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45th Reconnaissance Squadron
45th Reconnaissance Squadron.gif
45th Reconnaissance Squadron Patch featuring Sylvester, one of the fictional characters in Looney Tunes.
Active 1 October 1943 – 25 March 1949
26 September 1950 – 31 May 1971
15 October 1971 – 31 October 1975
1 April 1982 – 30 September 1989
1 July 1994 – present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Reconnaissance and Surveillance
Part of Air Combat Command
8th Air Force
55th Wing
55th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Offutt Air Force Base
Engagements World War II
Korean War
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg PUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA w/ V Device
Presidential Unit Citation (Korea).svg ROK PUC
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg RVGC w/ Palm

The 45th Reconnaissance Squadron's RC-135 Cobra Ball are brought together on the flightline at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska. These aircraft are rarely seen in the same place at the same time due to its worldwide reconnaissance missions.

45th TRS RF-4Cs on the ramp at Bergstrom AFB, 1972. 67-0430 in foreground

45th TRS RF-101C (s/n 56–176) at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, 1969.

A 45th TRS RF-80A during the Korean War.

45th TRS RF-51 Mustang, South Korea, 1950

Emblem of the 423d Night Fighter Squadron

155th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron Douglas A-20J-15-DO Havoc (F-3A) 43-21731 St Dizier/Robinson Airdrome (A-64), France, October 1944.

The 45th Reconnaissance Squadron is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 55th Operations Group and stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska.


The mission of the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron is to maintain, operate, and support OC/RC/TC/EC/WC-135 aircraft providing worldwide reconnaissance and treaty support to the National Command Authorities, warfighters, and international treaty members.

Squadron personnel fly world-wide reconnaissance and treaty missions on demand, often on extremely short notice. The 45th Reconnaissance Squadron provides data for the National Command Authorities, theater CINCs, and international treaty members.[1]


World War II

Organized on 17 August 1943 as the 423d Night Fighter Squadron, the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron is one of the most colorful units in the Air Force, with a battle record composed of the great campaigns of three wars, and a peacetime record of vital contributions to world-wide reconnaissance, treaty monitoring, and pilot proficiency training.

The squadron was organized at Orlando Army Air Base, Florida, and was stationed at Kern County Airport, California, before heading overseas in January 1944. On 22 June 1944, the 423d was redesignated the 155th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron. On 3 December 1945, the 155th was redesignated the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic. The 155th participated in the Normandy invasion in June 1944, landed in France in August 1944, and fought its way across northern France into the Low Countries that winter. In December 1944, the 155th was involved in the Battle of the Bulge. The most notable geographic names associated with the 155th were Chormy Down and Chalgrove, England; Rennes, Chateaudun, and St. Dizier, France; LeCulot, Belgium; and Maastricht, Holland.

The squadron crossed into Germany at Kassel/Rothwestern in early July 1945, and was later stationed at Darmstadt, Furth, and Furstenfeldbruck. On 1 July 1948, the unit was redesignated the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic and inactivated on 25 March 1949.

Cold War

As the focus of world attention shifted to the growing crisis in the Orient in 1950, the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic was redesignated the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 19 September 1950 and activated on 26 September 1950 at Itazuke, Japan.

When hostilities erupted 27 December 1950, the 45th was deployed to Taegu, Korea, and served in every major campaign throughout the war. In mid-summer 1951, the squadron shifted its base of operations to Kimpo AB (K-14), Korea. On 1 January 1953, the 45th was redesignated the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Photographic-Jet. The 45th remained at Kimpo until March 1955 when it relocated to Misawa Air Base, Japan.

The 45th remained at Misawa until the overthrow of President Diem of South Vietnam in November 1962. A detachment of the 45th had earlier been deployed to Thailand due to the turmoil in South Vietnam. In December 1962, the unit deployed to Tan Son Nhut Airfield, Saigon, recalling the detachment deployed to Thailand. The unit was redesignated the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 1 January 1967.

During its nine years in Vietnam, the 45th was involved in most major operations of the war. On 31 May 1971, the unit was inactivated at Tan Son Nhut. On 5 October 1971, the unit was activated at Bergstrom AFB, Texas, replacing the 4th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. The 45th participated in various training exercises while at Bergstrom, including a 1973 deployment to RAF Alconbury, England for a NATO exercise dubbed CREEK BEE II. Later, the unit transferred its aircraft to Shaw AFB, South Carolina, and was inactivated on 31 October 1975.

The squadron was activated again on 8 September 1981 as the 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Training Squadron. It received the RF-4C aircraft from the 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Shaw AFB, South Carolina and began operations at Bergstrom AFB, Texas on 1 April 1982. The unit trained over 600 students and supported numerous operational deployments and exercises until it was inactivated on 30 September 1989, a result of national budgetary reductions.

Modern era

On 1 July 1994, the squadron was reactivated at Offutt AFB, Nebraska, as the 45th Reconnaissance Squadron. It assumed the mission of the former 24th Reconnaissance Squadron, which was inactivated on 30 June 1994. 45th Reconnaissance Squadron personnel are members of a professional team dedicated to the maintenance, operation, and support of the RC/OC/WC/EC/TC-135 aircraft.


  • Constituted as 423d Night Fighter Squadron on 17 August 1943
Activated on 1 October 1943
Re-designated as: 155th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron on 22 June 1944
Re-designated as: 45th Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic, on 3 December 1945
Re-designated as: 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photographic, on 1 July 1948
Inactivated on 25 March 1949
  • Re-designated 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 19 September 1950
Activated on 26 September 1950
Re-designated as: 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Photographic-Jet, on 1 January 1953
Re-designated as: 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 1 January 1967
Inactivated on 31 May 1971
  • Activated on 15 October 1971
Inactivated on 31 October 1975
  • Re-designated as 45th Tactical Reconnaissance Training Squadron on 8 September 1981
Activated on 1 April 1982
Inactivated on 30 September 1989
  • Re-designated as 45th Reconnaissance Squadron on 24 June 1994
Activated on 1 July 1994.



  • Air Defense Department, AAF School of Applied Tactics
Attached to 481st Night Fighter Operational Training Group, 1 October 1943
Attached to 9th Tactical Reconnaissance Group [Provisional], 25 April-23 May 1945
Attached to 36th Fighter Wing, 13 August 1948 – 25 March 1949
Attached to 49th Fighter-Bomber Wing, 27 December 1950 – 24 February 1951
Attached to 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, 1 June-25 Nov 1954 and 1 July-30 Sep 1957
Attached to 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, 8 July 1966- [as Detachment 1, 45 TRS]
Remained attached to 460th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing [as Detachment 1, 45 TRS] to 31 December 1970
Attached to 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, 13 June-7 Jul 1973



  • Taegu AB (K-9), South Korea, 27 December 1950
  • Kimpo AB (K-14), South Korea, 18 August 1951
  • Misawa AB, Japan, 3 March 1955 – 31 May 1971
Detachment at: Don Muang RTAFB, Thailand, Nov 1961-1 May 1962 and 14 November-14 Dec 1962
Detachment at: Tan Son Nhut AB, South Vietnam, 14 December 1962 – 5 May 1963, 1 November 1963 – 3 May 1964, and 1 February-6 Nov 1965
Detachment at: Udorn RTAFB, Thailand, 1 November 1965 – 15 August 1966
Deployed at: Tan Son Nhut AB, South Vietnam, Jul 1966-31 December 1970
Deployed at RAF Alconbury, England, 13 June-7 Jul 1973







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