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512th Rescue Squadron: Wikis


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512th Rescue Squadron
512 RQS.jpg
512th Rescue Squadron Patch
Active 31 October 1942 - 26 March 1946
23 May 1947 - 20 September 1948
13 February 1949 - 20 February 1951
1 June 1951 - 15 March 1965
1 April 1994 - Present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Search and Rescue
Part of Air Force Reserve Command
19th Air Force
58th Special Operations Wing
58th Operations Group
Garrison/HQ Kirtland Air Force Base
Engagements World War II
Korean war
Operation Tidal Wave
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg DUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA

The 512th Rescue Squadron (512 RQS) is part of the 58th Special Operations Wing based at Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. It operates UH-1N Twin Huey and HH-60 Pave Hawk aircraft conducting search and rescue missions.




The 512th flew combat missions in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations and the European Theater of Operations from, 1 November 1942–15 April 1943. The squadron was not fully manned or equipped between 10 November 1945 and 26 March 1946 and was unmanned from, 23 May 1947–20 September 1948. [1][2]

Based in Japan at the beginning of the Korean War, the 512 RS, flying RB/WB-29s, performed daily strategic weather reconnaissance missions over the combat zone, conducted shipping surveillance and visual reconnaissance, and accomplished electronic countermeasures reconnaissance until 20 February 1951. In the early days of the conflict, the squadron also dropped leaflets. Initially unarmed, and later only lightly armed with two .50-caliber machine guns in the tail turret, the WB-29s flew daily missions over enemy-held territory. During 27 June through 27 December 1950, the squadron flew over 200 combat missions, making over 5,000 vitally needed weather observations. These missions were exceptionally hazardous because of extremely varying weather conditions and exposure to attack over enemy territory. One of the squadron's WB-29s served as an aerial command post and weather station, giving on-the-spot weather data and directions to incoming bombers on the first B-29 strike (13 July 1950) against North Korean installations. On this and several later such missions, the WB-29 carried Major General Emmett O'Donnell, Jr., USAF, Commander, FEAF Bomber Command. The 512 RS was replaced by the 56th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron in February 1951.

It primarily trained in electronic countermeasures from, c. November 1952–March 1965. Current the 512th participates in Special Operations contingencies, exercises, and humanitarian rescue helicopter training. [1][2]




  • 512th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (1942 - 1944)
  • 512th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy (1944 - 1945)
  • 512th Bombardment Squadron, Very Heavy (1945 - 1947)
  • 512th Reconnaissance Squadron, Very Long Range, Weather (1947 - 1951)
  • 512th Bombardment Squadron, Medium (1951 - 1994)
  • 512th Special Operations Squadron (1994 - 2000)
  • 512th Rescue Squadron (2000 - Present)


Bases stationed[1][2]

Aircraft Operated[1][2]


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

  • USAF 512th Rescue Squadron History
  • 512th Rescue Squadron Fact Sheet
  • Futrell, Robert Frank (1983) The United States Air Force In Korea, 1950-1953, Maxwell AFB, Alabama Office of Air Force History, ISBN 0912799714
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0892010924.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell
  • [1] Air Force Historical Research Agency

External links


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