#1706 422 TES and 59 TES print
Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1706 - A-10C, F-15E, F-16C, F-22A, F-35A, 422d & 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron, 53d Wing, Nellis Air Force Base, Neveada.
Activated at Orlando Air Base, Florida in August 1943, as the 422d Night Fighter Squadron flying the Douglas A-20 Havoc and an early model of the Northrop YP-61 Black Widow. The men of the 422 NFS spent 1943 training for combat and by March 1944 flew combat missions from RAF Charmy Down, Scorton, Hurn, and Ford. Following Operation OVERLORD, the squadron relocated to Maupertus-sur-Mer, France, and by winter moved twice more before ending the year in Florennes, Belgium. From there the squadron flew support for the 101st Airborne Division’s defense of Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge, earning the Distinguished Unit Citation. Over the near year, the squadron continued to punish the Luftwaffe’s bombers at night, leading all night fighter squadrons with 43 confirmed kills and concluded the war in Kassel/Rothwesten, Germany. After the war, the squadron relocated to the United States and was inactivated on 30 September 1945. The squadron was reactivated on 15 October 1969 and redesignated the 422d Fighter Weapons Squadron under the 57th Fighter Weapons Wing, Nellis AFB, Nevada. The 422 FWS was responsible for conducting operational test and evaluation of the F-4 Phantom II, F-111 Aardvark, and A-7 Cosair II. In 1981, it was again redesignated as the 422d Test and Evaluation Squadron and has since flown the A-10A/C Thunderbolt II, F-4G Wild Weasel, F-15C Eagle, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22A Raptor, and F-35A Lightning II. Now part of the 53d Wing, the 422 TES is the US Air Force’s premier operational test unit. Known as the Green Bats, the squadron is charged with executing test and evaluation for the frontline fighter and attack aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory.
Activated at Mitchel Field, New York in January 1941 as the 33d Fighter Group flying the P-40 Warhawk. Redesignated the 59th Fighter Squadron, the “Lions” entered World War II on 10 October 1942 supporting the Allied invasion of North Africa and earned the Distinguished Unit Citation for shooting down 8 German aircraft in a single day. The 59th transferred to the China-Burma-India Theater in 1944, flying the P-47 Thunderbolt and P-38 Lightning. By war’s end, the Lions downed 35 enemy aircraft. Next the 59th flew the P-51 “Mustang” as part of the US occupation at Neubiberg, Germany. Over the next 20 years, the 59th moved all over the US flying the F-84 Thunderjet, F-86 Sabre, F-94 Starfire, F-89 Scorpion, and F-102 Delta Dagger before being inactivated on December 1969. Reactivated as the 59th Tactical Fighter Squadron on September 1970 at Eglin AFB, Florida under the 33d Tactical Fighter Wing. The squadron began flying the F-4E Phantom II, and transitioned to the F-15 Eagle in 1979. In 1991 Captain Rhory R. “Hozer” Draeger, the only Lion pilot to deploy for Operation DESERT STORM, shot down two enemy aircraft in the first 15 days of the conflict. The 59th later flew over 1,000,000 flight hours in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH. The 59th was inactivated on April 1999, but on 4 December 2004, Det 1, 28th Test and Evaluation Squadron was redesignated and activated as the 59th Test and Evaluation Squadron, flying the A-10C Thunderbolt II, F-15C Eagle, F-15E Strike Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon, F-22A Raptor, and F-35A Lightning II. The 59 TES is charged with managing test and evaluation for the frontline fighter and attack aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory.