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The mind of the enemy and the will of his leaders is a target of far more importance than the bodies of his troops.

-- Brigadier General S.B. Griffith

53d Fighter Squadron

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Lineage

Constituted 53d Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) on 22 Nov 1940. Activated on 1 Jan 1941. Redesignated: 53d Fighter Squadron, (Twin Engine) on 15 May 1942; 53d Fighter Squadron on 28 Sep 1942; 53d Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 20 Aug 1943. Inactivated on 31 Mar 1946. Activated on 15 Oct 1946. Redesignated: 53d Fighter Squadron, Jet Propelled, on 27 Oct 1947; 53d Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 17 Jun 1948; 53d Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 20 Jan 1950; 53d Fighter-Day Squadron on 9 Aug 1954; 53d Tactical Fighter Squadron on 8 Jul 1958; 53d Fighter Squadron on 1 Oct 1991.

Assignments

32d Pursuit (later, 32d Fighter) Group, 1 Jan 1941; 36th Fighter Group, 23 Jun 1943?31 Mar 1946. 36th Fighter (later, 36th Fighter-Bomber; 36th Fighter-Day) Group, 15 Oct 1946 (attached to 36th Fighter-Day Wing, 1 Oct 1956?7 Dec 1957); 36th Fighter-Day (later, 36th Tactical Fighter; 36th Fighter) Wing, 8 Dec 1957 (attached to Tactical Fighter Wing Provisional, 4, 20 Dec 1990?20 Mar 1991; Tactical Fighter Wing Provisional, 4404, 20 Mar 1991?1 Jul 1991); 36th Operations Group, 31 Mar 1992; 52d Operations Group, 25 Feb 1994?.

Stations

Rio Hato, Panama, 1 Jan 1941; Albrook Field, CZ, 1 Jan 1941; Rio Hato, Panama, c. 21 Aug 1941; France Field, CZ, c. 12 Dec 1941; Chorrera, Panama, 7 Jan?8 Jun 1943; Charleston AAFld, SC, 23 Jun 1943; Biggs Field, TX, c. 15 Sep 1943; Ainsworth AAFld, NE, 23 Nov 1943?11 Mar 1944; Kingsnorth, England, 5 Apr 1944; Brucheville, France, c. 7 Jul 1944; Le Mans, France, c. 29 Aug 1944; Athis, France, c. 23 Sep 1944; Juvincourt, France, 5 Oct 1944; Le Culot, Belgium, c. 23 Oct 1944; Aachen, Germany, 28 Mar 1945; Niedermennig, Germany, 8 Apr 1945; Kassel/Rothwesten, Germany, 20 Apr 1945?15 Feb 1946; Bolling Field, DC, 15 Feb?31 Mar 1946. France Field, CZ, 15 Oct 1946; Howard Field (later, AFB), CZ, 1 Dec 1947?21 Jul 1948; Furstenfeldbruck AB, Germany, c. 13 Aug 1948; Bitburg AB, Germany, 22 Jul 1952; Landstuhl (later, Ramstein) AB, Germany, 17 Dec 1956; Bitburg AB, Germany, 3 Oct 1961 (deployed at Al Kharj AB, Saudi Arabia, 20 Dec 1990?1 Jul 1991); Spangdahlem AB, Germany, 1 Feb 1994?.

Aircraft

P?26, 1941; P?36, 1941?1942; P?40, 1942?1943; P?47, 1943?1946. P?47, 1946?1947; P(later, F?)80, 1947?1950; F?84, 1950?1953; F?86, 1953?1956; F?100, 1956?1961; F?105, 1961?1966; F?4, 1966?1977; F?15, 1977?.

Operations

Air defense for the Panama Canal until Jun 1943. Combat in ETO, 8 May 1944?8 May 1945. Combat in Southwest Asia, Jan?Feb 1991.

Honors

Service Streamers. World War II American Theater.

Campaign Streamers. World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air Combat, EAME Theater.

Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: France, 1 Sep 1944; Germany, 12 Apr 1945. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: May 1956?May 1958; 1 Jan?31 Dec 1968; 1 Dec 1973?30 Apr 1975; 1 Jul 1975?30 Jun 1977; 1 Jul 1977?30 Jun 1979; 1 Jul 1986?30 Jun 1988; 1 Jul 1988?30 Jun 1990; 1 Sep 1990?31 Jul 1991. Cited in the Order of the Day, Belgian Army: 1 Oct 1944?17 Dec 1944; 18 Dec 1944?15 Jan 1945. Belgian Fourragere.

Emblem

On a Light Grayed Blue Violet disc, thin border Red, piped White, a caricatured, pugnacious tiger proper, strutting on hind legs, wearing a Dark Red turtleneck sweater, a Black and White derby hat, and a pair of White boxing gloves on the forelegs, emitting White speed lines to the rear. COPYRIGHT?Walt Disney. Approved on 28 Oct 1943 (44687 A.C.).

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