USAF Patch Fighter USAFE 48 TFW 48 Trans Sqn Patch F-111
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USAF Patch Fighter USAFE 48 TFW 48 Trans Sqn Patch F-111

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  • Item #: 1P 02US 4USA 06WIN 2OP 0048TS 04
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USAF Patch USAFE 48 TFW 48 Transportation Squadron Patch F-111 1980s RAF Lakenheath embroidered on twill cut edge 85mm by 87mm three and three eighth inches by three and seven sixteenth inches.

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Wing History´╗┐´╗┐

48 Fighter-Bomber Wing was activated at Chaumont-Semoutiers AB France on 10 July 1952 with F-84Gs on the re-designation of 137th
Fighter-Bomber Wing to command support groups and the combat flying 48 Fighter-Bomber Group comprising 492, 493, and 494 Fighter Bomber Squadrons. The Wing supported NATO and USAFE activities operational readiness exercises, tactical evaluations and training with the US Seventh Army. The Wing frequently deployed to Wheelus AFB Libya for live firing bombing and gunnery training. In November 1953 the Wing received F-86F Sabres.

To bolster Franco-American relations the Wing decided to change the wing insignia and with the Chaumont AB located near the workshops of Frédéric Bartholdi the designer of the Statue of Liberty the statue was incorporated into the design. On 4 July 1954 the mayor of Chaumont bestowed the honorary title of the Statue de la Liberté Wing upon the Wing. In late 1956 the Wing re-equipped with F-100D Super Sabres and on 8 December 1957 48 FBW assumed direct control of the combat flying Squadrons with the inactivation of 48th Fighter-Bomber Group tier. The Wing was re-designated 48 Tactical Fighter Wing on 8 July 1958 with the flying units becoming Tactical Fighter Squadrons.

International relations between France and the US deteriorated in the late 1950s resulting in French President Charles de Gaulle demanding the removal of NATO forces from the country. Under project Red Richard USAFE relocated its units from France. At the same time the advent of the inter-continental ballistic missile had reduced US dependence on European-based airborne medium-and long ranged bombers leaving SAC Air Bases available for the USAFE units. On 15 January 1960 the 48 TFW redeployed RAF Lakenheath England which underwent conversion to a permanent base to support fighter operations.

The Berlin Wall crisis in 1961 and the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis increased Cold War tensions and RAF Lakenheath served as a rotational  deployment base for SAC B-47 and B-52 aircraft throughout. In 1962 the Wing came under the operational command of Third Air Force. NATO training and tactical evaluations continued with the Wing earning its first Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the period from 1 July 1961 to
29 February 1964. During this period the Wing also conducted deployments to Turkey, Italy, Spain, and across the United Kingdom. In 1972 the flying Squadrons were stood down from its NATO commitments and began conversion to F-4D Phantom II transferred from 81 TFW at RAF Bentwaters with the last F-100 departing in August 1974. In 1977 the Wing exchanged its F-4s for F-111Fs transferred from 347 TFW Mountain
Home AB with the Wing receiving its third Air Force Outstanding Unit Award for the smooth transition. 48 TFW began a series of monthly exercises and deployments to Italy, Iran, Greece, and Pakistan.

495 Tactical Fighter Squadron was activated at 48th TFW on 1 April 1977 to join 492, 493 and 494 TFSs to function as a replacement training unit for the other three fighter squadrons. By September 1979 the Wing had flown the highest number of hours ever recorded in a fiscal year by an F-111 unit and during a joint USAFE Operational Readiness Inspection and NATO Tactical Evaluation in March 1980 received its fourth Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.

Following a number of terrorist attacks attributed by the US to the Libyan government the US ordered a strike against targets in Tripoli, which were carried out by the F-111s of the 48th Tactical Fighter Wing and United States Navy Sixth Fleet. In spite of the mission's success the Wing lost one aircraft and crew. The Wing received the Navy's Meritorious Unit Commendation for its participation in the operation.

On 25 August 1990 Liberty Wing began its deployment to Taif AB Saudi Arabia for Operation Desert Shield Desert Storm with the 492 493 and 494 TFSs 66 F-111Fs in place by December 1990 and flew a total of 1919 combat sorties with 2203 target hits. The Wing returned to RAF
Lakenheath on 13 May 1991 and following lessons learnt during the campaign began restructuring in mid-1991 under the Objective Wing Organization program realigning its maintenance-fighter squadron work force and establishing several command elements including 48 Logistics Group 48 Medical Group 48 Support Group and 48th Operations Group with the 48 Tactical Fighter Wing re-designated 48 Fighter Wing on 1 October 1991 and the 492 493 494th and 495 becoming Fighter Squadrons. The 495 FS was inactivatedon 13 December 1991. On 15 February 1992 the Wing began its changeover to F-15E Strike Eagles with the last F-111F departing for the US on 16 December 1992 and the Wings mission changed from air to ground strike attack to the air to air role. 

Since 2001 various units of 48 FW have deployed to Afghanistan to support Operation Enduring Freedom and to Iraq to support Operations Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn and to various other US allies such as the South Korea and participated in Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya in March
2011.

48 Motor Vehicle Squadron activated 10 July 1952 under 48 Maintenance And Supply Group part of 48 Air Base Group became 48 Transportation Squadron. 48 Maintenance And Supply Group inactivated 8 December 1957 and 48 Transportation Squadron assigned directly to 48 Air Base Group. 48 ABG renamed 48 Combat Support Group on 15 January 1962. 48 TS reassigned from 48 CSG 24 June 1974. 48 Maintenance And Supply Group reactivated on 31 March 1992 as 48 Logistics Group with 48 Transportation Squadron assigned to it. 48 Logistics Group re-designated 48 Maintenance Group on 25 September 2002 and 48 Transportation Squadron inactivated on 25 September 2002.

 

This patch dates from the late 1950s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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