USAF Patch Rescue b 55 ARRS Aerospace Recovery Sqn Jolly Green c
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USAF Patch Rescue b 55 ARRS Aerospace Recovery Sqn Jolly Green c

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USAF Patch 55 ARRS Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron Jolly Green Patch CSAR 1980s Eglin AB Florida HC 130 MH 60 Pave Hawk Embroidered on twill merrowed edge 103mm by 78mm four and one sixteenth inches by three and one sixteenth inches.

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55 Air Rescue Squadron was activated on 14 November 1952 at Thule Air Base Greenland with SB 17 Flying Fortress equipped with search radar and an airborne lifeboat and SC 47 Skytrains modified for Search Air Rescue under 6 Air Rescue Group to provide search rescue and recovery services. In 1953 the Squadron received its first helicopters HC 19 Chickasaw YH 21 Work Hose flying bananas together with SA 16 Albatross amphibious flying boats. The SB 17s were relinquished in 1954 and the Squadron lost its SC 47s and YH 21 Work Horses in 1955. SC 54 Skymaster SAR planes and SH 21B Work Horse helicopters were received in 1956 with the SC 54s retiring in 1957 with the Squadrons H 19 Chickasaws. 55 ARS was reassigned to Air Rescue Service in 1958 and was inactivated on 18 June 1960. 

The Squadron was reactivated on 10 May 1961 at Kindley Air Force Station Bermuda with HC 54D Skymaster SAR planes under Military Air Transport Service. HH 43 Huskie helicopters arrived in 1963 and the HC 54Ds were replaced by HC 97G Stratofreighter SAR planes and the HH 43 helicopters relinquished in 1964. The Squadron was renamed 55 Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron and reassigned to Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Service in 1966. 1966 saw the arrival of HC 130 Hercules which replaced the HC 97G Stratofreighters. 

55 ARRS relocated to McCoy Air Base Florida on 27 February 1970 and reassigned to 39 Special Operations Wing moving to Eglin Air Base Florida on 25 June 1971. HH 53C Super Jolly Green Giant helicopters were received in 1973 which were replaced by HH 3E Jolly Green Giant helicopters in 1980 and UH MH 60 Pave Hawk helicopters in 1982.  

In 1988 the Squadron was renamed 55 Special Operations Squadron retasked to special operations missions and lost its HC 130 Hercules. 55 SOS was reassigned to 1 Special Operations Wing in 1989 and carried out special operations and combat search and rescue in Panama during Operation Just Cause 20 December 1989 to 14 January 1990 including the extraction of Navy Seal teams under fire at Patilla Airfield.  

Dedicated rescue forces from the Air Rescue Service were not deployed for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and cover was provided by 1 Special Operations Wing amongst its other special operations tasks. 55 SOS deployed with other 1 SOW assets including 20 SOS with its MH 53 Pave Low helicopters to King Fahd Air Base Saudi Arabia in January 1991. The Squadron conducted special operations missions including emergency evacuation coverage for SEAL teams penetrating the coast of Kuwait and the provision of combat recovery coverage for coalition Air Forces in the Persian Gulf area. 55 SOS deployed to Turkey in support Operation Provide Comfort in October 1991 conducting sustained combat and combat support operations for coalition aircraft operating in Turkey and Northern Iraq until the Squadron returned to Eglin in August 1992. 

The Squadron moved to Hurlburt Field Florida on 25 February 1993 and maintained a deployment to Turkey from April 1993 to April 1996 and again from Septermber 1996 to April 1997 for Operation Northern Watch. The Squadron also flew several earthquake and avalanche relief missions. In 1999 the Squadron provided special operations and CSAR support for Operation Allied Force over Kosovo and the Balkans. The Squadron was inactivated at Hurlburt Field on 11 November 1999. 

On 22 January 2003 the Squadron was reactivated at Davis Monthan Air Force Base Arizona as 55 Rescue Squadron with HH 60G Pave Hawk helicopters providing rapidly deployable combat search and rescue forces to theater commanders worldwide operating in hostile environments to recover downed aircrew and isolated personnel day night and in marginal weather conditions. In addition the squadron conducts nonmilitary operations deployed aircraft and crews in response to civil search and rescue disaster relief such as Hurricane Katrina international aid emergency medical evacuation and counterdrug activities. 

This patch dates from the 1970s








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