The formation of today's 149th Fighter Wing traces back to 1943 when the 396th Fighter Squadron was activated and served honorable during World War II. During the war, the 396th FS served in the European Theater where it earned the Belgian Fourragere. The unit also earned the Belgian Croiz de Guerre twice and was recognized with the Distinguished Unit Citation for action over Mons, France, Sept. 3, 1944. After the war, most Guard units were given the lineage of similar WWII combat units. In keeping with this tradtion, the 396th FS was inactivated Aug. 20, 1946 and later re-designated as the 182nd Fighter Squadron, a Texas Air National Guard unit. The 182nd FS received federal recognition Oct. 6, 1947 and was given a fighter-bomber mission.
The 182nd began flying the F-51 "Mustang" in 1947 and accepted its first jet, the F-84E "Thunderjet" when the squadron was called to active duty during the Korean War. The squadron, as an element of the 136th Fighter Wing, was the first Air National Guard squadron to see combat during that war; the first Air National Guard unit to shoot down a MiG-15; and the first to successfully demonstrate the applicability of aerial refueling during combat.
On July 1, 1960, the unit was re-organized as the 149th Fighter Group with the 182nd FS as a component of the group. Although the unit has experienced several reorganizations in its more than 70-year history, the 149th has always flown fighter aircraft.
A list of the aircraft the unit has flown appears below.
Aircraft / Year
F-51 - 1947-1950
F-84E - 1951-1952
F-80 - 1953-1955
F-86D,L - 1956-1959
F-102A - 1960-1968
F-84F - 1968-1969
F-100D - 1970-1978
F-4C - 1979-1986
F-16A - 1986-1996
F-16C/D - 1996-present
The distinctive insignia, shown in the upper left hand corner, of the "Alamo Group" reflects the unit's proud history. The blue field with the white clouds symbolizes the sky, the primary theater of Air Force operations. The red embattled base bearing a replica of the Alamo is a reference to the group's location and proud Texas military heritage. The dagger with the star, symbol of Texas, is a reminder that the group was the first Air National Guard unit to fly the F-102 "Delta Dagger" aircraft. The honors of the 396th Fighter Squadron are commemorated in the fleur-de-lis denoting World War II Distinguished Unit Citation for action in France, the Taeguk with the caltrap denoting service in the Korean War, and the rope in the colors of the Belgian Fourragere denoting the unit's World War II foreign citations.
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