335th Fighter Squadron
"The World's Leading MiG Killers"
Established: 12 September 1942
Assigned to: 4th Fighter Wing
Home Station: Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina
Primary Mission: F-15E operational squadron
The second of the Royal Air Force "Eagle Squadrons," the 335th was activated at Bushy Hall, England on 12 September 1942 and assigned to the United States Army Air Force's 4th Fighter Group. Prior to this time, the Eagle squadrons had served as American volunteer units within the RAF. The 4th Fighter Group was the first USAAF unit to be activated in the European theater of operations in the Second World War. The 4th Fighter Group was based at Debden Airdrome, Essex, England. The 335th initially was equipped with the British-supplied Supermarine Spitfire, the same type of aircraft they had flown as the RAF's 121st squadron. The squadron's first American-built aircraft, the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, arrived in early 1943.
One year later in 1944 the squadron exchanged their Thunderbolts for the North American P-51 Mustang, which the served as the primary aircraft for the reminder of the war.
The 335th ended the war with 262 kills against the German Luftwaffe. Of this total, 165 were destroyed in the air, while the remaining 97 were destroyed on the ground. The unit moved to Steeple Marden airdrome, England in preparation to return to the United States. The 335th was deactivated at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, on 10 Nov 1945. Less than a year later, on 9 Sep 1946, the squadron was reactivated at Selfridge Fields, Michigan.
In Apr 1947 the Chiefs were equipped with the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star aircraft and moved to Andrews AFB, Maryland with the rest of the group.
During 1949, the squadron was reequipped with the North American F-86 Sabre aircraft and moved south to Langley AFB, Virginia.
By Nov of 1949, the Chiefs were enroute to Korea. The 335th was the top scoring squadron within the Air Force, with 218,5 enemy aircraft destroyed. Thus born the "MiG killer" legend.
Following the Korean conflict, the unit remained in the Far East until 8 Dec 1957, when it was reassigned to Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina. The 335th began flying the North American F-100 Super Sabre at this time.
In May of 1958 the Chiefs became the first squadron in the Air Force to receive the fabled "Thud", the Republic F-105 Thunderchief aircraft.
The unit was sent to Eglin AFB, Florida, and tasked with the operational testing of the new aircraft for the next three years. In 1967, the unit began transitioning to th McDonnell Douglas F-4D Phantom II aircraft.
Along with the rest of the Group, the 335th rushed to Korea 8 Jan 1968 to support operations during the Pueblo incident. The unit returned to Seymour Johnson in June 1968. By Mar of 1971, the Chiefs had exchanged their old F-4D's for the definitive Air Force version of the Phantom, the McDonnell Douglas F-4E aircraft.
The unit deployed to Ubon Royal Thai Air Base, Thailand during rotations in both 1972 and 1973. In Oct 1973, the Chiefs participated in Operation Peace Echo by delivering F-4E aircraft and material to Israel during the Yom Kippur War.
The 335th began conversion to the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle in the spring of 1990 and flew it's first F-15E sortie on 1 Mar 1990.
On 27-28 Dec 1990, the 335th FS deployed twenty four F-15E's along support personnel and equipment to Al Kharj Air Base in central Saudi Arabia. On the night of the 16 Jan, the Chiefs participated in the initial assault on Iraq, hitting communications, power networks and airfields around Baghdad. Given the mission of finding and destroying Iraq's SCUD missile launcher, the 335th brought Iraq's use of this terror weapon to a virtual halt, earning the squadron the nickname "SCUD BUSTERS". The 335th made aerial warfare history by downing an Iraqi helicopter in the air using a laser-guided bomb. During the war the Chiefs flew 1097combat missions totaling over 4000 hours over Iraq and occupied Kuwait. More than 4,8 million pounds of ordnance were dropped, destroying 45 Iraqi aircraft on the ground, 23 Iraqi communications relay stations, 36 bridges or pontoons, 478 armored vehicles and 480 SCUD missiles.
Following the war, the Chiefs were tasked to fly offensive counter air missions over Iraq and Kuwait. These amounted to more than 500 sorties and 3400 combat hours flown between 15 Mar and 7 May, 1991. The Chiefs still periodically deploy to Saudi Arabia to enforce the U.N. sanctions against Iraq. The 335th Fighter Squadron stands ready to meet the challenges of the future and demonstrate the meaning of their proud byline: "Chief Standard".
PRIMARY ASSIGNED F-15E AIRCRAFT:
|* = SQUADRON FLAGSHIP|