# 1377 F-35A Lightning II, 62 FS, 56 FW
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Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1377 - 13-5068, F-35A Lightning II, 62d Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Arizona.
The âSpikesâ were formed in 1941 as the 62nd Pursuit Squadron. Originally flying the P-39 âAiracobraâ and P-40 âWarhawkâ, the 62nd received its P-47 âThunderboltsâ in 1943 and moved to England. There it saw action for the next two and one-half years in the European Theater. Constantly in the thick of the fighting, the squadron bolstered air operations in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. On 21 April 1945, it flew its last combat mission. On 15 September 1945, the squadron moved to Debden, England, in preparation to return to the United States. During the war, the squadron created 12 aces and was credited with 220 aerial victories. The unit left Europe on 11 October 1945 and arrived five days later at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey, where it inactivated on 18 October 1945. It was reactivated in 1946 to enter the jet age and received the P-8O âShooting Starâ in 1947. In 1950, redesignated as the 62nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron, the âSpikesâ flew the F-86 âSabreâ. On 18 August 1955, the squadron was reassigned to the 56th Fighter Group. In 1959, the unit converted to the McDonnell F-101 Voodoo, and performed air defense until it was deactivated in 1971. The 62ndâs victory in the 1965 âWilliam Tellâ competition highlighted this era. Reactivated and designated the 62nd Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron at Tyndall AFB, Florida in 1974, the squadron assumed the mission of training weapons instructors in the F-106 âDelta Dartâ, then the F-4 âPhantom IIâ. The squadron moved its F-4s to MacDill AFB in 1975 to join the 56th Tactical Fighter Wing and become the 62nd Tactical Fighter Squadron. In 1981, the squadron transitioned to the F-16A âFighting Falconâ and was designated the 62nd Tactical Fighter Training Squadron. In 1988, the squadron upgraded again to the latest version of the F-16C, however, the squadron inactivated on 14 May 1993. On 18 March 1994, the 62d reactivated at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, flying F-16s and was assigned to the 58th Operations Group. On 1 April 1994, the squadron was reassigned to the 56th Operations Group. During this time the 62d conducted qualification training for USAF student pilots and proficiency training for instructor pilots and rated pilots qualified in F-16 aircraft. In June of 2015, the squadron transitioned to the F-35A and was the second squadron within the 56th Fighter Wing to do so. The F-35A is a high performance, supersonic, stealth strike fighter armed with a host of next generation technologies and unprecedented capabilities, making the F-35A the worldâs most advanced multirole fighter.