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524th Special Operations Squadron e

The 524th Special Operations Squadron (524th SOS), located at Duke Field, Florida, is one of four flying squadrons within the 492d Special Operations Wing. The squadron flies the C-146A Wolfhound in order to provide agile intra-theater mobility support for special operations forces worldwide.

 

MISSION

 

The 524th SOS is trained, equipped and prepared to support world-wide specialized air mobility operations in support of special operations forces. Aircrew of the 524th SOS train and operate the C-146A Wolfhound in all weather conditions using night vision goggles to fly to austere, semi-prepared, short and narrow airfields.  When executing missions across the globe, the unit is often organized into small, self-contained crews that conduct distributed operations with minimal operational and logistic footprints.  These crews routinely operate in remote and politically sensitive areas and often forego the use of traditional base support functions. The squadron’s also operates alongside multiple US Government (USG) agencies, and other partner nations’ forces.  Accordingly, in addition to being skilled aviators crew members must be adaptable and innovative while also possessing a high degree of regional and cross-cultural awareness. 

 

BACKGROUND

The 524th SOS history begins with the 11th Reconnaissance Squadron (Light) constituted on Nov. 20, 1940 and activated on Jan. 15, 1941 at Hunter Field, Georgia. The unit was re-designated the 91st Bombardment Squadron (Light) on Aug. 14, 1941 out of Fort William McKinley, Luzon. The primary aircraft of the unit were the B-18, A-24, A-20, and A-36. During this time the unit distinguished itself by participating in operations throughout the Philippines and Southeast Asia. Prior to the A-24s arriving in the Philippines, the Japanese attacked and the aircraft were diverted while the unit evacuated to the Bataan Peninsula and participated in ground engagements with infantry units.  This makes the unit one of the only Air Force units to ever fight as infantry.

The 524th Fighter-Bomber Squadron was activated Aug. 23, 1943 and operated throughout Northern Africa as well as Europe during World War II. The unit was re-designated the 524th Fighter Squadron on May 30, 1944 as part of the 136th Fighter-Bomber Wing. The unit was deactivated on Nov. 7, 1945. The primary aircraft of the unit during this time period were the P-40 and P-47 and participated in operations throughout Northern Africa, Italy, France, and Germany. They were active in Operation Husky, the Allied invasion of Sicily as well as the Italian campaign. Most notably, they covered the Allied landings at Salerno to prevent three German armored divisions from reaching the beachhead during the assault. In addition, they supported the Fifth Army during its campaign to reach Rome.

On Aug. 20, 1946 the unit was reactivated and on July 22, 1947 designated the 524th Fighter Squadron at Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas. The primary aircraft of the unit during this time was the P-51, which provided long-range bomber escort protection for the B-29 bombers. On Dec. 1, 1949 the unit was re-designated to the 524th Fighter Squadron, Jet and the primary aircraft became the F-82. The unit flew the F-82 until Feb. 1, 1950 when it was re-designated as the 524th Fighter-Escort Squadron and operated the F-84. While operating the F-84 the unit was re-designated the 524th Strategic Fighter Squadron on Jan. 20, 1953 and subsequently the 524th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on July 1, 1957.

The 524th Tactical Fighter Squadron was created on July 1, 1958 and operated the F-101. In 1959 the unit was reassigned to Cannon Air Force Base, New Mexico as a part of the 27th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW). From 1959-1972 the unit operated the F-101 and from 1972-1998 the F-111. On July 8, 1980, the unit was re-designated the 524th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron and became the primary F-111 training squadron during this time period for the 27th FTW. The unit was renamed the 524th Fighter Squadron on Nov. 1, 1991 and transitioned to the F-16 in 1998 until the unit was deactivated on Sep. 24, 2007.

The unit was re-designated the 524th Special Operations Squadron on Sep. 23, 2009 and reactivated on Oct. 1, 2009.  The unit operated the Q-200 until 2012 when it transitioned to the C-146A aircraft. The 524th SOS has since distinguished itself by deploying globally in support of special operations forces and ensuring rapid intra-theater mobility support. The 524th maintains combat ready aircrews to ensure “Any Time, Any Place.”

