The 94 FS is one of the oldest units in the United States Air Force, first being organized on 20 August 1917 as the 94th Aero Squadron of the United States Army Air Service at Kelly Field, Texas. The squadron deployed to France and fought on the Western Front during World War I as a pursuit squadron. It took part in the Champagne-Marne defensive; Aisne-Marne offensive; St. Mihiel offensive, and Meuse-Argonne offensive.
In 1924, it was consolidated with the 103d Aero Squadron (Pursuit). The 103d was largely composed of former members of the French Air Service Lafayette Escadrille (from the French Escadrille de Lafayette). This was a squadron of American volunteer pilots who had joined the French Air Service prior to the United States entry into the war on 6 April 1917. In July 1926, with the disestablishment of the U.S. Army Air Service, the squadron became part of the U.S. Army Air Corps (USAAC).
In June 1941, the squadron became part of the renamed U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF). During World War II the unit served in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) as part of Twelfth Air Force as a P-38 Lightning fighter squadron, participating in the North African and Italian campaigns. In September 1947, it became part of the newly-established United States Air Force (USAF). During the Cold War it was both an Air Defense Command (ADC) fighter-interceptor squadron, and later as part of Tactical Air Command (TAC). It was one of the first USAF operational squadrons equipped with the F-15A Eagle in January 1976. With the disestablishment of TAC in 1992, it was assigned to the newly-established Air Combat Command (ACC).
|94th Fighter Squadron|
SPAD XIII at the United States Air Force Museum shown in 94th Aero Squadron (Pursuit) markings. Aircraft is marked as Eddie Rickenbacker's aircraft.
94th Fighter Squadron F-22A Raptor formation flown on the squadron's 90th Anniversary, 17 August 2007
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Air Combat Command|
|Garrison/HQ||Joint Base Langley–Eustis, Virginia|
|Nickname(s)||"Hat in the Ring"|
|Paul V. Hester |
Earle E. Partridge
94th Fighter Squadron emblem[note 1]
94th Aero Squadron emblem[note 2]
94th Pursuit Squadron emblem[note 3]
The 94 Fighter Squadron (94 FS) is tasked to provide air superiority for the United States and allied forces by engaging and destroying enemy forces, equipment, defenses or installations for global deployment as part of the 1st Fighter Wing.
The squadron flies one of today's most advanced air dominance fighters, the F-22A Raptor, being the USAF's second operational F-22 squadron in 2006. 94 FS aircraft, like other aircraft from the 1st Fighter Wing, have the tail code "FF".
The 94th Fighter Squadron has a long history and traditions that date back to World War I. The squadron was activated at Kelly Field, Texas, on 20 August 1917 as the 94th Aero Squadron. On 8 April 1924, the unit was consolidated with the 103d Aero Squadron which was organized on 31 August 1917.
On 30 September 1917, two officers and 150 enlisted men left Texas for France and were sent to seven different aircraft factories for maintenance and repair training. In April 1918, the 94th was reunited and stationed at the Gengault Aerodrome near Toul, France, where it began operations as the first American squadron at the front. It was placed under the command of Major Raoul Lufbery, an ace pilot and veteran of the Lafayette Escadrille.
As the first American squadron in operation, its aviators were allowed to create their squadron insignia. They used the opportunity to commemorate the United States' entry into World War I by taking the phrase of tossing one's "hat in the ring" (a boxing phrase to signify one's willingness to become a challenger) and symbolizing it with the literal image of Uncle Sam's red, white and blue top hat going through a ring.
On 14 April, Lt. Douglas Campbell and Lt. Alan Winslow downed two German aircraft. These were the first victories ever scored by an American unit. No 94th pilot achieved more aerial victories than 1st Lt. Edward V. "Eddie" Rickenbacker, who was named America's "Ace of Aces" during the war. In his Nieuport 28 and later his SPAD S.XIII, Rickenbacker was credited with 26 of the squadron's 70 kills during World War I. By the end of hostilities, the 94th had won battle honors for participation in 11 major engagements and was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm.
