43d Electronic Combat Squadron

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43d Electronic Combat Squadron
Emblem of the 43d Electronic Combat Squadron
Active1917-1919; 1935-1936; 1940-1946; 1954-1959; 1986-1991; 1992--present
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Air Force
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43d Electronic Combat Squadron
Emblem of the 43d Electronic Combat Squadron
Active1917-1919; 1935-1936; 1940-1946; 1954-1959; 1986-1991; 1992--present
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Air Force

The 43d Electronic Combat Squadron (41 ECS) is a United States Air Force unit. Its current assignment is with the 55th Electronic Combat Group, being stationed as a tenant unit at its host wing Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona as a geographically separated unit from its parent wing, Offutt AFB, Nebraska.



Along with the 41st ECS, the unit accomplishes the Compass Call mission, providing vital capabilities in the realm of electronic warfare for the Air Force and are poised for immediate deployment to specific theater contingencies. The unit’s combat mission is to support tactical air, ground and naval operations by confusing the enemy’s defenses and disrupting its command and control capabilities.

The squadron flies the EC-130H aircraft, a specially configured version of the Air Force’s proven C-130 transport. To execute its unique missions, the aircraft were modified with electronic countermeasures systems, specialized jamming equipment, the capability to aerial refuel, as well as upgraded engines and avionics. Modifications made to the aircraft vary between the two squadrons, to help each squadron meet its specific mission-oriented needs.


The 43rd ECS has a long and varied history beginning Aug. 17, 1917, as the 86th Aero Squadron. It served as part of the zone of advance in France during the latter part of World War I. Then in 1935, it was an observation squadron operating as part of the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Alabama. Beginning Dec. 7, 1941, the squadron conducted patrols over the Hawaiian islands.

The squadron then switched yet again. As a combat mapping squadron, the unit's aircrews flew over Japanese held islands photographing and mapping the terrain and enemy positions. The 86th prepared the way for the taking of the Marshall Islands, Wake, Saipan. Guam, and Iwo Jima. Finally, in 1944, the squadron made the first photographic mosaics of Tokyo. The squadron was redesigned as the 43rd Reconnaissance Squadron (long range photographic) in 1945 then was deactivated in 1946. In January 1954, the 43rd was again activated, this time at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina. The squadron's aircrews flying RB-57 and RB-66 aircraft, accomplished a night photographic mission. The unit was deactivated in 1959.

Redesigned, the 43rd Electronic Combat Squadron, the unit was activated June 6, 1986, at Sembach Air Base, Germany. It served in Europe until 1991, then came to Davis-Monthan AFB and the 355th, May 1, 1992, as the sister squadron to the 41st. The 43rd earned a combat streamer for its duties in World War I and six more for missions flown in the Pacific during World War II.


Demobilized on 26 May 1919
Inactivated on 1 September 1936
Redesignated: 86th Observation Squadron (Medium) on 26 February 1942
Redesignated: 86th Observation Squadron on 4 July 1942
Redesignated: 86th Reconnaissance Squadron (Bomber) on 31 May 1943
Redesignated: 86th Combat Mapping Squadron on 13 November 1943
Redesignated: 43d Reconnaissance Squadron, Long Range, Photographic, on 16 June 1945
Inactivated on 22 February 1946
Activated on 18 March 1954
Redesignated: 43d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Night Photo-Jet, on 8 April 1956
Inactivated on 18 May 1959
Activated on 1 October 1986
Inactivated on 31 July 1991


  • Unknown, 17 August 1917-September 1918
  • Advanced Air Service Depot, September 1918-March 1919
  • Unknown, March-26 May 1919
  • Air Corps Tactical School, 1 March 1935-1 September 1936
  • Hawaiian Department, 1 February 1940
  • Hawaiian (later, Seventh) Air Force, November 1940
  • AAF, Pacific Ocean Areas (later, US Army Strategic Air Forces), 24 October 1944
Attached to VI Air Service Area Command, 24 October 1944-14 September 1945
Detachment attached to 4th Reconnaissance Group, June-August 1945
  • US Army Forces, Middle Pacific, 14 September 1945
Attached to 7th Fighter Wing to 22 February 1946
Attached to 432d Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, c. 1 February-7 April 1959


  • Wheeler Field, TH, 17 August 1942-c. 28 June 1944
Detachment operated from Kwajalein, May-June 1944, and from Eniwetok, June-August 1944
  • Saipan, 8 July-6 November 1944
Air echelon, less Eniwetok detachment, at Wheeler Field, TH, to October 1944, and at Kahuka AAB, TH, from October 1944
  • Kahuka AAB,(Hawaii, Northern Oahu Island) TH, 24 November 1944
Detachment operated from Puerta Princesa, Palawan, June-August 1945


See also


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links