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Whoever is first in the field and awaits the coming of the enemy, will be fresh for the fight; whoever is second in the field and has to hasten to battle will arrive exhausted.

-- Sun Tzu

21st Fighter Squadron

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Lineage

Constituted 21 Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 5 Oct 1944. Activated on 15 Oct 1944. Inactivated on 15 Oct 1946. Redesignated 21 Fighter-Day Squadron on 26 Aug 1954. Activated on 11 Nov 1954. Redesignated 21 Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 Jul 1958. Inactivated on 15 Mar 1959. Redesignated 21 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron on 27 Oct 1972. Activated on 1 Dec 1972. Redesignated: 21 Tactical Fighter Squadron on 9 Oct 1980; 21 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron on 1 Jul 1983. Inactivated on 28 Jun 1991. Redesignated 21 Fighter Squadron, and activated, on 1 Nov 1991. Inactivated on 31 Dec 1993. Activated on 8 Aug 1996.

Assignments

413 Fighter Group, 15 Oct 1944-15 Oct 1946. 413 Fighter-Day Group, 11 Nov 1954; 413 Fighter-Day (later, 413 Tactical Fighter) Wing, 8 Oct 1957-15 Mar 1959 (attached to Sixteenth Air Force, 14-15 Mar 1959). 35 Tactical Fighter (later, 35 Tactical Training; 35 Tactical Fighter) Wing, 1 Dec 1972-28 Jun 1991. 507 Air Control Wing, 1 Nov 1991; 363 Operations Group, 1 May 1992-31 Dec 1993. 56 Operations Group, 8 Aug 1996-.

Stations

Seymour-Johnson Field, NC, 15 Oct 1944; Bluethenthal Field, NC, 9 Nov 1944-7 Apr 1945; Ie Shima, 19 May 1945; Kadena, Okinawa, 21 Nov 1945; Yontan, Okinawa, 29 Jan-15 Oct 1946. George AFB, CA, 11 Nov 1954-10 Mar 1959; Moron AB, Spain, 11-15 Mar 1959. George AFB, CA, 1 Dec 1972-28 Jun 1991. Shaw AFB, SC, 1 Nov 1991-31 Dec 1993. Luke AFB, AZ, 8 Aug 1996-.

Commanders


Aircraft

P-47, 1944-1946. F-86, 1954-1956; F-100, 1956-1959. F-4, 1972-1981; F-16, 1981-1991. OA-10, 1991-1993. F-16, 1996-.

Operations

Combat in western Pacific Ocean, 20 May-14 Aug 1945. Trained for "wild weasel" radar detection and suppression missions, 1972-1981. Trained for forward air control missions, Nov 1991-1993. Since Aug 1996, trained F-16 crews.

Service Streamers

None.

Campaign Streamers

World War II: Air Offensive, Japan; Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific; Ryukyus; China Offensive.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers

None.

Decorations

Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 2 Feb 1976-31 Mar 1977; 1 Jun 1985-31 May 1987; 1 Mar 1990-28 Jun 1991; 1 Jan 1992-31 Dec 1993.

Emblem

Approved on 5 Jan 1946.

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 5 Jun 1997.

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through Aug 1996.

Military History
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This Day in History
1699: The Treaty of Karlowitz ends the war between Austria and the Turks.

1863: General Joseph Hooker assumes command of the Army of the Potomac following Ambrose Burnside.

1942: American Expeditionary Force lands in Northern Ireland.

1943: The first OSS (Office of Strategic Services) agent parachutes behind Japanese lines in Burma.

1945: Soviet troops enter Auschwitz, Poland, freeing the survivors of the network of concentration camps. Auschwitz was a group of camps, designated I, II, and III. There were also 40 smaller "satellite" camps.

1945: The most decorated soldier of WWII, American Lt. Audie Murphy, is wounded in France. Perhaps as interesting as his service record and later film career was his public admission that he suffered severe depression from post traumatic stress syndrome, also called battle fatigue, and became addicted to sleeping pills as a result. This had long been a taboo subject for veterans.

1951: U.S. warships bombarded Inchon for the second time during the war. The first was during the initial allied invasion, Sept. 15, 1950.

1953: Surface ships blasted coastal targets as the USS Missouri completed a 46-hour bombardment of Songjin.

1953: The last F4U Corsair rolled off the Chance Vought Aircraft Company production line. Despite the dawning of the jet age, this World War II fighter remained in production due to its vital close-air support role in the Korean War. Almost 12,000 Corsairs were produced in various models.

1970: U.S. Navy Lt. Everett Alvarez Jr. spends his 2,000th day in captivity in Southeast Asia. First taken prisoner when his plane was shot down on August 5, 1964, he became the longest-held confirmed POW in U.S. history. Alvarez was released in 1973 after spending over eight years in captivity.