Unit Details

162nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (Night Photography)

  

162d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron

162d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron North American P-51C-1-NT Mustang 42-103213. Aircraft scrapped in Germany, Apr 15, 1946

The 62d Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron is a provisional United States Air Force unit. It is a provisional squadron of Air Combat Command, attached to the 432d Air Expeditionary Operations Group, stationed at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada. The primary mission of the 62d ERS is to launch and recover all the Air Force Remotely Piloted Aircraft (RPAs) in Afghanistan.[1]

Mission

The unit operates Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) over locations in Central Asia as part of the Global War on Terrorism.

History

Activated as part of IV Fighter Command in early 1943, engaged in Air Defense of the San Francisco area as well as a RTU until the end of 1943. Trained as a P-51 operational squadron, deployed to the European Theater of Operations (ETO), being assigned to IX Fighter Command in England. Operated both as a tactical fighter squadron, providing air support to Allied ground forces in France as well as an air defense squadron, attacking enemy aircraft in air-to-air combat over Europe.

Converted to a Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron in August 1944, engaging in hazardous reconnaissance flights over enemy-controlled territory unarmed, gathering intelligence for Allied commanders. Advanced eastward across France using forward combat airfields, then into the Low Countries as well as Occupied Germany until the end of combat in Europe, May 1945.

Cold War

Remained in Germany as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe occupation forces, returning to MacDill Field, Florida, in December 1945. Equipped with Douglas FA-26C Invaders for night reconnaissance. The FA/RB-26C was a B-26 with all guns removed and cameras installed throughout the aircraft.

KOREA

Due to the pressing needs of Far East Air Forces in Japan the 162d TRS, flying RB-26s, and the photo-processing 363d Reconnaissance Technical Squadron (RTS) were reassigned from Langley to Itazuke AB Japan for Korean War service and began operations in August 1950 as part of the 543d Tactical Support Group. It deployed initially to Itazuke AB, Japan on 18 August 1950; engaging in combat with the Fifth Air Force 543d Tactical Support Group flying RB-26 Invader night reconnaissance missions. It later moved to a forward base, Taegu AB (K-2) in South Korea on 8 Oct 1950, returning to Komaki AB, Japan on 26 January 1951. The squadron was inactivated on 25 Feb 1951.[2]

 

end of war

Reactivated in 1971 as 62d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, being equipped with RF-4C Phantom II reconnaissance aircraft. Performed replacement training for reconnaissance pilots, 1971-1982 until parent 363d TRW was re-equipped with F-16s and became a Tactical Fighter Squadron. Also operated flight of EB-57E Canberras performing electronic jamming mission with RF-4Cs on simulated combat missions. Retired B-57s in 1976, being the last USAF active-duty squadron to fly the B-57. Reassigned to Bergstrom AFB, Texas along with RF-4Cs and continued replacement pilot training mission until RF-4Cs were retired in 1989, then inactivated.