History of the 507th
The 465th Fighter Squadron (465 FS) was activated at Peterson Field, Colorado, on 12 October 1944. The squadron moved to Dalhart Army Air Field, Texas, on 15 December 1944. There, the 465 FS was trained for bomber escort duty in the Pacific Theater. For this duty, the squadron was equipped with the Republic P-47 "N"-model "Thunderbolt" Very Long Range escort fighter. The squadron established its headquarters on the island of Ie Shima on 24 June 1945, and commenced combat operations on 1 July.
Assigned to the Twentieth Air Force and later transferred to the Eighth Air Force, the squadron was originally intended to escort B-29 bombardment aircraft during the latter's raids against the cities of the Japanese Home Islands. By the time of the 465 FS's arrival in the Pacific Theater, the 20th Air Force had determined that Japanese Home Islands air defenses posed little significant threat to the low-level B-29 incendiary bombing missions then being flown. Instead, 465 FS pilots were ordered to fly interdiction missions against targets of opportunity in Japan, Korea, and China. Employing their P-47N aircraft as fighter-bombers, 465 FS pilots relentlessly attacked Japanese shipping, railroad bridges, airfields, factories, and troop concentrations. Reassigned to Eighth Air Force on 1 August, the squadron met little enemy fighter opposition until flying its only B-29 escort mission on 8 August 1945. On that date, it fought off a large formation of Japanese interceptors attacking the bomber formation o ver Yawata, Japan, destroying ten enemy aircraft. During a combat sweep over Korea on 13 August 1945, the 465 FS encountered a swarm of Japanese interceptors and destroyed 16 of them, for which action it received the Distinguished Unit Citation. Following the Japanese surrender, the squadron moved to Yontan, Okinawa, on 29 January 1946 and was inactivated on 24 May 1946.
The unit was activated at McChord AFB, Washington, as the 465th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS), Air Defense Command, on 18 February 1953, flying North American F-86D "Sabre" aircraft. The 465 FIS was inactivated at McChord AFB on 18 August 1955 and activated at Griffiss AFB, New York, on 8 October 1955. Early in 1958, the 465 FIS converted to Northrop F-89J "Scorpion" aircraft. The squadron moved to Laurence G. Hanscom Field, Massachusetts, on 1 July 1959, at which time it was re- equipped with North American F-86L "Sabre" aircraft. The last active duty squadron flying the F-86L, the 465 FIS was inactivated on 15 March 1960.
Reserve units have served at Tinker for 51 years, dating back to June 1946, when they were still part of the Army Air Forces. Since that time, Air Force Reserve units on base have flown bombers, trainers, fighters and eventually air transport aircraft. On May 14, 1972, the 507th was reactivated at Tinker AFB as the e507th Tactical Fighter Group (TFG), Air Force Reserve. The group’s single operational flying squadron, the 465th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), was activated on the same date and equipped with Republic F-105D “Thunderchief” aircraft. As such, it was the first Air Force Reserve group to be equipped with fighter aircraft in nearly twenty years.
In 1980, the group was re-equipped with McDonnell Douglas F-4D “Phantom II” aircraft.
In 1989, the 507th converted from F-4s to General Dynamic’s F-16A/B “Fighting Falcon” aircraft.
On Nov. 13, 1993, the 507FG received a message from Headquarters Air Force Reserve advising that the unit would be redesignated as an Air Refueling Group (ARG), converting from fighter to tanker aircraft. On Oct. 1 1994, the 507 ARG was redesignated the 507th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) and is still flying tanker aircraft.
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