358th Fighter Squadron Spotlight
Published September 20, 2012
358th Fighter Squadron
The 358th FS conducts all formal course directed aircraft transition, day/night weapons and tactics employment, day/night air refueling, air combat and dissimilar air combat maneuver training for pilot initial qualification, requalification and instructor qualification in the A-10A for the Combat Air Forces.
To train, educate and mentor the world's finest attack pilots for the Combat Air Forces while honing the Lobo core competencies of A/OA-10 instruction, operations management and aircrew life support. To further develop the leaders, wingmen and warriors at all ranks to meet the challenges of leading our service today and into our future.
The 358th Fighter Squadron was first activated 12 November 1942 as part of the 355th Fighter Group at Orlando Army Air Field, Florida, where it trained at the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics (AAFSAT) in the P-47 Thunderbolt. In March 1944 the squadron began converting to the famed P-51 Mustang where it provided top cover for the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944. On 3 December 1945, the unit was redesignated the 56th Reconnaissance Squadron (weather scouting) and moved to Schweinfurt, Germany, on 15 April 1946. After a short period of inactivation beginning 20 November 1946, the 56th was reactivated on 21 February 1951 as the 56th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron and operated with the 2143rd Air Weather Wing from Misawa and Yokota Airbases in Japan. The 56th flew WB-29 Superfortress weather reconnaissance aircraft over North Korea. The 56th redesignated as the 56th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron on 15 February 1954. They upgraded to the WB-50 Superfortress in 1956, continued operations from Japan, and later Guam with the RB-50s until 1962. C-130s were flown as well from 1962 to 1964. The squadron participated in the Vietnam War until January 1972, when it was inactivated.
Redesignated as the 358th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 18 May 1972 and granted a new insignia, the Lobos were activated at Davis-Monthan AFB on 1 June 1972 as part of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing. The unit was once again a fighter squadron, this time flying the A-7D Corsair II. The 358 TFS was attached to the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing and deployed to Korat RTAFB, Thailand on 29 December 1973. The Lobos remained in Thailand until 14 May 1974. The 358 TFS was redesignated as the 358th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron on 1 January 1976, changing its mission from an operational fighter squadron to a Replacement Training Unit for the A-7D. The Lobos flew the A-7D until January 1979 when they transitioned to the A-10 Thunderbolt II, continuing their mission as a schoolhouse squadron for the new jet. On 1 November 1991 the Lobos were redesignated as the 358th Fighter Squadron and were later assigned to the newly activated 355th Operations Group on 01 May 1992.
The 358th FS currently has 40 airmen to include pilots and enlisted operational support.