460th Bombardment Group

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It’s always fun to browse thrift stores for bargains; never know what you might find. The patches seen here illustrate that point: They were glued to a cheap imitation leather flight jacket that was priced $4.99. Alas, there was no name on the jacket – it no doubt belonged to a veteran who wore it to reunions and such. He would have flown the B-24’s of the 460th from their bases in Italy (the patches are Italian made). But the patches live on, and those mementos of a veteran’s service have been saved for all time.

Here’s five feet of the 18th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

Five feet is the length of this photo, and given that I had to scan it in segments then stitch it all together, I would not have minded had the 18th FIS done its job with fewer men. That being said, it is a great shot of the entire squadron at Ladd AFB, Alaska, on July 18 1955, Major John “Buck” Rogers commanding. The following summer they moved to the somewhat less frigid Wurtsmith AFB in Michigan. F-89D Scorpions were the weapons of choice for the 18th in Alaska. One can be identified: 52-1839. 

Hot “Dog”

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The “D” model of the famed F-86 Sabre was, of course, labeled the “Dog” model. However, this was not just for the phonetically proper D-for-Dog but for what that model’s radome did to alter the aircraft’s appearance. Compared to the previous Sabre models whose front end was an intake (comparisons were made between it and a fish with its mouth open), the addition of the black radome did indeed give the D model the look of some sort of canine. 

The 15th Fighter Interceptor Squadron flew the F-86D from 1954-1957. The latter date coincides with that of this photo. Well, photo yes, but it is actually a postcard used by “Tex and Paky”.

PS. Get it?: Hot “Dog”…D Model…”Sunny Tucson”…(?) Yeah…

Vietnam War Flight Nurse Jo Miller

Webp.net-resizeimage (4)During the Vietnam War, crazy flightsuit-like garments were made by local tailors for wearing at the club. These “party suits” were usually in squadron colors, festooned with patches, and completely outlandish. Well, that was for the men, but what about the nurses? It seems they had their own after hours attire as seen here: A mini-skirt with emphasis on “mini.” The patch is the 11th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron from Udorn Air Base, Thailand. Nurse Miller would not have been assigned to the 11th (their’s was man’s work), but this dress would have been made with their blessing. Year: about 1969.