Historic Markers Across South Carolina



356th Tactical Fighter Squadron



Marker ID:  
Location: at the intersection of Corsair Ave and Airdrome Ave, Myrtle Beach, SC
County: Horry
Coordinates: N 33° 40.194    W 078° 56.124
  33.6699    -78.9354
 



Text:

356th Tactical Fighter Squadron


November 1956 saw the reactivation of the 356th as the "Green Demons" at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, flying the F-100D Super Sabre. The 356th participated in numerous deployments to Europe during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and also deployed in support of the Cuban Missile Crisis. From April 1963 until June 1964, the 356th deployed on several occasions to Turkey and Italy. Then, in November 1965, flying F-4 Phantoms, the 356th was assigned to Misawa Air Base, Japan, in support of the Vietnam conflict.

In the early 1970s, the 356th was reassigned to Myrtle Beach Air Force Base and transitioned to the A-7D Corsair II. The squadron was subsequently deployed to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, supporting United States efforts in the Vietnam conflict. The "Green Demons" became the first operational A-10 TAC-FTR Thunderbolt ll unit in October 1977.

A-7Ds in flight over Thailand

( adjacent marker )

356th Tactical Fighter Squadron

The 356th Tactical Fighter Squadron was activated at Hamilton Field, California, in 1942. Originally called the "Red Asses," they were first assigned to fly the P-39 Aircobra, but transitioned into the P-51 Mustang when the unit was transferred to the European Theater in 1943.

The 356th participated in both long-range bomber escort and ground support missions. In November 1944, the squadron switched from the P-51 to the P-47 Thunderbolt. However, in March 1945, the units switched back to the P-51, which they continued to fly until the end of the war. During World War II, 356th pilots shot down 298 enemy aircraft, accumulating nine aces among its ranks, including Major James Howard who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

At the end of the war, the 356th remained with the Occupation Forces in Europe until February 1946. The squadron returned to Bolling field, District of Columbia, and was subsequently deactivated in May 1946.


356th WWII Emblem Courtesy of Gene Lamar


( adjacent marker )

356th Tactical Fighter Squadron

During the 1980s, the 356th spearheaded the integration of the A-10 into the tactical air forces. They were instrumental in developing many of the tactics that were adopted by A-10 units world-wide. These tactics were verified in such high-profile exercises as Red Flag (Nevada), Team Spirit (Korea) and Cope Elite (Hawaii). The "Green Demons" squadron flag was retired in June 1992.


Lieutenant Colonel Comm Ropi, Commander of the 356th Tactical Fighter squadron, gives the flag to Colonel J.D. Dallager, Commander of the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing.