54th Fighter Squadron

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54th Fighter Squadron
Pacific Air Forces.png
54th Tactical Fighter Squadron - McDonnell Douglas F-15C-30-MC Eagle - 81-0020.jpg
54th Tactical Fighter Squadron F-15C Eagle[note 1]
Active1941–1946; 1952–1960; 1991-2000
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part ofPacific Air Forces
Nickname(s)Alaska's First Guardians[1]
Motto(s)Alaska's First Guardian[s] (1987-1988, 1989-)[1][2]
DecorationsAir Force Outstanding Unit Award
54th Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 4 April 1989)[1]54th Fighter Squadron.jpg
Patch with 54th Tactical Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 3 June 1988)[1]54 Tactical Fighter Sq emblem.png
54 Tactical Fighter Squadron emblem (1987) (approved 4 June 1987)[1][2]54 Tactical Fighter Squadron emblem (1987).png
Patch with 54th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron emblem (approved 2 September 1943)[1]54th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron - Emblem.png

The 54th Fighter Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was to the 3d Operations Group, being stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska. It was inactivated on 28 April 2000.


World War II[edit]

Activated on 15 Jan 1941 at Hamilton Field, California as a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk pursuit unit[1] as part of the defense buildup of the United States prior to World War II.

Deployed to Alaska in mid-1942 and engaged the Japanese during the Aleutian Campaign during World War II. Engaged in combat in the Aleutians, 1942-1943 with long-range Lockheed P-38 Lightnings.[1] Remained in Alaska after the removal of Japanese forces, flying long range escorts for B-24 Liberator bombing attacks of northern Japanese Kurile Islands, inactivated in 1946.

Air Defense[edit]

F-89J Scorpion stationed at Ellsworth AFB[note 2]

Reactivated in 1952 at Rapid City Air Force Base, South Dakota,[1] assuming the personnel and aircraft of the 175th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, a North Dakota Air National Guard that had been called to active service for the Korean War and which returned to state control. Mission was to provide air defense for North Central United States.[1] Assumed ANG North American F-51D Mustangs, upgraded to Republic F-84D Thunderjet jet aircraft being returned from combat in Korea in July 1953. Upgraded to F-84Gs in December 1953; upgraded to North American F-86D Sabre in April 1954; upgraded to Northrop F-89J Scorpion interceptors in 1957. Inactivated on 25 December 1960.[1]

Return to Alaska[edit]

Reactivated as a McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle air superiority squadron in Alaska in 1987, it provided air defense until being inactivated in 2000.


  • Constituted as the 54th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on 20 November 1940
Activated on 15 January 1941
Redesignated 54th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) (Twin Engine) on 31 January 1942
Redesignated 54th Fighter Squadron (Twin Engine) on 15 May 1942
Redesignated 54th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine on 20 Aug 1943
Inactivated on 21 Mar 1946
  • Redesignated 54th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron on 10 October 1952
Activated on 1 December 1952
Discontinued and inactivated on 25 December 1960
  • Redesignated 54th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 13 January 1987
Activated on 8 May 1987
Redesignated 54th Fighter Squadron on 26 September 1991
Inactivated on 28 April 2000[1]



Detachments at Fort Randall Army Air Field, Alaska, c. 6 Jun-c. 31 Jul 1942 and Fort Glenn Army Air Base, Alaska, c. 6 June–c. 19 September 1942


  • Seversky P-35, 1941–1942
  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, 1941–1942
  • Republic P-43 Lancer, 1941–1942
  • Lockheed F-5 Lightning, 1943
  • Lockheed P-38 Lightning, 1942–1946
  • North American F-51D Mustang, 1952–1953
  • Republic F-84G Thunderjet, 1953–1954
  • North American F-86D Sabre, 1954–1957
  • Northrop F-89J Scorpion, 1957–1960
  • McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle, 1987–2000
  • McDonnell Douglas F-15D Eagle, 1987–2000 [1]


  1. ^ Aircraft is McDonnell Douglas F-15C-30-MC Eagle serial 81-20
  2. ^ Aircraft is Northrop F-89J-50-NO Scorpion serial 53-2453, loading an inert Genie nuclear missile at Tyndall AFB, Florida in 1957
  3. ^ Both Maurer and the 54th Fighter Squadron give this date as 1941. This seems doubtful since the squadron moved to Alaska in May 1942. The Maurer entry appears to be a typographic error and the factsheet is based on Maurer. Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 223-224
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Factsheet 54 Fighter Squadron". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 19 December 2007. Archived from the original on 27 February 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Approved insignia for: 54th Tactical Fighter Squadron". National Archives Catalog. 3 August 1987. Retrieved 9 January 2018.


 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

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