The squadron was assigned to the 1st Pursuit Group based at Toul (5 May 1918), and subsequently at Touquin (28 June 1918), Saints (9 July 1918) and Rembercourt (1 September 1918). Rickenbacker took command of the squadron on 25 September, at the start of the Meuse Argonne Offensive, and retained it through the end of the war. Another flying ace of this squadron was Harvey Weir Cook.
The 103d Aero Squadron constructed facilities, December 1917 – 1 February 1918; with flight echelon originally composed of former members of the Lafayette Escadrille, participated in combat as a pursuit unit with the French Fourth Army, French Sixth Army, Detachment of the Armies of the North (French), French Eighth Army, and the American First Army, 18 February – 10 November 1918.
On 8 April 1924, the 103d was consolidated by the Air Service with the 94th Pursuit Squadron.
The squadron returned home in the spring of 1919, and after several moves, the 94th settled with the 1st Pursuit Group at Selfridge Field, Michigan, in July 1922. In 1923, the unit was re-designated the 94th Pursuit Squadron. The squadron stayed in Michigan for the remainder of the inter-war years, training in its pursuit role. The squadron flew 17 different aircraft during this period, culminating with the P-38 Lightning. One week after Pearl Harbor, the 94th moved to Naval Air Station San Diego, California. Expecting to see action in the Pacific, the squadron instead received orders for Europe. In the summer of 1942, the 94th and its parent group deployed under its own power to England, the U.K., via Canada, Labrador, Greenland, and Iceland as part of Operation Bolero. This marked the first time that a fighter squadron flew its own aircraft from the United States to Europe.
In May 1942, all pursuit groups and squadrons were re-designated "fighter". In November the 94th Fighter Squadron entered combat in North Africa during Operation Torch. Based in Algeria, Tunisia, and Italy, the 94th again distinguished itself in combat by winning two Presidential Distinguished Unit Citations as part of the 1st Group. In addition, the squadron earned 14 Campaign honors, participating in almost every campaign in North Africa and Europe. 64 pilots of the 94th Fighter Squadron were credited with 124 Axis aircraft destroyed. The 94th produced a total of six aces in World War II. In April 1945 the 1st Fighter Group received two YP-80 jets for operational testing. The 94th Squadron's Major Edward LaClare flew two operational sorties in the YP-80 although without encountering combat.
After the end of World War II, the 94th trained in the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star, America's first operational jet fighter, and was stationed at March AFB, California. In July 1950, the group became the 94th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS) and was eventually assigned to Air Defense Command (ADC), later renamed Aerospace Defense Command (ADC). After the P-80, the squadron flew several aircraft in the interceptor role, including the F-86, F-102 and F-106. In 1956, the 94th won the Worldwide Rocket Firing Meet held at Vincent AFB, Arizona. In the 1960s, the unit was among the first ready units sent to Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962. The squadron carried out combat air patrol missions off the coast of Florida, setting a record for F-106 hours and sorties. During the 1960s, the 94th, along with other ADC units, maintained an alert force in Alaska.
With its supersonic F-106s, the squadron intercepted Russian bombers on missions over the Bering Sea. Then, in June 1969, with tensions mounting following the Pueblo Incident and the downing of an EC-121 electronic observation plane by North Korea, the squadron deployed to Osan AB, South Korea, for six months. On 1 July 1971, the 94th returned to the United States, changing home stations to MacDill AFB, Florida, as part of a realignment of the original First Pursuit Group. The squadron was designated the 94th Tactical Fighter Squadron, reassigned to Tactical Air Command, and reunited with the 27th and 71st Squadrons under the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing (1 TFW), flying the F-4E. The 94th assumed the duties of a Replacement Training Unit (RTU), providing F-4 aircrews for operational combat squadrons.
In 1975, the 1st TFW moved to Langley AFB, Virginia, and began the 94 TFS flying the F-15A and F-15B Eagle, with the squadron becoming combat-ready in early 1977. In September 1992, the squadron was renamed the 94th Fighter Squadron (94 FS).
