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.
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…
An F-86 pilot, Barrett was commander of the 49th Fighter Bomber Group at Misawa Air Base, Japan, in 1957. His next stop was commander of the 329th Fighter Group (Air Defense) at Stewart AFB, NY, 1958-59.
As part of the 21st Fighter Bomber Wing, the Base Flight mainly consisted of T-33’s and other utility aircraft in support of the Wing’s operations. Patch dates from the mid-1950’s.