Suvarna Garge (Editor)

489th Attack Squadron

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Country  United States
Garrison/HQ  Creech Air Force Base
Part of  Air Combat Command
489th Attack Squadron
Active  1917–1919; 1925–1942; 1942–1945; 1947–1949; 1958–1962; 2011-2015; 2016-present
Branch  United States Air Force
Role  Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Attack

The 489th Attack Squadron is an active United States Air Force unit, stationed at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada and operating MQ-1 and MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicles. It was previously active at Beale Air Force Base, California as the 489th Reconnaissance Squadron from 2011 to 2015.


The squadron was first activated as the 77th Aero Squadron in 1917. Redesignated as the 489th Aero Squadron, it served as a support unit in France during World War I before returning to the US and being demobilized in 1919.

Through most of its existence the squadron was named the 489th Bombardment Squadron. It served under this name from 1925 to 1942 in the Organized Reserve. The unit served squadron served in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations during World War II, earning two distinguished Unit Citations for actions in North Africa and Sicily. Inactivated after the war, it served briefly in the reserves a second time between 1947 and 1949. When Strategic Air Command reorganized its Boeing B-47 Stratojet wings as four squadron units the squadron was activated at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, remaining active until 1962.

World War I

The squadron was first activated as the 77th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas in August 1917, and commanded by Capt. H. L. Mumma. In September under the command of 1st Lt Kenneth M. Spence. In November 1917 the 77th moved to the Air Depot at Garden City, New York for deployment to the American Expeditionary Force. On 4 December 1917 the squadron moved to port of Embarkation Philadelphia and boarded the transport Northland. On the Northland were 9 Aero Squadrons with 70 officers and 1,339 enlisted men. These 9 Squadrons were the 10th, 12th, 13th, 16th, 19th, 75th, 76th, 77th and 101st.

In January 1918 a new numbering scheme for aero squadrons was set up. The numbers 400 through 599 were reserved for Aero Squadrons (Construction). The 77th became the 489th Aero Squadron (Construction). It served in France building facilities. The 489th returned to the States in February 1919 and went to Camp Stuart, Virginia. In March 1919 it was demobilized at Camp Lee, Virginia.

Organized Reserve

The first 489th Bombardment Squadron was constituted in the Organized Reserve in March 1924 and allotted to the Ninth Corps Area. The squadron was manned in 1925 at Boeing Field, near Seattle, Washington. It was assigned to the 349th Bombardment Group from 22 October 1925 until c. June 1929 for mobilization as part of the General Headquarters Reserve. The 489th was one of the few Air Corps units in the Organized Reserve that possessed facilities, equipment and aircraft between the wars. In June 1932, the squadron was consolidated with the World War I Aero Squadron. The unit typically conducted its inactive training at Pearson Field or in Seattle. It performed its summer training at various Air Corps installations on the Pacific coastal region. The squadron was disbanded, along with all other Organized Reserve Air Corps units on 31 May 1942 and its remaining personnel were called to active duty individually.

World War II

The second 489th Bombardment Squadron was organized as a North American B-25 Mitchell medium bomber squadron in mid-1942, trained by Third Air Force in the southeastern United States. As part of the 340th Bombardment Group, the squadron deployed to IX Bomber Command of the 9th Air Force in Egypt initially in March 1943 via Air Transport Command South Atlantic Route through Caribbean, Brazil, Liberia, Central Africa and Sudan. Operated in the Tactical Bomber Force of the Northwest African Tactical Air Force primarily in support of the British 8th Army in the Tunisian Campaign and participated in the invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky) in July 1943. In August 1943, the squadron was reassigned to XII Bomber Command of the 12th Air Force and participated in the Allied invasion of Italy in September 1943. Moved to Corsica as part of the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force in April 1944 and provided tactical support for Allied troops in Italy and Southern France (Operation Dragoon). Based at Rimini, Italy in April 1945 until the end of the war.

Personnel demobilized in Italy during summer of 1945; squadron returned to the United States, being prepared for deployment to Pacific Theater for use as a tactical bomb squadron in programmed Invasion of Japan. Japanese capitulation led to squadron's inactivation in November 1945.

Return to reserve status

Activated as an A-26 Invader squadron in the postwar Air Force reserves in 1947; inactivated in 1949 due to budget reductions.

Strategic Air Command

The squadron was activated in 1958 as a result of Strategic Air Command phasing out the B-47, and additional squadrons were activated as part of the consolation of Stratojet wings, and the replacement of the B-47 by B-52 Stratofortresses. In March 1961, President John F. Kennedy directed that the phaseout of the B-47 be accelerated. and the squadron was inactivated on 1 January 1962 as part of the drawdown of the USAF B-47 force, with the aircraft were sent to AMARC storage at Davis-Monthan.

Reconnaissance operations

The squadron was reactivated as the 489th Reconnaissance Squadron on 26 August 2011 at Beale Air Force Base near Marysville, CA. It was inactivated 10 May 2015. It was reactivated as the 489th Reconnaissance Squadron on 26 August 2011 at Beale Air Force Base as a component of the 9th Operations Group, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, flying MC-12W aircraft.

489th Attack Squadron

The squadron was redesignated as the 489th Attack Squadron, and moved to Creech Air Force Base under the 432d Operations Group, on 2 December 2016. It is equipped with MQ-1 and MQ-9 UAV aircraft.


489th Aero Squadron
  • Organized as the 77th Aero Squadron on 13 August 1917
  • Redesignated 489th Aero Squadron (Construction) on 1 February 1918 Demobilized on 6 March 1919
  • Reconstituted and consolidated with the 489th Bombardment Squadron in June 1932
  • 489th Bombardment Squadron
  • Constituted as the 489th Bombardment Squadron on 31 March 1924 and allotted to the reserve
  • Activated, date unknown (personnel assigned in January 1925)
  • Consolidated with the 489th Aero Squadron in June 1932
  • Disbanded on 31 May 1942
  • Consolidated with the 489th Bombardment Squadron, Medium on 11 August 1958
  • 489th Attack Squadron
  • Constituted as the 489th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 10 August 1942
  • Activated on 20 August 1942 Redesignated 489th Bombardment Squadron, Medium c. 20 August 1943 Inactivated on 7 November 1945
  • Redesignated 489th Bombardment Squadron, Light on 24 October 1947
  • Activated in the reserve on 10 November 1947 Inactivated on 27 June 1949
  • Redesignated 489th Bombardment Squadron, Medium on 11 August 1958 and consolidated with the 489th Bombardment Squadron
  • Activated on 1 October 1958 Discontinued and inactivated on 1 January 1962
  • Redesignated 489th Reconnaissance Squadron on 14 June 2011
  • Activated on 26 August 2011 Inactivated on 10 May 2015
  • Redesignated 489th Attack Squadron on 2 December 2016
  • Activated on 2 December 2016


  • Unknown, 13 August 1917 – February 1918
  • Air Service Production Center No. 2, February–December 1918
  • Unknown, December 1918 – 6 March 1919
  • Ninth Corps Area, 1925 – 31 May 1942 (349th Bombardment Group for mobilization until c. June 1929)
  • 340th Bombardment Group, 20 August 1942 – 7 November 1945
  • 340th Bombardment Group, 10 November 1947 – 27 June 1949
  • 340th Bombardment Wing, 1 October 1958 – 1 January 1962
  • 9th Operations Group, 26 August 2011 – 10 May 2015
  • 432nd Operations Group, 2 December 2016 – present
  • References

    489th Attack Squadron Wikipedia

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