1st Tow Target Squadron4758th DSES old style emblem4758thDSES newer style emblem

4758th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron

    The 4758th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron started life at Biggs Army Airfield in 1939 as the 129th Observation Squadron equipped with a single B-10.  The designation was changed to the 6th Tow Target Squadron and then again to the 406th Base Unit.  In December, 1944 the unit moved to Deming AAF, NM.  In September of 1945 the unit returned to Biggs and was redesignated the 27th Tow Target Squadron.  Late 1947 brought another name change; the 1st Tow Target Squadron.  The unit was deactivated from October 1949 through May, 1950.  In 1960 the designation changed to the 1st Aerial Tracking Squadron and in 1962 the final designation of the 4758th Defense Systems Evaluation Squadron came into being.   When Biggs AFB closed in 1966 the 4758th moved to Holloman AFB, NM where it remained until merging with the 4677th DSES in late 1970.

    During the war years much of the unit's duties were carried out by Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP).  Women pilots ferried many of the aircraft delivered to the armed forces during WW II.  They also served in many of the support functions such as target towing and observation work.  This is a history that is often overlooked.

    A partial list of aircraft flown by the various incarnations of the 4758th include: B-10, A-20, B-26, B-29, F-80, A-26, B-45, L-13, C-45, C-47, F-100 and B-57.

    Aaron B Cassity of the 1st Tow Target Squadron leaning against A-26C 44-35466 in 1951.   Aaron left  Biggs in 1952 for Perrin AFB, Texas.  (Cassity)

4758th DSES B-45s in flight.4758th DSES B-45A

    The 1st TTS operated B-45s for several years during the 1950s', before being replaced with B-57s.  (USAF)

A line up of Huns

    A line-up of Huns at Biggs during the early 1960s.  At this time the insignia was still the Running Indian carrying an Oozlefinch*.   The crow wearing a deerstalker would not come along for a few years.  Somewhat ironically the first Hun is the same F-100C as in the photo below.  (USAF)

4758th DSES Hun

    The F-100 served for many years with the 4758th.  This example somewhere over West Texas or Southern New Mexico.  This photo might have been taken after the unit was transferred to Holloman AFB, NM. (USAF)

    EB-57E 55-4280 on the ramp at Holloman shortly before the 4758th merged with the 4677th DSES.

    B-45 were known to include 47-004, 006, 007, 009, 017, 018 and 019.

    A partial list of B-57 serial numbers operated by the 4758th: EB-57As 52-1450, 1464, 1469 and RB-57A 52-1490.  EB-57Bs 52-1511, 1517, 1548, 1578, 1582 and 1588.   EB-57Es  55-4238, 4274, 4279 and 4280.

    F-100 serials include: F-100Cs 53-1718 and 54-1850, 1857, 1860, 1862, 1866, 1873, 1879, 1951.  F-100F 56-3994

    *The Oozlefinch is the mascot for the United States Army Air Defense Artillery.  It originated with the Army's Coast  Artillery Corps and continues to the present as the guardian to all missile men.   Ed Thelen's Nike Nike Missile Web Site has a good History of the Oozlefinch.   The use of the Army's Oozlefinch in a USAF unit emblem is due to the 4758th providing tow target duties to the Army, so the legendary bird has a part to play in the history of the unit.  There are few more interpretations of the Oozlefinch at the Return of the Oozlefinch.  

    I had mistaken the oozlefinch for a goose and am indebted to Maj. John
Schaefer (USAF Ret.) for correcting my misconception.  "You have a picture captioned "At this time the insignia was still the Running Indian carrying a goose."  I was a B-57 pilot in the squadron and the patch at the time was designed by one of the B-57 pilots.  The Indian was NOT carrying a goose.  He was carrying the Oozlefinch, which was an imaginary bird and mascot of the Army's missile school at Ft. Bliss"   As my father was involved in Army missile programs I should have known better.


Oozlefinch Coat of Arms:

Oozlefinch Coat of Arms

    The Oozlefinch was always a friend, however he was not beyond causing a little trouble.

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Page created 11-12-04

Page modified 12-17-14

Clifford Bossie