43rd Electronic Combat Squadron
The 43d Electronic Combat Squadron is a United States Air Force unit. Its current assignment is with the 55th Electronic Combat Group, being stationed as a tenant unit at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona as a geographically separated unit from its parent, the 55th Wing at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.
|43d Electronic Combat Squadron|
43d Electronic Combat Squadron EC-130H Compass Call
|Active||1917-1919; 1935-1936; 1940-1946; 1954-1959; 1986-1991; 1992--present|
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Engagements||World War I|
Pacific Theater of World War II
Global War on Terrorism
|Decorations||Air Force Meritorious Unit Award|
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
|43d Electronic Combat Squadron emblem (approved 5 November 1987)|
The squadron is one of the oldest in the United States Air Force, its origins dating to 17 August 1917, when it was organized at Kelly Field, Texas. It later served in France as part of the American Expeditionary Force during World War I. The squadron saw combat during World War II, and became part of Tactical Air Command during the Cold War.
Along with the 41st ECS, the unit accomplishes the Compass Call mission, providing vital capabilities in the realm of electronic warfare for the Air Force and are poised for immediate deployment to specific theater contingencies. The unit’s combat mission is to support tactical air, ground and naval operations by confusing the enemy’s defenses and disrupting its command and control capabilities.
The squadron flies the EC-130H aircraft, a specially configured version of the Air Force’s proven C-130 transport. To execute its unique missions, the aircraft were modified with electronic countermeasures systems, specialized jamming equipment, the capability to aerial refuel, as well as upgraded engines and avionics. Modifications made to the aircraft vary between the two squadrons, to help each squadron meet its specific mission-oriented needs.
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The 43rd ECS has a long and varied history beginning 17 August 1917, as the 86th Aero Squadron. It served as part of the zone of advance in France during the latter part of World War I. Then in 1935, it was an observation squadron operating as part of the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Alabama. Beginning 7 December 1941, the squadron conducted patrols over the Hawaiian islands.
The squadron then switched yet again. As a combat mapping squadron, the unit's aircrews flew over Japanese held islands photographing and mapping the terrain and enemy positions. The 86th prepared the way for the taking of the Marshall Islands, Wake, Saipan. Guam, and Iwo Jima. Finally, in 1944, the squadron made the first photographic mosaics of Tokyo. The squadron was redesigned as the 43rd Reconnaissance Squadron (Long Range Photographic) in 1945 then was inactivated in 1946.
In January 1954, the 43rd was again activated, this time at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. The squadron was initially equipped with the Martin RB-57 Canberra. However, once the Air Force received enough Douglas RB-66B Destroyer to equip more than a single squadron, the squadron transitioned to the Destroyer. It accomplished a night photographic mission. The unit was inactivated in 1959.
Redesigned, the 43rd Electronic Combat Squadron, the unit was activated 6 June 1986, at Sembach Air Base, Germany. It served in Europe until 1991, then came to Davis-Monthan AFB and the 355th, 1 May 1992, as the sister squadron to the 41st. The 43rd earned a combat streamer for its duties in World War I and six more for missions flown in the Pacific during World War II.
86th Aero Squadron
- Organized as the 86th Aero Squadron on 17 August 1917
- Demobilized on 26 May 1919
- Reconstituted and consolidated with the 86th Observation Squadron on 1 December 1936
43d Electronic Combat Squadron
- Constituted as the 86th Observation Squadron and activated on 1 March 1935
- Inactivated on 1 September 1936
- Consolidated with the 86th Aero Squadron on 1 December 1936
- Activated on 1 February 1940
- Redesignated 86th Observation Squadron (Medium) on 26 February 1942
- Redesignated 86th Observation Squadron on 4 July 1942
- Redesignated 86th Reconnaissance Squadron (Bomber) on 31 May 1943
- Redesignated 86th Combat Mapping Squadron on 13 November 1943
- Redesignated 43d Reconnaissance Squadron, Long Range, Photographic on 16 June 1945
- Inactivated on 22 February 1946
- Redesignated 43d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night-Photographic on 14 January 1954
- Activated on 18 March 1954
- Redesignated 43d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photo-Jet on 8 April 1956
- Inactivated on 18 May 1959
- Redesignated 43d Electronic Combat Squadron on 6 June 1986
- Activated on 1 October 1986
- Inactivated on 31 July 1991
- Activated on 1 May 1992
- Unknown, 17 August 1917
- Advanced Air Service Depot, September 1918
- Unknown, March 1919 - 26 May 1919
- Air Corps Tactical School, 1 March 1935 – 1 September 1936
- Hawaiian Department, 1 February 1940
- Hawaiian Air Force (later Seventh Air Force), November 1940
- Army Air Forces, Pacific Ocean Areas (later, United States Army Strategic Air Forces), 24 October 1944
- Attached to VI Air Service Area Command, 24 October 1944 – 14 September 1945
- Detachment attached to 4th Reconnaissance Group, June–August 1945
- US Army Forces, Middle Pacific, 14 September 1945
- Attached to 7th Fighter Wing to 22 February 1946
- Twentieth Air Force, 18 September 1945
- Seventh Air Force, 1 January 1946 – 22 February 1946
- 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Group, 18 March 1954
- 363d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, 8 February 1958 – 18 May 1959
- Attached to 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, c. 1 February 1959 – 7 April 1959
- Kelly Field, Texas, 17 August 1917
- Scott Field, Illinois, 24 September 1917
- Garden City, New York, 26 February-5 March 1918
- Shoreham by Sea, England, 25 March-11 August 1918
- St. Maixent Replacement Barracks, France, 15 August 1918
- Romorantin Aerodrome, France, c. 25 August 1918
- Vavincourt Aerodrome, France, 4 September 1918
- Behonne Advance Air Depot, France, 18 September 1918
- Bordeaux, France, c. 9 March 1919-unknown
- Camp Lee, VA, c. 23–26 May 1919
- Maxwell Field, Alabama, 1 March 1935 – 1 September 1936
- Wheeler Field, Hawaii, 1 February 1940
- Bellows Field, Hawaii, 15 March 1941
- Hilo Airport, Hawaii, June 1942
- Wheeler Field, Hawaii, 17 August 1942 - c. 28 June 1944
- Detachment operated from Kwajalein, May 1944 - June 1944, and from Eniwetok, June 1944 - August 1944
- Saipan, 8 1 July 1944 - 6 November 1944
- Air echelon, less Eniwetok detachment, at Wheeler Field to October 1944, and at Kahuka Army Air Base, Hawaii, from October 1944
- Kahuka Army Air Base, Hawaii, 24 November 1944
- Dollman, TSG David (20 October 2016). "Factsheet 43 Electronic Combat Squadron". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 23 November 2018.
- Knaack, p. 419
- Knaack, Marcelle Size (1978). Encyclopedia of US Air Force Aircraft and Missile Systems (PDF). Vol. 2, Post-World War II Bombers 1945-1973. Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-59-5. Retrieved 17 December 2016.* Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . 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.