53rd Birthday Posters and Arts
Assigned to the new Bitburg Air Base, west of the Rhine River near the French border in the Eifel mountains. In August 1953, the North American F-86F Sabre was introduced to the squadron, replacing the F-84s. In 1956, the squadron received the North American F-100 Super Sabre, marking the first time a wing in USAFE flew supersonic jets. On 15 May 1958, the squadron was redesignated as a Tactical Fighter Squadron because its missions had now grown to include delivery of tactical nuclear weapons. In May 1961, received the Republic F-105 Thunderchief and continued to carry on its Cold War mission of tactical nuclear weapons delivery. Twice in the early 1960s when Cold War tensions were elevated due to the 1961 Berlin Wall crisis and 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis the squadron rose to a high level of alert. Was upgraded to the F-4 Phantom II in 1966. Capt. John T. Doneski in 84-0014 shot down an Iraqi Su-22M with an AIM-9M during operation "Desert Storm".The squadron was upgraded to the McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle in April 1976 In 1980 more advanced F-15Cs and F-15Ds would replace the original F-15As. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, the squadron conducted routine training missions however the outbreak of the 1990–91 Gulf War put the F-15s of Bitburg into the heart of the conflict. The squadron's pilots and aircraft engaged in combat operations during Operation Desert Storm. Not a single F-15 aircraft was lost in combat during the war. On 13 March 1991, the deployed squadron returned to Bitburg AB.
Tags: frg, ge, germany, bitberg, squadron
Transferred to III Fighter Command in June 1943, began training for deployment to the European Theater of Operations (ETO) as a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bomber squadron. Deployed to England in April 1944 as part of IX Fighter Command. Initial missions included strafing and dive-bombing armored vehicles, trains, bridges, buildings, factories, troop concentrations, gun emplacements, airfields, and other targets in preparation for the invasion of Normandy. The squadron also flew some escort missions with Eighth Air Force Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and Consolidated B-24 Liberator strategic bombers. On D-Day the squadron patrolled the air over the landing zones and by flying close-support and interdiction missions. Moved to its Advanced Landing Ground at Brucheville, France (A-16) in July, then eastward as ground forces advanced on the continent. Operations supported the breakthrough at Saint-Lô in July and the thrust of U.S. Third Army toward Germany in August and September as part of the 303d Fighter Wing, XIX Tactical Air Command. In October, the squadron moved into Belgium to support U.S. Ninth Army. Participated in the Battle of the Bulge during December 1944 and January 1945 by flying armed reconnaissance and close-support missions. Aided U.S. First Army's push across the Roer River in February 1945. Supported operations at the Remagen bridgehead and during the airborne assault across the Rhine in March. By V-E Day, the squadron was based at Kassel/Rothwesten airfield, Germany (ALG R-12), where it remained until February 1946 as part of the United States Air Forces in Europe Army of Occupation. In February, the unit was transferred, without personnel or equipment to Bolling Field, Washington, D.C where it was inactivated as a paper unit.
Tags: eagle, wimgs-the, of, republic, arvn