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Most of the time, leaders should laugh at themselves rather than others.

-- Major General Perry M. Smith

711th Special Operations Squadron

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Lineage

Constituted 711 Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 6 Apr 1943. Activated on 1 May 1943. Redesignated 711 Bombardment Squadron, Heavy on 20 Aug 1943. Inactivated on 7 Nov 1945. Redesignated 711 Bombardment Squadron, Light on 10 May 1949. Activated in the Reserve on 27 Jun 1949. Ordered to active service on 17 Mar 1951. Inactivated on 21 Mar 1951. Redesignated 711 Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 12 Apr 1955. Activated in the Reserve on 18 May 1955. Inactivated on 16 Nov 1957. Redesignated 711 Tactical Airlift Squadron on 17 Jun 1971. Activated in the Reserve on 30 Jul 1971. Redesignated 711 Special Operations Squadron on 1 Jul 1975.

Assignments

447 Bombardment Group, 1 May 1943-7 Nov 1945. 448 Bombardment Group, 27 Jun 1949-21 Mar 1951. 448 Fighter-Bomber Group, 18 May 1955-16 Nov 1957. 919 Tactical Airlift (later, 919 Special Operations) Group, 30 Jul 1971; 919 Operations Group, 1 Aug 1992-.

Stations

Ephrata AAB, WA, 1 May 1943; Rapid City AAB, SD, 13 Jun 1943; Harvard AAFld, NE, 1 Aug-11 Nov 1943; Rattlesden, England, 1 Dec 1943-c. 3 Aug 1945; Drew Field, FL, 18 Aug-7 Nov 1945. Long Beach Muni Aprt, CA, 27 Jun 1949-21 Mar 1951. Dallas NAS, TX, 18 May 1955-16 Nov 1957. Eglin AF Aux Field #3 (Duke Field), FL, 30 Jun 1971-.

Commanders

None (not manned), 1-25 May 1943; Lt Col Edward J. McRay Jr., 26 May 1943; Maj Donald S. Harris, 16 Mar 1945; Lt Col Robert D. Grandmontagne, 1 May 1945-unkn. Lt Col Thayer, c. Jun 1949-c. Jan 1950; Maj Jacques, c. Apr 1950-unkn. Maj Joseph L. Cromer, c. Jun 1955-unkn. Lt Col Roy E. Ayers Jr., by Dec 1971; Lt Col William R. Day, by Jun 1976; Lt Col Neils R. Poulsen, by Sep 1979; Col Gary L. Patterson, 1 Dec 1980; Lt Col Lee T. Weiland Jr., 18 Jun 1982; Col Jerry R. Rankin, 4 Sep 1982; unkn, Jan-Jun 1986; Lt Col William W. Tyre Jr., 1 Jul 1986; Col Ronald E. Edinger, 1 Dec 1990; Col Charles T. Curry, 11 Jul 1992; Col Gregory L. Hanson, 5 Dec 1994; Lt Col Michael N. Wilson, 7 Feb 1998-.

Aircraft

B-17, 1943-1945. T-7, 1949-1951; T-11, 1949-1951. Unkn, 1955-1957. C-130, 1971-; AC-130, 1975-1995; MC-130E, 1995-.

Operations

Combat in ETO, 24 Dec 1943-21 Apr 1945. Airlift of personnel and cargo, as well as airdropping U.S. Army paratroops during exercises and training, 1971-1974. In late 1974 began training for special operations missions using AC-130 gunships. Provided missile range support, 1979-1989, and NASA space shuttle support, 1981-1988. Flew pre-strike reconnaissance, fire support, escort, and airbase defense sorties during U.S. invasion of Panama, 8 Dec 1989-7 Jan 1990. Combat in Southwest Asia, 9 Feb-Mar 1991. Primary mission changed in late 1995 to providing long-range clandestine delivery of special operations forces and equipment. Periodically deployed personnel and aircraft to support special operations contingency operations worldwide, as well as numerous humanitarian missions. Beginning 1 Oct 1997, provided flight portion of MC-130E Combat Talon I training for both AFSOC and AFRC.

Service Streamers

None.

Campaign Streamers

World War II: Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Air Combat, EAME Theater. Southwest Asia: Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers

Panama, 1989-1990.

Decorations

Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 30 Jul 1971-31 Mar 1973; 1 Jul 1975-31 Jan 1977; 1 Oct 1983-1 Jun 1985; 1 Jun 1987-31 May 1989; 8 Dec 1989-7 Jan 1990; 1 Jun 1990-31 May 1992; 1 Jun 1992-31 May 1994; 1 Jun 1994-31 May 1996; 1 Jun 1996-31 May 1998.

Emblem

Approved c. 1977

Lineage, Assignments, Components, Stations, and Honors through 26 Jun 2000

Commanders, Aircraft, and Operations through Sep 1998

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This Day in History
1775: In Massachusetts, British troops march out of Boston on a mission to confiscate the Patriot arsenal at Concord and to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, known to be hiding at Lexington. As the British departed, Boston Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes set out on horseback from the city to warn Adams and Hancock and rouse the Patriot minutemen.

1847: U.S. forces defeat Mexicans at Cerro Gordo in one of the bloodiest battle of the war.

1864: At Poison Springs, Arkansas, Confederate soldiers under the command of General Samuel Maxey capture a Union forage train and slaughter black troops escorting the expedition.

1885: The Sino-Japanese war ends.

1943: Traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the mastermind of the attack on Pearl Harbor, is shot down by American P-38 fighters.

1983: A suicide bomber kills U.S. Marines at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon.