The 49th Fighter Squadron Association has its roots in the 49th Pursuit Squadron, which came into existence in 1941. The men of those early days flew the famous P-38 fighter, serving with distinction overseas with the 14th Fighter Group, and seeing action over both Africa and Europe.
Upon returning home after the war, the strong bond among them continued and they kept in touch with one another, eventually, in 1974, forming The 49th Fighter Squadron Association. By 2002, however, the membership, which includes both officers and enlisted men, had steadily diminished to approximately eighty-five (85) members, and they were considering plans to discontinue the operation of the Association.
It is here where the group had new life breathed into it. Several former members of the 49th, who had served in the Korean and post-World War II eras, petitioned the World War II group to continue in operation and to turn the reins over to them to perpetuate this fine organization. The World War II lads voted on it, and decided to pass the torch to the later generations of 49ers. In addition, they provided the newcomers with a small nest egg to help get them started. With this transition, it was agreed that the World War II members would be considered Life Members, the feeling being that they had paid their dues many times over.
Since that time in 2002, the Association has been expanded to include anyone who has ever served in the 49th, from its inception in 1941 to the present day. The squadron itself has undergone several incarnations throughout the years. Raised as a Pursuit Squadron in 1941, it became a Fighter-Interceptor Squadron in the 1950s, and, in 1993, became a Fighter Training Squadron, which it remains to this day. With each change came new members, and now there are over two hundred and fifty (250) names on the membership rolls. We have had an annual reunion every year since 2004, and these are held in different parts of the country, usually at, or near, an Air Force facility, so that everyone can participate and enjoy them. It is a time to renew old friendships, swap stories, make new friends, and to find out what happened in the 49th before you got there and after you left.
If you have ever served with the 49th, however briefly, we’d like you to join us and become a part of this great organization. These reunions bring members together from all the years. Even the current Training Squadron members fly up in some of their aircraft, and while there, fill us in on what’s going on in today’s Air Force.
The 49th Fighter Squadron Association is one of only a few that has an active membership with a heritage dating back to World War II, along with an operational Air Force Squadron on duty today. To keep members informed of the doings of its members, and of other Air Force related items, we publish The Hangman’s News, a quarterly newsletter. (Hangman is the squadron’s Call Sign.)
The annual dues for membership are very reasonable, payable every January. However, if you choose to become a lifetime member, you may pay a onetime fee, the amount depending upon your age. Complete current Membership information is available on our Links & Membership page.