| 1944-1945; 1963-1970|
| United States|
| United States Air Force|
Close air support and search and rescue (SAR) escort duty
Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm
The 602d Special Operations Squadron was a United States Air Force squadron that operated in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War.
602d Special Operations Squadron Wikipedia
The 602d Fighter Squadron (Commando) was activated in May 1964 for the Vietnam War, and along with the 1st Air Commando Squadron, was a part of the 34th Tactical Group. The squadron became operational at Bien Hoa Air Base on 15 October 1964. By 1966 the squadron had been renamed the 602d Air Commando Squadron and moved, first to Nha Trang Air Base in South Vietnam, and then to Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand. In March 1968 it moved again to Nakhon Phanom Royal Thai Navy Base. On 1 August 1968 it was redesignated the 602d Special Operations Squadron, and was inactivated on 31 December 1970 at Nakhon Phanom. The original Squadron patch was drawn by Walt Disney in 1944. The sky was blue with a wisp of cloud behind the left wing of the eagle. No call sign was mounted above the patch.
The squadron operated A-1 Skyraiders under the call sign "Firefly". Their daylight task was the primary one of combat search and rescue of air crew downed in the Kingdom of Laos. A secondary task was night operations as flareships supporting the Hmong guerrillas of General Vang Pao's Clandestine Army in the Operation Barrel Roll area. At times, the squadron flew single ship sorties; they would also sometimes mark their own targets for their air strikes.Constituted as the 2d Fighter Reconnaissance Squadron on 11 April 1944
Activated on 20 April 1944
Redesignated 2d Fighter Squadron, Commando
on 2 June 1944
Inactivated on 12 November 1945
Disbanded on 8 October 1948
Reconstituted, redesignated 602d Fighter Squadron, Commando, and activated on 15 April 1963 (not organized)
Organized on 1 May 1963
Redesignated 602d Special Operations Squadron on 1 August 1968
Inactivated on 31 December 1970
Combat in CBI Theater, 14 Feb-9 May 1945
Combat in SEA, 1964-1970
World War II:
Vietnam Air Offensive;
Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase II;
Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase III;
Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV;
Vietnam Summer-Fall 1969;
Vietnam Winter-Spring 1970;
Commando Hunt V.
Distinguished Unit Citation: Bangkok, Thailand, 15 Mar 1945.
Presidential Unit Citations: Vietnam: 1 Jul 1965 – 30 Jun 1966; 1 Jul 1966-7 Mar 1967; 12 Apr-30 Jun 1967; 1 Nov 1968 – 1 May 1969; 1 Oct 1969-30 Apr 1970.
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award With Combat "V" Device: 1-31 Dec 1970.
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, 1 Apr 1966 – 31 Dec 1970.