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12 Special Operations Squadron (AFSOC)

12 Special Operations Squadron

12 Special Operations Squadron

Lineage.  Constituted as 12 Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 20 Nov 1940. Activated on 15 Jan 1941. Redesignated as: 12 Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942; 12 Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 26 Jan 1944; 12 Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 6 May 1946; 12 Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 23 Dec 1949; 12 Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 20 Jan 1950; 12 Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 Jul 1958; 12 Fighter Squadron on 1 Oct 1991.  Inactivated on 30 Sep 2007.  Redesignated as 12 Special Operations Squadron on 10 Feb 2015.  Activated on 12 Feb 2015.

Assignments.  50 Pursuit (later, 50 Fighter) Group, 15 Jan 1941 (attached to 7 Interceptor [later, VII Fighter] Command, 10 Feb–17 Aug 1942); 15 Fighter Group, 18 Aug 1942; US Army Forces in South Pacific, 1 Dec 1942; XIII Fighter Command, 13 Jan 1943; 18 Fighter (later, 18 Fighter-Bomber) Group, 30 Mar 1943 (attached to Air Task Group 5, Provisional, 27 Jan–19 Feb 1955; Air Task Force 13, Provisional, c. 3 Sep–30 Nov 1955; 49 Fighter-Bomber Group, 7 Aug 1956–14 Mar 1957; 18 Fighter-Bomber Wing, 15 Mar–15 Aug 1957; Thirteenth Air Force, 16 Aug–1 Sep 1957); Thirteenth Air Force, 2 Sep 1957; 18 Fighter-Bomber (later, 18 Tactical Fighter) Wing, 25 Mar 1958 (attached to 2 Air Division, 1 Feb–15 Mar 1965 and 15 Jun–25 Aug 1965; 314 Air Division, 23–29 Jan 1968); 18 Tactical Fighter Group, 1 May 1978; 18 Tactical Fighter Wing, 11 Feb 1981; 18 Operations Group, 1 Oct 1991; 3 Operations Group, 28 Apr 2000–30 Sep 2007.  27 Special Operations Group, 12 Feb 2015-.

Stations.  Selfridge Field, MI, 15 Jan 1941; Key Field, MS, 3 Oct 1941–c. 19 Jan 1942; Cassidy Field, Christmas Island, 10 Feb 1942, Palmyra Island, 22 Oct 1942; Efate Island, New Hebrides, 19 Nov 1942 (operated from Fighter Strip No. 2, Guadalcanal, 19 Dec 1942–6 Feb 1943); Fighter Strip No. 2 (later, Kukum Field), Guadalcanal, 7 Feb 1943 (operated from Treasury Island, Solomon Islands, 19 Feb–Aug 1944); Mar Drome, Sansapor, Dutch New Guinea, 23 Aug 1944 (air echelon operated from Guadalcanal, Aug 1944; a portion of the squadron operated from Morotai, 8 Nov 1944–10 Jan 1945); Lingayen, Luzon, 13 Jan 1945; Hill Strip, San Jose, Mindoro, 27 Feb 1945 (rear echelon operated from Lingayen, 28 Feb–4 Apr 1945 and became the advance echelon at Moret Field, Zamboanga, Mindanao, on 24 Apr 1945; an air echelon operated from Puerto Princesa, Palawan, 26 Apr–11 May 1945); Moret Field, Zamboanga, Mindanao, 4 May 1945 (a detachment operated from Sanga Sanga, Sulu Archipelago, 11 Jun–Aug 1945, and another detachment operated from Tacloban, Leyte, 25–c. 30 Jul 1945); Tacloban, Leyte, 5 Nov 1945; Puerto Princesa, Palawan, 15 Feb 1946 (a detachment operated from Florida Blanca AAB, Luzon, 24 Jun–16 Jul 1946); Florida Blanca AAB, Luzon, 17 Jul 1946; Clark Field (later, AFB), Luzon, 16 Sep 1947 (operated from Johnson Field, Japan, 28 Jun–c. 11 Jul 1949); Taegu AB, South Korea, 28 Jul 1950; Ashiya AB, Japan, 8 Aug 1950; Pusan–East AB, South Korea, 8 Sep 1950 (a detachment operated from Pyongyang–East, North Korea, c. 5–19 Nov 1950); Pyongyang–East, North Korea, 20 Nov 1950; Suwon AB, South Korea, 3 Dec 1950; Chinhae, South Korea, 22 Dec 1950 (a detachment operated from Suwon AB, 22 Dec 1950–4 Jan 1951; part of the squadron operated from Suwon AB, 24 Mar–8 May 1951, and another part from Pusan–West AB, South Korea, 24 Mar–23 Apr 1951; operated from Seoul AB, South Korea, 8 May–9 Aug 1951 and 19 Aug–30 Sep 1951; operated from Hoengsong, South Korea, 1 Oct 1951–1 Jun 1952); Hoengsong, South Korea, 2 Jun 1952; Osan–ni AB, South Korea, 11 Jan 1953; Kadena AB, Okinawa, 30 Oct 1954 (operated from Yonton Auxiliary AB, Okinawa, 10 Nov–11 Dec 1954; deployed at Tainan AB, Formosa, 27 Jan–19 Feb 1955 and c. 3 Sep–30 Nov 1955; detachment operated at Clark AB, Philippines, 1–14 Aug 1957); Clark AB, Philippines, 15 Aug 1957; Kadena AB, Okinawa (later, Japan), 25 Mar 1958 (deployed at Da Nang AB, South Vietnam, 1–19 Feb 1965; Korat RTAFB, Thailand, 8 Feb–15 Mar 1965 and 15 Jun–25 Aug 1965; Osan AB, South Korea, 23 Jan–13 Jun 1968); Elmendorf AFB, AK, 28 Apr 2000-30 Sep 2007.  Cannon AFB, NM, 12 Feb 2015-. 

