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425th Fighter Squadron

425th Fighter Squadron


Constituted as the 425th Night Fighter Squadron Nov. 23, 1943, and activated Dec. 1, 1943, the 425th Fighter Squadron (FS) was originally assigned to Orlando Air Base, Florida.

On Jan. 30, 1944, the 425th was reassigned to bases in California before arriving at its first European station at Chormy Down, England, May 26, 1944. The 425th flew to its first home base on the European continent, Vannes, France, Aug. 18, 1944. Aircraft, men and equipment of the 425th moved north along with the Allied advance against the Axis and Germany, on May 2, 1945, just six days before VE Day May 8, 1945. During the air war in Europe, the 425th flew the YP-61, A-20, P-61 and P-70 aircraft. The unit flew and fought in support of the Allied war effort in Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe.

Between Sept. 9, 1945, and Sept. 1, 1946, the 425th was reassigned to various bases in California before being moved to McChord Field in Washington. On Aug. 25, 1947, the 425th was inactivated.

On Oct. 15, 1969, the 425th was reactivated at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona, as the 425th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron and assigned to the 58th Tactical Fighter Training Wing at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The squadron’s new mission with the 58th TFTW was to train aircrews from allied nations to fly and fight in the F-5. This training was accomplished at Williams Air Force Base and also at bases in those nations. On April 6, 1973, the first F-5E Tiger II was delivered to the 425th FS and gave the air forces of friendly nations a capability similar to that enjoyed by Soviet client nations whose forces were equipped with the MiG-21.

On June 21, 1989, the squadron’s F-5 training program terminated after having produced 1,499 graduates. The 425th was inactivated Sept. 1, 1989. On Dec. 30, 1992, the 425th was reactivated at Luke AFB under the designation 425th FS “Black Widows.” The squadron re-established its foreign military training mission by providing advanced weapons and tactics continuation for the Republic of Singapore air force’s F-16 aircrew and maintenance personnel. Republic of Singapore’s air forces aircrew and maintenance personnel are assigned to the 425th FS for two years. During their tour of duty they receive advanced tactics training, participate in Red Flag, shoot live missiles at Combat Archer and deploy to locations throughout the U.S. to participate in composite operations and air combat exercises.

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