35th Fighter Squadron

The 35th Fighter Squadron is a United States Air Force unit, assigned to the 8th Operations Group, stationed at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea. The squadron operates the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft conducting air superiority missions.

The 35th FS is one of two squadrons of Block 40 F-16C/Ds at Kunsan, flying the Fighting Falcon since 1981. The 35th is one of the oldest squadrons in the United States Air Force, its history dating to 12 June 1917, when the unit was activated as the 35th Aero Squadron.[1]

35th Fighter Squadron
35th Fighter Squadron - General Dynamics F-16C Block 40F Fighting Falcon - 89-2064
35th Fighter Squadron F-16C Fighting Falcon lands at Kunsan AB[note 1]
Active1917–1919; 1932–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part ofPacific Air Forces
Cyclone's Flying Circus
Motto(s)First to Fight[1]
ColorsBlue (25 January 1980-present>[2]
Mascot(s)Bill The Cat
EngagementsWorld War I Southwest Pacific Theater
Korean War
Vietnam War[1]
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm[1]
Lt. Col. Oliver R. Lause
Maj. Emmett "Cyclone" Davis
35th Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 7 November 1932)[1]


World War I

The 35th Fighter Squadron heritage dates back to 12 June 1917, when the unit activated as the 35th Aero Squadron. The squadron arrived in France in September 1917. After a first stop at the Etampes on 20 September, it spent some time in Paris then settled on Issoudun Aerodrome where it helped building the new Third Aviation Instruction Center, before being declared operational in November, 1917, as the 35th Aero Squadron (Repair).

After being relieved some time between December, 1918 and January, 1919, it stopped at Clisson, France on 4 January 1919, before boarding in Saint-Nazaire harbor on 20 February a ship which took it back to United States.[3][4]

Inter-war years

"Recognizing the need for a strong air arm, American defense officials reconstituted the squadron in June 1932 and redesignated it the 35th Pursuit Squadron. For the next few years, the 35th flew Boeing P-12, Consolidated PB-2, Northrop A-17 Nomad, and Curtiss P-36 Hawk aircraft out of Langley Field, Virginia. In 1939, the unit was redesignated the 35th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) and moved to Mitchel Field, New York, to fly the P-40 Warhawk."[4]

World War II

The 35th Fighter Squadron along with the 8th Pursuit Group and 22nd Airbase Group left San Francisco in Convoy Number 2033, escorted by USS New Orleans, for Australia on 12 February 1942 on the Army transport USAT Maui arriving with the convoy at Brisbane, Australia on 5 March 1942.[5] The squadron has never been stationed in the United States since. It arrived in Brisbane, Queensland on 6 March 1942. After arrival, it moved to Amberley Airfield, west of Brisbane, where it was equipped with Bell P-39D Airacobras that were originally intended to go to the Philippines but the convoy carrying them was diverted to Brisbane.

They then moved to Woodstock Airport, Queensland outside of Townsville in northern Queensland on 26 April 1942 on their way to Port Moresby, New Guinea where they arrived on 30 April 1942. There, the squadron operated from a gravel fighter strip constructed by the Australians in the 1930s called Kila Kila Airfield (3 Mile Drome). After two months in combat, the squadron rotated back to Australia, returning to Woodstock on 29 June 1942 for various rest and re-equipment tasks. They relocated to Garbutt Field in Townsville on 27 July 1942 and then moved to Milne Bay in New Guinea on 18 September 1942 after the airfield was secured from the Japanese. It again engaged in combat operations against Japanese forces with its P-39s until rotated back to Queensland, being sent to Mareeba Airfield in February 1943 as its Airacobras were basically worn-out. At Mareeba, the squadron was re-equipped with Curtiss P-40N Warhawks before leaving Australia for good in May and heading back to Port Moresby.

