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USAF AIR DEMONSTRATION SQUADRON (ACC)

Posted 3/29/2010 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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USAF Air Demonstration Squadron Emblem
USAF Air Demonstration Squadron Emblem
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Lineage. Organized as 30 Aero Squadron on 13 Jun 1917. Demobilized on 14 Apr 1919. Reconstituted, and redesignated as 30 Bombardment Squadron, on 24 Mar 1923. Activated on 24 Jun 1932. Redesignated as: 30 Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 6 Dec 1939; 30 Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy, on 28 Mar 1944. Inactivated on 1 Apr 1944. Activated on 1 Apr 1944. Redesignated as: 30 Bombardment Squadron, Medium, on 10 Aug 1948; 30 Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, on 1 Jul 1961. Discontinued, and inactivated, on 1 Feb 1963. Consolidated (19 Sep 1985) with unit constituted as USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, and activated, on 13 Feb 1967. Organized on 25 Feb 1967.
 
Assignments. Unkn, 13 Jun-Sep 1917; Third Aviation Instruction Center, Sep 1917-Jan 1919; unkn, Jan-14 Apr 1919. 19 Bombardment Group, 24 Jun 1932-1 Apr 1944 (ground echelon attached to 5 Interceptor Command, c. 20 Dec 1941-May 1942). 19 Bombardment Group, 1 Apr 1944; 19 Bombardment Wing, 1 Jun 1953; 4133 Strategic Wing, 1 Jan 1962-1 Feb 1963. Tactical Air Command, 13 Feb 1967; USAF Tactical Fighter Weapons Center, 25 Feb 1967; 57 Fighter Weapons (later, 57 Tactical Training; 57 Fighter Weapons; 57 Fighter; 57) Wing, 15 Feb 1974-.
 
Stations. Camp Kelly (later, Kelly Field), TX, 13 Jun 1917; Fort Totten, NY, 16-22 Aug 1917; Southampton, England, 15 Sep 1917; Etampes, France, 19 Sep 1917; Issoudun, France, 23 Sep 1917; Bordeaux, France, c. 6 Jan-c. 18 Mar 1919; Mitchel Field, NY, c. 5-14 Apr 1919. Rockwell Field, CA, 24 Jun 1932; March Field, CA, 25 Oct 1935; Albuquerque, NM, c. 1 Jun-27 Sep 1941; Clark Field, Philippines, c. 23 Oct 1941; Batchelor, Australia, c. 20 Dec 1941 (ground echelon in Luzon and Mindanao, Philippines, c. 20 Dec 1941-May 1942); Singosari, Java, c. 31 Dec 1941; Melbourne, Australia, c. 5 Mar 1942; Cloncurry, Australia, c. 27 Mar 1942; Longreach, Australia, c. 13 May 1942; Mareeba, Australia, c. 24 Jul-c. 10 Nov 1942; Pocatello, ID, c. 9 Dec 1942; Pyote AAB, TX, 24 Jan 1943-1 Apr 1944. Great Bend AAFld, KS, 1 Apr 1944; Dalhart AAFld, TX, 26 May 1944; Great Bend AAFld, KS, 23 Aug-7 Dec 1944; Fort Lawton, WA, 11-19 Dec 1944; North Field (later, Andersen AFB), Guam, 16 Jan 1945; Kadena AB, Okinawa, 1 Jul 1950-16 May 1954; Pinecastle AFB, FL, 30 May 1954; Homestead AFB, FL, 1 Jun 1956; Grand Forks AFB, ND, 1 Jan 1962-1 Feb 1963. Nellis AFB, NV, 25 Feb 1967-.
 
Commanders. Unkn, 13 Jun 1917-14 Apr 1919. Unkn, 24 Jun 1932-1939; Maj Thomas B. Blackburn, c. 1939; Maj David R. Gibbs, May 1941; Maj Raymond V. Schwanbeck, 14 Mar 1942; Maj Dean C. Hoevet, Jul 1942; Maj John A. Rouse, Sep 1942; Maj Paul E. Cool, 14 Feb 1943; Capt Edson P. Sponable, May 1943-unkn. Unkn, 1 Apr-10 May 1944; Maj Arthur D. Sullivan, 11 May 1944; Maj Leon L. Lowry, 28 May 1944; Maj Robert B. Irwin, 1 Sep 1944-unkn; unkn, c. 1945-1947; Maj Charles J. Boise, c. 1948; Capt Richard H. Partrick, 7 Feb 1949; Maj James S. Howard, 19 May 1949; Maj Edward M. Osander, by Dec 1949-unkn; Lt Col Warren C. Stirling, c. 1952; Lt Col Ralph W. Jones, by Jan 1953; Lt Col Harold E. Brown, 23 Apr 1954; Maj Louis W. Park, c. Jul 1954 (acting); Maj William J. Gregory, c. Sep 1954 (acting); Maj Ermine L. Hales, 3 Oct 1954 (acting); Lt Col Curtis N. Youngblood, 19 Oct 1954 (acting); Lt Col Harold E. Brown, 5 Nov 1954; Lt Col Fred R. Peck Jr., by Jan 1956; Lt Col Charles W. Ryckman, 24 Jun 1957; Maj Haldene A. Cope, by May 1959-unkn; Lt Col Robert J. Horrigan, 1 Jan 1962-1 Feb 1963. Unkn, 13-24 Feb 1967; Lt Col Ralph J. Maglione Jr., 25 Feb 1967; Maj Neil L. Eddins, 4 Jun 1967; Lt Col Joseph D. Moore, c. 1969; Lt Col Thomas S. Swalm, 28 Jul 1970; Maj Roger K. Parrish, 31 Jan 1973; Maj Chris Patterakis, by Dec 1975; Lt Col Edward D. Cherry, 12 Jan 1977; Lt Col David L. Smith, 16 Apr 1979; Maj Norman L. Lowry III, 8 Sep 1981; Lt Col Shumpert C. Jones, 18 Jan 1982; Maj James D. Latham, 7 Jun 1982; Lt Col Lawrence E. Stellmon, 3 Feb 1984; Lt Col Roger D. Riggs, 7 Feb 1986; Lt Col Stephen E. Trent, 5 Feb 1988; Lt Col Charles N. Simpson, Jan 1990; Lt Col Daniel J. Darnell, 1 Jan 1992; Lt Col Stephen J. Anderson, 11 Feb 1994; Lt Col Ronald A. Mumm, 19 Jan 1996; Lt Col Brian J. Bishop, 23 Jan 1998; Lt Col John R. Venable, 21 Jan 2000; Lt Col Richard G. McSpadden, 25 Jan 2002; Lt Col Michael Chandler, c. Jan 2004; Lt Col Kevin J. Robbins, 15 Feb 2006; Lt Col Greg Thomas, 18 Jan 2008-.
 
