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525th Fighter Squadron Patch – With hook and loop


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525th Fighter Squadron Patch – With hook and loop

A 4″ squadron patch of the 525th Fighter Squadron with hook and loop

The 525th Fighter Squadron is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 3d Operations Group at Joint Base Elmendorf–Richardson, Alaska. The squadron was first activated as the 309th Bombardment Squadron in February 1942. After training in the United States, it deployed to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations, where it became the 525th Fighter-Bomber Squadron and engaged in combat until the spring of 1945, earning two Distinguished Unit Citations. After VE Day, the squadron became part of the occupation forces in Germany. Briefly inactivated in 1946, it returned to Germany a few months later.

During the Cold War, the squadron served in the fighter bomber role as the 525th Fighter-Bomber Squadron and in the air defense role as the 525th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. It became the 525th Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1969. The squadron again saw combat service in the Gulf War before inactivating in March 1992.

The squadron was reactivated in its current location in September 2007.
The combat-ready fighter squadron is prepared for rapid worldwide deployment of a squadron of Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor aircraft to accomplish precision engagement of surface targets using a wide variety of conventional air-to-surface munitions. The 525th trains in the fighter missions of strategic attack, interdiction, offensive counterair (air-to-surface), suppression of enemy air defenses, as well as offensive and defensive counterair (air-to-air). [3]

World War II
The 525th Fighter Squadron originally activated during World War II as the 309th Bombardment Squadron (Light) on 10 February 1942, to support Allied Forces in the European Theater of Operations. The squadron began training for operations at Will Rogers Field, Oklahoma, and was assigned to the 86th Bombardment Group.

In August 1942, the squadron transferred to Key Field, Mississippi, to start flight training in the Douglas A-20 Havoc. A month later, the squadron was redesignated the 309th Bombardment Squadron (Dive). By year’s end, the squadron started the transition to two new combat aircraft types, the Vultee A-31 Vengeance and the North American A-36 Apache. The squadron achieved combat ready status on 19 March 1943.[3]

Ready to support the war effort, the 309th Bombardment Squadron boarded the SS John Erickson in April 1943. Twelve days after its departure from the United States, the squadron landed at La Senia Airfield, Algeria. The 309th moved to Mediouna Airfield, French Morocco, on 15 May 1943; Marnia Airfield, French Morocco, on 3 June 1943; and to Tafaraoui Airfield, Algeria on 11 June 1943. This is where the squadron acquired its first combat experience on 6 July 1943. On the squadron’s first day of combat, it struck enemy entrenchments in Sicily, softening enemy resistance for General George S. Patton’s invading Seventh Army. Following the invasion, the 309th Bombardment Squadron set up its operations in Gela Airfield, Sicily, on 20 July 1943, and to Barcellona Landing Ground, Sicily, on 27 July 1943, to support the Allied campaign against the West Coast of Italy.[3]

The 309th Bombardment Squadron was redesignated the 525th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 23 August 1943. While in Italy, the 525th moved several more times while participating in the Rome-Arno campaign. Bases for the 525th included Sele Airfield, Serretella Airfield, and Pomigliano Airfield in 1943. During 1944, the squadron operated from Marcianise Airfield, Ciampino Airport, Orbetello Airfield, Grosseto Airfield, Italy and Poretta Airfield, Corsica. Two of the more famous battles during the Italian campaigns were Salerno and the Battle of Monte Cassino. The 525th Fighter-Bomber Squadron figured prominently in these battles, providing air support to Allied ground forces.[3]

In 1944, the 525th transitioned to the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt. Along with the new aircraft the 525th was redesignated the 525th Fighter Squadron on 30 May 1944. In February 1945, the squadron moved to Tatonville Airfield, France, to fly missions against Germany. Two months later it moved into Germany, establishing its headquarters at Braunshardt Airfield on 18 April 1945. The 525th flew its last combat mission on 8 May 1945, and postwar the headquarters moved to AAF Station Schweinfurt on 23 October 1945