555th Fighter Squadron

555th Fighter Squadron

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= 555th Fighter Squadron

caption= 555th Fighter Squadron Patch
dates= 1 December 1942 - 7 November 1945
8 January 1964 - 25 March 1994
1 April 1994 - Present
country= United States
branch=United States Air Force
type= Fighter
command_structure= United States Air Forces in Europe
3d Air Force
31st Fighter Wing
31st Operations Group
garrison= Aviano Air Base
motto= Triple Nickel
battles= Linebacker I
Linebacker II

The 555th Fighter Squadron (555 FS) is part of the 31st Fighter Wing at Aviano Air Base, Italy. It operates F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft conducting an air superiority mission.



The squadron's heritage began on 25 November 1942 when the 555th Bombardment Squadron, Medium, was constituted flying the B-26 Marauder. During World War II, the 555th led offensive actions against Axis forces from bases in England, France, and Belgium. For gallantry in action, the squadron was awarded the first of its four Presidential Unit Citations. [http://www.aviano.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4353 555 FS Fact Sheet] ] . [cite book
last =Martin
first =Patrick
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = Tail Code: The Complete History of USAF Tactical Aircraft Tail Code Markings
publisher =Schiffer Military Aviation History
date =1994
location =
pages =
url =
doi =
id =
isbn =0887405134
] [ cite web |url=http://home.att.net/~jbaugher/usafserials.html|title= USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers--1908 to present] ] The squadron was deactivated shortly after WWII ended. On 8 January 1964, the 555th re-emerged at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, operating the F-4 Phantom II. Being the first operational unit in the Air Force to receive the Phantom II, the 555th was deployed and then permanently assigned to the Pacific Rim in support of hostilities in Southeast Asia.

In February 1966, the 555th returned to combat. Flying out of Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, they scored their first two victories on 23 April 1966, and became the first "Ace" Squadron in Southeast Asia with six kills one week later.

In June 1966, the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron moved to Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base and joined the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing "Wolfpack." There, the squadron led the first strike against MiG airfields in North Vietnam. The 555 TFS launched the first night bombing attacks against North Vietnam on 29 September 1967. While at Ubon, the 555th downed an additional 14 aircraft, including four MiG-21s on 2 January 1967. The unit thus became the only "Quad Ace" Fighter Squadron to that point, with 20 MiGs to its credit.

In 1968, the Nickel participated in the campaign against the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Linebacker campaigns against the North Vietnam heartland in 1972. During Linebacker I and Linebacker II, the 555th returned to its air superiority role and brought its MiG tally to 39 confirmed victories--10 MiG-17s, 3 MiG-19s, and 26 MiG-21s, producing the first and second USAF aces, and earning the motto, "World's Largest Distributor of MiG Parts." From 1966 to 1973, the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron earned three more Presidential Unit Citations, five Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with combat "V" device, the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with palm, and the 1973 Hughes achievement award.

After nine years of combat operations, the 555th returned to the United States. In 1974, the squadron moved to Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, where it transitioned to the F-15 Eagle. On 1 April 1994 transferred to Aviano Air Base, Italy, and began flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

=Operations [http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/rso/squadrons_flights_pages/0555fs.html AFHRA 555 FS Page] ] =

*World War II
*Vietnam War
*Operation Deny Flight
*Operation Deliberate Force
*Operation Deliberate Guard


*555th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) (1942 - 1944)
*555th Bombardment Squadron, Medium (1944 - 1945)
*555th Bombardment Squadron, Light (1945 - 1964)
*555th Tactical Fighter Squadron (1964 - 1974)
*555th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron (1974 - 1991)
*555th Fighter Squadron (1991 - Present)


*386th Bombardment Group (1942 - 1945)
*12th Tactical Fighter Wing (1964 - 1966)
**Attached: 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing (12 December 1964 - 9 March 1965)
**Attached: 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing (11 December 1965 - 21 February 1966)
**Attached: 8th Tactical Fighter Wing (c. 22 February - 24 March 1966)
*13th Air Force (1966)
*8th Tactical Fighter Wing (1966 - 1968)
*432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (1968 - 1974)
*58th Tactical Training Wing (1974 - 1979)
*405th Tactical Training Wing (1979 - 1991)
*58th Fighter Wing (1991 - 1994)
*31st Fighter Wing (1994 - Present)

=Bases stationed=

*MacDill Field, Florida (1942 - 1943)
*Lake Charles Army Air Field, Louisiana (1943)
*RAF Snetterton Heath, England (1943)
*RAF Boxted, England (1943)
*RAF Great Dunmow, England (1943 - 1944)
*Beaumont-sur-Oise, France (1944 - 1945)
*Sint-Truiden, Belgium (1945)
*Seymour Johnson Field, North Carolina (1945)
*Westover Field, Massachusetts (1945)
*MacDill Air Force Base, Florida (1964 - 1966)
**Deployed: Naha Air Base, Okinawa (12 December 1964 - 9 March 1965)
**Deployed: Naha Air Base, Okinawa (11 December 1965 - c. 21 February 1966)
*Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand (1966)
*Ubon Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand (1966 - 1968)
*Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand (1968 - 1974)
*Aviano Air Base, Italy (1994 - Present)

=Aircraft Operated=

*B-26 Marauder (1943 - 1945)
*A-26 Invader (1945)
*F-4 Phantom II (1964 - 1974)
*F-15 Eagle (1974 - 1994)
*F-16 Fighting Falcon (1994 - Present)




* [http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/rso/squadrons_flights_pages/0555fs.html 555th Fighter Squadron History]
* [http://www.aviano.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=4353 555th Fighter Squadron Fact Sheet]

ee also

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