355th History Page

Wing Emblem and Motto
Original Design & Current Design
Heraldic Description:

Azure on a pile issuant from sinister throughout or, flames of fire proper charged with a dagger fesswise point to dexter of the second.

Significance:

Ultramarine blue and golden yellow are the colors of the Air Force. The short dagger in medieval times was the instrument used for final destruction. It was the ancient and medieval weapon primarily used to avenge a wrong. The dagger also represents the determination of the organization to guard and preserve the blue sky over a free people in the land of freedom. The flame signifies the poised fighting strength, and the readiness of the organization to meet danger with an instant coordinated attack. The pile being the ancient heraldic representation of a wedge and the modern symbol of victory graphically represents the victorious wedge driven into enemy formations by fighter aircraft.

Motto:

Our Might Always

Approved:

On March 16, 1943 for the 355th Fighter Group and used by the wing, in slightly altered format, since July 1962.

This information was taken directly from the 355th Tactical Training Wing History booklet written by Ssgt. Hugh S. Porter II, 836 AD/355 TTW Historian on June 25, 1990.

Currently Assigned Units: (This data may be outdated)

355th Operations Group
     354th Fighter Squadron
     357th Fighter Squadron
     358th Fighter Squadron
     355th Operations Support Squadron
     607th Air Control Squadron
     41st Electronic Combat Squadron
     42nd Airborne Command and Control Squadron
     43rd Electronic Combat Squadron
355th Logistics Group
     355th Component Repair Squadron
     355th Contracting Squadron
     355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron
     355th Logistics Support Squadron
     355th Supply Squadron
     355th Transportation Squadron
355th Support Group
355th Medical Group
     355th Aerospace Medical Squadron
     355th Dental Squadron
     355th Medical Operations Squadron
     355th Medical Support Squadron
355th Wing Staff

Information from the 355th Wing Web Page (www.dm.af.mil/)

Force Structure:

81	A/OA-10A Thunderbolt II (Wart Hog)
13	EC-130H Hercules (Compass Call)
7	EC-130E Hercules (ABCCC)
1	AN/TPS-75 Radar and Support Equipment
1	50 Bed Air Transportable Hospital

Information from the Official 355th Fighter Wing Web Page (www.dm.af.mil/)

Brief History of the 355th

World War II history yet to be added...

Activated at George AFB, California on April 13, 1962 as the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, the Wing flew the F-105 "Thud" Thunderchief and provided pilot training in tactical fighter operations. On July 21, 1964, the 355th TFW moved to McConnell AFB, Kansas and began the deployment of squadrons overseas for combat duty in Southeast Asia. The 355th TFW was comprised of 4 fighter squadrons, the 354th, 357th, 421st, and the 469th. The 421st deployed to Incirlik, Turkey and the 469th to Kadena, Okinawa when in November of 1965, the 355th TFW moved to Takhli RTAFB, Thailand to provide support in the air war over North Vietnam. Once at Takhli, the 333rd TFS and the 562nd TFS joined the wing (the 562nd was assigned to the wing for only a month). The 41st TEWS was attached to the wing at this time and later became assigned to the wing. During its tenure at Takhli, the 42nd TEWS, 44th TFS, 334th TFS, 335th TFS, 6460th TEWS, and Detachment 1 of the 428th TFS also joined the 355th. These squadrons were either attached or assigned to the 355th TFW for various lengths of time while at Takhli.

During this time frame from November 8, 1965 to December 10, 1970 the 355th TFW participated in air to air, ground strikes, armed reconnaissance, close air support, and electronic warfare missions. The 355th TFW accumulated in excess of 101,300 combat sorties dropping 202,596 tons of bombs destroying 12,675 targets. In the skies over North Vietnam, 355th pilots shot down 19 MiG-17's, 2 MI-6's, and 4 MI-4's. A total of 8 MiG's were destroyed on the ground with an additional 9 damaged. As a result of operations

Chronology of Significant Events

13 April 1962
355th Tactical Fighter Wing is activated at George AFB, California.

21 July 1964
The Wing moves to McConnell AFB, Kansas. It is from here that the Wing begins deploying squadrons overseas for combat duty primarily in Southeast Asia.

