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9th Special Operations Squadron Patch – Sew On


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4 inch 9th Special Operations Squadron Patch – Sew On

B-29 Superfortress operations against Japan

6th Bombardment Group B-29s
Activated on 1 April 1944 as a Boeing B-29 Superfortress Very Heavy bombardment squadron. When training was completed moved to North Field Tinianin the Mariana Islands of the Central Pacific Area in January 1945 and assigned to XXI Bomber Command, Twentieth Air Force. Its mission was the strategic bombardment of the Japanese Home Islands and the destruction of its war-making capability.

Flew “shakedown” missions against Japanese targets on Moen Island, Truk, and other points in the Carolines and Marianas. The squadron began combat missions over Japan on 25 February 1945 with a firebombing mission over Northeast Tokyo. The squadron continued to participate in wide area firebombing attack, but the first ten-day blitz resulting in the Army Air Forces running out of incendiary bombs. Until then the squadron flew conventional strategic bombing missions using high explosive bombs.

The squadron continued attacking urban areas with incendiary raids until the end of the war in August 1945, attacking major Japanese cities, causing massive destruction of urbanized areas. Also conducted raids against strategic objectives, bombing aircraft factories, chemical plants, oil refineries, and other targets in Japan. The squadron flew its last combat missions on 14 August when hostilities ended. Afterwards, its B 29s carried relief supplies to Allied prisoner of war camps in Japan and Manchuria

The squadron remained in Western Pacific, assigned to Twentieth Air Force on Okinawa. Maintained as a strategic bombardment squadron until inactivated due to budget reductions in late 1948. Some aircraft scrapped on Tinian; others flew to storage depots in the United States.[1]

Strategic Air Command
Reactivated in 1951 as a result of the expansion of the Air Force after the breakout of the Cold War. Initially equipped with second-line B-29 Superfortress medium bombers for training; redesignated as a heavy bomb squadron in 1952 and equipped with new Convair B-36 Peacemaker intercontinental strategic bombers. Initially was equipped with B-36Fs. Later Featherweight III B-36Js were added, the squadron operating both types. Carried red stripe on the tip of the vertical stabilizer; the lip of the jet intakes and the “nose cone” of the jet itself along with the triangle-R tail code. SAC eliminated tail codes in 1953. In 1957 the B-36s were replaced with B-52E Stratofortress aircraft and all squadron markings were eliminated. While retaining combat capability, the 9th trained B-52 crews for Strategic Air Command from 15 July 1959 – September 1963. Remained equipped with the B-52s until the closure of Walker AFB in 1967.

Vietnam War

A 9th SOS C-47D dropping leaflets near Nha Trang, 1969.
Consolidated with the Vietnam Era 9th Air Commando Squadron (Psychological Operations) in 1985. The 9th ACS was re-designated as the 9th Special Operations Squadron (SOS) in 1969. The 9th SOS operated Douglas HC-47 Skytrain and Cessna O-2B aircraft over South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia from 1968 until January 1972 in support of the US Army 4th Psychological Operations Group psychological warfare initiatives.

9th SOS aircraft were primarily based at three operating locations in the Republic of Viet Nam: Da Nang AB, Phan Rang AB and Tuy Hoa AB. The 9TH SOS disseminated leaflets during daylight operations and broadcast propaganda during night missions. A significant number of 9th SOS flight operations were in support of the “Chieu Hot” or “Open Arms” campaign which was designed to induce North Vietnamese Army Personnel and Viet Cong guerrillas to defect to the Republic of Viet Nam. These “Chieu Hoi” psychological warfare missions were reported to have directly and indirectly influenced tens of thousands of enemy personnel to defect. 9th SOS HC-47 aircraft also conducted flare drop missions in support of night combat operations against enemy forces in South Viet Nam. The 9th SOS was Inactivated in 1972 as part of the drawdown of forces in Indochina.[1]

Reactivated in 1988 as a special operations unit, the squadron has trained for special operations, refuelling and resupply missions using modified C-130 aircraft. It has seen combat in Panama, 20 December 1989 – 14 January 1990 and Southwest Asia, 16 January 1991 – 5 April 1991. It