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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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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.


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-.


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-.



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-.


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


Campaign Streamers

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

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers



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.


Approved on 5 Jan 1946.

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

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through Aug 1996.

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This Day in History
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