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516th Strategic Fighter Squadron
516 strategic fighter sq-emblem.jpg
Emblem of the 516th Strategic Fighter Squadron
Active 1943-1957
Country United States
Branch United States Army Air Force
Type Fighter
Engagements World War II

The 516th Strategic Fighter Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was with the 407th Strategic Fighter Wing stationed at Great Falls AFB, Montana. It was inactivated on 1 July 1957.


Established in the spring of 1943 as an A-24 Banshee (Douglas SBD) operational training squadron. Unfortunately, the Army A-24 version of the Douglas dive bomber never achieved the degree of success as did its Navy SBD counterpart. In July 1943, the squadron was relieved of its training mission and deployed to Amchitka Army Airfield, Alaska Territory, to take part in the Battle of Kiska during the Aleutian Islands Campaign.

After carrying out an attack on Kiska Island on August 4, 1943, the squadron returned to the Continenal United States and was re-equipped with the A-36 Apache ground attack version of the P-51B Mustang. Was assigned to the Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics at Lakeland AAF Florida until November when the school was closed down.

Re-equipped with P-51 Mustangs and P-47 Thunderbolts, became a training unit at Galveston AAF, Texas until April 1944 when the squadron was inactivated in a re-alignment of Training Command operational training units.

Was reactivated by Strategic Air Command in 1953 as a strategic fighter squadron; mission to provide fighter escort for SAC's long-range B-36 Peacemaker bomber. Equipped with F-84G Thunderjets, the squadron deployed to Misawa AB, Japan, August–November 1954 to provide air defense. Left F-84G's at Misawa, returned to Great Falls AFB and was re-equipped with F-84F Thunderflash swept-wing aircraft. Also operated a few RF-84F photo-reconnaissance aircraft.

Squadron operated until 1957 when the B-36 was being phased out and the unit was inactivated. The new B-52 Stratofortress and B-47 Stratojet bombers flew higher and faster than the F-84 escort fighters and instead of flying in formations, SAC's bombers flew individually to their selected targets.


  • Constituted as: 633d Bombardment Squadron (Dive) on 23 March 1943
Activated on 28 March 1943
Redesignated as: 516th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 10 August 1943
Disbanded on 1 April 1944
  • Reconstituted, and redesignated as: 516th Strategic Fighter Squadron, on 13 November 1953.
Activated on 18 December 1953
Inactivated on 1 July 1957.



Operated from Amchitka Army Airfield, Alaska Territory, Jul-Aug 1943
Operated from Misawa AB, Japan, 8 August-10 November 1954



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

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