georgia Air National Guard unit, receiving its Republic F-84G Thunderjets. Moved to South Korea in August, engaging in combat operations from Kunsan Air Base (K-8). From Kunsan the squadron bombed and strafed bridges, bunkers, troop concentrations, artillery positions, and a host of other enemy targets

Moved to Taegu Air Base (K-2) in April 1953 being attached to the 58th Fighter-Bomber Wing. Flew interdiction and close air support missions in as well as attacking special strategic targets such as military schools, dams, and port facilities in North Korea until the June 1953 Armistice, Remained in South Korea for over a year afterward to insure Communist compliance with the cease-fire.

Returned to Clovis Air Force Base, New Mexico in November 1954. Squadron was re-equipped with North American F-86H Sabre fighter-bomber aircraft, being assigned to Twelfth Air Force, Tactical Air Command. Maintained proficiency in tactical fighter operations, deploying components, aircraft, and crews on a global basis in support of NATO, PACAF, AAC, and other organizations. Deployed to southeastern United States during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

Moved to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada in 1966, becoming one of the first General Dynamics F-111 squadrons. Deployed aircraft to South Vietnam in early 1968, while still in training status at Nellis. Aircraft returned and development of the F-111 continued, finally reaching operational status in 1971.

429th F-111A at Nellis AFB[note 2]

Deployed to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand in early 1972 as a result of the North Vietnamese Easter Offensive. Fully engaged in combat over North and South Vietnam for the balance of 1972, flying operations in good and bad weather when other squadrons were grounded. Flew approximately 4000 combat missions with excellent success rates in hitting targets even when visibility was near zero. Returned to the United States in March 1973, leaving its assigned aircraft at Takhli.

Almost immediately upon the squadron's return to Nellis, was reassigned to the 347th Tactical Fighter Wing and deployed back to Takhli, this time being placed on permanent party status in Thailand, taking over the aircraft it had left upon its return to the United States. For a brief two-week period the 347th flew combat operations into Cambodia until 15 August, when the last wartime mission of the Vietnam Era was flown into Cambodia for final mission of Constant Guard. After the cease-fire, the wing was maintained in a combat-ready status for possible contingency

After the end of combat missions in Indochina, the squadron moved to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand in 1974 after the closure of Taklhi and remained in Southeast Asia through May 1975 to undertake strike missions in the event of further contingency operations. Participated in numerous exercises and firepower demonstrations, and, during Jan–May 1975, flew sea surveillance missions. Participated in the recovery of the American merchantman SS Mayaguez from Cambodian Communist forces in May 1975.

429th F-4D Phantom[note 3]
429th F-16A in May 1987[note 4]

Upon return to the United States, reassigned back to the 474th Wing, sending F-111s to 366th Tactical Fighter Wing at Mountain Home Air Force Base, and changing equipment to the McDonnell F-4D Phantom II during "Operation Ready Switch". Received new Block 1/5 General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft in November 1980 after protractive development period in the 1970s. Conducted routine Tactical Air Command training and deployments from Nellis with the F-16s, upgrading to Block 10/15 models in the early 1980s. Inactivated September 1989 when aircraft were considered no longer front-line combat capable.

Electronic warfareEdit

Reactivated in 1992 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, equipped with the new General Dynamics EF-111A Raven electronic Warfare aircraft. Moved to Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico in 1993, taking over the aircraft of the 430th Electronic Combat Squadron when the EF-111 fleet was consolidated there. Engaged in operations with the Raven during the 1990s, as the only Raven unit in the Air Force.

The squadron flew electronic warfare jamming missions over the Balkans and Iraq, with 2,780 days and 32 rotations of continuous support of Operation Southern Watch. The United States Air Force officially retired the EF-111A in June 1998, and as a result of the retirement, the squadron was inactivated 19 June 1998 - the last USAF F-111s being retired to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center.


  • Constituted as the 429th Fighter Squadron on 26 May 1943
Activated on 1 August 1943
Inactivated on 7 December 1945
  • Redesignated 429th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 25 June 1952
Activated on 10 July 1952
Redesignated 429th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 July 1958
Inactivated 15 November 1966
Activated 15 September 1968
Inactivated 30 September 1989
  • Redesignated 429th Electronic Combat Squadron on 1 August 1992
Activated on 11 September 1992[4]
Inactivated on 19 June 1998


  • 474th Fighter Group, 1 August 1943 – 7 December 1945
  • 474th Fighter-Bomber Group, 10 July 1952 – 22 November 1954 (attached to 58th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 1 April 1953 – 22 November 1954)
  • 474th Fighter-Bomber Wing (later 474th Tactical Fighter Wing), 8 October 1957 – 15 November 1966
  • 474th Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 September 1968
  • 347th Tactical Fighter Wing, 30 July 1973
  • 474th Tactical Fighter Wing, 21 June 1975 – 30 September 1989
  • 366th Operations Group, 11 September 1992
  • 27th Operations Group, 22 June 1993 – 19 June 1998[4]





Explanatory notes
  1. ^ Aircraft is General Dynamics EF-111A Raven serial 66-35.
  2. ^ Aircraft is General Dynamics F-111A Aardvark, serial 67-81, taken after its return from Korat RTAFB in 1975. The aircraft still has the 347th Wing "HG" tailcode.
  3. ^ Aircraft is McDonnell F-4D, serial 66-7587, taken about 1979.
  4. ^ Aircraft is General Dynamics F-16A Block 10B Fighting Falcon, serial 80-474.
  1. ^ a b c d e f Endicott, pp. 804-805
  2. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 528-529
  3. ^ Watkins, p. 54
  4. ^ a b c d Lineage, including assignments and stations, through 1995 in Endicott, pp. 804-805.
  5. ^ Station number in Anderson.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Station number in Johnson.


  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

  • Anderson, Capt. Barry (1985). Army Air Forces Stations: A Guide to the Stations Where U.S. Army Air Forces Personnel Served in the United Kingdom During World War II (PDF). Maxwell AFB, AL yes: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 January 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
  • Endicott, Judy G. (1998). Active Air Force Wings as of 1 October 1995 and USAF Active Flying, Space, and Missile Squadrons as of 1 October 1995 (PDF). Air Force History and Museums Program. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ASIN B000113MB2. Retrieved 2 July 2014.
  • Johnson, 1st Lt. David C. (1988). U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO) D-Day to V-E Day (PDF). Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings, Lineage & Honors Histories 1947-1977 (PDF). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • Watkins, Robert (2008). Battle Colors. Vol III Insignia and Markings of the Ninth Air Force In World War II. Atglen, PA: Shiffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7643-2938-8.

External linksEdit