33rd Fighter Squadron (USAF ACC)

"Falcons" 

33 FS "Falcons" (USAF ACC)
Status:
Disbanded
Version: F-16C/D block 42
Role:Attack
Tailband: Black
Motto: N/A
Badge: N/A
Disbanded on November 15th, 1993.

F-16 History

The 33rd TFS started receiving the first F-16s in 1985. It was reactivated as an F-16 squadron and based at Shaw AFB. The squadron received brand-new block 25 airframes straight from the General Dynamics Fort Worth production line. The responsibilities of the 19th TFS were close air support, air interdiction and armed reconnaissance to support worldwide contingencies. With these aircraft new weapon systems could be introduced, like the CBU-87 Wind Corrected Munitions Dispensers (WCMD).

During 1990 the tensions in the Middle East started rising. Therefore the squadron deployed to Saudi Arabia and started flying air defense missions over the Saudi kingdom. When Operation Desert Storm started in January of 1991 the squadron was at the forefront of air operations operating from Al Dhafra AB in the United Arab Emirates. After Operation Desert Storm ended the squadron was deployed to Southeast Asia in late 1992 to endorse the no-fly zone over southern Iraq. During that Operation Southern Watch deployment Lt. Col. Gary L. North, commander of the 33rd FS, became the first F-16 pilot to score an aerial victory with an AIM-120AMRAAM missile, shooting down an Iraqi MiG-25 on December 27th, 1992.

Between these two deployments the squadron started receiving some brand-new block 42 airframes. Their primary mission of air interdiction remained the same. During 1993 the first rumors came that the entire wing was to be disbanded. The news was quickly acknowledged. On November 15th, 1993 the squadron was being disbanded in favor of units from the 20th FW. The reason behind the disbandment was to keep the history alive of the 20th FW and its resident squadrons over those of the 363rd FW.


USAF F-16C block 42 #89-2132 from the 33rd TFS is parked on the flightline at Birmingham IAP in October of 1991. [Airliners.net photo by Gary Chambers]

Aircraft Markings History

1985 - 1993

The tail consists of a black tailband with the word 'Falcons' in yellow included. The 'SW' tailcode (for Shaw) is in the center of the tail with the Tactical Air Command - and later Air Combat Command - logo in between them. The serial is situated on the base of the tail. After 1992 the word 'Claws' was also used.


Unit History

  • 1917: Activation of the squadron in Kelly, Texas
  • 1917: 'Nieuport' 83
  • 1917: 'Nieuport' 83 (Etamps [Fr.])
  • 1917: 'Nieuport' 83 (Clermont-Ferrand [Fr.])
  • 1917: 'Nieuport' 83 (Issoudun [Fr.])
  • 1918: 'Nieuport' 83 (Bordeaux [Fr.])
  • 1919: 'Nieuport' 83 (Mitchell Field, New York)
  • 1919: Disbanded
  • 1932: Activation of the squadron in Langley, Virginia
  • 1932: P-12 (part of 8 PG)
  • 1934: P-6
  • 1936: PB-2
  • 1939: P-36 'Hawk' (part of 8 FG)
  • 1940: P-40 'Warhawk' (Mitchell Field, New York)
  • 1941: P-40 'Warhawk' (Keflavik [Ice.])
  • 1942: P-40 'Warhawk' (part of 342 CG)
  • 1943: P-39 'Airacobra'
  • 1944: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (part of 24 CW)
  • 1945: P-47 'Thunderbolt' (Camp Kilmer, New York)
  • 1945: Disbanded
  • 1953: Activation of the squadron in Clovis, New Mexico
  • 1953: No aircraft assigned (part of 37 FBG)
  • 1953: Disbanded
  • 1956: Activation of the squadron in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
  • 1956: No aircraft assigned (part of 342 FDG)
  • 1953: Disbanded
  • 1969: Activation of the squadron in Shaw, South Carolina
  • 1969: RF-4C 'Phantom II' (part of 363 TRW)
  • 1982: Disbanded
  • 1985: Activation of the squadron in Shaw, South Carolina
  • 1985: F-16C/D 'Fighting Falcon' (part of 363 TFW)
  • 1991: F-16C/D 'Fighting Falcon' (part of 363 FW)
  • 1992: F-16C/D 'Fighting Falcon' (part of 363 OG)
  • 1993: Disbanded

Deployments

'Desert Storm'
Al Dhafra AB, UAE (August 9th, 1990 to March 13th, 1991)
The operation for the 33rd TFS already started in Saudi Arabia with a deployment to defend the country from Iraqi attacks. With the invasion in January of 1991 the squadron moved to the UAE to take part in the massive air operations. This operation was in cooperation with the 17th TFS.
'Southern Watch'
Ahmed Al Jaber AB, Kuwait (September of 1992 to December of 1992)
Operation Southern Watch was an operation which was responsible for enforcing the United Nations mandated no-fly zone below the 32nd parallel in Iraq. This mission was initiated mainly to cover for attacks of Iraqi forces on the Iraqi Shi’ite Muslims. This operation was in cooperation with the 19th FS. During this deployment Lt. Col. Gary L. North, commander of the 33rd FS, became the first F-16 pilot to score an aerial victory with an AIM-120AMRAAM missile, shooting down an Iraqi Mig-25 on December 27th, 1992.

F-16 Airframe Inventory

Photos

Errors and Omissions

Mar 29, 2015 - 11:21 PM
tail band

Tail band was blue with the word falcons done in gold.




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