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21 SPECIAL OPERATIONS SQUADRON

Posted 1/7/2008 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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21st Special Operations Squadron Emblem
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Lineage. Constituted 21st Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 22 Dec 1939. Activated on 1 Feb 1940. Inactivated on 2 Apr 1946. Consolidated (19 Sep 1985) with the 21st Helicopter Squadron, which was constituted on 24 Feb 1956. Activated on 9 Jul 1956. Inactivated on 15 Oct 1957. Activated on 30 Jun 1967. Organized on 15 Jul 1967. Redesignated 21st Special Operations Squadron on 1 Aug 1968. Inactivated on 22 Sep 1975. Activated on 1 May 1988.

Assignments. 35th Pursuit Group, 1 Feb 1940-15 Jan 1942 (attached to 24th Pursuit Group, c. 20 Nov 1941-2 Apr 1946). Eighteenth Air Force, 9 Jul 1956 (attached to 63d Troop Carrier Wing, 9 Jul 1956-30 Jun 1957; 314th Troop Carrier Wing, 30 Jun 1957-); Ninth Air Force, 1 Sep-15 Oct 1957 (remained attached to 314th Troop Carrier Wing through c. 8 Oct 1957). Tactical Air Command, 30 Jun 1967; 507th Tactical Control Group, 15 Jul 1967; 56th Air Commando (later, 56th Special Operations) Wing, 27 Nov 1967; Thirteenth Air Force, 30 Jun-22 Sep 1975 (attached to 656th Special Operations Wing, 30 Jun-22 Sep 1975). 39th Special Operations Wing, 1 May 1988 (attached to Joint Special Operations Task force, 13 Jan-18 Mar 1991 and 6 Apr-10 Jun 1991); 352d Special Operations Group, 1 Dec 1992- (attached to Joint Special Operations Task Force 2 Mar-12 Jul 1993).

Stations. Moffett Field, CA, 1 Feb 1940; Hamilton Field, CA, 10 Sep-Oct 1941; Nichols Field, Luzon, c. 20 Nov 1941 (air echelon operated from Clark Field, c. 9-c. 15 Dec 1941); Lubao, Luzon, c. 25 Dec 1941; Bataan, Luzon, c. 4 Jan-Apr 1942 (a portion of the air echelon operated from Mindanao, c. 9 Apr-c. 1 May 1942). Donaldson AFB, SC, 9 Jul 1956-15 Oct 1957. Shaw AFB, SC, 15 Jul-27 Nov 1967; Nakhon Phanom RTAFB, Thailand, 27 Nov 1967-22 Sep 1975 (air echelon operated from Ubon RTAFB, Thailand, 11-13 Apr 1975; the USS Midway, 20 Apr-2 May 1975; and U-Tapao RTNAF, Thailand, 2-5 May and 14-16 May 1975). RAF Woodbridge, England, 1 May 1988 (deployed at Batman AB, Turkey, 13 Jan-18 Mar 1991; Diyarbkir AB, Turkey, 6 Apr-10 Jun 1991); RAF Alconbury, England, 1 Apr 1992- (deployed at Brindisi AB, Italy and Incirlik AB, Turkey, 2 Mar-12 Jul 1993).

Aircraft. Probably P-36, 1940-1941; P-40, 1941-1942. H-21, 1956-1957. CH-3, 1967-1971; CH-53, 1970-1975. MH-53, 1988-.

Operations. Combat in the Philippine Islands, 8 Dec 1941-c. 1 May 1942; ground echelon fought as infantry unit in Bataan, 18 Jan-c. 8 Apr 1942. Carried as an active unit but was not operational from the fall of the Philippines until inactivation. Combat in Southeast Asia, Nov 1967-Aug 1973. Airlifted personnel from Saigon, Apr 1975 and airlifted US Marines in rescue of the SS Mayaquez, May 1975. Provided support to coalition forces during Southwest Asia conflict, Jan-Mar 1991 and later.

Service Streamers. None.

Campaign Streamers. World War II: Philippine Islands. Vietnam: Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase III; Vietnam Air/Ground; Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV; TET 69/Counteroffensive; Vietnam Summer-Fall, 1969; Vietnam Winter-Spring, 1970; Sanctuary Counteroffensive; Southwest Monsoon; Commando Hunt V; Commando Hunt VI; Commando Hunt VII; Vietnam Ceasefire. Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers. None.

Decorations. Distinguished Unit Citations (Philippine Islands): 7 Dec 1941-10 May 1942; 8-22 Dec 1941; 6 Jan-8 Mar 1942. Presidential Unit Citations (Southeast Asia): 1 Nov 1968-1 May 1969; 1 Oct 1969-30 Apr 1970; 1 Apr 1972-22 Feb 1973. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards with Combat "V" Device: 1 Sep 1970-30 Apr 1971; 1 Dec 1971-29 Feb 1972; 23 Feb 1973-28 Feb 1974; 24 Jan-2 May 1975; 14 Jan-23 Mar 1991. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 24 Mar 1991-31 Jul 1992; 1 Aug 1992-31 Jul 1993. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation (WWII). Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: [27] Nov 1967-28 Jan 1973.

Emblem. Gules, a funnel cloud bendwise Or shaded Sable detailed Brown supporting a devil's face Buff shaded Brown, highlighted White, detailed Sable; all within a diminished bordure Azure. Approved on 18 Oct 1967 and reinstated in 1996; replaced emblems approved on 5 Jun 1995 and 20 Dec 1941 (24271 A.C.). MOTTO: DUSTDEVILS. Approved on 18 Oct 1967.







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