4 inch 711th Special Operations Squadron Patch – Sew On
The 711th Special Operations Squadron is part of the 919th Special Operations Wing at Duke Field, Florida. It is an Air Force Reserve Command unit that is operationally gained by Air Force Special Operations Command if called to active duty.
The squadron was first activated during World War II as the 711th Bombardment Squadron. After training in the United States, it deployed to the European Theatre of Operations, where it engaged in the strategic bombing campaign against Germany. 2d Lieutenant Robert E. Femoyer, of the 711th Bombardment Squadron, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during a mission over Merseburg, Germany, on 2 November 1944. The squadron returned to the United States following the war and was inactivated.
The squadron was activated in the reserves as a light bomber unit in 1949 and served until it was called to active duty in 1951 as a result of the Korean War and its personnel used as fillers for other units. In 1955, the squadron was again activated in the reserves as the 711th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. It trained with Lockheed F-80 Shooting Stars and North American F-86 Sabres until being replaced by the 69th Troop Carrier Squadron in 1957.
The squadron activated in 1971 as the 711th Tactical Airlift Squadron at Duke Field, Florida with the mission of intratheater airlift, using Lockheed C-130 Hercules Aircraft. Three years later, it converted to the AC-130 gunship model of the Hercules and became the 711th Special Operations Squadron. In 1995 it converted to a third type of C-130 when it began to fly the MC-130 Combat Talon model. In 2013 it re-equipped with PZL C-145A Skytrucks and its mission became one of providing training and support for friendly nations.