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71ST SPECIAL OPERATIONS SQUADRON

Posted 12/31/2013 Printable Fact Sheet
 
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71st Special Operations Squadron
71st Special Operations Squadron
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Commander:
Lt. Col. James P. Holder
71 SOS/CC


Mission Statement
To Provide Combat Ready CV-22 Aircrews to Air Force Special Operations Command

Unit History
Lineage: Constituted as the 71st Troop Carrier Squadron on 30 Jan 1943 and activated on 9 Feb 1943. Inactivated after World War II on 31 Jul 1946, the squadron was activated in the Reserve on 15 Mar 1947. Re-designated the 71st Troop Carrier Squadron, Medium, on 1 Jul 1949, it was ordered to active service on 1 May 1951 and inactivated on 1 Feb 1953. Again activated in the Reserve on 1 Feb 1953, it was again ordered to active service on 28 Oct 1962, but relieved from active service on 28 Nov 1962. Re-designated 71st Tactical Airlift Squadron on 1 Jul 1967 and ordered to active service on 13 May 1968, where it was again re-designated the 71st Air Commando Squadron on 15 Jun 1968 and then the 71st Special Operations Squadron on 8 Jul 1968. Relieved from active service on 18 Jun 1969, the squadron was inactivated on 1 Oct 1973. Activated once again in the Reserve on 1 Oct 1987, the squadron served until its inactivation on 1 Oct 1993. Recently activated on 20 May 2005, the 71 SOS serves as the Air Force's CV-22 training squadron.

Assignments:
9 Feb 1943 to 31 Jul 1946 and 15 Mar 1947 to 13 Apr 1959 434th Troop Carrier Group
14 Apr 1959 to 10 Feb 1963 434th Troop Carrier Wing
11 Feb 1963 to 31 May 1968 930th Troop Carrier Group
1 Jun 1968 to 19 Dec 1968 1st Air Commando Wing
20 Dec 1968 to 9 Jun 1969 14th Special Operations Wing
10 Jun 1969 to 1 Oct 1973 930th Special Operations Group
1 Oct 1987 to 31 Mar 1990 Fourth Air Force
1 Apr 1990 to 31 July 1991 919th Special Operations Group
1 Aug 1992 to 1 Oct 1993 919th Operations Group
20 May 2005 to present 58th Operations Group, Kirtland AFB, NM

Unit Stations:
9 Feb to 2 Sep 1943 Alliance Army Air Field, NB
3 to 26 Sep 1943 Baer Field, IN
7 Oct to 9 Dec 1943 Fulbeck, England
10 Dec 1943 to 9 Jan 1944 Welford Park, England,
10 Jan to 2 Mar1944 Fulbeck, England,
3 Mar 1944 to Feb 1945 Aldermaston, England,
Feb to Jun 1945 Mourmelon-le-Grand, France,
5 Aug to 14 Sep1945 Baer Field, IN,
15 Sep to 10 Oct 1945 Alliance Army Air Field, NB
11 Oct 1945 to 1 Feb 1946 George Field, IL
2 Feb to 31 Jul 1946 Greenville Army Air Base, SC
15 Mar 1947 to 30 Jun 1949 Stout Field, IN
1 Jul 1949 to 22 Jan 1952 Atterbury AFB, IN
23 Jan 1952 to 31 Jan 1953 Lawson AFB, GA
1 Feb 1953 to 16 Jun 1968 Atterbury (later, Bakalar) AFB, IN
17 Jun to 20 Dec 1968 Lockbourne AFB, OH
20 Dec 1968 to 1 Jun 1969 Nha Trang AB, South Vietnam
10 Jun 1969 to 14 Jan 1970 Bakalar AFB, IN
15 Jan 1970 to 1 Oct 1973 Grissom AFB, IN
1 Oct 1987 to 11 Jan 1991 Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
12 Jan 1991 to 16 Mar 1992 King Fahd Airport, Saudi Arabia
17 Mar 1992 to 1 Oct 1993 Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ
20 May 2005 to present Kirtland AFB, NM

Aircraft Flown:
1943 to 1946 C-47 Skytrain
1943 to 1945 L-4 Grasshopper
1943 to 1945 L-5 Sentinel
1944 to 1945 L-1 Vigilant
1944 to 1945 UC-64 Norseman
1953 to 1957 C-46 Commando
1957 to 1968 C-119 Flying Boxcar
1968 to 1969 AC-119 Shadow-Stinger
1970 C-119 Flying Boxcar
1971 to 1973 A-37 Dragonfly
1987 to 1990 CH-3
1987 to 1992 HH-3 Jolly Green Giant
1992 to 1993 MH-60 Blackhawk
2006 CV-22 Osprey

Operations: During World War II, the 71st Troop Carrier Squadron conducted airborne assaults on Normandy, Holland, and Germany, relief of Bastogne, and aerial transportation of passengers and cargo within the European Theater of Operations. After the war ended, the unit converted to reserve troop carrier training. It served again in active duty status during the Korean War, 1951-1953 and during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. From Jun to Dec 1968, the unit continued airlift support of Tactical Air Command and Air Force Logistics Command, while training in operations of AC-119G gun ships. It then moved to South Vietnam, beginning on 5 Jan 1969 as a combat gunship, forward air control, and other special operations unit. In less than 6 months, they returned to the United States to resume reserve training with new aircraft. Called back to active duty status on 1 Jan 1992, the unit carried out combat search, rescue, visual reconnaissance and other special operations in Southwest Asia from Jan to Apr 1991. Released from active status on 21 Apr 1992.

Unit Awards
Service Streamers:
None

Campaign Streamers:
World War II: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace, Central Europe
Vietnam: Vietnam Air Offensive, Phase IV; TET 69/Counteroffensive
Southwest Asia: Defense of Saudi Arabia; Liberation and Defense of Kuwait.

Decorations:
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award:
19 Dec 1968 to 30 Apr 1969
22 Mar 1989 to 21 Mar 1991
1 Jun 1990 to 31 May 1992
1 Jun 1992 to 1 Oct 1993
1 Jul 2004 to 30 Jun 2005
1 Jul 2006 to 30 Jun 2007
1 Jul 2007 to 30 Jun 2008
Distinguished Unit Citation:
France, 6 to 7 Jun 1944
Presidential Unit Citation:
19 Dec 1968 to 31 May 1969
French Croix de Guerre with Palm:
6 to 7 Jun 1944
20 to 28 Aug 1944
French Fourragere
Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm:
14 Feb 1968 to 1 Jun 1969


To contact the 71 SOS, call DSN: 263-3696, Commercial (505) 853-3696, or e-mail.




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