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The 466th Fighter Squadron is the 419th Fighter Wing's operational flying squadron. It is located at Hill Air Force Base, Utah.

466th Fighter Squadron
466th Fighter Squadron F-16C Fighting Falcon over the Great Salt Lake[note 1]
Active1944–1945; 1952–1956; 1972–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Part ofAir Force Reserve Command
Garrison/HQHill Air Force Base
DecorationsAir Force Outstanding Unit Award[1]
466th Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 29 March 1995)[1]
466th Strategic Fighter Squadron emblem (approved 23 September 1953)[2]

The squadron was activated late in World War II. Intended as a long-range escort unit, it deployed to the Pacific, but remained in Hawaii until it was inactivated after VJ Day. The squadron was reactivated in 1952 as the 466th Fighter-Escort Squadron, but was inactivated in 1956, when the concept of fighters escorting formations of bombers no longer jibed with United States military thinking.


The 419th uses 15 F-16C/D model aircraft, which are light, air-to-air daytime fighters. The 466th Fighter Squadron first saw action in 1998, participating in Exercise Cope Tiger. This is a drill which puts reserve pilots shoulder to shoulder with members of the Thailand and Singapore Air Forces. Later that year, the 466th was deployed to Kuwait in time for Operation Southern Watch. The 466th was part of a unit attempting to hold off Iraqi movements toward Kuwaiti and Saudi Arabia.[citation needed]


World War II

Formed in late 1944 under Second Air Force as one of the last Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter squadrons,[1] programmed for deployment to Western Pacific theater with long-range P-47N for Boeing B-29 Superfortress escort missions. Arrived in Hawaii in early 1945, assigned to Seventh Air Force. Lack of a serious fighter defense over Japan at high altitudes and reprogramming of B-29 raids over Japan to night low-level fast attacks led to reassignment as an air defense and training unit in Hawaii.[1]

Early Cold War fighter escort

Reactivated as the 466th Fighter-Escort Squadron to accompany formations of Strategic Air Command Boeing B-50 Superfortress and Convair B-36 Peacemaker bombers. Twice deployed to Japan to augment air defense forces there.[1] Inactivated in 1956[1] with the phaseout of the escort mission and retirement of the B-36.

Reserve fighter operations

Activated again in the reserve as the 466th Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1972 as a Republic F-105 Thunderchief squadron,[1] being equipped with aircraft returned from inactivated Vietnam War squadrons. Since 1984 has trained to fly interdiction, close air support, and counter-air missions. Deployed periodically for contingency operations, or for training exercises with other units.[1]


Activated on 12 October 1944
Inactivated on 25 November 1945
Activated on 1 July 1952
Redesignated 466th Strategic Fighter Squadron on 20 January 1953
Inactivated on 11 May 1956
Activated in the reserve on 1 January 1973
Redesignated 466th Fighter Squadron on 1 February 1992[1]





  1. Aircraft is General Dynamics F-16C Block 30J Fighting Falcon serial 87-340 flying a training mission. The 466th is the only Air Force reserve fighter squadron in Utah. This image was used in the April 2000 Airman Magazine article, "High-fivin' 'n' Huggin'" and was taken on 1 April 2000
  1. Dollman, TSG David (13 October 2016). "Factsheet 466 Fighter Squadron (AFRC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
  2. Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 572–573


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

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