Looking back at Misawa's history in July

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sgt. Don Koser
  • 35th Fighter Wing historian
July 10, 1942: Elements of the Misawa Air Group were deployed against allied forces in the South Pacific-Saipan Island by way of Tinian.

July 14, 1945: Twelve U.S. Navy Grumman aircraft bombed Misawa Air Base in northern Honshu, the first attack on the base. They met no resistance due to the lack of fighter aircraft on the base. The attack destroyed the aircraft maintenance shops and approximately 27 aircraft on the ground.

July 9, 1950: The 35th Fighter Wing's tactical group and two squadrons deployed from Yokota Air Base to Korea for combat, but the wing (with one assigned and one attached squadron) continued flying air defense missions in Japan as well as photographic reconnaissance of the Japanese coasts.

Jul y 15, 1950: First Lieutenant Robert A. Coffin scored the 35 Fighter Wing's first aerial victory in a jet fighter when he shot down a Yak-9 in his F-80 "Shooting Star." A change in mission made this the wing's second and final aerial victory of the Korean War.

July 20, 1952: The 31st Fighter Wing deployed three squadrons (57) of F-84s to Misawa Air Base under the code name Fox Peter One. The deployment was the first mass movement of jet fighters across the Pacific and the first mass midair refueling movement for jet fighters. The wing's 307th, 308th, and 309th Fighter-Escort Squadrons departed Misawa on October 16, 1952.

July 28, 1953: As of this date the following aircraft were assigned to Misawa Air Base:
USAF: F-84, F-80, B-29, C-46, C-119, F-86, F-94, B-26, C-47, C-118.
USN: P-2V, F-24, AD Skyraiders.

July 15, 1957: The JASDF Northern Air Defense Force was established on Misawa Air Base under the command of Maj. Gen. Koichi Shimada.

July 14, 1959: The last F-84G "Thunderjet" aircraft in the USAF inventory left Misawa Air Base bound for Tachikawa AB where they were scrapped. The 21 Tactical Fighter Wings' F-100 "Super Sabres" replaced the aging F-84s that flew at Misawa since 1953.

July 1, 1963: Construction of the FLR-9 antenna (elephant cage) began; it was completed in March 1965.

July 1, 1971: The U.S. Naval Security Group Activity was activated at Misawa Air Base in a ceremony held in Hangar 941. It is the longest continuously active American unit on Misawa Air Base. The Navy redesignated the NSGA as the U.S. Navy Information Operations Command Misawa December 29, 2005.

July 31, 1971: Seventh Air Force inactivated the 35th Fighter Wing at Phan Rang Air Base, South Vietnam, as the Vietnam War began to draw down. It was activated months later on October 1, 1971, replacing the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing at George AFB, Calif., assigned to 12th Air Force. It was at George Air Base where the 35th first became tied to the Wild Weasel mission of suppression of enemy air defenses.

July 1, 1972: The 6920th Air Base Group of the U.S.A.F. Security Service, assumed host responsibilities of Misawa Air Base from Pacific Air Force's 6122nd Air Base Group.

July 25, 1980: Members of VP-40 flew a life-saving mission with a P-3C aircraft between Misawa and Yokota Air Base after a typhoon prevented the timely response of the Air Force air evacuation system.

July 21, 1982: Japanese contractors discovered what they believed was a bomb at the base of Misawa's FLR-9 antenna while performing maintenance work. U.S. Naval ordnance personnel declared the device to be non-explosive in nature and hauled it away for disposal.

July 1, 1984: The 6112th Air Base Group is inactivated and replaced by the 432d Tactical Fighter Wing as host unit on Misawa Air Base.

July 1, 1984: The 35th Tactical Fighter Wing was redesignated as the 35th Tactical Training Wing while stationed at George Air Base, Calif.

July 31, 1992: The 35th Aircraft Generation Squadron is inactivated at George AFB, Calif. The unit is redesignated and activated as the 35th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron on September 4, 2002, at Misawa Air Base, Japan.

July 8, 1996: The 13th Fighter Squadron became the first PACAF F-16 unit to deploy in support of Operation Southern Watch enforcing the no-fly zone over Southern Iraq. During the deployment, the Panthers flew their first combat missions since the Mayaguez Incident in 1975. As part of Operation Desert Strike, the 13th FS destroyed an Iraqi SA-8 site and ROLAND radar missile system with HARM launches.