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History of the 9th Attack Squadron
The original 9th Fighter Squadron emblem approved 1946. (Courtesy Graphic)
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History of the 9th Attack Squadron

Posted 10/16/2012   Updated 10/16/2012 Email story   Print story

    


by Mr. James Burrett
49th Wing history office


10/16/2012 - HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- Current as of 15 October 2012

The 9th Fighter Squadron was activated as the 9th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on Jan. 15, 1941, at Selfridge Field, Mich. Redesignated as the 9th Fighter Squadron on May 15, 1942, in the Southwest Pacific the unit participated in combat from March 18, 1942, to Aug. 5, 1945. World War II campaigns that the 9th Fighter Squadron participated in were the East Indies; Air Offensive, Japan; China Defensive; Papua; New Guinea; Bismarck Archipelago; Western Pacific; Leyte; Luzon; Southern Philippines; and China Offensive. Between March 1942 and December 1944 the unit earned four Distinguished Unit Citations for actions over Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Britain, (part of Papua New Guinea), and the Philippines. The 9th also earned the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation. Fourteen aces served with the 9th during World War II, including Major Richard I. Bong, the top American ace of the war with 40 confirmed aerial victories.

After the end of WWII the 9th Fighter Squadron, as part of the American occupation forces, operated from several bases in and around Japan from Aug. 16, 1945, through September 1950. On Feb. 1, 1950, the squadron was redesignated as the 9th Fighter-Bomber Squadron and by 30 Sept. 30, 1950, the 9th had shifted its operations to the Korean peninsula to support United Nations forces during the Korean War. The 9th Fighter-Bomber Squadron operated from bases in Korea and Japan throughout the conflict. The 9th earned two more Distinguished Unit Citations in 1950 and 1951 and two Korea Presidential Unit Citations in 1951 and 1953. The squadron returned to Misawa Air Base, Japan, in November 1953 and remained there until December 1957 when the 9th moved with its parent unit the 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing to Europe. Initially stationed at Etain/Rouvres Air Base, France, until 1959 when the unit moved to Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, where the squadron remained until July 1968. While in Europe the squadron was redesignated as the 9th Tactical Fighter Wing and earned two Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards between 1964 and 1967. In July 1968, following conversion to the F-4D Phantom II, the 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron returned to the United States and its new assignment at Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. In April 1972, the 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron received another Air Force Outstanding Unit Award just prior to its deployment to Southeast Asia. From May through September 1972 the 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron along with its parent unit the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing performed a combat deployment to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, in support of combat operations over Southeast Asia. While there the squadron earned an Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat Valor device and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm for the unit's actions in the skies over Vietnam. After completing its combat tour in Vietnam the squadron returned to Holloman AFB with brief deployments to Germany in 1973, 1975, 1976, and 1977.

In 1978, the squadron returned to its original air superiority mission when it converted from F-4 Phantom IIs to the F-15 Eagle. From June 20 to Dec. 5, 1991, portions of the squadron deployed to Southwest Asia flying combat air patrols for Coalition operations. During this period, on Nov. 1, 1991, the 9th Tactical Fighter Squadron was redesignated as the 9th Fighter Squadron.

On May 8, 1992, the 9th Fighter Squadron began its conversion from the F-15 to the F-117A Night Hawk stealth fighter. On June 5, 1992, the unit flew its last F-15 sortie officially ending 14 years of Eagle operations. Between June 1995 and May 1999 the squadron earned two more Air Force Outstanding Unit Citations. In 1999, the 9th Fighter Squadron deployed in support of Operation DELIBERATE FORCE over the former Yugoslavia and Operation ALLIED FORCE conducting air operations over Serbia. In May 2005, the 9th Fighter Squadron received one more Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for its continued excellence. The 9th Fighter Squadron continued operating the F-117A Night Hawk until its retirement in 2008.

With the retirement of the F-117A, the 9th Fighter Squadron ceased active operations; however, the squadron was never officially inactivated. It became a "paper unit" with no personnel or equipment assigned to it. This continued until Oct. 4, 2012, when the 9th Fighter Squadron was redesignated and activated as the 9th Attack Squadron which will train new pilots and sensor operators for the MQ-9 Reaper.

