Neha Patil (Editor)

72d Fighter Squadron

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Active  1941-1992
Role  Fighter
Country  United States
72d Fighter Squadron
Branch  United States Army Air Forces

The 72d Fighter Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 56th Operations Group, based at MacDill Air Force Base, Florida. It was inactivated on 19 June 1992.


World War II

Established as a defensive interceptor squadron for Hawaii in late 1941. Suffered tremendous casualties and aircraft losses at Wheeler Field during the Pearl Harbor Attack. Re-equipped and used as Seventh Air Force training unit; also flew reconnaissance patrols over Hawaii until late 1943.

Deployed to Central Pacific as part of Seventh Air Force island hopping campaign against Japanese in late 1943. Flew combat missions from Makin Island using P-39 Airacobra fighters until April 1944, returning to Hawaii and being re-equipped and trained with long-range P-51 Mustangs. Re-deployed to Western Pacific, being stationed on Iwo Jima while battle for the island was still ongoing and engaged in long-range B-29 Superfortress escort missions over Japan; continuing that mission until the end of hostilities in August 1945. Reassigned to Mariana Islands, as a Far East Air Force fighter squadron, inactivated 1946.

Cold War

Reactivated as Tactical Air Command F-86 jet tactical fighter squadron, 1952 Deployed to France in 1954 as part of NATO; re-equipped with the F-100 Super Sabre 1957. Ordered out of France by host government as part of France's rejection of NATO's nuclear weapons policy. Reassigned to Philippines in 1958 for air defense of Luzon. Inactivated 1959 as a result of budget reductions. Equipment reassigned to 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron.

Pilot training

Reactivated 1 July 1982 at MacDill AFB, Florida as an F-16A/B Fighting Falcon Undergraduate Pilot Training Squadron, replacing the 13th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron when the 58th TFTS transitioned from F-4 Phantom IIs. Tail coded "MC", black tail stripe outlined in white. Upgraded to the Block 25 and 30 F-16C/D in March 1990 and became a Replacement Training Unit. Inactivated in 1992 as part of the BRAC realignment of MacDill AFB.


  • Constituted 72d Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 4 October 1941
  • Activated on 5 October 1941 Re-designated 72d Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942 Inactivated on 10 October 1946
  • Redesignated 72d Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 15 November 1952
  • Activated on 1 January 1953 Inactivated on 8 February 1958
  • Re-designated 72d Tactical Fighter Squadron on 19 May 1958
  • Activated on 1 July 1958 Inactivated on 9 April 1959
  • Re-designated 72d Tactical Fighter Training Squadron, and activated on 1 July 1982
  • Re-designated 72d Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991 Inactivated on 19 June 1992


  • 15th Pursuit (later Fighter) Group, 5 October 1941
  • 318th Fighter Group, 15 October 1942
  • 21st Fighter Group, 15 June 1944 – 10 October 1946
  • 21st Fighter-Bomber Group, 1 January 1953 – 8 February 1958
  • 6200th Air Base Wing, 1 July 1958 – 9 April 1959.
  • 56th Tactical Training Wing, 1 July 1992
  • 56th Operations Group, 1 November 1991 – 19 June 1992
  • References

    72d Fighter Squadron Wikipedia

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