In New Guinea, the squadron covered landings and supported offensive ground operations in New Britain, New Guinea, and Hollandia, with the group moving forward to different bases as territory was captured from the Japanese. At Cape Gloucester, the P-40s were replaced by Lockheed P-38F Lightnings that were ferried up from Australia. It was with the P-38 that the 8th Fighter Group became truly effective both against the Japanese Zero in air-to-air battles, as well as providing ground support to MacArthur's ground forces. Its twin engines offered an additional safety factory when operating over long stretches of water and jungle. The Lightnings proved to be extremely rugged and could take a lot of battle damage and still keep flying. Missions lasting 9, 10, or even 12 hours became routine, and many wounded Lightnings were able to limp home on only one engine.

In 1944, the 35th supported operations in the Philippines, earning a second Distinguished Unit Citation when, armed only with machine guns, the Lightnings of the 8th Fighter Group strafed a Japanese naval task force for three hours, halting the ships until North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers from more distant bases could attack the task force with low-level bomb runs Despite the fact that the group did not have time to load bombs on its fighters and used only .50 caliber bullets on the mission, the 8th managed to sink one of the Japanese ships.

After moving to San Jose, Occidental Mindoro in the Philippines in December 1944, the 35th spent the next several months conducting offensive operations against Formosa and the Asian mainland, as well as flying escort missions in the area. Moving to Ie Shima Airfield in August 1945, the 8th flew several missions against the Japanese island of Kyushu before the war ended.

On 14 August 1945, the day of the Japanese surrender, the 35th Fighter Squadron shot down the last enemy plane of the war. During its involvement in World War II, the 35th participated in nine campaigns.

Korean War

35th Fighter Squadron F-80C 49-696 Near Mt Fuji Japan 1950
Lockheed F-80 near Mount Fuji in 1950[note 2]
F-86F Terrible Turtle 35th FBS Korea c1953
A 35th FBS F-86 Sabre in Korea, 1953

"When the Korean War began, the redesignated 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron entered combat. Once on the offensive, the 35th moved from base to base in Korea, flying the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star and later the North American F-86 Sabre. At one time, the 35th was stationed at Pyongyang, now the capital of North Korea."[4]

Pacific Air Forces service

When the Korean War ended, the squadron started flying North American F-100 Super Sabres at its new location at Itazuke Air Base, Japan. In 1963, the squadron received Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs to replace the F-100s and moved to Yokota Air Base, Japan.[4]

35th Tactical Fighter Squadron - McDonnell F-4D-32-MC Phantom - 66-8709
35th Tactical Fighter Squadron F-4D Phantom[note 3]

In 1964, the 35th deployed to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, as one of the first units to fight in Southeast Asia. It later moved to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. The squadron also performed numerous deployments to Osan Air Base, Korea.[4]

On 15 March 1972, the 35th moved to Kunsan Air Base to fly the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II. In September 1981, the 35th and its sister squadron, the 80th Tactical Fighter Squadron, became the first overseas units to convert to the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon. The squadrons and wing dropped the 'tactical' designation from their titles during an Air Force-wide reorganization on 31 January 1992.[4]

On 17 November 2000, the 35th Fighter Squadron received its first Block 40 F-16s. The new aircraft carry Low-Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night, or LANTIRN, pods. The 35th completed the conversion in February 2001.[4]


  • Organized as the 35th Aero Squadron on 12 June 1917
Demobilized on 19 March 1919
  • Reconstituted and redesignated 35th Pursuit Squadron on 24 March 1923
Activated on 25 June 1932
Redesignated 35th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) on 6 December 1939
Redesignated 35th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 12 March 1941
Redesignated 35th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Redesignated 35th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine on 19 February 1944
Redesignated 35th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 8 January 1946
Redesignated 35th Fighter Squadron, Jet on 1 January 1950
Redesignated 35th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 20 January 1950
Redesignated 35th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 July 1958
Redesignated 35th Fighter Squadron on 3 February 1992[1]