The 94th Fighter Squadron did not deploy to Southwest Asia for the first Persian Gulf War, although many of its pilots and maintenance personnel did as augmenters to both the 71st and 27th Fighter Squadrons from the 1st Fighter Wing. The 94th successfully supported the UN-sanctioned Operation Southern Watch and Operation Northern Watch in Iraq with many deployments to Saudi Arabia and Turkey in the period leading up to the Iraq War. The 94th Fighter Squadron pilots repeatedly defeated Iraqi surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) and anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) attacks while enforcing UN sanctions, without loss or damage to a single aircraft.
In 2006, the 94th became the second operational squadron to fly the F-22 Raptor, receiving its first F-22A in June 2006, and receiving its full complement of F-22As, with AF Ser. No / tail number (T/N) 05-0094, in June 2007. This was due to the 94 FS trading tail number 086 for 094 with the 90th Fighter Squadron, which is part of the 3rd Wing based at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska. 
Additionally, the 1st FW traded AF Ser. No. / tail number 05-0084 to the 90th Fighter Squadron for tail number 05-0101. Tail 05-0101 is the current 1st Fighter Wing flagship and flies as part of the 94th Fighter Squadron.
Air Combat Command officials announced a stand down and reallocation of flying hours for the rest of the fiscal year 2013 due to mandatory budget cuts. The across-the board spending cuts, called sequestration, took effect 1 March when Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.
Squadrons either stood down on a rotating basis or kept combat ready or at a reduced readiness level called “basic mission capable” for part or all of the remaining months in fiscal 2013. This affected the 94th Fighter Squadron with a stand-down grounding from 9 April-30 September 2013.
103d Aero Squadron
94th Aero (later, 94th Pursuit) Squadron
The 103rd Aero Squadron was an aviation pursuit squadron of the U.S. Air Service that served in combat in France during World War I. Its original complement included pilots from the disbanded Lafayette Escadrille and Lafayette Flying Corps. One of those pilots, Paul F. Baer, became the first ace of an American unit in World War I.The 103rd Aero Squadron was the first U.S. pursuit squadron in action during World War I and had the longest combat service, from 19 February to 11 November 1918. It earned six battle participation credits, flew 470 combat missions, engaged in 327 combats, destroyed 45 German aircraft in aerial combat and claimed an additional 40 as probably destroyed, shot down two balloons, flew 3,075 hours over the front lines, and dropped 4,620 pounds of bombs. Its casualties were five killed in action, two killed in flying accidents, four prisoners of war, three wounded in action, and one injured in a forced landing.The commander of the 1st Pursuit Wing, in general orders, said of the 103rd:
"In February last the Lafayette Escadrille of the French Army was transferred to the 103rd Aero Squadron, United States Army. It was the first, and for nearly two months it was the only American Air Service organization on the front. Since that time it is not too much to say that pilots who served in this squadron have formed the backbone of American Pursuit Aviation on the front...No task was too arduous or too hazardous for it to perform successfully. In the recent decisive operations of the First American Army the 103rd Aero Squadron has done its share." — Lt. Col. Burt M. Atkinson, 16 November 1918
The history and lineage of the 103rd Aero Squadron continues as part of the 94th Fighter Squadron of the United States Air Force.1st Operations Group
The 1st Operations Group (1 OG) is the flying component of the 1st Fighter Wing, assigned to the USAF Air Combat Command. The group is stationed at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. The 1st Operations Group is the oldest major air combat unit in the United States Air Force, being the successor organization of the 1st Pursuit Group. The 1st Pursuit Group was the first air combat group formed by the Air Service, American Expeditionary Force, on 5 May 1918.
The Group was first organized at Croix de Metz Aerodrome, near Toul, France, as a result of the United States entry into World War I. As the 1st Pursuit Group it saw combat on the Western Front in France, and during World War II as the 1st Fighter Group combat in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. Pilots of the 1st Group are credited by the USAF with destroying 554.33 aircraft and 50 balloons, and 36 pilots are recognized as being aces.
