The 702d Tactical Air Support Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 601st Tactical Air Control Wing at Bergstrom AFB, Texas, where it was inactivated on 30 November 1975.
During World War II the squadron was active as the 402d Bombardment Squadron It was a training unit from 1941 to 1944 and then served in combat in the Pacific Theater. It was awarded the Distinguished Unit Citations for combat in Japan before inactivating on 15 April 1946.
The squadron was first activated in January 1941 as the 12th Reconnaissance Squadron, a long-range air reconnaissance at Fort Douglas, Utah. It was equipped with a mixture of early-model Boeing B-17C/D Flying Fortress and North American B-25 Mitchells and assigned to the GHQ Air Force. It moved to Geiger Field, Washington where the squadron flew training missions and also reconnaissance missions along the Northwest Pacific Coast. After the Pearl Harbor Attack, the squadron was redesignated the 402d Bombardment Squadron as the United States Army Air Forces added a fourth bombardment squadron to its groups. became first an Operational Training Unit (OTU) at Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona, later converting to a B-24 Liberator Replacement Training Unit (RTU).
The squadron inactivated in April 1944 with the reduction of heavy bomber training. It was reactivated the same day to become a Boeing B-29 Superfortress unit, but was inactivated the following month when very heavy bombardment groups were reduced from four to three squadrons. It was then activated as part of a newly formed B-29 group at Dalhart Army Air Field, Texas. There it was initially equipped with B-17s for training, due to shortage of B-29s. The 492d moved to Harvard Army Air Field, Nebraska in August 1944 and equipped with B-29B limited production aircraft.
After completion of training the squadron deployed to Central Pacific Area and became part of XXI Bomber Command at Northwest Field (Guam) for operational missions. B-29Bs were standard production aircraft stripped of most defensive guns to increase speed and bomb load, The tail gun was aimed and fired automatically by the new AN/APG-15B radar fire control system that detected the approaching enemy plane and made all the necessary calculations.
The mission of the squadron was the strategic bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands. It entered combat on 16 June 1945 with a bombing raid against an airfield on Moen. It flew its first mission against the Japanese home islands on 26 June 1945 and afterwards operated principally against the enemy's petroleum industry. Flew primarily low-level, fast attacks at night using a mixture of high-explosive and incendary bombs to attack targets.
The 402d flew its last combat mission on 15 August 1945 and was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation for its operations that month. It later flew in a "Show of Force" mission on 2 September 1945 over Tokyo Bay during the formal Japanese Surrender. The Squadron was inactivated on Guam 15 April 1946. Its personnel returned to the United States and its aircraft were sent to storage in Southwest United States.
In 1969, the 702d Tactical Air Support Squadron activated at Bergstrom AFB to provide light airlift and forward control support for the Tactical Air Control System (TACS), the deployable command and control system of Tactical Air Command under the control of Twelfth Air Force. It continued this mission, maintaining readiness to deploy and participating in exercises for the next thirteen years until inactivating late in 1975.
Distinguished Unit Citation
Japan, 5–15 August 1945
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
15 January 1970 - 15 January 1972
American Theater of World War II
402d Bombardment SquadronConstituted as 12th Reconnaissance Squadron (Heavy) on 20 November 1940
Activated on 15 January 1941
Redesignated as 402d Bombardment Squadron
(Heavy) on 22 April 1942
Redesignated as 402d Bombardment Squadron
, Very Heavy on 28 March 1944
Inactivated on 1 April 1944
Activated on 1 April 1944
Inactivated on 10 May 1944
Activated on 1 June 1944
Inactivated on 15 April 1946
Consolidated with 702d Tactical Air Support Squadron as 702d Tactical Air Support Squadron on 19 September 1985 (remained inactive)
702d Tactical Air Support SquadronConstituted as 702d Tactical Air Support Squadron on 23 July 1969
Activated on 25 July 1969
Inactivated on 30 November 1975
Consolidated with 402d Bombardment Squadron on 19 September 1985 (remained inactive)
General Headquarters Air Force (later Air Force Combat Command), 15 January 1941 (attached to 39th Bombardment Group)
39th Bombardment Group, 25 February 1942 - 1 Apr 1944
Associated with: 1st Photographic Group, 10 Jun 1941-22 Apr 1942 (training)
39th Bombardment Group, 1 April 1944 - 10 May 1944
502d Bombardment Group, 1 June 1944 - 15 April 1946
4467th Tactical Air Support Group, 25 July 1969
71st Tactical Air Support Group, 1 January 1970
602d Tactical Air Support Group, 1 June 1974 - 30 November 1975
B-25 Mitchell, 1941
B-17 Flying Fortress, 1941-1942
B-24 Liberator, 1942-1944
B-29 Superfortress, 1944-1946