Squadron Commanders 1941 to 2012
Maj. James C. Selman, Jan. 5, 1941
Capt. Ben S. Irvin, Sept. 19, 1942
Maj. Jesse C. Peaslee, Nov. 3, 1942
Capt. Sidney S. Woods, May 22, 1943
Capt. Paul J. Slocum, c. Aug. 22, 1943
Maj. Wallace R. Jordan, c. Sept. 5, 1943
Maj. Gerald R. Johnson, c. Oct. 1, 1943
Maj. Wallace R. Jordan, c. January 1944
Maj. Robert M. McComsey, October 1944
Maj. Wallace R. Jordan, Nov. 1, 1944
Capt. William F. Williams (acting), Dec. 31, 1944
Capt. John R. Petrovich, Jan. 23, 1945
Capt. Herbert Blake, Oct. 17, 1945
1st Lt. John A. Willis, c. Dec. 31, 1945
Capt. Martin E. McCoy, January 1946
Maj. Verne Bivin, Oct. 6, 1947
Capt. Bedford R. Underwood, Feb. 3, 1948
Maj. Daniel F. Sharp, Dec. 21, 1948
Lt. Col. Charles H. Williams, March 1950
Maj. Frank T. Ellis, Sept. 5, 1950
Lt. Col. Charles H. Williams, Nov. 25, 1950
Maj. George G. Loving Jr., April 7, 1951
Lt. Col. James F. Sprinkle, July 29, 1951
Maj. Eugene S. Williams, Dec. 14, 1951
Maj. Kenneth L. Skeen, Jan. 29, 1952
Lt. Col. James R. Jarrell III, March 28, 1952
Lt. Col. William F. Georgi, August 1952
Unknown, January 1953-1954
Lt. Col. Deward E. Bower, December 1952
Lt. Col. Edmund G. Edwards, 1955
Lt. Col. Richard Cateledge, c. 1956
Lt. Col. Harford P. Jenks, c. April 1957
Maj. Roy L. Garr, Dec. 10, 1957
Maj. Ray O. Roberts, Dec. 18, 1957
Maj. Wilson G. Hall, Nov. 15, 1958
Maj. Alvin R. Moorman, Nov. 1, 1959
Maj. James A. Eaglen, July 20, 1961
Maj. Charles C. Botvidson, Aug. 12, 1961
Lt. Col. Harry K. Evans, Feb. 16, 1962
Lt. Col. James A. Eaglen, April 20, 1962
Lt. Col. Louis R. Vogt, July 30, 1964
Lt. Col. Richard H. Schoeneman, May 15, 1965
Lt. Col. Felix C. Fowler, April 1967
Lt. Col. Robert L. Larsh, by June 30, 1969
Lt. Col. Richard A. Housum, Jan. 19, 1970
Lt. Col. Joseph L. Hutto, Oct. 1, 1970
Lt. Col. James E. Tuck, Dec. 10, 1971
Lt. Col. Richard P. Pearson, Dec. 11, 1972
Lt. Col. Thomas L. Wallace, March 25, 1974
Lt. Col. Terry J. Guess, Oct. 27, 1975
Lt. Col. Anthony S. Cushenberry, June 24, 1976
Lt. Col. Ross L. Meyer, June 2, 1977
Lt. Col. Richard K. Koehnke, Dec. 1, 1977
Lt. Col. John M. Stover, July 2, 1979
Lt. Col. Thomas D. Allbee, Dec. 30, 1980
Lt. Col. Jeffrey G. Cliver, June 18, 1982
Lt. Col. Jerry D. Hokkanen, Dec. 9, 1983
Lt. Col. James E. Tims, Dec. 18, 1985
Lt. Col. Richard B. Barnett, May 22, 1987
Lt. Col. Michael L. Gentrup, March 17, 1989
Lt. Col. Neil G. Kacena, March 1, 1991
Lt. Col. William Aten III, Feb. 25, 1993
Lt. Col. David DellaVolpe, June 25, 1993
Lt. Col. Eric J. Rosborg, July 1, 1993
Lt. Col. Donald L. Hargarten, June 30, 1994
Lt. Col. William Crabbe III, July 8, 1994
Lt. Col. Gregory A. Feest, June 8, 1995
Lt. Col. Joseph A. Salata Jr., June 13, 1997
Lt. Col. Paul M. Carpenter, May 1999
Lt. Col. Philip W. McDaniel, April 28, 2000
Lt. Col. George D. Kramlinger, Feb. 23, 2001
Lt. Col. David E. Wooden, July 8, 2002
Lt. Col. Ward F. Juedeman, June 18, 2004
No active operations 2008-2012
Lt. Col. Jeffery S. Patton, Oct. 4, 2012

Aircraft Operated 1941 to 2012
P-35 Seversky
P-40 Warhawk
P-47 Thunderbolt
P-38 Lightning
P-51 (later F-51) Mustang
F-80 Shooting Star
F-84 Thunderjet
F-100 Super Sabre
F-105 Thunderchief
F-4 Phantom II
F-15 Eagle
F-117 Night Hawk
MQ-9 Reaper (Remotely Piloted Aircraft)

Decorations
Distinguished Unit Citations:
Australia, March [18] - Aug. 25, 1942
Papua New Guinea, [c. Oct.15,] 1942 -Jan. 23, 1943
New Britain, Oct. 23 - Nov. 7, 1943
Philippine Islands, Oct. 27 - Dec. 7, 1944
Korea, June 27 - Nov. 25, 1950
Korea, July 9 - Nov. 27, 1951

Air Force Outstanding Unit Awards:
March 1, 1964 - Feb. 28, 1966
March 1, 1966 - June 30, 1967
Jan. 1, 1971 - April 15, 1972
June 1, 1995 - May 31, 1997
June 1, 1998 - May 31, 1999
May 2, 2004 - May 31, 2005

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device:
May 5, 1972 - Oct. 6, 1972

Philippine Presidential Unit Citation (WWII)

Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations:
June 27, 1950 - Feb. 7, 1951
Feb. 8, 1951 - March 31, 1953

Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm:
May10 - Oct. 5, 1972

Aces of the 9th Fighter Squadron:
Lt. Col. Gerald R. Johnson
Lt. Col. John D. Landers
Maj. Richard I. Bong
Maj. Wallace R. Jordan
Capt. James A. Watkins
Capt. Ralph H. Wandrey
Capt. Robert H. Vaught
1st Lt. Andrew J. Reynolds
1st Lt. Grover E. Fanning
1st Lt. John G. O'Neill
1st Lt. Warren D. Curton
1st Lt. Cheatham W. Gupton
2nd Lt. I. B. Jack Donaldson
2nd Lt. Ernest J. Ambort



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