35PRS Patch

The emblem of the USAAF’s 35th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron

Just before the United States entered the global conflict that became World War II, the Oregon National Guard’s first aviation unit, the 123rd Observation Squadron, was federalized and commenced active duty service.  The unit served in the western U.S. until 1943, when it was redesignated as the 35th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron and began preparations for deployment overseas.  In the spring of 1944, the unit shipped out from the east coast for China.  It sailed across the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and into the Indian Ocean, finally arriving in India to train and equip with the Lockheed F-5E Photo Lightning before flying over the Hump into China in the summer of 1944.  There the Redhawks commenced combat reconnaissance operations in the China Burma India theatre for the rest of the war.  In late 1945 the squadron returned by ship to the States, and in November, 1945, was inactivated.  The unit was credited with participation in seven campaigns during WWII.