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|476th Tactical Fighter Squadron|
Emblem of the 476th Tactical Fighter Squadron
|Branch||United States Air Force|
The 476th Tactical Fighter Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last was assigned to the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina. It was inactivated on 18 March 1969.
Activated in October 1957 at George AFB, California. Initially equipped with F-100 Super Sabres, however was programmed to receive the new F-104C tactical strike version of the Lockheed Starfighter. Delays in development caused the squadron not to receive the F-104 until September 1958, when it was the first Tactical Air Command squadron to be equipped with the new aircraft. It was primarily intended for nuclear strike, but it could also carry out ground attack missions with conventional weapons.
After obtaining operational readiness with the Starfigher, was deployed to Spain for air defense missions over the SAC B-47 Reflex base at Moron AB. Also used by the USAF/Lockheed for demonstrations for NATO military sales to replace Republic F-84F Thunderstreak combat aircraft. Also deployed in this role to Hahn AB, West Germany in 1962.
Was deployed to Taiwan in 1968 to reinforce the ROC Air Force air defense mission. In April 1968 was forward deployed with regular rotations to Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam. Their job was to fly MiG combat air patrol (MiGCAP) missions to protect American fighter bombers against attack by North Vietnamese fighters. They flew these missions armed with their single M61A1 20-mm cannon and four AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. The effect of F-104 deployment upon NVN and PRC MiG operations was immediate and dramatic; NVN MiGs soon learned to avoid contact with USAF strikes being covered by F-104s. During the entire deployment of the 476th only two fleeting encounters between F-104Cs and enemy fighters occurred.
Returned to the United States without aircraft in July 1968, the F-104Cs remaining in Taiwan and sold to the ROC Air Force. Was planned to be re-equipped with F-4C Phantom IIs as part of the phaseout of the F-104 from TAC, however budget reductions led to the squadron being placed on non-operational status; personnel were re-designated as the 4535th Combat Crew Training Squadron. Was reassigned to 4th TFW at Seymour Johnson AFB, but remained non-operational and inactivated in March 1969.
- Established as 476th Fighter-Day Squadron on 1 October 1957
- Activated on 8 October 1957
- Re-designated as 476th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 1 July 1958
- Inactivated on 18 March 1969
- 479th Fighter-Day (later Tactical Fighter) Wing: 8 October 1957 – 25 September 1968
- Attached to: 65th Air Division, 12 Nov 1959 – 28 Mar 1960
- Attached to: 65th Air Division, 8 Apr – 17 Aug 1961
- Attached to: 50th Tactical Fighter Wing, 8 Apr-l0 Aug 1962
- Attached to: 65th Air Division, 6 Jan-l Apr 1964
- Attached to: 2d Air Division, 7 Apr – 11 Jul 1968
- In non-operational status, 11 July – 25 September 1958
- 4th Tactical Fighter Wing, 25 September 1968 – 18 March 1969 (Not manned or equipped)
- George Air Force Base, California, 8 October 1957 – 25 September 1968
- Deployed to: Morón Air Base, Spain, 12 Nov 1959 – 28 Mar 1960; 8 Apr – 17 Aug 1961; 6 Jan-l Apr 1964
- Deployed to: Hahn Air Base, West Germany, 8 Apr-l0 Aug 1962
- Deployed to: Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Taiwan, 7 Apr – 11 Jul 1968
- Performed rotational deployments to Da Nang AB, South Vietnam
- Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, 25 September 1968 – 18 March 1969
- Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947–1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.