110th Combat Wing - 110 Πτέρυγα Μάχης

The base is located in Greece’s northern part, in the hinterland. At the time of our visit there were the 337th All Wheather Squadron (337 Μοίρα Παντός Καιρού), the 348th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (348 Μοίρα Τακτικής Αναγνώρισης) and the 346th Fighter Squardon (346 Μοίρα). Following the economic crisis that has hit Europe and Greece in particular the 346th Fighter Squadron was put stand-by. The Larissa (Λάρισας) airport’s history runs since 1912, when for the first time a Henri Farman landed, the “Daedalus”, creating the 1st Hellenic Air Force Company. In the following fifteen years the Company reached the size of a regiment and in 1932, following the creation of the Greek Air Force, the regiment was renamed 2nd Larissa Group and in 1934 became officially an Air Base. In 1949 the base was used to train the bombers of the 335th and the 336th Fighter Squadron. In the two following years the base became the 110th Combat Wing and received the first Fighter Jet Squadron, the 337th, with F-84G. Only a couple of years later he receive the 338th and the 339th Squadron, they too equipped with the F-84G. Simultaneously also the Tactical Flight Reconaissance became part of the Wing, equipped with F-84G slightly modified to accommodate cameras. With the rising need for aerial reconnaissance it was not even a year before it became a real flight squadron, the 348th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, equipped with the RT-33 and RF-84F. At Larissa were deployed also F/RF-5 A / B under the 349 Day Intercept Squadron between 1967 and 1975 and from 1987 to 1997 when it was also put in quadre position. Another type of aircraft to be deployed since 1977at Larissa was the A-7H Corsair II with the 347th Fighter Bomber Squadron. In 1978, the 337th All Wheather Squadron receives the F-4E and at the same time the 348th TRS receives the RF-4E (SAP), to which in 1993 were added the RF-4E (ex-GAF). In 1997 the 346th Squadron reaches Larissa with the new F-16 bk30 even for short time. In fact, between 2011 and 2012 the 346th SQD was closed. The 337th sqd instead replaces the weary F-4E with the new F-16Bk52 + in the early 2000.




The 337th All Wheather Squadron "Ghost"

The squadron was created in 1945 in the liberated Greece at the Elefsisbase. However It became operational only on 30 March 1948 with the Spitfire Mk IX. In 1952 he flew the T-33 A Silver Star. In the following months he received the F-84G Thunderjet, making the 337th Fighter Squadron the first Greek air force to be equipped with the Jets. In 1952 the squadron was transferred to Larissa. A year later he created the first aerobatic squadron under the command of Major Kokkas with three pilots: 1st Lt Dimitros, 1st and 2nd Lt Ioannis LT Emmanouel even if only in May 1954 the Ministry of Defence Kanelopoulos sanctioned the official existance. From there to 1959 the Squadron was transferred to Souda (Crete), though in 1960 was transferred to the 112CW also receiving the new F-86D becoming All Wheater Squadron. In 1967 he began to train on the F-5 becaming operational in November of the same year, assuming the name of 337th Day Intercept Squadron. For nine years the squadron fllew F-5 but after the contract Peace Icarus II the squadron was moved to Larissa with the F-4E becoming the 3rd SQD squadron on the Phantom II. From 78 to 2005, the squadron remained operational for ensuring aerial coverage 24/7 of the northern part of Greece, working both from Larissa, Limnos (130th Combat Group) and Skyros (135th Combat Group), was then a dominant force of the Aegean arena from 1978 until the 90s. At the end of the Cold War additional F-4E were purchased later and went to reinforce the 337th All Wheather Squadron. These aircraft remained in the front line until 2005 when, with a splendid livery Decorative they were mothboalles, replaced by brand new F-16Bk52 + in 2006.

The 348th Tactical Squadron Reonnaissance "Matia"

Following a flight test conducted by the 335th SQD with an F-84G camera the Greek Air Force decided to adopt specific aircraft for aerial reconnaissance, acquiring the RT-33 A. This specialty was then assigned to the 348th TRS on July 7th, 1954 in Larissa. Already in 1956 the RT-33 were replaced by new RF-84F selling the first ones to the French air force. From 56 to 78 the F-84 were the only type of aircraft assigned to the squadron, but on that date the Greek Governement acquired new RF-4E. Between 91 and 93, RF-84F were scrapped and replaced by RF-4E provided by the German Luftwaffe.

The 346th Fighter Squadron "Jason"

The 346th SQD was created in 1990 to receive the newest F-16Bk30 as soon as Greece signed the contract Peace Xenia I. Initially based in Nea Anghialos with the training of future pilots of the Greek air force. This role was quickly given to the 330th sqd (also with F-16Bk30). With the arrival of the new F-16Bk50 in the base there was not enough space, became then necessary to move the group to the nearby Larissa. The main task of the Squadron at Larissa was to provide air defense of the territory and the Aegean Sea. However, due to the economic crisis that hit Greece the sqd was put in quadre position in 2011 and all F-16Bk30 were moved back to Nea Anghialos at the 330th sqd.

                Text by Marco Sommacal

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Massimo's Photo Gallery





We would thank all the staff of the 110th Combat Wing and 337th Sqd,346th Sqd and 348th Sqadron. Thanks, finally, to Col. Roberto Cattaneo of the Italian Embassy in Greece for made possible this day.