August 1965 +
The fleet of F-105's was grounded for cracked wing spars.

8 November 1965
The Wing moves to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand.

7 May 1966 +
The first of 5 RHAW equipped F-105F's Wild Weasel III arrived at Takhli

May 1966 *
The 355th TFW received its first Presidential Unit Citation for action from 1 January 1966 to 10 October 1966. During this time, the wing flew 11,892 sorties, downed 2 MiG's, and damaged 8 more.

10 March 1967 +
Capt. Max Brestel scores the first twin MiG-17 kills (mission #71).

Major Dethlefsen won the Medal of Honor for his actions on March 10, 1967. The target was the steel works at Thai Nguyen 50 miles north of Hanoi. After the flight leader was shot down and his wingman forced to leave the area due to battle damage, Major Dethlefsen took command of the flight and pressed the attack on the defensive positions around the target. While evading several MiG's and being hit by AAA, Major Dethlefsen took out 2 SAM sites to clear the way for the main strike force.

June 1967 *
An F-105 with the 354th TFS was the first to reach 2,000 hours.

8 October 1967
On October 8, 1967 a flight of F-105's from the 355th TFW attacked and destroyed, on the ground, 2 Mi-6 and 4 Mi-4 Russian built helicopters. On the raid were Col. Robert M. White, Billy Sparks, Lt. Col. Thomas H. Kirk Jr. (POW), Major James E. Light Jr., Major Dale W. Leathan, Major Anton J. Micksch, Major Richard C. Fontaine, Major Richard E. Smith Jr. (POW), Captain Earl M. Drew, Captain Ramon A. Horinek (POW), 1st Lt. Cal W. Tax and 1st Lt. Gary S. Olin. Major Smith and Horinek were both shot down on October 25, 1967 and Major Kirk was shot down on October 28, 1967. All three were repatriated on March 14, 1973.

24 October 1967
The 355th lead a strike against the Phuc Yen airfield 18 miles north of Hanoi and the largest in North Vietnam. The airfield, which had been untouched prior to the raid, was left unserviceable.

14 December 1967
Under heavy anti aircraft fire, the Wing attacked the Paul Doumer bridge, a vital link between Hanoi and Red China. For the third time, the bridge comes down.

17 March 1968 +
Detachment 1, 428th TFS arrives, from Nellis AFB, to conduct combat test and evaluation of the new F-111's. Their first mission was flown on 25 March. Operations were suspended on 30 March after the lost of a second aircraft. Operations resumed on April 12 with a third aircraft lossed on April 22nd.

April 1968 *
The wing accumulated 100,000 combat hours.

May 1968 *
The F-105 know as "Baby Doll" reached 3,500 hours. It was delivered to the wing in April of 1966 with 971.5 hours on it.

1969 *
The F-105 known as "The Tea Sipper" returned to the US. It had been assigned to the 354th TFS. During its tour, it logged 3,000 combat hours, shot down 3 MiG's, and returned 8 times with severe damage (nose and port wing replaced twice and starboard wing once).

10 October 1969 *
The 44th TFS became part of the 355th TFW. The 355 TTW History booklet indicates the 44th TFS was a part of the 355th TFW from 15 October 1969 thru 10 December 1970.

January 1970 *
The wing received its 2nd Presidential Unit Citation for action from 11-12 August 1967 and 24-28 October 1967.

July 1970 *
The wing received its record 3rd Presidential Unit Citation for action from 12 April 1968 thru 30 April 1969. During this time frame, the wing dropped 32,000 tons of ordinance on 2,100 targets while flying 17,000 combat sorties.

6 October 1970
The Wing's last F-105 combat mission of the war was "DINO" flight led by Col. Waymond C. Nutt. This mission was an airstrike in Laos.

12 October 1970 +
A 12 aircraft flyover of F-105D's marked the retirement of the 355 TFW.

10 December 1970
The 355th was inactivated. Since arriving in November 1965, the 355th flew 101,304 sorties logging 263,650 hours, dropped 202,596 tons of ordinance on 12,675 targets, and shot down 19 MiG's.

1 July 1971
The 355th was reactivated at Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona and assigned to the Twelfth Air Force.