  • Unknown 12 June 1917
  • Third Aviation Instruction Center, November 1917
  • Unknown, January 1919–19 Mar 1919
  • 8th Pursuit Group (later 8th Fighter Group, 8th Fighter-Bomber Group), 25 June 1932 (attached to 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing after 1 February 1957)
  • 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing (later 8th Tactical Fighter) Wing, 1 Oct 1957 (attached to 41st Air Division, after 13 May 1964)
  • 41st Air Division, 18 June 1964 (attached to 2d Air Division, 24 September – 20 November 1964)
  • 6441st Tactical Fighter Wing, 1 April 1965 (attached to 2d Air Division, 4 May–26 June 1965 and 19 October–15 November 1965)
  • 41st Air Division, 15 November 1966
  • 347th Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 January 1968 (attached to Detachment 1, 347th Tactical Fighter Wing, 10 June–16 July 1968, 22 August–1 October 1968, 22 November–26 December 1968, 21 March–23 April 1969, 30 June–6 August 1969, 17 October–29 November 1969, 30 January–7 March 1970, 8-30 May 1970, 11 July–8 August 1970, 2-30 October 1970, and 26 December 1970 – 23 January 1971)
  • 3d Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 March 1971 (attached to 366th Tactical Fighter Wing, 3 April–12 June 1972; 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, 12 June–c. 12 October 1972)
  • 8th Tactical Fighter Wing (later 8th Fighter Wing), 16 September 1974
  • 8th Operations Group, 3 Feb 1992 – present[1]


  • Camp Kelly (later Kelly Field), Texas, 12 June–11 August 1917
  • Étampes, France, 20 September 1917
  • Paris, France, 23 September 1917
  • Issoudun Aerodrome, France, November 1917
  • Clisson, France, 4 January 1919
  • Saint-Nazaire, France, 9-20 February 1919
  • Garden City, New York, 9-19 March 1919
  • Langley Field, Virginia, 25 June 1932
  • Mitchel Field, New York, 14 November 1940 – 26 January 1942
  • Brisbane, Australia, 6 March 1942
  • Port Moresby, New Guinea, 26 April 1942
  • Woodstock Airport, Australia, 29 June 1942
  • Townsville, Australia, 27 July 1942
  • Milne Bay, New Guinea, 18 September 1942
  • Mareeba Airfield, Australia, 24 February 1943
  • Port Moresby, New Guinea, 10 May 1943
  • Finschhafen Airport, New Guinea, 25 Dec 1943
  • Cape Gloucester, New Britain, 19 February 1944
  • Nadzab Airfield Complex, New Guinea, 14 March 1944
  • Owi, Schouten Islands, 1 July 1944
  • Morotai, Netherlands East Indies, 4 October 1944
  • Dulag Airfield, Leyte, Philippines, 5 Nov 1944 (operated from Morotai until 28 Nov 1944)
  • San Jose, Mindoro, Philippines, 20 December 1944
  • Ie Shima Airfield, Ryuku Islands, 9 August 1945
  • Fukuoka Airfield, Japan, c. 21 November 1945
  • Ashiya Air Base, Japan, 20 May 1946
  • Itazuke Air Base, Japan, 5 September 1946
  • Ashiya Air Base, Japan, 15 April 1947
  • Miho Air Base, Japan, 10 August 1948
  • Itazuke Air Base, Japan, 16 June 1949
  • Tsuiki Air Base, Japan, 11 August 1950
  • Suwon Air Base, South Korea, 7 October 1950
  • Kimpo Air Base, South Korea, 26 October 1950
  • Pyongyang Air Base, North Korea, 25 November 1950
  • Seoul Air Base, South Korea, 3 December 1950
  • Itazuke Air Base, Japan, 10 December 1950
  • Kimpo Air Base, South Korea, 25 June 1951
  • Suwon Air Base, South Korea, 24 August 1951
  • Itazuke Air Base, Japan, 20 October 1954
  • Yokota Air Base, Japan, 13 May 1964 (deployed to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, 24 September – 20 November 1964; Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand 4 May–25 June 1965, 19 October–15 November 1965; Osan Air Base, South Korea, 10 June–16 July 1968, 22 Auguast–1 October 1968, 23 November–26 December 1968, 21 March–23 April 1969, 30 June–6 August 1969, 17 October–29 November 1969, 30 January–7 March 1970, 8–30 May 1970, 11 July–8 August 1970, 2–30 October 1970 and 26 December 1970 – 23 January 1971))
  • Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, 15 Mar 1971 – present (deployed to Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, 3 April–12 June 1972; Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand 13 June-c. 12 October 1972)[1]