The pilots of the 1st Group included Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, credited as the top scoring American ace in France during World War I. During World War II, the 1st FG was among the first groups deployed overseas in the summer of 1942. The group flew missions in England as part of the Eighth Air Force, then was transferred to North Africa in November 1942. It experienced significant combat as part of the Twelfth Air Force, moved to Italy, and became part of the fighter force of the Fifteenth Air Force. The 1st FG was equipped with the first operational U.S. jet fighter aircraft, the P-80A Shooting Star, in 1946.
Inactivated in 1961, after 30 years the group was renamed the 1st Operations Group (OG) and activated on 1 October 1991 as a result of the 1st Fighter Wing implementing the USAF objective wing organization. In 2005, the 1st OG was the first operational combat unit to receive the F-22A Raptor, a fifth generation fighter aircraft that uses stealth technology.94 (number)
94 (ninety-four) is the natural number following 93 and preceding 95.94 Squadron
94 Squadron or 94th Squadron may refer to:
No. 94 Squadron RAF, a unit of the British Royal Air Force
No. 94 Squadron RAAF, a unit of the Royal Australian Air Force
94th Fighter Squadron (United States), a unit of the United States Air Force
VFA-94 (Strike Fighter Squadron 94), a unit of the United States Navy94th Aero Squadron
The 94th Aero Squadron was an Air Service, United States Army unit that fought on the Western Front during World War I.The squadron was assigned as a Day Pursuit (Fighter) Squadron as part of the 1st Pursuit Group, First United States Army. Its mission was to engage and clear enemy aircraft from the skies and provide escort to reconnaissance and bombardment squadrons over enemy territory. It also attacked enemy observation balloons, and perform close air support and tactical bombing attacks of enemy forces along the front lines.The squadron was one of the first American pursuit squadrons to reach the Western Front and see combat, becoming one of the most famous. The 94th was highly publicized in the American print media of the time, and its exploits "over there" were widely reported on the home front. Its squadron emblem, the "Hat in the Ring" became a symbol in the minds of the American Public of the American Air Service of World War I. Three notable air aces served with the squadron, Eddie Rickenbacker, who was awarded almost every decoration attainable, including the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross. Douglas Campbell was the first American trained pilot to become an air ace. He shared the honor of having the first official victory over an enemy aircraft with Alan Winslow. Another squadron member, Raoul Lufbery, attained 17 aerial victories before leaping to his death from a fiery Nieuport 28 aircraft in May 1918.After the 1918 Armistice with Germany, the squadron returned to the United States in June 1919 and became part of the permanent United States Army Air Service in 1921. The current United States Air Force unit which holds its lineage and history is the 94th Fighter Squadron, assigned to the 1st Operations Group, Joint Base Langley–Eustis, Virginia.Aghione Airfield
Aghione Airfield is an abandoned World War II military airfield in France, which was located approximately 27 km southeast of Corte on Corsica. It was an all-weather temporary field built by the XII Engineer Command using Pierced Steel Planking for runways and parking areas, as well as for dispersal sites. In addition, tents were used for billeting and also for support facilities; an access road was built to the existing road infrastructure; a dump for supplies, ammunition, and gasoline drums, along with a drinkable water and minimal electrical grid for communications and station lighting.
The airfield was primarily used by the United States Army Air Force Twelfth Air Force 52d Fighter Group between 29 April and 19 May 1944, flying combat operations with P-40 Warhawks. Also, the 1st Fighter Group deployed sixty P-38 Lightnings of the 94th Fighter Squadron to Aghione providing air support for the Allied invasion of Southern France between 10 and 21 August 1944. In addition, the airfield was used by Fifteenth Air Force 306th Fighter Wing, which deployed P-51 Mustangs to the base from several groups to support the landings in Southern France.
After Operation Dragoon, the airfield was closed and dismantled. Today, there are traces of the airfield remaining on the landscape visible from aerial photography, but no buildings or physical features remain.Cedric Fauntleroy
Cedric Errol Fauntleroy (1891–1973) was an American pilot who in 1919 volunteered to serve in the Polish Air Force during the Polish-Soviet War of 1919–1921.