16 July 1971
Col. John F. Barnes (Wing Commander) and Col. Waymond C. Nutt (Deputy Commander of Operations) flew the wing's first A-7D aircraft to Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona.

15 November 1972
The 355th deployed 4 A-7D aircraft and 41 support personnel to Howard AFB in the Panama Canal Zone to provide close air support for US Army training exercises. The deployment was called Coronet Cove.

12 January 1973
A contingent of aircrews and maintenance technicians from the 355th, deployed to Korat RTAB, Thailand for a six month TDY. The aircrews, mostly from the 354th Tactical Fighter Squadron, flew strike missions primarily into Cambodia. This operation was known as Constant Guard VI.

12 July 1973
All 355th personnel supporting Constant Guard VI, returned to Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona from Korat RTAB, Thailand.

21 December 1973
The 355th deployed 23 pilots (358th TFS) and 342 enlisted personnel to Korat RTAB, Thailand for 179 days to support the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing. This was in support of Constant Guard VI.

1 February 1974
Four A-7D's redeployed to Davis-Monthan AFB from Howard AFB, Panama ending the wing's 15 month Coronet Cove commitment.

22 March 1974
The 11th Tactical Drone Squadron conducted the first launch of a live Maverick missile from a remotely piloted vehicle and scored a direct hit on the designated target at Dugway Proving Grounds, Utah.

2 April 1974
The 355 TFW deployed 2 A-7D's to McConnell AFB, Kansas, to support the USAF Tactical Air Weapons Center's comparative flight evaluation of the A-7 and the A-10. The wing also supplied a T-33 chase aircraft for the flyoff, which took place in April and May.

15 May 1974
The 355 TFW ended its flying activities in Southeast Asia. Aircrews from the 358 TFS and more than 350 support personnel redeployed from Korat RTAFB between 16 and 20 May.

2 March 1976
The wing received its first A-10A aircraft (then nameless), 75-00261.

30 September 1976
Davis-Monthan AFB was officially transferred from the Strategic Air Command to the Tactical Air Command, and for a brief period, the 355th was the host unit.

14 June 1977
Two 333 TFTS A-10A's were deployed to the Pacific to participate in exercises and conduct flight demonstrations for US and allied commanders within the PACAF theater. In the Republic of Korea (ROK), the A-10's conducted demonstrations at 23 different locations and landed at airfields as short as 3,100 feet.

1 November 1977
The 355 TFW's maintenance units switched to the Production Oriented Maintenance Organization (POMO) concept of operations.

3 April 1978
The wing received the message officially naming the A-10 the Thunderbolt II.

29 June 1978
The 354 TFS began the wing's second deployment to Panama since its arrival at Davis-Monthan AFB in 1971. This deployment involved air defense of the Canal Zone, a rather different role for the A-7.

15 July 1978
The 355 TFW began deploying A-10's to RAF Bentwaters as part of an operation known as Ready Thunder (later renamed Ready Bentwaters).

1 October 1978
The 355 TFW returned from Coronet Cove after 3 months of rotational duty in the Canal Zone.

1 June 1979
The 355th Aircraft Generation Squadron implemented the new Ammunition Loading System (ALS), which allowed personnel to load the A-10's GAU-8 "Avenger" gun at the rate of 1,000 rounds every 20 minutes.

2 July 1979
A 120 day flight test began at Mirana Air Park (34 miles Northwest of Tucson) to determine the field's suitability as a satellite base for A-10 operations.

1 September 1979
The 355th Tactical Fighter Wing was redesignated as the 355th Tactical Training Wing.

1 September 1979
The 355th Equipment Maintenance Squadron began a painting program to change the A-10A's color scheme from gray to camouflage green. The first aircraft was completed on 17 September.

2 October 1979
The wing's last A-7 flight was flown by the 357 TFTS, ending an 8 year era for the "SLUF" at Davis-Monthan AFB.

16 May 1980
The 355th Security Police Squadron was named "Best in Tactical Air Command".

4 July 1980
Chief Master Sargent Michael F. Salvo became the first senior enlisted advisor.

1 October 1980
With the activation of the 836th Air Division earlier in the year, the wing's support units, the 355th Civil Engineering, Security Police, Supply, and Transportation Squadrons were inactivated. Each Squadron, as well as the 355 CSG, was named "836".

