USAF Patch EW USAFE 42 ECS Electronic Combat Squadron EF 111A ib
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USAF Patch EW USAFE 42 ECS Electronic Combat Squadron EF 111A ib

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  • Item #: 1P 02US 4USA 01SQN 2OP 0042SQ 25
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USAF Patch USAFE 42 ECS Electronic Combat Squadron EF 111A Spark Vark 1984 20 TFW RAF Upper Heyford Embroidered on twill merrowed edge 114mm by 114mm four and one half inches by four and one half inches.

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Squadron History´╗┐´╗┐

42 Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron Electronics and Weather was activated under 10 Tactical Reconnaissance Group USAFE on 11 December 1953 at Spangdahlem AB West Germany with RB-26B Invader reconnaissance aircraft painted black to perform nighttime missions. A number of T/WT-33 Shooting Stars were received in 1955 for weather reconnaissance. In 1956 the Squadron replaced its Invaders with RB-66C Destroyers specialized electronic reconnaissance and electronic countermeasures aircraft designed for jamming Soviet radar with which the Squadron would fly with tactical fighter and fighter bomber as part of the attack force. The Shooting Stars were relinquished in 1957 and the Squadron received WB-66 Destroyers for the weather element. The Squadron remained with 10 TRG on its re-designation to10 Tactical Reconnaissance Wing on 8 December 1957. 

In 1959 10 TRW was relocated to RAF Alconbury England but a shortage of facilities at RAF Alconbury led to 42 TRS EW being stationed at RAF Chelveston, where it remained as a detachment of 10 TRW. EB-66C Destoyers arrived in 1960. In 1962 the runway at RAF Chevelston was closed and the Squadron deployed a rotational detachment to Toul-Rosieres AB France operating as Det 1 10 TRW. The Squadron also deployed to Chambley-Bussières AB France from 15 May to 9 October 1963. On 10 March 1964 a 42 TRS RB-66C deployed to Toul was shot down over East Germany after it crossed over the border due to an instrument malfunction. The crew were taken prisoner briefly before being released.

42 TRS EW was reassigned to 25 Tactical Reconnaissance Group on its activation at Chambley-Bussieres AB on 1 July 1965. 25 TRG was renamed 25 Tactical Reconnaissance Wing on 1 October 1965. When France withdrew from NATO's integrated military organization in 1966 Chambley-Bussières AB was closed and 25 TRW with 42 ECS EW were inactivated on 22 August 1966. The Squadrons specially-equipped EB-66C aircraft and aircrews were sent directly to Vietnam.

The Squadron was reactivated as 42 Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron on 15 December 1967 at Takhli RTAFB Thailand under 355 Tactical Fighter Wing with EB-66C Destroyers to locate and identify missile and AAA radar sites in North Vietnam so that strike aircraft could avoid them. The Squadron relocated to Korat RTAFB in 22 September 1970 continuing electronic warfare operations until the end of hostilities in January 1973. 42 TEWS was inactivated at Korat RTAFB on 15 March 1974.

42 Electronic Combat Squadron was activated on 23 May 1983 at RAF Upper Heyford England assigned to 20 Tactical Fighter Wing with EF-111A Ravens to provide ECM for NATO operations. The Squadron was reassigned to 66 Electronic Combat Wing on 1 July 1983 but remained attached to 20 TFW and retuning to 20 TFW on 1 June 1985. 42 ECS provided three EF-111As plus two spare aircraft to provide ECM cover for the successful Operation El Dorado Canyon 14 to 15 April 1986 the long range air raid on Tripoli Libya which flew from RAF Upper Heyford to Libya and back having to avoid France Spain and Italy which had refused air space for the mission.

The Squadron deployed flights to Turkey and Saudi Arabia in 1991 as part of Operation Desert Shield and engaged in combat operations over Iraq during Operation Desert Storm with eighteen EF-111A Ravens flying over 900 sorties for the loss of one aircraft and in a non-combat related accident. 42 ECS was even credited with a kill during Desert Storm when on 17 January 1991 an Iraqi Mirage F.1 flew into the ground while chasing an unarmed EF-111A. The Squadron was reassigned to 355 Operations Group on 25 January 1991 and was inactivated at RAF Upper Heyford on 1 July 1992 as part of the post-Cold War drawdown of the USAF.

On 1 July 1994 the squadron was re-activated as 42 Airborne Command and Control Squadron ACCS at Davis-Monthan AFB Arizona under 55 Electronic Combat Group on the renaming of 7 Airborne Command and Control Squadron with EC-130E Hercules Airborne Battlefield Command and Control Center ABCCC functioning as a direct extension of ground-based command and control authorities to provide flexibility in the overall control of tactical air resources and to provide communications to higher headquarters including national command authorities in both peace and wartime environments and airborne on-scene command for special operations such as airdrops or evacuations. The Squadron  undertook a number of deployed operations including the Balkans and was inactivated on 30 September 2002.

The Squadron was reactivated as 42 Electronic Combat Squadron on 10 March 2006 at Davis-Monthan AFB as part of 55 Electronic Combat Group in the training role order to provide the wing with combat ready EC-130H Compass Call trained aircrews. 


This patch dates from 1984.








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