 

LINEAGE

Constituted as 11 Reconnaissance Squadron (Light) on 20 Nov 1940.  Activated on 15 Jan 1941.  Re-designated as 91 Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 14 Aug 1941; 524 Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 23 Aug 1943; 524 Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 30 May 1944.  Deactivated on 7 Nov 1945.  Activated on 20 Aug 1946.  Re-designated as 524 Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 22 Jul 1947; 524 Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 1 Dec 1949; 524 Fighter-Escort Squadron on 1 Feb 1950; 524 Strategic Fighter Squadron on 20 Jan 1953; 524 Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 1 Jul 1957; 524 Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 Jul 1958; 524 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron on 8 Jul 1980; 524 Fighter Squadron on 1 Nov 1991.  Deactivated on 24 Sep 2007.  Re-designated as 524 Special Operations Squadron on 23 Sep 2009.  Activated on 1 Oct 2009.

 

Assignments 

27 Bombardment (later, 27 Fighter-Bomber; 27 Fighter) Group, attached on 15 Jan 1941, assigned 14 Aug 1941-7 Nov 1945.  27 Fighter (later, 27 Fighter-Escort) Group, 20 Aug 1946 (attached to 136 Fighter-Bomber Wing, 30 Jun–12 Aug 1951; 27 Fighter-Escort Wing, 25 Aug 1951–15 Jun 1952); 27 Fighter-Escort (later, 27 Strategic Fighter; 27 Fighter-Bomber; 27 Tactical Fighter; 27 Fighter) Wing, 16 Jun 1952 (attached to unkn, 17 Jun–8 Jul 1959; TUSLOG, 10 Feb–16 Jun 1961; 4158 Strategic Wing, 30 Oct–14 Nov 1961; 2 Air Division, 9–c. 27 Jun 1963 and 21 Jan–19 Mar 1964; 39 Air Division, 1 Dec 1964–28 Mar 1965); 27 Operations Group, 1 Nov 1991–24 Sep 2007.  27 Special Operations Group, 1 Oct 2009–31 May 2017.  492 Special Operations Group, 1 Jun 2017 - present. 

 

Stations

Hunter Field, GA, 15 Jan–19 Oct 1941; Ft William McKinley, Luzon, 20 Nov 1941; San Marceleno, Luzon, 22 Dec 1941 (air echelon operated from Brisbane, Australia, 24 Dec 1941–5 Feb 1942); Limay, Luzon, 25 Dec 1941; Bataan, Luzon, 5 Jan 1942 (air echelon operated from Malang, Java, 18 Feb–c. 1 Mar 1942, and from Brisbane, Australia, 10–24 Mar 1942); Charters Towers, Australia, Apr–4 May 1942; Hunter Field, GA, 4 May 1942; Key Field, MS, 15 Jul 1942; Hattiesburg, MS, 15 Aug 1942; Harding Field, LA, 26 Oct–21 Nov 1942; Ste-Barbe-du-Tlelat, Algeria, 26 Dec 1942; Nouvion, Algeria, 7 Jan 1943; Ras el Ma, French Morocco, 6 Apr 1943; Korba, Tunisia, 4 Jun 1943; Gela, Sicily, 18 Jul 1943; San Antonio, Sicily, 3 Sep 1943; Capaccio, Italy, 18 Sep 1943; Guado Airfield, Italy, 4 Nov 1943; Pomigliano, Italy, 19 Jan 1944; Castel Volturno, Italy, 10 Apr 1944; Santa Maria, Italy, 8 May 1944; Le Banca, Italy, 7 Jun 1944; Ciampino, Italy, 11 Jun 1944; Voltone, Italy, 4 Jul 1944; Sarragia, Corsica, 13 Jul 1944; Le Luc, France, 25 Aug 1944; Salon, France, 30 Aug 1944; Loyettes, France, 12 Sep 1944; Tarquinia, Italy, 2 Oct 1944; Pontedera, Italy, 1 Dec 1944; St Dizier, France, 21 Feb 1945; Toul/Ochey, France, 19 Mar 1945; Biblis, Germany, 5 Apr 1945; Sandhofen, Germany, 24 Jun 1945; Echterdingen, Germany, 15 Sep–20 Oct 1945; Camp Shanks, NY, 6–7 Nov 1945.  Fritzlar, Germany, 20 Aug 1946; Bad Kissingen, Germany, 25 Jun 1947; Andrews Field, MD, 25 Jun 1947; Kearney AAFld (later, AFB), NE, 16 Jul 1947; Bergstrom AFB, TX, 16 Mar 1949 (deployed at Taegu AB, South Korea, 5 Dec 1950–30 Jan 1951; Itazuke AB, Japan, 31 Jan–12 Aug 1951; Misawa AB, Japan, 13 Oct 1952–c. 13 Feb 1953; Sturgate RAF Station, England, 7 May–19 Aug 1955); Cannon AFB, NM, 18 Feb 1959-24 Sep 2007 (deployed at Hahn AB, Germany, 17 Jun–8 Jul 1959; Incirlik AB, Turkey, 10 Feb–16 Jun 1961; Elmendorf AFB, AK, 30 Oct–14 Nov 1961; MacDill AFB, FL, 21 Oct–1 Dec 1962; Takhli RTAFB, Thailand, 9–c. 27 Jun 1963 and 21 Jan–19 Mar 1964; Misawa AB, Japan, [with detachment at Kunsan AB, South Korea], 1 Dec 1964–28 Mar 1965; Holloman AFB, NM, 13 Apr–12 May 1966).  Cannon AFB, NM, 1 Oct 2009–May 2017; Duke Field, FL, Jun 2017–present.

