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42nd Attack Squadron

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

42d Attack Squadron
Air Combat Command.png
First MQ-9 Reaper taxies at Creech AFB 2007.jpg
First squadron MQ-9 Reaper at Creech AFB
Active1917–1919; 1922–1936; 1940–1963; 2006–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
RoleUnmanned Aerial vehicle
Garrison/HQCreech Air Force Base, Nevada
DecorationsDistinguished Unit Citation
Navy Presidential Unit Citation
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award[1]
Lt Gen Roger M. Ramey[1]Maj Gen Orvil A. Anderson[2]
42d Attack Squadron emblem (approved 30 November 2009)[1]
42d Attack SquadronII.PNG
42d School Squadron emblem (approved 20 January 1925)[3]
42d Bombardment Squadron - Emblem.png

The 42d Attack Squadron is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the 432d Wing at Creech Air Force Base near Indian Springs, Nevada. It flies General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned aerial vehicles. The 42d oversees the training and combat deployment of aerial vehicle and sensor operators assigned to the Reaper. In 2006, the 42nd became the first MQ-9 Reaper squadron[4]


World War I

The squadron was organized as the 42d Aero Squadron on 17 June 1917, shortly after the United States declared war on Germany. Based at Camp Kelly, Texas, the squadron flight-trained new pilots as part of the Air Service until demobilized on 21 February 1919.

Training between the wars

The squadron was reconstituted in 1922 and became the 42d School Squadron in January 1923 as part of the 10th School Group at Kelly Field. In 1924 its lineage was consolidated with that of the 42d Aero Squadron. The 42d School Squadron continued its flying training role as part of the Air Corps in 1926, and was assigned to the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field in 1931.

On 1 March 1935, with the activation of the General Headquarters Air Force, the squadron was redesignated the 42d Bombardment Squadron, although it remained a training squadron at Kelly until its inactivation in September 1936.

It was organized once again only a month later, as a Regular Army inactive unit assigned to the Eighth Corps Area, on 23 October 1936.[2] These units remained inactive, but had Organized Reserve officers assigned for training.

World War II

In September 1939, the squadron existed only as an inactive cadre of Organized Reserve officers, centered on Brownsville Municipal Airport, Texas. The squadron was reactivated on 1 February 1940 as part of the expansion of the Air Corps anticipating U.S. participation in World War II. It became part of the 11th Bombardment Group based at Hickam Field, Hawaii. Initially flying Douglas B-18 Bolos, the squadron was converting to Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses when Hickam was attacked by Japanese carrier aircraft as part of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The 42d Squadron deployed with the 11th Bombardment Group to Espiritu Santo, where it participated in the Guadalcanal Campaign. It conducted long-range reconnaissance and bombing missions throughout the South, Southwest, Central, and Western Pacific areas until the end of the war, converting to Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers in 1943.

In 1946, while based on Guam, the 42d BS was briefly equipped with Boeing B-29 Superfortresses, but had no aircraft or flying mission from 1947 to its inactivation on in 1948.

Strategic Air Command

The squadron was reactivated as a unit of the United States Air Force on 1 December 1948. Assigned to the 11th Bombardment Group as part of the Strategic Air Command, it flew Convair B-36 Peacemaker intercontinental bombers from Carswell Air Force Base, Texas. In 1957 it moved to Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, to convert to Boeing B-52 Stratofortresses.

In 1960 was reassigned to the 4043d Strategic Wing, being re-equipped with B-52E intercontinental heavy bombers. The squadron moved to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio by SAC to disperse its heavy bomber force. Conducted worldwide strategic bombardment training missions and providing nuclear deterrent. Was inactivated in 1963 when SAC inactivated its strategic wings, replacing them with permanent Air Force Wings. Squadron was inactivated with its aircraft, personnel and equipment transferred to the 34th Bombardment Squadron.

Unmanned aerial vehicles

On 9 November 2006, the squadron was redesignated the 42d Attack Squadron and reactivated at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada, initially as part of the 57th Wing before being assigned as one of the six unmanned aerial vehicle squadrons of the 432d Wing, and the only squadron designated as an attack squadron.

The 42d received its first General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper on 13 March 2007. Officially combat-operational in Afghanistan since September 2007, the typical MQ-9 system consists of several aircraft, a ground control station, communications equipment/links, spares, and active duty and/or contractor personnel. The crew consists of one unmanned aerial system pilot, one sensor operator and one mission intelligence coordinator.


42d Aero Squadron
  • Organized as the 42d Aero Squadron on 13 June 1917
  • Demobilized on 21 February 1919
  • Reconstituted on 8 April 1924 and consolidated with the 42d School Squadron as the 42d School Squadron[1]
42d Attack Squadron
  • Authorized 10 June 1922 as the 42d Squadron (School)
Organized on 5 July 1922
Redesignated 42d School Squadron on 25 January 1923
Consolidated with the 42d Aero Squadron on 8 April 1924
Redesignated 42d Bombardment Squadron on 1 March 1935
Inactivated on 1 September 1936
  • Organized as a Regular Army Inactive unit on 23 November 1936[2]
  • Redesignated 42d Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 22 December 1939
Activated on 1 February 1940
Redesignated 42d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) on 11 December 1940
Redesignated 42d Bombardment Squadron, Heavy c. 1 August 1944
Redesignated 42d Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy on 30 April 1946
Inactivated on 20 October 1948
  • Redesignated 42d Bomb Squadron, Heavy and activated on 1 December 1948
Discontinued and inactivated on 1 February 1963
  • Redesignated 42d Attack Squadron and activated on 9 November 2006[1]
Inactivated on 1 February 2020




  • Standard J-1, 1917–1919
  • Curtiss JN-4, 1917–1919
  • Airco DH.4, 1917–1919, 1923–1931
  • Douglas O-2, 1926–1933
  • Curtiss O-11 Falcon, 1930–1932
  • Thomas-Morse O-19, 1930–1935
  • Keystone B-3, 1935–1936
  • Keystone B-4, 1935–1936
  • Keystone B-5, 1935–1936
  • Douglas B-18 Bolo, 1940–1941
  • Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, 1941–1943
  • Consolidated B-24 Liberator, 1943–1945
  • Boeing B-29 Superfortress, 1946
  • Convair B-36 Peacemaker, 1949–1957
  • Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, 1958–1963
  • General Atomics MQ-1 Predator, 2006–2013
  • General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, 2006–present[1]


Streamer PUC Army.PNG

South Pacific, 31 July-30 November 1942

U.S. Navy Unit Commendation streamer.svg

Pacific Theater, 7 August-9 December 1942

Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Streamer.jpg

6 August 1954 – 15 July 1957
27 October 1958 – 1 June 1960
28 May 2019

AF MUA Streamer.JPG

15 November 2019

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Haulman, Daniel L. (15 May 2012). "Factsheet 42 Attack Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e Clay, p. 1406
  3. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 193–194
  4. ^ "First MQ-9 squadron looks good for 100". Retrieved 25 March 2020.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 25 March 2020, at 11:15
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