466th Fighter Squadron Patch – Plastic Backing
A 4″ squadron patch of the 466th Fighter Squadron with Plastic Backing.
World War II
Formed in late 1944 under Second Air Force as one of the last Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter squadrons, programmed for deployment to Western Pacific theater with long-range P-47N for B-29 Superfortress escort missions. Arrived in Hawaii in early 1945, assigned to Seventh Air Force. Lack of a serious fighter defense over Japan at high altitudes and reprogramming of B-29 raids over Japan to night low-level fast attacks led to reassignment as an air defense and training unit in Hawaii.
Early Cold War fighter escort
Reactivated as the 466th Fighter-Escort Squadron to accompany formations of Strategic Air Command Boeing B-50 Superfortress and Convair B-36 Peacemaker bombers. Twice deployed to Japan to augment air defense forces there.Inactivated in 1956 with the phaseout of the escort mission and retirement of the B-36.
Reserve fighter operations
Activated again in the reserve as the 466th Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1972 as an Republic F-105 Thunderchief squadron, being equipped with aircraft returned from inactivated Vietnam War squadrons. Since 1984 has trained to fly interdiction, close air support, and counter-air missions. Deployed periodically for contingency operations, or for training exercises with other units.