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Happy 71st Birthday to the Hawaii Air National Guard

November 4, 2017

Seventy one years ago, on August 3, 1946, an Executive Order of Governor Ingram M. Stainback established the Hawai‘i Air National Guard. Four Army Air Force units were accepted:

– 199th Fighter Squadron

– 199th Utility Flight

– Detachment “C” 199th Air Service Group

– 199th Weather Station

The first 199 FS commander was Lieutenant Colonel Walter H. Dillingham. The unit’s first station was the Honolulu Armory in downtown Honolulu. Built in the 1800s, the armory was razed to make way for the new State Capitol that opened in the 1960s.

By November 4, 1946, while operating out of Bellows Air Field, Waimānalo, the 199th Fighter Squadron had recruited sufficient personnel to be recognized Federally and was approved by an Army Air Force inspection team from Hickam Field.  This Federal recognition is the official start of the Hawai‘i Air National Guard.

Mahalo to all who served in the Hawai‘i Air National Guard over the past 71 years.

The 199th Fighter Squadron lineage is from the 464th Fighter Squadron. The 464 FS was established on October 5, 1944, and activated seven days later on October 12 at Peterson Field, Colorado.

Trained under XXII Bomber Command as a Very Long Range P-47N Thunderbolt bomber escort squadron, programmed for B-29 Superfortress escort duty from Okinawa. For four months, they received combat training for long-range escort, strafing, and dive-bombing. Training delayed due to P-47N aircraft non-availability, finally equipped in the late spring of 1945 with the long-distance fighters.

Deployed to Okinawa in June 1945 as part of the 507th Fighter Group and prepared for the invasion of Japan along with the 413th and 414th Fighter Groups, all equipped with P-47N. On July 1, 1945, it began flying airstrikes from Ie Shima, targeting enemy ships, railroad bridges, airfields, factories, and barracks in Japan, Korea, and China.

Last “Ace in a Day” of World War II was 1st Lt Oscar Perdomo of the 464th.

Remained in Okinawa until inactivated in May 27, 1946, with the aircraft eventually transferred to the redesignated 199th Figher Squadron in Hawaii.

From → History

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