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The 44th Fighter Squadron is part of the 18th Wing at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa, Japan.[2] The 44th Pursuit Squadron was activated on 1 January 1941 and assigned to the 18th Pursuit Group.[2]

44th Fighter Squadron
Pacific Air Forces.png
Four F-15C Eagles fly in formation off the coast of Japan (25896707120).jpg
Four squadron F-15 Eagles in formation off the coast of Japan
Active1941-present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleFighter
Part ofPacific Air Forces
Garrison/HQKadena Air Base
Nickname(s)Vampires[citation needed]
EngagementsSouthwest Pacific Theater
Vietnam War
Global War on Terrorism
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm[1]
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Carrol Chandler
Insignia
44th Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 18 February 1942)[1]44th Fighter Squadron.jpg

Contents

MissionEdit

The 44 FS operates the F-15 Eagle aircraft conducting air superiority missions.[2]

HistoryEdit

World War IIEdit

The 44th Flew patrols over the Pacific from Hawaii from 7 December 1941–October 1942. It went on to fly combat missions in the South and Southwest Pacific from 21 December 1942 – 15 August 1945.[1]

Vietnam WarEdit

It again flew combat missions in Southeast Asia from 18 December 1964 – 25 February 1965, 21 April – 22 June 1965, 19 –29 October 1965, and 25 April 1967 – 6 October 1970.[1]

The squadron was unmanned from 31 December 1966 – 24 April 1967 and November 1970–15 May 1971.

JapanEdit

It has flown air defense over Okinawa and Japan since 1971.[1]

On January 17, 2006 an F-15C of the squadron crashed into the Pacific Ocean near Okinawa. The pilot ejected and was rescued by an HH-60 of the 33d Rescue Squadron.[3][4][5]

The 44th Fighter Squadron was named as the winner of the Raytheon Trophy for 2012.[6]

2013 SequestrationEdit

Air Combat Command officials announced a stand down and reallocation of flying hours for the rest of the fiscal year 2013 due to mandatory budget cuts. The across-the board spending cuts, called sequestration, took effect 1 March when Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.[7]

Squadrons either stood down on a rotating basis or kept combat ready or at a reduced readiness level called "basic mission capable" for part or all of the remaining months in fiscal 2013.[7] This affected the 44th Fighter Squadron with a reduction of its flying hours, placing it into a basic mission capable status from 5 April-30 September 2013.[7]

Recent eventsEdit

On May 28, 2013 an F-15C of the squadron crashed into the ocean off Okinawa. The pilot ejected and was rescued by the Air Rescue Wing Naha Detachment of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.[8][9][10]

On June 11, 2018 the pilot of another F-15C from the squadron ejected over the sea off Okinawa. This pilot was also rescued by the Air Rescue Wing Naha Detachment of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force.[11][12]

LineageEdit

  • Constituted as the 44th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 22 November 1940
Activated on 1 January 1941
Redesignated 44th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Redesignated 44th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine on 26 January 1944
Redesignated 44th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 6 May 1946
Redesignated 44th Fighter Squadron, Jet on 23 December 1949
Redesignated 44th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 20 January 1950
Redesignated 44th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 July 1958
Redesignated 44th Fighter Squadron on 1 October 1991[1]

AssignmentsEdit

Attached to 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing 25 July – 30 November 1950, 6200th Air Base Wing until 30 January 1953, Thirteenth Air Force until 10 November 1954
Attached to Thirteenth Air Force 11 December 1954 – 4 January 1955, 6200th Air Base Wing until January 1955, Air Task Group Fifth, Provisional until 16 February 1955, 6200th Air Base Wing until 14 July 1955
Attached to Air Task Force 13, Provisional 3–30 September 1955
Attached to 314th Air Division 15–18 April 1956
Attached to 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing after 1 February 1957
  • 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing (later 18 Tactical Fighter Wing), 1 October 1957
Attached to 2d Air Division 18 December 1964 – 25 February 1965, 21 April–23 June 1965, and 19–29 October 1965
Attached to 3d Tactical Fighter Wing, 2 April – 2 June 1972 and 28 July – 8 September 1972
Attached to 327th Air Division, 6 November 1972 – 5 August 1973, 26 August – 16 September 1973, 7–28 October 1973, 18 November – 9 December 1973, 30 December 1973 – 20 January 1974, 10 February – 2 March 1974, 23 March – 13 April 1974, 4–25 May 1974, 15 June – 6 July 1974, 27 July – 16 August 1974, 5 September – 17 October 1974, 30 November 1974 – 9 January 1975, and 20 February – 10 April 1975
  • 18th Tactical Fighter Group, 1 May 1978
  • 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, 11 February 1981
  • 18th Operations Group, 1 October 1991–present[1]

StationsEdit

AircraftEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Dollman, TSG Davis (16 October 2016). "Factsheet 44 Fighter Squadron (PACAF)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Library: History: 18th Wing History". 18th Wing Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
  3. ^ Slavin, Eric (19 January 2006). "F-15 crashes during training off Okinawa". Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Governor demands F-15's stop flying after Tuesday crash". 24 January 2006. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  5. ^ "F-15C 17 Jan 06" (PDF). usaf.aib.law.af.mil. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 16 October 2014.
  6. ^ Doyle, Brooke P. "44th FS named Air Force's top air superiority squadron". U.S. Air Force. Retrieved 14 March 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Everstein, Brian; Weisgerber, Marcus (8 April 2013). "Reduced flying hours forces grounding of 17 USAF combat air squadrons". Military Times. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
  8. ^ LaGrone, Sam (28 May 2018). "Okinawa F-15 Crashes, Pilot Safe". news.usni.org. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  9. ^ Roth, Betty (28 May 2013). "US Air Force Pilot Survives F-15 Crash Off Okinaw". Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Officials release report on F-15 accident near Kadena AB". af.mil. 22 January 2014. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  11. ^ Tan, Michelle (11 June 2018). "Kadena Air Base F-15 crashes off Okinawa". Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  12. ^ Rogoway, Tyler (10 June 2018). "A USAF F-15C Eagle Crashed Off Okinawa, Pilot Rescued Alive After Ejection". thedrive.com. The Drive. Retrieved 11 June 2018.

BibliographyEdit

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External linksEdit