The Louisiana Air National Guard was officially formed after World War II, with the organization of the U.S. Air Force. Its roots go further back, however, as an aviation unit in the Army National Guard. The 122nd Observation Squadron was organized and federally mobilized in 1940. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the 122nd began anti-submarine missions over the Gulf of Mexico. The unit next went to North Africa and subsequently to Italy. It transitioned from an observation squadron to a fighter squadron and then to a bombardment squadron over the course of the war. After the war, the 122nd was reorganized as part of the Air National Guard and played an important role in civil defense of U.S. air space during the Cold War. Iot also saw a domestic mobilization during the Korean War, training airmen for nighttime raids in that conflict. In the late 1950s, the 122nd Fighter Squadron became a part of Louisiana’s 159th Fighter Interceptor Group, which eventually expanded to a Fighter Wing. Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, it has maintained a similar role of readiness in the skies of the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. The 122nd Fighter Squadron’s assigned aircraft have included the A-26, the F-86, the F-102, the F-100, the F-4, and the F-15.
Maintenance, Support, and Medical units have continued to evolve in the Wing. The 236th Combat Communications Squadron, the 214th Engineer and Installation Squadron, the 122nd Air Support Operations Squadron, and the 259th Air Traffic Control Squadron are unique, subordinate units to the 159th.