17 November 1981
The USAF initiated actions to secure the use of Libby Army Airfield, Fort Huachuca, as an auxiliary field for the Tucson Arizona area, after it failed to reach an agreement for the lease of the Mirana Air Park.

5 April 1984
The wing was awarded the TAC Flight Safety Award for 12 months without a major aircraft accident.

15 March 1985
The 355th TTW A-10 demonstration team was fully trained and ready for 12th AF approval. The wing was selected by 12th AF in 1984 to run the A-10 Demonstration Program (West) for Tactical Air Command.

25 July 1985
The 355th TTW foreign exchange pilot program terminated with the departure of Flight Lieutenant Terry B. Yarrow of Britain's Royal Air Force.

19 January 1986
The 355th TTW commander approved the first enlisted academic intelligence instructor.

24 February 1986
The wing's A-10's began undergoing the Turbine Engine Monitoring System (TEMS) modification, which incorporated a data gathering device on the aircraft to monitor engine performance.

15 May 1986
Twelfth Air Force presented the wing with the System of Cooperation Among the American Air Forces Award. It recognizes the wing's flying safety achievements, 35,700 hours without a Class A or B mishap.

31 October 1986
The wing conducted exercise HOGEX 87-1 in an attempt to introduce mass tactics (large formations) into the flying program.

5 December 1986
Headquarters TAC relayed a message to Twelfth Air Force announcing Air Staff approval for using the A-10 in the forward air control mission. Five days later, the 355th TTW and 602nd Tactical Air Control Wing were ordered to jointly develop a concept of operations for the "OA-10".

17 October 1988
A 21 man depot field maintenance team from Sacramento Air Logistic Center, McClellan AFB California, began the "Speedline" modification project on the wing's 75 A-10's. It consisted of 13 field level modifications aimed at modernizing the aircraft.

31 May 1989
The 355th TTW was named winner of the TAC Commanders Award for Top Aircraft Maintenance in the A-10 category.

30 June 1989
The wing's entries were named "Best A-10 Team" during the Long Rifle V gunnery competition held at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina.

14 August 1989
The wing's maintenance community officially completed its conversion to the Core Automated Maintenance System (CAMS) and began using the database to track and coordinate maintenance actions.

May 1990
The 355th TTW was once again named winner of the TAC Commander's Award for Top Aircraft Maintenance in the A-10 category.

14 June 1990
The 333rd TFTS was named "Best A-10 Team" during the Long Rifle VI competition held at Davis-Monthan AFB. The unit also placed third overall.

1989
The 355th TTW won the TAC Commander's Award for Top Aircraft Maintenance in the A-10 Category and "Best A-10 Team" during the Long Rifle V gunnery competition held at Seymour Johnson AFB, NC in 1989. The Wing repeated both honors the following year.

1990-1991
Members of the 355th deployed to the Middle East in support of Desert Shield / Desert Storm. If you saw the episode of "WINGS" on the Discovery channel, covering the A-10 in the Gulf war, you saw members of the 354th in action.

1 October 1991
The 355th Tactical Training Wing was redesignated the 355th Fighter Wing.

1 May 1992
The 355th Fighter Wing was redesignated the 355th Wing.

* Indicates information obtained from Profile #226 by Theo Van Geffen.

+ Indicates information obtained from PACAF History website: http://www.cidss.af.mil/50th/index.html

All other information in the Chronology section was obtained from the 355 Tactical Training Wing History booklet by SSgt Hugh S. Porter dated June 25, 1990.

F-105 Thunderchief Era
EB-66 Destroyer Era
A-7D Corsair II Era
A-10 Thunderbolt II Era
355th TFW MIA/KIA Honor Roll
355th TFW Links Page
My Photo Gallery
Air Force Photo's
Photo's from the Troops
Someone is looking for you
355th TFW Reunion Page
355th TFW 1998 Dayton Reunion
355th TFW Reunion Roster
355th TFW Patch Page

1998 grc46250@juno.com

This page was last updated February 19, 2008


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