#1222 TU-2S Dragon Lady
Purchased products will not feature the Squadron Prints watermark
Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1222 - TU-2S Dragon Lady, 80-1091, 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, 9th Reconnaissance Wing, Beale Air Force Base, California. The 1st Reconnaissance Squadron is the United States military’s oldest flying unit, dating from 5 March, 1913. Organized for security along the U.S. and Mexico border, the 1st Aero Squadron went into action on 16 March 1916 as part of General Pershing’s punitive expedition in northern Mexico. The 1st Aero Squadron thus became the first tactical aviation unit in American military history. Upon U.S. entry into World War I, the squadron departed for France and Lt. Stephen W. Thompson scored the squadron’s first aerial victory on 5 February 1918, which was also the first air to air kill by a U.S. military member. Through the remainder of Great War, the 1st supported ground forces in battles at Chateau-Thierry, along the Aisne and Marne Rivers, and finally the bloody Meuse-Argonne offensive. At the time of the Armistice, pilots of the 1st Aero Squadron had recorded 13 aerial victories, commemorated by 13 Maltese crosses surrounding the squadron emblem. Following the war, the 1st was redesignated as an Observation Squadron and stationed at Mitchel Field, New York. In 1921 the squadron was temporarily assigned to the 1st Provisional Air Brigade, under Brigadier General William “Billy” Mitchell which gained attention for sinking the German battleship Ostfriesland. The squadron became the 1st Bombardment Squadron on 1 March, 1935 during the buildup to World War II and found itself flying out of Panama and Trinidad on defensive antisubmarine patrols. In 1944, the squadron converted to the new B-29 Superfortress, departed for combat in the Marianas Islands and completed 71 combat missions between February and August 1945. From 1948 until 1954, the 1st underwent many changes, eventually converting to the B-47 in 1954 and flying out of Mountain Home AFB, Idaho until 1966. At that time the squadron transitioned to the new SR-71 and became the 1st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron at Beale AFB, California. The 1st flew operational missions with the Blackbird starting in 1968, including over North Vietnam and North Korea, until retiring the aircraft in 1990. That year the squadron transitioned to a training role, responsible for the selection and training of U-2 pilots using the TU-2S two-seat trainer and redesignated the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron in 1994. Finally, in 2008 the squadron added the role of training pilots and sensor operators for the RQ-4 Global Hawk. Throughout its history, the 1 RS has flown 47 different airframes while operating from 52 locations throughout the world.