  • Boeing P-12 (1932–1936)
  • Curtiss P-6 Hawk (1933–1936)
  • Consolidated PB-2 (1936–1939)
  • Curtiss YP-37 (1938–1940)
  • Northrop A-17 Nomad (1938–1940)
  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk (1940–1941, 1943–1944)
  • Bell P-39 Airacobra (1941–1943)
  • Bell P-400 Airacobra I (1942–1943)
  • Lockheed P-38 Lightning (1944–1946)
  • North American P-51 Mustang (1946–1950)
  • Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star (1949–1953)
  • North American F-86 Sabre (1953–1957)
  • North American F-100 Super Sabre (1956–1963)
  • Republic F-105 Thunderchief (1963–1967)
  • McDonnell F-4 Phantom II (1964–1981)
  • General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon (1981 – present)[1]

See also



Explanatory notes
  1. ^ Aircraft is General Dynamics F-16C Block 40 serial 89-2064, taken on 16 March 2010.
  2. ^ Aiorcraft is Lockheed F-80C serial 49-696. This aircraft is in the National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.
  3. ^ Aircraft is McDonnell F-4D Phantom II serial 66-8709 at Korat RTAFB, Thailand in 1973.
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Robertson, Patsy (16 March 2015). "Factsheet 35 Fighter Squadron (PACAF)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 27 September 2015. Retrieved 13 February 2018.
  2. ^ Endicott, p. 529
  3. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 167–168
  4. ^ a b c d e f g No byline (23 April 2013). "Kunsan Air Base Library: Fact Sheet 35th Fighter Squadron". 8th Fighter Wing Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  5. ^ Williford, p. 272


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

External links

35 Squadron

35 Squadron or 35th Squadron may refer to:

No. 35 Squadron RAF

No. 35 Squadron, Indian Air Force

No. 35 Squadron RAAF

35 Squadron SAAF

8th Fighter Wing

The United States Air Force 8th Fighter Wing is the host unit at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea and is assigned to Seventh Air Force. Seventh Air Force falls under Pacific Air Forces (PACAF). The Wing's 8th Operations Group is the successor of the 8th Pursuit Group, one of the 15 original combat air groups formed by the Army before World War II.

Established in Japan after World War II in 1948, the wing flew combat missions throughout the Korean War. Redesignated the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing in 1958, it remained in Japan until 1964. After a year in California, it moved to Southeast Asia, where its F-4 Phantom II crews earned the nicknames "MiG killers" and "bridge busters". In 1974 the wing relocated to Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, where it was redesignated the 8th Fighter Wing in 1992.

8th Operations Group

The 8th Operations Group (8 OG) is the operational flying component of the United States Air Force 8th Fighter Wing. It is stationed at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, and is a part of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).

The group is a direct successor organization of the 8th Pursuit Group, one of the 15 original combat air groups formed by the Army before World War II.

During World War II, the unit operated primarily in the Southwest Pacific Theater as part of Fifth Air Force. When the unit arrived in Brisbane, Australia, in April 1942, three squadrons were assigned: the 35th, 36th and 80th Pursuit Squadrons. Since fighting became the new objective, the unit took on the new designation of the 8th Fighter Group. During the course of World War II in the Pacific, the 8th participated in battles in Port Moresby, Nadaab, Owi, Zamboanga, the Philippines, Minadoro, Ie Shima and Japan. The Group participated in nine campaigns and received two Distinguished Unit Citations. The 8th spawned twenty-seven "Aces" and accounted for destroying 449 enemy aircraft during World War II.

During the Korean War, the group was the first USAF air unit committed to combat, first jet unit, first unit to shoot down an enemy airplane, first to fly 255 sorties in one day, first to fly 50,000 sorties in jet warfare, first to fly 60,000 sorties, and first to fly 291 sorties in a single day. The Group added eleven streamers to their flag, two Republic of Korea citations, and another Distinguished Unit Citation.


