The rich history of the Oregon Air National Guard's 142nd Fighter Wing began just prior to World War II when the United States, monitoring the war raging in Europe and China, began to focus less on neutrality and more on preparedness. The 123d Observation Squadron was activated on April 18, 1941, as the Oregon National Guard's first aviation unit.
As a vital asset to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and Air Combat Command, the 142nd Fighter Wing maintains 24-hour Aerospace Control Alert in the Pacific Northwest and provides Air Superiority mission capabilities as well.
History of the 142nd FW
Attention readers!Attention readers! If you have any pertinent historical information which you would like to share with us, please contact the 142FW Public Affairs office.
The design represents the land, sea, and air, symbolic of the vast theater of operations of the 142d Fighter Wing. The far western boundary of the wing's peacetime mission is represented by the sun and the wavy line of the ocean. The white-capped green mountains are emblematic of the far eastern geographic expanse. The stylized aircraft is symbolic of speed, power and accuracy of the fighter mission. The wing's motto, "SEMPER VIGILANS" (Always on Guard), expresses the spirit of the organization's commitment to its mission.
The Air National Guard as we know it today -- a separate reserve component of the United States Air Force -- was a product of the politics of postwar planning and interservice rivalry during World War II. The men who planned and maneuvered for an independent postwar Air Force during World War II didn't place much faith in the reserves, especially the state-dominated National Guard.