Commanders.    Maj George M. MacNicol Jr., 15 Jan 1941; Capt Louis R. Kittel, 16 Oct 1942;  Maj Paul S. Bechtel, by 21 Oct 1942; Capt Theron J. Graves, 27 Jan 1943; Capt Robert D. Kuehnle, 26 Feb 1943; Maj Paul S. Bechtel, 7 Mar 1943; Capt Cyril E. Nichols, 18 May 1943; Capt Theron J. Graves, 15 Jun 1943; Capt Cyril E. Nichols, 11 Jul 1943; Capt Theron J. Graves, by 1 Aug 1943; Lt Col Leland S. McGowan, 28 Aug 1943-11 Apr 1944; unkn, 12-13 Apr 1944; Capt Robert H. Smith, 14 Apr 1944; Lt Col Leland S. McGowan, 25 Apr 1944; Maj Robert H. Smith, by 11 Nov 1944; Capt George S. Weart, by 11 Jan 1945; Capt James R. Spofford, 8 Mar 1945; Maj John R. Mulvey Jr., 15 Apr-Sep 1945; unkn, Sep 1945-14 Feb 1946; none (not manned), 15 Feb-14 Apr 1946; Capt Richard C. Garrett, c. 15 Apr 1946; Maj Kenneth M. Taylor, c. 7 Aug 1946; Maj Jack P. Anderson, 7 Feb 1947; 1 Lt Frank F. Martin, 10-25 Mar 1947; none (not manned), 26 Mar-2 Oct 1947; Maj Kenneth M. Taylor, 3 Oct 1947; Maj Victor E. Walton, 3 Feb 1948; Maj James W. Bothwell, 21 Jun 1949; Maj James S. McKown Jr., Dec 1949; Capt Harry H. Moreland, 1 Jun-4 Jul 1950; none (not manned), 5-31 Jul 1950; Lt Col Robert Dow, 1 Aug 1950; Maj William E. Bryan Jr., Jan 1951; Maj Sam C. Wilkerson Jr., Mar 1951; Maj John W. Rees, Apr 1951; Maj Sam C. Wilkerson Jr., May 1951; Maj John W. Rees, Jun 1951; Lt Col Joseph T. Crane Jr., Sep 1951; Maj Frank L. Orth, 13 Jun 1952; Lt Col Albert J. Freund, 5 Aug 1952;  Maj Vernon R. Harwood, 21 Nov 1952; Lt Col Harry K. Evans, 3 Feb 1953; Maj Carl E. Lovell, 19 Oct 1953; Maj Thomas V. Gibson Jr., Jun 1954; Maj Joe Setnor, 16 Oct 1954; Lt Col Clifford P. Patton, 1 Mar 1955;  Maj Joe Setnor, 3 May 1955; Maj Mark V. Wilson, 10 Sep 1955;  Maj Richard J. Condrick, 6 Aug 1956; unkn, 7 Aug-31 Dec 1956; Lt Col Warren S. Patterson Jr., by 1 Jan 1957; Maj