Born near Natchez, Mississippi, Fauntleroy served with Eddie Rickenbacker's 94th Fighter Squadron on the Western Front in World War I.Recruited by his fellow veteran Merian C. Cooper in 1919, he became one of the best pilots of the Polish 7th Air Escadrille, dubbed the Kościuszko Escadrille (the Kosciuszko Squadron, named for Polish and American national hero Tadeusz Kościuszko).
He was promoted to colonel and he received Poland's highest military decoration: the Virtuti Militari, besides being awarded the Cross of Valour four times.Djedeida Airfield
Djedeida Airfield is an airfield in Tunisia, located approximately 10 km east-northeast of El Battan, and 30 km west of Tunis. The airfield was built prior to 1942 and used by the German Luftwaffe. It was raided by elements of the US 1st battalion of the 1st Armored Regiment on 25 November 1942, but the US forces were forced to withdraw due to lack of infantry support. It continued operations under the Germans until seized by the American II Corps on 8 May 1943. After being repaired by Army engineers, it was used by the United States Army Air Force Twelfth Air Force during the North African Campaign. Known units assigned were:
17th Bombardment Group, 23 June-1 November 1943, B-26 Marauder
319th Bombardment Group, 26 June-1 November 1943, B-26 Marauder
27th Fighter Squadron, (1st Fighter Group), 1–29 November 1943, P-38 Lightning
71st Fighter Squadron, (1st Fighter Group), 31 October-29 November 1943, P-38 Lightning
94th Fighter Squadron, (1st Fighter Group), 1–29 November 1943, P-38 LightningWhen the fighters moved out at the end of November, the airfield became a servicing depot of Air Technical Service Command until the end of January 1944 when the Americans left the area. Today in aerial imagery, the airfield looks almost like it did in 1943. The runway, although deteriorated, along with all of the taxiways and aircraft hardstands are very much in evidence. It is unclear what the current use of the facility is.Donald E. Hillman
Donald Edison Hillman (August 24, 1918 – March 16, 2012) was an American World War II flying ace and prisoner of war credited with five enemy aircraft destroyed. He was also the first American pilot, in 1952, to make a deep-penetration overflight of Soviet territory for the purpose of aerial reconnaissance.Glacier Girl
Glacier Girl is a Lockheed P-38F-1-LO Lightning, World War II fighter plane, 41-7630, c/n 222-5757, that was restored to flying condition after being buried beneath the Greenland Ice Sheet for over 50 years.Hat in the Ring
Hat in the Ring may refer to:
"Throw one's hat in the ring", a challenger in boxing or campaign announcement in politics
"Hat in the Ring", the motto of the 94th Fighter Squadron of the United States Air ForceHobson Plan
The Hobson Plan was an organizational structure established by the United States Air Force (USAF) in 1948. Known as the "Wing-Base" plan, it replaced the base plan used by the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), the predecessor organization of the USAF.Jack M. Ilfrey
Jack M. Ilfrey (July 31, 1918 – October 15, 2004) was a United States Army Air Force fighter ace who was credited with shooting down eight aircraft during World War II. Ilfrey was known as Happy Jack and his planes were named "Happy Jack's Go Buggy".James B. Smith
James B. Smith (born 1952) is the former United States Ambassador to Saudi Arabia. Selected by President Barack Obama, he was sworn in on September 16, 2009. He left his post on September 27, 2013.Langley Air Force Base
Langley Air Force Base (IATA: LFI, ICAO: KLFI, FAA LID: LFI) is a United States Air Force base located adjacent to Hampton and Newport News, Virginia. It was one of thirty-two Air Service training camps established after the entry of the United States into World War I in April 1917.On 1 October 2010, Langley Air Force Base was joined with Fort Eustis to become Joint Base Langley–Eustis. The base was established in accordance with congressional legislation implementing the recommendations of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The legislation ordered the consolidation of the two facilities which were nearby, but separate military installations, into a single joint base, one of 12 formed in the United States as a result of the law.Mark A. Ediger
Mark A. Ediger is a Lieutenant General in the United States Air Force who was the twenty-second Surgeon General of the United States Air Force. Prior to that he served as the Deputy Surgeon General.Piano burning
Piano burning is the act of setting on fire an acoustic piano, most commonly an upright, as either a ceremony or a form of performance art. Although piano burning ceremonies are now popular in both the Royal Air Force and the United States Air Force, there is little or no evidence to suggest that descriptions of its origin have any historical authenticity. According to one version of its origin, pianos were set alight by RAF pilots to avoid piano lessons aimed at improving their dexterity and general level of culture, however there is no evidence of this myth. Another version is that piano burning began in World War II in remembrance of fallen RAF pilots. Several contemporary musicians, including Annea Lockwood, Yōsuke Yamashita, and Diego Stocco, have composed for and performed on pianos which have been deliberately set alight. A burning piano was also the centrepiece of Douglas Gordon's 2012 video installation, The End of Civilisation.Rickenbacker (car)
Rickenbacker Motor Company was a US automobile manufacturer located in Detroit, Michigan, from 1922 until 1927.
