USAF Patch Recon S c 343 SRS Strategic Reconnaissance Sqn CS a
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USAF Patch Recon S c 343 SRS Strategic Reconnaissance Sqn CS a

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  • Item #: 1P 02US 1USA 01SQN 2OP 0343RS 04
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USAF Patch 343 SRS Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron Combat Sent Missions IMF Inflight Maintenance Technician 55 SRW RC 135U Offutt AB Worldwide Electronic Radar Recon 1980s Embroidered on twill merrowed edge 89mm three and one half inches diameter.

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Following its WWII service as a Fighter Squadron 343 Reconnaissance Squadron Very Long Range Mapping was reactivated on 24 February 1947 at MacDill Field Florida equipped with F 2 Expeditor FB 17 Flying Fortress and F 9 Flying Fortress reconnaissance aircraft assigned to 55 Reconnaissance Group tasked with aerial photography mapping operations. The Squadron relocated to Topeka Air Force Base Kansas and was redesignated 343 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron Photo Mapping on 29 June 1948. The Squadron upgraded to RB 17 Flying Fortress and RB 29 Superfortress reconnaissance aircraft in 1948 for secret missions to detect improved Soviet radars and to monitor radioactive fallout from Soviet atomic testing and received a number of TB 29 Superfortress training aircraft in 1949. The Squadron was inactivated on 14 October 1949.

The Squadron was reactivated on 1 November 1950 as 343 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron Medium Electronics at Barksdale AFB Louisiana equipped with RB 29 Superfortress reconnaissance aircraft for worldwide strategic reconnaissance support including electronic signals intelligence assigned to 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Group. The Squadron relocated to Ramey AFB Puerto Rico on 3 January 1951 and reequipped with RB 50 Superfortress recon aircraft. The Squadron was reassigned to 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing on 16 June 1952 and the Squadrons crow/raven and red lightning emblem was approved on 25 July 1952.  The code name Raven was given to Allied electronic counter measure officers tasked with disrupt enemy communications and radars during WWII to provide a degree of security to their existence. Raven operators established a SAC flying course in ECM operations at McGuire AFB New Jersey where students changed the name to Crows with both names used since.

343 SRS ME returned to Topeka now named Forbes AFB on 10 October 1952. The Squadron added C 47 Skytrain aircraft to its fleet in 1953 and on 29 July 1953 lost an RB 50 temporarily attached to the 91 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron shot down by Soviet Mig fighters about ninety miles south of Vladivostok one of a number of incidents in the early 1950s during reconnaissance patrols along the Soviet Pacific coast for ELINT and Soviet Nuclear Test detection missions. LB 29 and KB 29 Superfortress aircraft were added to the Squadrons fleet in 1954.

The Squadron was redesignated 343 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron Medium on 15 July 1954 and reequipped with RB 47 Stratojet reconnaissance aircraft. The Squadron deployed at Ben Guerir Air Base French Morocco on 30 May to 8 August 1955 and added EB 47 Stratojet electronic reconnaissance aircraft to its fleet in 1957.

The Squadron was Redesignated 343 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron and relocated to Offutt AFB Nebraska on 16 August 1966. 343 SRS reequipped with RC 135 electronic reconnaissance aircraft in 1967. In addition to its global operational electronic reconnaissance missions including China and Soviet pacific coast the Squadron began providing formal training and maintaining of electronic warfare officers EWOs for the operation of the various intelligence data sensors and equipment aboard RC 135 aircraft from 1979. 343 Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron provided strategic reconnaissance support to worldwide operations including Grenada Operation Urgent Fury in 1983 Libya Operation Eldorado Canyon 1986 Iraq for Operations Desert Shield 1990 and Desert Storm 1991. The Squadron was redesignated 343 Reconnaissance Squadron on 1 September 1991. 343 RS provided support in the Balkans and Iraq 1990s Afghanistan Iraq Operation Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom during the 2000s.

Three RC 135C aircraft were converted to RC 135U Combat Sent standard in 1971 to collect technical electronic intelligence on adversary radar emitter systems decoding enemy radars missile guidance and fusing mechanisms with data used to develop new or upgraded radar warning receivers radar jammers decoys anti radiation missiles and training simulators and were assigned to 55 Strategic Reconnaissance Wing SRW at Offutt AFB in 1971. One of the Combat Sent aircraft was converted to a Rivet Joint in 1978 leaving USAF two RC 135U aircraft. The Combat Sent aircraft were flown by crews from the Wings flying Squadrons 24 SRS and 343 SRS with backend Raven and Crow intelligence and sensor operators provided by Electronic Security Squadrons and since 1994 45 RS 24 ERS and 97 Intelligence Squadrons.


This patch dates from the 1980s.








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