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138TH FIGHTER WING HISTORY

Posted 3/30/2009 Printable Fact Sheet

Organized in December 1940 as Oklahoma National Guard's first flying unit in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the 125th Observation Squadron was federally recognized in January 1941. For the next three and a half years the squadron was attached to the 77th Observation Group and the 76th Tactical Reconnaissance Group at various locales in the United States before arriving at Liverpool, England on D-Day in 1944. After moving across the English Channel to France in August 1944, the 125th Liaison Squadron was attached to the Ninth Army until V-E Day, participating in the campaigns of northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland and central Europe, and was awarded the Belgian Fourragere for gallantry during the Battle of the Bulge in July 1945. Over the course of those five years, the 125th flew the 0-38E, 0-52 and L-5.

Back home in Tulsa in November 1945 as the 125th Fighter Squadron, the Unit flew the F-51 until February 1947 when it was designated the 125th Fighter Bomber Squadron (Jet) and equipped with the F-84. After receiving the Spaatz Trophy Award in 1950, the 125th was again ordered to active duty under the Ninth Air Force and sent Alexandria, Louisiana until July 1952. After returning to Tulsa under state control the squadron flew the F-51 and F-80 until becoming part of the 138th Fighter Group (AD) for duty with the Air Defense Command flying the F-86D in August 1957.

January 1960 brought significant change to the 125th as the unit was designated the 125th Air Transport Squadron and assigned to the 137th Air Transport Wing in Oklahoma City. For the next eight years the unit flew the C-97, transporting cargo to Vietnam and throughout the world before converting to the C-124 in 1968.

In October 1972, the 125th Tactical Fighter Wing resumed its rich heritage of tactical fighter operations by converting to the T-33 in preparation for activation in the F-100D in March 1973, and once again became part of the 138th Tactical Fighter Group in January 1973. The 125th converted to the A-7D in July 1978 and amassed 15 years of outstanding combat readiness in the venerable SLUF.

After conversion to the F-16, the 138th Fighter Wing has participated in both Operation Provide Comfort and Operation Northern Watch enforcing the No-Fly Zone in Northern Iraq. Additionally, the laser targeting pod system for precision guided monitoring has been incorporated into the unit mission.

Since June 1993, the men and women of the 125th Fighter Squadron and the 138th Fighter Wing are proud to continue a tradition of excellence in service to Oklahoma and the United States as defenders of Freedom, flying the Lockheed F-16C Fighting Falcon - unquestionably the world's premier multirole fighter.







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