The squadron was first activated at March Field, California in 1951 as the 31st Army Reconnaissance Squadron, flying light observation planes. After the Attack on Pearl Harbor, the squadron flew antisubmarine patrols over the Pacific coast in 1942. It was moved to the Southeastern United States in late 1942.
The squadron was primarily used for observation during Army training maneuvers near Fort Polk, Louisiana and Fort Benning, Georgia. The unit deployed to the European Theater of Operations on 22 April 1945. It flew battlefield reconnaissance in the Low Countries and during the Allied invasion of Germany in the spring of 1945, supporting Ninth Army.
The squadron returned to the United States in August 1945.