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78th Reconnaissance Squadron
78th Reconnaissance Squadron.jpg
78th Reconnaissance Squadron Patch
Active 28 February 1918 - 15 November 1918
1 April 1931 - 1 September 1937
1 February 1940 - 15 October 1946
1 November 1952 - 1 May 1992
1 January 1994 - 30 June 2003
19 May 2006 - present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Reconnaissance and Surveillance
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
10th Air Force
Garrison/HQ Nellis Air Force Base
Nickname(s) Bushmasters
Engagements World War I
World War II
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA

78th FS F-16C Block 50D 91-0365, taken in 2002 over Arizona

78th FS F-16C Block 50D 91-0394 leaves on a mission in support of Operation Northern Watch from Incirlik AB, Turkey on 20 September 2002

78th TFS A-10As at RAF Bentwaters

McDonnell F-4D-28-MC Phantom Serial 65-0738 of the 78th Tactical Fighter Squadron, September 1972. This aircraft was retired to AMRC on 13 June 1990.

McDonnell F-101C-50-MC Voodoo 56-025 of the 78th Tactical Fighter Squadron. After its service in the UK ended in 1965, this aircraft was withdrawn from active USAF service. It was converted to an RF-101H unarmed reconnaissance aircraft and was assigned to the Nevada ANG, then in 1971 to the Kentucky Air National Guard. It was withdrawn from service in 1979 and sent to AMRC for disposal.

78th FIS Republic F-84F Thunderstreak - 52-6718

78th FBS North American F-86F Sabre - 51-13234

The 78th Reconnaissance Squadron (78 RS) is part of the Tenth Air Force, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas. The 78 RS conducts operations from Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada in conjunction with their active-duty associates in the Air Force Warfare Center.


The mission of the 78th Reconnaissance Squadron is to maintain combat-ready reservists to train and equip the Combat Air Forces to conduct Integrated and Expeditionary Combat Operations, as well as training operations, in the MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Systems.

The squadron consists of UAS pilots, sensor operators and intelligence personnel integrated into Regular Air Force units within the 432d Air Expeditionary Wing at Creech Air Force Base, Nevada.


The 78th was organized in 1917 at Rich Field, Waco, Texas as a training unit. In February 1918 moved to Hicks Field, Fort Worth, Texas before being demoilized. In 1931, the 78th Pursuit Squadron was again activated and assigned to the 20th Pursuit Group at Mather Field, California flying single-seat Boeing P-12 biplane fighters.

During World War II the unit was recognized and stationed in the Pacific theater where the unit flew P-39s, P-40s, and P-51s. With a combat record from the war of 200 enemy aircraft destroyed or damaged, versus the loss of only six aircraft assigned to the unit. The 78th received the Distinguished Unit Citation for actions at the Musashino Plant, Tokyo, Japan, on 7 April 1945.

On the 1 November 1952 the 78th Fighter Interceptor Squadron was reactivated, flying F-86 Sabre aircraft as part of the 81st Fighter-Interceptor Wing. In 1954 the 81st became a Fighter Bomber Wing and the assigned squadrons began flying the F-84 Thunderjet. Then in 1958, the 78th received its first F-101 Voodoo aircraft.

While flying the A-10 Thunderbolt II at RAF Woodbridge the squadron deployed to Incirlik Air Base Turkey in 1991, where it took part in Operation Provide Comfort. Later after inactivation and reactivation at Shaw Air Force Base and flying the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the 78th began a regular rotation of deployments to patrol the Northern and Southern No-Fly Zones of Iraq, the last of which took place in mid to late 2002, when they deployed to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. The squadron also performed combat operations in Kosovo from March to June 1999.[1]

The 78th was prepared to again deploy to Turkey in preparation for Operation Iraqi Freedom, however, the Turkish government denied the use of its nation as a staging area against Iraq. Consequently, the 78th stood down and was inactivated. The personnel and F-16CJ equipment of the 78th transferred to the 55th Fighter Squadron. In April 2006 the 78th was redesignated as the 78th Reconnaissance Squadron with a reactivation in May 2006.


  • Organized as 78th Aero Squadron on 28 February 1918
Redesignated, Squadron A, Taliaferro Field, TX, on 23 July 1918
Demobilized on 15 November 1918
  • Reconstituted, and consolidated (25 April 1933) with 78th Observation Squadron, which was constituted on 18 October 1927
Redesignated 78th Pursuit Squadron on 8 May 1929
Activated on 1 April 1931
Inactivated on 1 September 1937
  • Redesignated 78th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 22 December 1939
Activated on 1 February 1940
Redesignated: 78th Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Redesignated: 78th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 20 August 1943
Inactivated on 15 October 1946
  • Redesignated 78th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 11 September 1952
Activated on 1 November 1952
Redesignated: 78th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 1 April 1954
Redesignated: 78th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 8 July 1958
Inactivated on 1 May 1992
  • Redesignated 78th Fighter Squadron on 22 December 1993
Activated on 1 January 1994
Inactivated on 30 June 2003
  • Redesignated 78th Reconnaissance Squadron on 19 April 2006
Activated on 19 May 2006.


Attached to 81st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, c. 22 April 1954-7 February 1955

Bases stationed[1]

Aircraft Operated[1]


See also


External links

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