 

AIRCRAFT

B–18, 1941; A–24, 1941–1942; A–20, 1941, 1942–1943; A–36, 1943–1944; P–40, 1944; P–47, 1944–1945.  P–47, 1946–1947; P–51, 1947–1948; F–82, 1948–1950; F–84, 1950–1958; F–101, 1957–1958; F–100, 1959–1969, 1969–1972; F–111, 1972–1998; F-16, 1998-2007.  Q-200, 2009-2011; C-146A, 2011- present.

 

Operations

Combat in Southwest Pacific, 8 Dec 1941–4 May 1942; ground echelon fought with infantry units in Philippine Islands, Jan–Apr 1942. Combat in Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO) and European Theater of Operations (ETO), 6 Jun 1943–4 May 1945.  Combat in Korea, c. 8 Dec 1950–3 Aug 1951.  F–100 replacement training, 1 Jan 1966–6 Mar 1969.  Beginning in Jan 1980 served as wing’s primary fighter training squadron.  Conducted overseas deployments to maintain combat readiness of personnel and aircraft, 1984-1989.  From Sep 1992-Jul 1993, supported operations in Southwest Asia at Incirlik AB, Turkey.  

 

HONORS

Campaign Streamers

World War II

Philippine Islands; East Indies; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Northern France; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; Air Combat, EAME Theater.

Korea

CCF Intervention; First UN Counteroffensive; CCF Spring Offensive; UN Summer-Fall Offensive

Global War on Terrorism

GWOT-E 

Iraq

Iraqi National Resolution; Iraqi Surge

 

DECORATIONS

Distinguished Unit Citations

Philippine Islands, 7 Dec 1941–[Apr] 1942

8–22 Dec 1941

6 Jan–8 Mar 1942

Italy, 10 Sep 1943

France, 4 Sep 1944

Korea, 26 Jan–21 Apr 1951

 

Meritorious Unit Award

1 Oct 2009-30 Sep 2011

1 Oct 2011-30 Sep 2013

1 Oct 2013-30 Sep 2015

1 Oct 2015-31 May 2017

 

Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards

15 Aug 1968–15 Aug 1969

1 Jan 1981–30 Jun 1982

1 Jan 1988–31 Dec 1989

1 Apr–30 Sep 1992

1 Jun 1996-31 May 1998

1 Jun 2002-31 May 2004

 

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation (WWII)

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation: 9 Nov 1950–31 May 1951.

 

EMBLEM

The white stars on the blue field denote the squadron’s being a part of the Strategic Air Command. The bolt of lightning represents the speed in which the squadron can go into action. The clouds are for the flying phase of the unit’s mission. The blue hound, the squadron’s symbol, is the name given to the squadron and is from a poem, “The Hounds of Heaven.”