This is an unofficial history of the 131st Fighter Wing, Mo Air National Guard. If you a former MOANG member and would like to share unclassified unit history, please contact Scott K. Williams
A History of St. Louis Aviation, by Wilbur Tackaberry
The following history was distributed during a 1983 MOANG open
house, author unknown. It has been updated by N. Alex Sirna (Florissant, Mo.), who added
information about the F-4 E Phantom to the F-15 A/B Eagle.
The 35th Division Aviation section , Missouri National Guard was
formally organized on 23 June 1923 ,First Headquarters was located
in a filling station on Manchester Avenue. From there it was moved to
a small room over a grocery store on Olive Street Road In St Louis County .
Meetings were held at the Airport, then little more than a
pasture, there were no Airplanes and no uniforms for the Enlisted men .
The First flying Equipment was a Curtiss OX JN-4
"Jenny" which was purchased by the Officers of the squadron and used
for flight training until early 1924 when Three
Wartime JN-4's were received. The planes were Housed in a Corrugated
sheet metal hanger erected on the field during the National
air races in 1923 and later turned over to the squadron. Additional
aircraft and equipment were received throughout 1924 and by the years end
a well received training program was in effect. Only eighteen months
had elapsed since the unit was formally organized. Major Bill Robertson
was the first Commander
During the next few years the JN- 4's were replaced by the PT-1, TW-3, O-11, and O-2H aircraft and the unit assumed a mission of observation and reconnaissance . The Douglas O-38 aircraft was received in 1933 and replaced in 1938 by the North American O-47 A, an all metal mid-wing observation aircraft.
The units first summer encampments were held in 1924 and 1925 at Camp Clark Nevada, Missouri. Subsequent encampments were at Fort Riley Kansas; Lambert Field St Louis; Eglin Field Florida; Fort Sill, Oklahoma; and St Cloud Minnesota .
The Unit entered into active service at the Very start of WWII .in the early stages of the War the unit was equipped with P-39 and P-40 fighter aircraft . The unit Distinguished itself in sinking an enormous tonnage of Japanese shipping and received the Presidential Unit Citation. Later in the war, the 110th converted to P-51 " Mustang" . in the early summer of 1946 plans were formulated to organize the Air National Guard. Federal Recognition was granted to the 57th Fighter Wing and the 110th Fighter Squadron in September of 1946 .
The 57th Fighter Wing was re-designated the 71st Fighter Wing in 1947, and Finally the 131st Composite wing on 1 November 1950.
On 1 March 1951 , as a result of the Korean Emergency, the Wing was recalled to active federal service for a period of twenty-one months . Shortly after the units return, It was re -equipped with with the B-26 Light Bomber.
The 110th received its first jet aircraft in the spring of 1957. The Unit Flew F-80 and T-33aircraft until June , then transitioned to the F-84F A high degree of operational readiness was maintained with annual summer encampments at Volk Field Wisconsin.
As a result of the Berlin Crisis, the 110th Tactical fighter Squadron was recalled to active service at Toul-Rosleres Airbase France from October 1961 to August1962. After returning to St Louis, the unit received F-100C "Super Sabers" in late 1962. It's standard of excellence and operational readiness was maintained for sixteen years with the F-100 . In the autumn of 1978, the 110th received the McDonnell Douglas F-4C " Phantom II " then in 1985 the 110th converted to the F-4E it's current operational aircraft until September 1991, it converted to the F-15 A/B Eagle, it's current operational aircraft.
Biplanes: The Missouri Air National Guard began service in 1923 using Curtis JN-4 "Jenny" aircraft. Other biplanes and the year use began are listed below:
Consolidated TW-3 (1925)
Douglas O-2C (1926)
Consolidated PT-1 (1927)
Curtis O-11 (1928)
Douglas O-2H (1929)
Consolidated O-17 (1930)
Douglas O-38 B, O-38 E (1933)
North American O-47 (1938)
Bell P-39 "Airacobra" (1944?)
Curtis P-40 "Warhawk" (1944?)
North American F-51/P-51 "Mustang" (1945)
Douglas B-26 "Invader" (1952)
Lockheed T-33 "Shooting Star" (trainer) (1957)
Lockheed F-80 "Shooting Star" (1957)
Republic F-84F "Thunderstreak" (1957)
North American F-100 "Super Saber" (1962)
McDonnell Douglas F-4 "Phantom" (1978 St. Louis)(1973 Rosecrans, St. Joseph)
57th Fighter Wing, Missouri Air National Guard in their F-51's "Mustangs" immediately after WWII. In 1947, the 57th became redesignated the 71st Fighter Wing. In 1951 the designation was again changed (131st Tactical Fighter Wing) and was activated for service in the Korean War [Missouri National Guard Photo]
In 1952, the 131st Fighter-Bomber Wing was established and outfitted with B-26 Douglas "Invader" light bombers.
Entering the Jet Age: The last B-26 Douglas "Invader" belonging to the 131st Bombardment Wing, Missouri Air National Guard leaves Lambert Field on Dec. 15, 1957. It was at this time that the 131st became reorganized as the 131st Fighter Interceptor Wing and were issued F-80 (Shooting Stars") and F-84 ("Thunderstreaks") jets.
F-84 "Thunderstreaks" belonging to the 110th Fighter Squadron after returning July 1962 to St. Louis from France during the Berlin crisis. The squadron first received the F-84 in June, 1957. The F-84 was gradually replaced with the F-100 "Super Saber". (completely replaced by 1965) [Missouri National Guard Photo]
North American F-100 "Super Saber". The 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron received its first F-100 in Sept. 1962. [Missouri National Guard Photo]. For many color images of the Super Saber F-100C in action with 110th Fighter Squadron, Missouri Air National Guard, see http://f-100.org/hun09.shtml
McDonnell Douglas F4 "Phantom". This particular F4 on permanent display overlooking I-70, was the last Phantom flown by the 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron. It has the record of shooting down two MIG-21's. This photo was taken on base looking toward I-70 by Scott K.Williams.
(The Missouri National Guard in St. Louis received its first F-4 in 1978.)
The 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron in 1991 began using the McDonnell Douglas F-15 "Eagle".
F-15 Eagle. Photo by Scott K. Williams
Collection of N. Alex Sirna (Florissant, Mo.) If you have a question about MOANG patches, please contact Alex.
Above "Subdued" Patch From F-15 Pilot in Desert Storm.
City of Flight, The Aviation History in St. Louis, by James J. Horgan; The Patrice Press, St. Louis, Mo. 1990
The "Show Me" Spirit, A 50 Year History of the Missouri Air National Guard 1923-1973, Edited by MSgt. Les Pearson; Published by the State of Missouri; 1973.
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