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Battle of Cape Gloucester

The Battle of Cape Gloucester was fought in the Pacific theater of World War II between Japanese and Allied forces on the island of New Britain, Territory of New Guinea, between 26 December 1943 and 16 January 1944. Codenamed Operation Backhander, the US landing formed part of the wider Operation Cartwheel, the main Allied strategy in the South West Pacific Area and Pacific Ocean Areas during 1943–1944. It was the second landing the US 1st Marine Division had conducted during the war thus far, after Guadalcanal. The objective of the operation was to capture the two Japanese airfields near Cape Gloucester that were defended by elements of the Japanese 17th Division.

The main landing came on 26 December 1943, when US Marines landed on either side of the peninsula. The western landing force acted as a diversion and cut the coastal road near Tauali to restrict Japanese freedom of movement, while the main force, landing on the eastern side, advanced north towards the airfields. The advance met light resistance at first, but was slowed by the swampy terrain which channeled the US troops onto a narrow coastal trail. A Japanese counterattack briefly slowed the advance but by the end of December, the airfields had been captured and consolidated by the Marines. Fighting continued into early January 1944 as the US troops extended their perimeter south from the airfields towards Borgen Bay. Organized resistance ceased on 16 January 1944 when US troops captured Hill 660; however, mopping up operations in the vicinity continued into April 1944 until the Marines were relieved by US Army forces.

CAF Utah Wing Museum

CAF Utah Wing Museum is one of many local detachments of the national Commemorative Air Force (CAF) non-profit aviation association dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through Flight, Exhibit and Remembrance.

The Museum is located at Russ McDonald Field, Utah, and contains artifacts and exhibits from World War II, Korean, and Vietnam wars. In addition they operate a N2S Stearman aircraft and two T-6 Advanced Trainer aircraft - part of the CAF's fleet of over 170 vintage warbirds - with rides available to the public. Exhibits and displays preserve stories of local characters that participated in aviation.

The Museum is closed, except by special arrangement, from October 31 to May 1st each year.

Cape Gloucester Airport

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Gurney Airport

Gurney Airport (IATA: GUR, ICAO: AYGN) is an airport serving Alotau in the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea (PNG).The airport is a single runway general aviation facility, however in December, 2008, the PNG Minister for Transport and Civil Aviation, Don Polye announced that aviation company SkyAirWorld had been granted permission to operate direct flights from Cairns, Australia to Gurney.

Ie Shima Airfield

Ie Shima Airfield (伊江島補助飛行場, Iejima Hojo Hikōjō) is a gunnery and training facility, managed by the United States Marine Corps and a former World War II airfield complex on Ie Shima, an island located off the northwest coast of Okinawa Island in the East China Sea. The airfield as such was inactivated after 1946 but the facility is now a drop zone for parachute training of the US military.

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Kunsan Air Base

Kunsan K-8 Air Base is a United States Air Force base located at Gunsan Airport, which is on the west coast of the South Korean peninsula bordered by the Yellow Sea. It is at the town of Gunsan about 150 miles (240 km) south of Seoul. The town (군산시, 群山市 in Korean) can be romanized as both Gunsan and Kunsan. The United States Air Force uses Gunsan to refer to the town, and Kunsan to refer to the base.

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Mareeba Airfield

Mareeba Airfield (IATA: MRG, ICAO: YMBA) is an airfield located 4.3 nautical miles (8.0 km; 4.9 mi) south of Mareeba, Queensland, Australia. Built in 1942 as a US Army Air Force base during World War II, the airfield had two runways, with a complement of taxiways, hardstands and a containment area. After the war, much of the airfield reverted to agricultural use, while the southern runway remains as an active airfield.

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Port Moresby Airfield Complex

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This complex of airfields is historically significant as it was from these airfields, the Royal Australian Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces supported Allied ground forces in the Battle of New Guinea. It represented the changing fortune of war in the Pacific and the end of the Japanese expansion in the Southwestern Pacific during World War II.

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Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy

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United States Army Air Forces in the South West Pacific Theatre

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Air Forces

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