The company was established by Eddie Rickenbacker, who used his World War I 94th Fighter Squadron emblem depicting a top hat inside a ring. The emblems were located both on the front and the back of the cars.The company made sporting coupés, touring cars, sedans, and roadsters. Four wheel inside brakes were introduced in 1923. Rickenbacker made an unsuccessful attempt to merge with Peerless around 1924.Early six-cylinder engines were joined in 1925 by an eight-cylinder engine. The model was named
Vertical Eight Super Fine which referred to the advanced proprietary engine and the high quality of the cars.Although 1927 saw new models, designated the 6-70, 8-80, and 8-90, Rickenbacker cars were too expensive for the time and sales were poor. Before the company closed down in 1927, more than 35,000 cars had been built.The manufacturing equipment were sold to Audi and transported to Germany, somewhat ironic since Rickenbacker renounced his supposed German heritage (he was actually of Swiss ancestry) in light of World War I. This transaction was reflected in Audi Zwickau and Dresden models, using six- or eight-cylinder Rickenbacker engines.
Some Rickenbacker cars still survive.Zygmunt Witymir Bieńkowski
Zygmunt Witymir Bieńkowski (2 May 1913 Kolbiel – 15 August 1979) was a Polish pilot and a writer of many articles and poems. His 303 squadron diary is held in the Polish Museum and Sikorski Institute in London.
Zygmunt Witymir Bieńkowski was the son of Leopold Bieńkowski (1883–1942) and Zofia Braun (1891–1943). His father was a Polish Member of Parliament from 1922 to 1928. Both his parents died in Soviet Gulag camps.Trained as a pilot at Polish Air Force Academy in Dęblin, he did not fight in Poland in 1939, but was evacuated westwards, escaped to Romania, then to France and on 27 June 1940 arrived in England. During the Battle of Britain, he served with 55 OTU in Aston Down. In May 1941, he joined No. 245 Squadron. In July 1941, he was transferred to No. 303 Squadron, based at Northolt. On 6 November 1941, Bieńkowski claimed a Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter shot down. On 12 April 1942, his aircraft was shot up by a Focke-Wulf Fw 190, and he had to force land with collapsed landing gear near the English coast.He served from 1 December 1942 until 4 July 1943 as Squadron Leader of No. 303 Squadron. During July 1943, No. 303 Squadron were stationed at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey, where the newly arrived US Army Air Corps 94th Fighter Squadron had just been assigned. He befriended some of the American pilots, who gave him the affectionate nickname "Bing Crosby", a play on his family name.
From January 1945 to 24 February 1945, he commanded 302. On 24 February, his Spitfire Mk. XVI (TB341, "WX-B") was shot down by flak over Germany near Wesel and he was taken prisoner.
Released by American forces, by the end of the war he was a wing commander. During the war, he flew 74 sorties, claiming one Bf 109 destroyed and a Fw 190 damaged.
He died on 15 August 1979 in London aged 66. He was buried in Gunnersbury Cemetery in West London.
His brother Jan Bieńkowski, was also a pilot; he was shot down over Cherbourg in 1944.