John P. Anderson, 21 Aug 1957; Maj Robert A. Van Mater, 11 Sep 1957; Lt Col Charles E. Dannacher, 28 Sep 1957; Col DeWitt R. Searles, 25 Mar 1958; Lt Col Joe T. Wilkerson, 1 Jun 1958; Maj Warren D. Curton, 10 Aug 1958; Lt Col Walter J. Russell Jr., Jul 1959; Lt Col Floyd White, 9 Jun 1961; Lt Col Toivo L. Akkola, c. Apr 1962; Lt Col Floyd White, c. Jun 1962;  Lt Col John C.  Neill, 28 Dec 1962; Lt Col Lawrence D. Damewood, 16 May 1964; Lt Col Robert L. Fair, Sep 1964; Lt Col Charles W. Reed, by Dec 1964; Lt Col Robert L. Fair, 15 May 1966; Lt Col Russell L. Rogers, 14 Nov 1966; Maj Robert T. Campbell, 14 Sep 1967; Lt Col Dwight E. Mason, 1 Jul 1968; Lt Col James H. Broussard, 20 May 1970; Lt Col Kenneth C. Schow, 15 Dec 1970; Lt Col David L. Nichols, 6 Dec 1971-15 May 1972; none (not manned), 16 May 1972-29 Nov 1975; Maj Jimmie C. Davis, 30 Nov 1975; Lt Col Donald M. Majors, 11 Dec 1975; Lt Col Roger A. Sorensen, 5 May 1978; Lt Col Gilbert F. Dunne, 15 Nov 1978; Lt Col Ross A. Moon, 14 Nov 1980;  Lt Col Patrick W. O’Brien, 3 Oct 1981;  Lt Col William R. Taylor, 6 May 1983; Lt Col Daniel L. Hess, 1 Mar 1985; Lt Col Earle B. Combs III, 27 Feb 1987; Lt Col Richard D. Copps, 23 Feb 1989; Lt Col Loren J. Schroeder, 25 Jan 1991; Lt Col Douglas M. Fraser, 9 Oct 1992; Lt Col Stephen R. Brown, 1 Jul 1993; Lt Col Jeffrey A. McChesney, 2 Dec 1994; Lt Col Greg G. Clasen, 12 Jun 1996; Lt Col Todd L. Almand, 1 May 1997; Lt Col Timothy Merrell, 5 Jun 1998-5 Nov 1999; none (not manned, 6 Nov 1999-27 Apr 2000); Lt Col Arthur W. Crain, 28 Apr 2000;  Lt Col Thomas Tinsley, 16 Nov 2001; Lt Col Ross Woodley, 25 Apr 2003; Lt Col Michael R. Frankel, 22 Feb 2005; Lt Col Alan L. Kollien, 2 Jun 2006-30 Sep 2007;  Lt Col Joshua J. Hartig, 12 Feb 2015;  Lt Col Russel P. Allison, 2 Jun 2016; Lt Col Stephen T. Eide, 23 May 2018-.    

