The 67th Fighter Squadron has been around since 20 November 1940. That's 74 years, heck that's older than... Well, let's just say that's older than quite a few people I know.
I have chosen the 67th as this week's famous aviation unit. Why? Well, for one thing they recently won the Raytheon Trophy (see here) and for another I used to work on their jets back when I was a lad assigned to the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing at Kadena AB, Okinawa, Japan. Of course, back then they flew (wait for it...) the F-4C Phantom! (Yay, cue applause...)
|EF-4C Wild Weasel flying over North Vietnam|
McDonnell F-4C-18-MC Phantom - Tail #63-7474 modified as EF-4C Wild Weasel flak suppression aircraft. Cut up for scrap at Incirlik AB, Turkey in spring of 1996.Well, that sucks...
But there weren't that many EF-4Cs in the inventory, I'm pretty sure most of them went to Kadena after Vietnam. So I'm pretty sure I worked on that jet. Of course, after 37 years (and there being 70+ F-4s on Okinawa at the time, not counting the RF-4Cs) all those tail numbers start to run together. Only 7463 remains clearly in my memory, and she didn't belong to the Fighting Cocks.
|67th Squadron Patch, which goes back a long ways!|
|P-39 of the 67th Fighter Squadron|
Henderson Field Guadalcanal, 1942
(Photo courtesy of Robert L Ferguson)
The patch can also be seen on the photo of the leaders of the 347th Fighter Group, the Pacific theater. (More excellent 67th photos can be seen here.)
The 67th have flown a number of different aircraft since their inception -
- P-35 (1941)
- P-36 Hawk (1941)
- P-400 (1942) This was really just the "export" version of the P-39.
- P-39 Airacobra (1942–1944)
- P-38 Lightning (1944–1946)
- P-51 Mustang (1946, 1948–1953)
- P-47 Thunderbolt (1946–1948)
- F-80 Shooting Star (1946–1947, 1949–1950)
- F-86 Sabre (1953–1957)
- F-100 Super Sabre (1957–1962)
- F-105 Thunderchief (1962–1967)
- F-4 Phantom II (1968–1979)
- F-15 Eagle (1979–present)
|Curtiss P-36 Hawk|
|Bell P-400 (P-39) Airacobra (80th Fighter Squadron "Headhunters," 8th FG)|
Oh yeah, that preceding picture is of an 80th Fighter Squadron P-400 of the 8th Fighter Group. Those guys also go by the name "Juvats" these days. (Does that ring any bells?) Yup, I worked on their aircraft 40 years later in Korea. FRaVMotC Juvat (surprise, surprise) flew their F-4D Phantoms at the same time. (Yup, I mentioned Phantoms. Again.)
|The 67th posing with one of their P-38 Lightnings (Source)|
|The 67th (now known as a Fighter Bomber Squadron) flew P-51s in Korea. (Source)|
|P-47 Thunderbolt, aka 'The Jug"|
|F-80 Pilots of 67th FBS and 12th FBS, 18th Fighter Bomber Wing, Japan (Source)|
|Major James P. Hagerstrom's MiG Poison. The unit is the 67th FBS/18th FBG, Osan AB, May 1963. (Source)|
|F-100D, The Hun|
|67th Tactical Fighter Squadron F-105, we've met this bird before.|
(Flown by LtCol Robbie Risner when he was shot down over Route Pack 6, North Vietnam.)
|LtCol James Robinson "Robbie" Risner 67th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS)|
|67th TFS EF-4C, Korat, Thailand|
(To AMARC* as FP088 07 October 1987)
Of course, these days the 67th flies the F-15 Eagle. The 67th were on Okinawa from 1976 to 1978 when I was there (again, flying the F-4C and EF-4C) and they are still on Okinawa. Oh, did I mention that they have won the Raytheon Trophy, twice, in the last few years? Well, you should remember from this post. If that video wasn't enough, here's the one they made back when they won in 2011.
The Fighting Cocks of the 67th Fighter Squadron.
|Three U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle aircraft, from the 44th and 67th Fighter Squadrons, fly in formation after|
an aerial refueling during an operational readiness exercise over Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan.
(USAF photo by Master Sgt. Richard Freeland Source)
|Eagle of the 67th|
|The Fighting Cocks|
*AMARC = Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center, The Boneyard, Davis-Monthan AFB, AZ.