77TH FIGHTER SQUADRON|
Printable Fact Sheet
The squadron was organized Feb. 20 1918, as the 77th Aero Squadron at Waco Field, Texas. The squadron was demobilized in November 1918, but was reactivated and consolidated with the 77th Observation Squadron in October 1927. In 1929, the squadron was redesignated the 77th Pursuit Squadron and reorganized as one of the first tactical units of the 20th Pursuit Group at Mather Field, Calif., with an officer strength of four.
From 1930 until 1943, the squadron moved back and forth across the country with the 20th, flying several different aircraft, including the P-26, P-36, P-38, P-39 and the P-40. In January 1943, the 77th settled at March Field, Calif., in time to be reassigned to England and the European Theater of Operations during World War II. The 77th, now designated a fighter squadron, arrived at Northhamptonshire, England, in August 1943, flying the P-38. The 77th entered combat operations in November 1943, flying combat missions until April 25, 1945, when, armed with P-51 Mustangs, they began escorting "heavies" to Pilzen, Czechoslovakia, in one of the last raids of the war.
The 77th was instrumental in the 20th achieving its record "kill" of 432 enemy aircraft, 400 locomotives, 1,555 freight cars, 94 ammunition cars and 536 motor vehicles destroyed. The 77th left King's Cliffe, England, and was deactivated in October 1945.
The 77th and the 20th were reactivated in July 1946 at Biggs Field, Texas. Between 1946 and 1952 the squadron moved to Shaw Field, S.C., and then to Langley Air Force Base, Va., becoming the 77th Fighter-Bomber Squadron and transitioning to the F-84.
In May 1952, the 77th and the 20th were reassigned to Royal Air Force Wethersfield, England. In 1957, the squadron transitioned to the F-100 and a year later was designated a tactical fighter squadron flying the "Hun" for 11 more years in support of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization commitment.
In 1969, the 77th and the 20th began moving to RAF Upper Heyford and converted to the fighter-bomber version of the F-111. The squadron, flying the F-16, reorganized and incorporated 250 maintainers on Feb. 1, 1992. The 77th was inactivated Sept. 30, 1993, then transferred and reactivated at Shaw AFB, S.C., on Jan. 1, 1994. In 1996, the 77th deployed to Southwest Asia.
In 1999 and 2001, the 77th deployed to Southwest Asia flying missions over Iraq in support of Operation Northern Watch. The squadron also deployed in support of Operations Allied Force and Desert Fox in 1999. In 1997 and 2000, the 77th deployed to Southwest Asia flying missions over Iraq in support of Operation Southern Watch.
The 77th was awarded the 20th FW Fighter Squadron of the Year in 1998 and 2000. In 2001, the squadron participated in many other deployments. From July to Sept. 2002, the 77th deployed to Operation Northern Watch. In February 2003, the squadron deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
A complete list of squadron decorations can be found at: http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=11204.