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The 36th Intelligence Squadron is an active non-flying squadron, of the United States Air Force. It is assigned to the Air Force Targeting Center at Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, where it has been stationed since 1990. The squadron has earned the Air Force Meritorious Unit Award, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award, and the Air Force Organizational Excellence Award while stationed at Langley.

36th Intelligence Squadron
Active1942–1946; 1990-Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
EngagementsSouthwest Pacific Theater[1]
DecorationsAir Force Meritorious Unit Award
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat "V" Device
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award
Philippine Presidential Unit Citation[1]
36th Intelligence Squadron emblem
36th Photographic Mapping Squadron emblem (approved 7 March 1944)[1]

During World War II the squadron served in the Pacific as the 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron The squadron earned the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for its combat operations during the Liberation of the Philippines in 1944–1945.


World War II

The squadron was first activated in the summer of 1942 as the 28th Observation Squadron, one of the squadrons of the 73d Observation Group at Godman Field, Kentucky, where it was equipped with the Bell P-39 Airacobra.[2] The squadron engaged in training activities including the Tennessee maneuvers of 1943.[3]

During World War II, the squadron operated primarily in the Southwest Pacific Theater, providing aerial reconnaissance and intelligence information over a wide area of the theater in numerous campaigns. In 1945, it performed reconnaissance missions over Formosa as well as the Philippines.[4] The squadron earned the Philippine Presidential Unit Citation for its combat operations during the Liberation of the Philippines in 1944–1945. Following the Japanese surrender the squadron moved to Japan, briefly serving as part of the occupation forces, but returned to the Philippines at the end of 1945 and was inactivated in 1946.[2]


The squadron was reactivated as an intelligence unit supporting Tactical Air Command (TAC) in 1990. When Air Combat Command replaced TAC in 1992, the 36th was transferred along with its parent group.[1] In February 2008, it was reassigned to the Air Combat Command Targeting and Intelligence Group. Although much of its history remains classified, it has won numerous awards for its performance.


Activated on 17 July 1942
Redesignated: 28th Reconnaissance Squadron (Fighter) on 2 April 1943
Redesignated: 28th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron on 11 August 1943
Redesignated: 36th Photographic Mapping Squadron on 9 October 1943
Redesignated: 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron on 29 March 1944
Inactivated on 20 February 1946
Redesignated 36th Air Intelligence Squadron on 1 November 1991
Redesignated 36th Intelligence Squadron on 1 October 1993[1]




Awards and Campaigns

Award streamerAwardDatesNotes
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award1 June 2004 - 31 May 200636th Intelligence Squadron[1]
Air Force Meritorious Unit Award1 June 2006 - 31 May 200736th Intelligence Squadron[1]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award w/Combat "V" Device1 June 2002 - 31 May 200336th Intelligence Squadron[1]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award1 September 1990 - 31 December 199136th Tactical Intelligence Squadron (later 36th Air Intelligence Squadron)[1]
Air Force Outstanding Unit Award1 January 1992 - 30 September 199336th Air Intelligence Squadron[1]
Air Force Organizational Excellence Award1 October 1993 - 30 September 199536th Intelligence Squadron[1]
Philippine Republic Presidential Unit Citation17 October 1944 - 4 July 194536th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron[1]

Manual campaign table

Campaign Streamer Campaign Dates Notes
American Theater 28th Observation Squadron (later 36th Photographic Mapping Squadron)[2]
New Guinea 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron[2]
Western Pacific 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron[2]
Luzon 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron[2]
Southern Philippines 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron[2]
China Offensive 36th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron[2]



  1. Butler, William M. (8 November 2010). "Factsheet 36 Intelligence Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  2. Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 173
  3. Maurer, Combat Units, p. 50
  4. "Abstract, History 36 Photo Recce Sq Apr 1945". Air Force History Index. Retrieved 15 July 2013.
  5. Air Force Organization Change Status Report, June 2008, Research Division, Air Force Historical Research Agency


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

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