Second Oldest Flying Unit of the United States Air Force
Founded in 1917
The 111th Aero Squadron was first established at San Antonio’s Kelly Field in 1917, making it and its successor units the second oldest flying unit of the US Air Force. The 111th was reformed in 1923 as the 111th Observation Squadron, one of 29 original Observation Squadrons of the United States Army National Guard. During World War II, the unit was sent to North Africa, Sicily and France as the 111th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, receiving a Distinguished Unit Citation and Eight Battle Stars. The 111th was deployed to Japan during the Korean War as part of the first National Guard Wing to see combat in that conflict. After the Korean War, it became the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron and returned to Ellington Field from which it had first operated in 1923. Following service in Operation Iraqi Freedom, the unit was re-designated the 111th Reconnaissance Squadron and celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.