In 1950, when the 127th Fighter Squadron replaced the F-51 Mustangs with its first jet airplanes, the F-84 Thunderjets, the Airmen thought a stable mission was in store for them. However, when they deployed to the European Theatre in support of the Korean Conflict, they were ordered to leave the jets in France because of the shortage of F-84s caused by the war. The squadron returned to flying the propellor-driven F-51s in 1952, which they flew for two years until they received jets once again, this time flying the F-80 Shooting Stars. From that point forward, conversions and instability have been engrained into the history of the Fighting Jayhawks. File photo
Story by Capt. Daniel Radford, 184th Historian Office
As we approach the 75th anniversary of the 184 Intelligence Wing, let’s take a look at the history of the wing and its transition phases. Although the 184th’s story is not as long as that of the Army, Navy, or the Marine Corps, it is rich and varied, shaped by the Airmen who came before us.
We often feel the current changes are the most drastic the unit has faced, but as you review the wing’s history, you will see major upheaval and changes in every chapter.
The 127th Observation Squadron was inducted into federal service on Oct. 6, 1941. From 1941 to 1946 the squadron went through five different redesignations, even though the Air Force wasn’t created until the National Security Act of 1947.
In 1946, while the unit was still a Kansas National Guard unit recently reverted to state control from the U.S. Army Air Corps, the first reorganization and redesignation in unit history happened. In February 1950, new jet aircraft arrived, the unit reorganized and was redesignated again with new jets in place boasting top-of-the-line technology. Stability at last! But on July 9, 1952, the unit was once again reorganized and redesignated, be coming the 127th Fighter-Bomber Squadron.
Similar changes occurred in every single decade of our wings existence right up to today’s changes. Jets replaced propeller fighters. Newer, faster aircraft replaced older, slower ones. F-51s came back as the Korean conflict needed our jets. Training new fighter pilots, completing modifications to aircraft, bombers, tankers, ISR, C2…
Despite redesignations and new missions, our wing has always been successful. The key to our success and our strength is our Kansas Air National Guardsmen — hardworking, innovative and adaptable.
Whatever we do, we do well. We rise to the occasion by leading well, following well and working well as a team. It has been thus for 75 years and through the next 75 years and beyond we will continue that tradition, pouring our heart and souls into our primary mission: protecting and serving the United States and the people of Kansas.