Delaware Air National Guard Heritage

On September 6, 1946, the formal federal recognition and activation of Delaware's first Air National Guard Unit (142nd Fighter Squadron) took place at a ceremony in the Wilmington Armory. The ceremony was conducted by Brigadier General Paul R. Rinard, the Adjutant General and Colonel John B. Grier, U.S. Property and Disbursing Officer for Delaware. Shortly afterwards the squadron received it first fighter planes, F-47N "Thunderbolts." In late 1946, two L-5s and two AT-6s training aircraft were received to assist in the training of new pilots. 1947 brought the addition of several more airplanes including C-47's and a B-26. 

Prior to being federalized for Korea on February 1, 1951, the unit received F-84C's. In February 1951, Colonel Spruance was assigned the task of reorganizing the air section of the state staff and establishing the Headquarters, Delaware Air National Guard. On May 17, 1951, the unit was redesignated the 142nd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron and in September 1951 the unit exchanged its F-84C (Thunder jet) for the F-94 "Starfire" aircraft to fit the unit's new mission. 

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ANG: A Short Story

The Air National Guard as we know it today -- a separate reserve component of the United States Air Force -- was a product of the politics of postwar planning and interservice rivalry during World War II. The men who planned and maneuvered for an independent postwar Air Force during World War II didn't place much faith in the reserves, especially the state-dominated National Guard. 

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