USAF Patch Fighter USAFE 494 TFS Tac Ftr Squadron F 111 3b
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USAF Patch Fighter USAFE 494 TFS Tac Ftr Squadron F 111 3b

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  • Item #: 1P 02US 4USA 01SQN 2OP 0494SQ 11
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USAF Patch USAFE 494 TFS Tactical Fighter Squadron RAF Lakenheath F 111 Aardvark Small 1980s Fully embroidered cut edge 67mm by 67mm two and five eighth inches by two and and five eighth inches.

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Squadron History

494 Fighter Bomber Squadron was reactivated after its wartime service on 10 July 1952 at Chaumont Semoutiers Air Base France with F 84 Thunderjet fighter bombers as part of 48 Fighter Bomber Group under 12 Air Force The Squadron supported NATO and USAFE activities with operational readiness exercises tactical evaluations training and improving bombing and gunnery skills with the US Seventh Army. 494 FBS frequently deployed to Wheelus AFB Libya for live firing bombing and gunnery training. In November 1953 the Squadron received F 86F Sabre fighters. On 4 July 1954 the mayor of Chaumont bestowed on to 48 FBW the honorary title of the Statue de la Liberte Wing. In late 1956 the 494 FBS reequipped with F 100D Super Sabres and on 8 December 1957 was reassigned to 48 FBW when it assumed direct control of the combat flying Squadrons with the inactivation of 48 Fighter-Bomber Group tier.

48 FBW was reassigned to USAFE on 1 January 1958 and 494 FBS redesignated 494 Tactical Fighter Squadron on 8 July 1958 with 48 FBW becoming 48 Tactical Fighter Wing. The nuclear weapon capable F 100D caused disagreements with France concerning atomic storage and custody issues within NATO and relations between France and the US deteriorated 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 494 TFS with the rest of 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 the Squadron continued its NATO training and tactical evaluations to maximise its tactical bombing capability in the event of war with the Soviet Union. In 1 September 1962 following a number of switches between 17 and 3 Air Forces 48 TFW came under the operational command of Third Air Force. During this period the Squadron also conducted deployments to Turkey Italy Spain and across the United Kingdom and maintained its readiness by participating in a number of USAFE and NATO exercises training to react to possible aggression from the Soviet Union and undertook a series of NATO tactical evaluations.

In 1972 the 48 TFW was stood down from its NATO commitments and the Squadron began conversion to F 4D Phantom II fighter bombers transferred from 81 TFW at RAF Bentwaters with the last F 100 Super Sabre departing in August 1974. In 1977 the Wing exchanged its F 4s for F 111F Aardvark fighter bombers transferred from 347 TFW Mountain Home AB. The transition to F 111Fs took place very quickly and without any significant problems and almost immediately the Squadron began a series of monthly exercises and deployments to Italy Iran Greece and Pakistan.

On 14 and 15 April 1986 494 Tactical Fighter Squadron participated in Operation El Dorado Canyon the long range air raid on Tripoli Libya. On 25 August 1990 Liberty Wing began its deployment to Taif AB Saudi Arabia as 48 Tactical Fighter Wing Provisional for Operation Desert Shield Desert Storm with the 492 493 and 494 TFSs 66 F 111F Aardvarks in place by December 1990 and the Squadron successfully executed many combat missions during Operation Desert Storm. The Squadron returned to RAF Lakenheath with the Wing on 13 May 1991 and on 1 October 1991 the Squadron was redesignated 494 Fighter Squadron with 48 Tactical Fighter Wing becoming 48 Fighter Wing.

In the midst of organizational changes following lessons learnt during the campaign over Iraq the Squadron reequipped with F 15E Strike Eagle fighters in early February 1992 and the mission changed from air to ground strike attack to the air to air role. The Squadron was reassigned to 48 Operations Group on 31 March 1992 and has participated in numerous deployments to Southwest Asia during which after 1 October 1994 it is designated 494 Expeditionary Fighter Squadron while it supports Air Expeditionary operations as part of the ongoing Global War on Terrorism including Operations Provide Comfort Northern Watch Iraqi Freedom OIF Enduring Freedom OEF and also Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya in March 2011 as well as Baltic Air Policing.

 

 

This patch dates from the 1980s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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