Aircraft.  P–35, 1941; P–36, 1941; BT–13, 1941; P–40, 1941–1942; P–39, 1942–1943, 1943, 1944; P–400, 1943; P–38, 1943–1946; P(later, F)–47, 1944, 1946, 1947–1948; P(later, F)–51, 1946–1947, 1948–1950, 1950–1953; P(later, F)–80, 1946, 1949–1950; F–86, 1953–1956; F–84, 1956–1957; F–100, 1957–1958, 1958–1963; F–105, 1962–1972; F–4, 1975–1980; F–15, 1980–30 Sep 2007; MQ-1, 2015; MQ-9, 2015-.    

Operations.  Patrols over the Pacific from Christmas Island, Feb–Oct 1942. Combat in South and Southwest Pacific, 19 Nov 1942–14 Aug 1945. Combat in Korea, 1 Aug 1950–8 Jan 1953 and 25 Feb–27 Jul 1953. Combat in Vietnam, 1 Feb–15 Mar 1965 and 15 Jun–25 Aug 1965. Stood alert in South Korea, 23 Jan–13 Jun 1968, after seizure of the USS Pueblo by North Korea.  Supported air defense alert capability in Southeast Asia, 1968-1972.  May 1972-Nov 1975, remained at Kadena AB without personnel or equipment.  Remanned and reequipped with F-4 aircraft in late Nov1975; through 1980, flew offensive and defensive exercises in support of its wing, 313 Air Division, and PACAF.   Converted to F-15 aircraft in 1980.  In 1981, earned the Hughes Trophy in recognition as the outstanding fighter squadron in the USAF.  On 5 Nov 1999, stood down at Kadena AB, Japan; moved without personnel or equipment to Elmendorf AFB, AK and joined 3 Wing on 28 Apr 2000.  Since 2000, performed offensive and defensive counter-air missions with current air-to-air weaponry, including night vision goggles (NVG), to achieve air superiority in support of taskings from 3 Wing.  Inactivated on 30 Sep 2007.  After activation again in Feb 2015, launched and recovered remotely piloted aircraft. 

Service Streamers.   None.

Campaign Streamers.  World War II: Guadalcanal; Northern Solomons; Bismarck Archipelago; New Guinea; Leyte; Luzon; Southern Philippines; Western Pacific; China Defensive; 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; Korea Summer-Fall, 1952; Third Korean Winter; Korea, Summer 1953. Vietnam: Vietnam Advisory; Vietnam Defensive.

Armed Forces Expeditionary Streamers.  None.

Decorations.  Distinguished Unit Citations: Philippine Islands, 10–11 Nov 1944; Korea, 3 Nov 1950–24 Jan 1951; Korea, 22 Apr–8 Jul 1951.  Presidential Unit Citation: Southeast Asia, 25 Jun–25 Aug 1965. Meritorious Unit Awards: [12 Feb 2015]-30 Sep 2015; 1 Oct 2015-30 Sep 2017. Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat “V” Device: 1 Aug 1964–5 Jun 1965. Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards: 1 Dec 1959–30 Nov 1960; 1 Sep 1962–31 Aug 1963; 6 Jun 1965–31 Dec 1966; 1 Sep 1978–30 Sep 1979; 1 Oct 1979–31 May 1980; 1 Jun 1981–31 May 1983; 1 Jun 1983–31 May 1984; 1 Jun 1984–31 May 1986; 1 Jun 1987-31 May 1989; 1 Jun 1989-31 May 1991;1 Jun 1991-31 May 1993; 1 Jun 1993-31 Aug 1994; 1 Sep 1994-31 Aug 1995; 1 Sep 1995-31 Aug 1997; 1 Jan 2000-31 Dec 2001; 1 Jan 2002-30 Sep 2003; 1 Oct 2003-30 Sep 2005; 1 Oct 2005-1 Nov 2006; 2 Nov 2006-[30 Sep 2007].  Philippine Presidential Unit Citation (WWII). Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations: [28] Jul 1950–31 Jan 1951; 1 Feb 1951–31 Mar 1953. Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm: 1 Apr 1966–30 Jun 1970.

Lineage, Assignments, Stations, Commanders, Aircraft, Operations, and Honors through 24 Oct 2018. 

Supersedes statement prepared on 8 Jun 2015. 

Emblem.  Approved 15 Apr 1957; modified 1 Oct 2018.

Prepared by James M. Musser

Reviewed by Daniel L. Haulman.