Aircraft. Included O-27, OA-4, YOA-5, B-3, and B-12 during period 1932-1936; included B-10, B-18, and B-17, successively, during period 1935-1941; B-17, and probably B-24 and LB-30, 1941-1942; B-17, 1942-1944. B-29, 1944-1954; B-47, 1954-1961; B-52, 1962-1963. F-100, 1967-1968; F-4, 1969-1973; T-38, 1974-1986; F-16, 1982-.
 
Operations. Repaired and overhauled aircraft engines in France, Sep 1917-Nov 1918. Combat in Southwest Pacific, 7 Dec 1941-c. 16 Nov 1942; ground echelon fought with infantry units, in the Philippines Islands, c. 20 Dec 1941-May 1942. Replacement training in the US, 1943-1944. Combat in Western Pacific c. 12 Feb-15 Aug 1945. Combat in Korea, 28 Jun 1950-25 Jul 1953.

Gained the mission of precision aerobatic demonstrations in 1967. Designated as the USAF Aerial Demonstration Squadron, the new squadron carried on the popularly known name "Thunderbirds", coined by various provisional units which had performed the aerial demonstration function prior to 1967. The first such organization, the 3600 Air Demonstration Flight (Acro-Jet), later 3600 Air Demonstration Flight (Thunder Birds) activated at Luke AFB, AZ on 25 May 1953 and performed the function until inactivation on 23 Jun 1956. At that time, a second provisional organization designated as 3595 Air Demonstration Flight (Thunderbirds) activated at Nellis AFB, NV. Following two redesignations of this unit, first to 4520th Air Demonstration Flight (Thunderbirds) and then to 4520th Air Demonstration Squadron (Thunderbirds), the Air Force decided to activate a permanent unit to perform precision aerobatics and the 4520th Air Demonstration Squadron (Thunderbirds) was discontinued on 25 Feb 1967. Since Feb 1967, when the permanent organization was organized as the USAF Air Demonstration Squadron, it has traveled the US and the world performing precision aerobatics as premier USAF ambassadors.
 
Service Streamers. World War I Theater of Operations.
 
Campaign Streamers. World War II: Philippine Islands; East Indies; Papua; Guadalcanal; Western Pacific; Air Offensive, Japan; Air Combat, Asiatic-Pacific Theater. Korea: UN Defensive; UN Offensive; CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive; Second Korean Winter; Korean Summer-Fall,1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea, Summer, 1953.
 
Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.
 
Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations: Philippine Islands, 7 Dec 1941-10 May 1942; Philippine Islands, 8-22 Dec 1941; Philippines and Netherlands Indies, 1 Jan-1 Mar 1942; Philippine Islands, 6 Jan-8 Mar 1942; Papua, 23 Jul-[c. 10 Nov] 1942; New Britain, 7-12 Aug 1942; Japan, 9-19 Mar 1945; Kobe, Japan, 5 Jun 1945; Korea, 28 Jun-15 Sep 1950. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: [25 Feb 1967]-31 Dec 1968; 1 Jan-31 Dec 1973; 1 Jan-31 Dec 1974; 1 Jan 1979-31 Dec 1980; 1 Jun 1995-31 May 1997; 1 Jun 2001-31 May 2003; 1 Jun 2004-31 May 2006. Air Force Organizational Excellence Awards: 1 Jan 1984-31 Dec 1985; 1 Jan 1986-31 Dec 1987; 30 Sep 1989-30 Sep 1991; 1 Jun 1997-31 May 1998. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation (WWII). Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation: 7 Jul 1950-27 Jul 1953.
 
Lineage, Assignments, Stations, and Honors through 16 Jul 2009.
 
Commanders through Jan 2008, Aircraft, and Operations through 31 Dec 2002.
 
Supersedes published information contained in: Judy G. Endicott (ed.), USAF Active Flying, Space, and Missile Squadrons as of 1 October 1995 (Washington: USGPO, 1999).
 
Emblem. Originally approved on 14 Jun 1977; newest rendition approved on 1 Feb 2008.
 
Prepared by Patsy Robertson.
 
Reviewed by Daniel Haulman.







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