In September, 1944, Oregon’s first aviation unit, the 123rd Observation Squadron, reached China for overseas combat duty in World War II. The squadron was then serving on active duty and was redesignated as the 35th Photo Reconnaissance Squadron, but still had 13 of the original 123rd members on the roster.

Pictured here (below) are ten of these Oregon aviation pioneers in a photo taken at the 35th PRS base at Chanyi Airfield, China. In the front row, kneeling, from left to right are First Sergeant John Flavin, John Buckner, Kenneth Miller and Jack Shaylor. Standing behind them, from left to right, are Harry Bachman, Roy Wolford, Charles Estes, Harvey Lounsbury, Lorne Restau and Cyrus Dolph. Note the distinctive Redhawk emblem on the jackets of four of the men standing, which was continued in use after the war when the squadron was redesignated as the 123rd Fighter Squadron.

The 35th PRS flew photo reconnaissance missions with the Lockheed F-5E Photo Lightning for the rest of the war, completing over 700 operational missions over Japanese-held territory in China, Indochina, Thailand and Burma.

Source:  142nd Fighter Wing page in Facebook, at: 

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