74th Fighter Squadron Patch – Sew On
A 4 inch patch of the 74th Fighter Squadron
Following World War II, the 74th was activated at various times and locations throughout the world. From 1946-1949 the 74th flew the P-47 at Northwest Field, Guam. During the years of 1951-1954, the 74th flew the F-86 and F-94 at Presque Isle AFB, Maine. The 74th then moved to Thule AB, Greenland, from 1954–1958 and flew the F-89. During the period 1958-1972, the 74th was inactive.
In July 1972, the 74th rejoined its sister squadrons for the first time since 1949 when the 23d Tactical Fighter Wing was activated at England Air Force Base LA. The 74th began operations flying the A-7 Corsair II in 1972 and transitioned into the A-10 “Thunderbolt II” in the summer of 1981.
During the 1980s, the 74th received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award five different times. The most recent combat tasking for the 74th was during Operations DESERT SHIELD/STORM. From September 1990 until 11 April 1991, the 74th earned high praise for its performance during the campaign against Iraq’s elusive Scud-B mobile missile launchers.
On 15 February 1992, the 74th was again inactivated at England Air Force Base as part of the Air Force’s force structure realignment. It was reactivated 15 June 1993 at Pope AFB NC as part of the 23d Wing, the second composite wing built from the ground up. The 74th began operations at Pope AFB flying the F-16C/D Fighting Falcon. In July 1996, the F-16s departed Pope AFB and the 74th Fighter Squadron transitioned back to the A-10 aircraft.
The unit completed a deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.
Defense.gov reported in January 2018 that the 74th deployed personnel and equipment to form the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron. The expeditionary squadron took part in Operation Inherent Resolve. The squadron focused it efforts in Raqqa for about three months, providing close air support to friendly forces fighting ISIL in the city.
On 18th October 2018, the squadron won the prestigious Hawgsmoke 2018 competition by being named Top Overall Team. The 74th were also awarded Top Tactical and Top Conventional team awards. The biennial A-10 bombing, missile and tactical gunnery competition was held at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri.
On 14 March 2019, the 74th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron was awarded the Gallant Unit Citation for this operation. According to the citation, squadron pilots faced persistent surface-to-air threats and repeated intercepts by Russian aircraft while developing “new tactics to strike enemy fighters fortified in deep enemy terrain while protecting civilians and coalition forces” from July 2017 to January 2018, while operating from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. As the major force provider for the expeditionary squadron, this honor is bestowed on the 74th. It is only the fifth award of the citation and the first to an individual squadron
Constituted as the 74th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 17 December 1941
Redesignated 74th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Activated on 4 Jul 1942
Redesignated 74th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine on 28 February 1944
Inactivated on 5 January 1946
Activated on 10 October 1946
Inactivated on 24 September 1949
Redesignated 74th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 19 December 1950
Activated on 12 January 1951
Inactivated on 25 June 1958
Redesignated 74th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 18 May 1972
Activated on 1 July 1972
Redesignated 74th Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991
Inactivated on 15 February 1992
Activated on 15 June 1993