Kalpana Kalpana (Editor)

4th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron

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Country  United States
Role  Reconnaissance
4th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron
Active  1941–1949; 1966-1971; 2009-2014
Branch  United States Air Force

The 4th Reconnaissance Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with 455th Expeditionary Operations Group, based at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. It was inactivated on 1 Oct 2014.



Initially planned to serve as the main observation unit for the 13th Composite Wing, the unit in fact led something of a nomadic existence, being successively attached or assigned to the Puerto Rican Department, the 72d Observation Group; to the Antilles Air Task Force from 23 March 1943 until 1 June 1943 and, finally, to the Antilles Air Command itself from 1 June 1943 until the end of the war. In fact, this Squadron was the only Squadron to both start and finish the war in the Antilles throughout.

The Squadron was initially stationed at Ponce Field, Puerto Rico when activated. The unit itself had been formed from cadre drawn from Air Corps units already in Puerto Rico. By 5 June 1943, the Squadron strength had increased to 12 aircraft. By the end of the month, one of the O-52's had been sent on detached service to Haiti, for reasons unreported, but apparently in Connection with the attempt that poor nation was making in establishing a primitive coastal patrol of its territorial waters at the time. In early July 1943, the Squadron received the first three of a number of Bell P-39Q Airacobra fighters that it was to operate until the end of the war.

On 27 October 1943, the Squadron moved emmasse to Borinquen Field, as Losey Field was turned over to the Army Ground Forces due to its rather poorly situated runways. At this time, and since the Squadron's assignment to Antilles Air Command on 1 June, the unit became one of the primary tactical operating units in the area. Fortunately, AAC recognized the new importance of the unit, and lobbied for equipment more capable than previously assigned.

The following month, reflecting the changing war situation, the Squadron also received a North American B-25D Mitchell and four new B-25G's, and in February 1943 added three more P-39Q's (for a total of nine), three new P-39N's and e B-18B Bolo.

The Squadron was occasionally tasked to perform flights throughout the Caribbean and, on one occasion, when the new airport was dedicated at Ciudad Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, every available P-39 was sent over (with belly tanks) where they put on a very lengthy aerial display for the locals.

By 10 March 1944, unit strength had been, considerably depleted, and the on-hand aircraft census consisted of three B¬25D's and B-25G's, a B-18 and a B-18C, three P-39N's and three P-39Q's. In October 1944, the Squadron received additional B-25D's.

Aside from frequent detachments of aircraft throughout the entire Caribbean basin during most of the war on an "as needed" basis, the unit itself did not move as a whole again until 21 May 1945 when it was reassigned from Borinquen to Coolidge Field on Antigua where the unit also welcomed with six new Lockheed F-5G Lightnings in June.

It remained active after the war, being assigned to several other bases in Puerto Rico and Panama until inactivated in 1949 due to budget reductions.


  • Constituted as the 4th Observation Squadron on 22 November 1940
  • Activated on 1 April 1941 Redesignated 4th Observation Squadron (Medium) on 26 February 1942 Redesignated 4th Observation Squadron on 4 July 1942 Redesignated 4th Reconnaissance Squadron (Special) on 25 June 1943 Redesignated 4th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 20 May 1944 Redesignated 4th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (Photographic) on 17 June 1948 Inactivated on 14 March 1949 Redesignated 4th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron and activated on 25 Oct 1966 (not organized)
  • Organized on 18 Nov 1966.
  • Inactivated on 15 Oct 1971 Redesignated 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Flight and converted to provisional status on 31 Jan 2005. Redesignated 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron on 16 May 2007


  • 13th Composite Wing, April 1941
  • Puerto Rican Department, 14 July 1941
  • 72d Observation Group, 29 March 1942
  • Attached to: Puerto Rican Department, 29 March 1942 – 23 March 1943 Attached to: Antilles Air Task Force, 23 March – 1 June 1943
  • Antilles Air Command, 1 June 1943
  • Caribbean Air Command, 25 August 1946
  • Attached to Provisional Composite Reconnaissance Group, 1 February – 28 July 1948
  • 6th Fighter Wing, 1 June 1948
  • 5600th Group, 28 July 1948
  • 5600th Wing (later 5600th Composite) Wing, 20 August 1948 – 14 March 1949.
  • 75th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, c. 18 Nov 1966;
  • 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, 15 July - 15 October 1971
  • 455th Expeditionary Operations Group, 27 Dec 2009 - 1 October 2014
  • References

    4th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron Wikipedia

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