USAF Patch Fighter USAFE 23 TFS Tac Ftr Sqn F 4G Wild Weasel e
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USAF Patch Fighter USAFE 23 TFS Tac Ftr Sqn F 4G Wild Weasel e

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  • Item #: 1P 02US 1USA 01SQN 2OP 0023SQ 09
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USAF Patch USAFE 23 TFS Tactical Fighter Squadron With Number F 4G Phantom II Wild Weasel SEAD 1980s 52 TFW Spangdahlen AB Embroidered on twill merrowed edge 105mm four and three sixteenth inches diameter.

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Squadron History 

In July 1948 23 Fighter Squadron reformed at Furstenfeldbruck AB Germany with F 80 Shooting Stars and helped form the Skyblazers aerial demonstration team and forerunner to the Thunderbirds. The Squadron was redesignated 23 Fighter Bomber Squadron on 20 January 1950 reequipping with F 84 Thunderjets for USAFE NATO conventional and nuclear strike attack and in November 1952 moved to Bitburg Air Base Germany as part of the 36 Fighter Bomber Wing.

In August 1954 the Squadron converted to F 84 Thunderjets and was redesignated 23 Fighter Day Squadron. Reequipping with F 86 Sabres in 1953 and F 100 Super Sabres in 1956 the Squadron was redesignated 23 Tactical Fighter Squadron on 8 July 1958. F 4D Phantom IIs fighter bombers were received in 1966 and the Squadron relocated to Spangdahlem AB on 31 December 1971 became part of 52 Tactical Fighter Wing. The Squadron reequipped with F 4E Phantoms in 1980 and swapped a number of its F 4E Phantoms for F 4G Phantom Wild Weasels from 81 TFS in 1982 when 52 TFW rerolled 23 and 480 TFSs to join 81 TFS for suppression of enemy air defence with each Squadron operating mixed RF 4G and F 4E aircraft flights as hunter killer teams perfected during the Vietnam War using the AGM 88 HARM and AGM 45 Shrike munitions. 52 TFW became NATOs only air defense system suppression Wing.

In July 1987 F 16 Fighting Falcons were received to replace the F 4E Phantoms continuing the mixed hunter killer team mission. 23 TFS deployed to Incirlik Air Base Turkey in January 1991 for the Gulf War and flew nearly 1000 defense suppression combat air patrol and interdiction missions over Iraq with its F 16s and F 4G Phantoms without a single loss earning the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Valor.

In September 1991 the Squadrons remaining F 4G Phantoms were reassigned to 81 TFS and replaced with F 16s and the Squadron was redesignated 23 Fighter Squadron. In July 1993 the Squadron was the first US unit to enforce the nofly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina for Operation Deny Flight and in September 1995 took part in Operation Deliberate Forge flying 224 sorties against Bosnian Serb forces and in May 1996 received the Commanders Trophy for the Best Fighter Squadron in the Command the Squadrons third time to win this distinction.

February to June 1999 saw the Squadron deployed to Aviano Air Base Italy assigned to 31 Air Expeditionary Wing for Operation Allied Force flying over 1000 combat sorties with 191 HARM missiles fired to destroy over 100 enemy surface
to air missile sites in Kosovo and Yugoslavia. The squadron was repeatedly noted for bravery in the face of danger while flying these combat operations in Allied Force.

From November 2000 to March 2001 the Squadron deployed in support of Operation Southern Watch over Iraq providing suppression of enemy air defenses SEAD in both air to ground and air to air roles. The Squadron deployed to Incirlik Air Base April to July 2002 for Operation Northern Watch again providing SEAD for strikes against ground targets in northern Iraq. In January 2003 elements of the Squadron deployed to Southwest Asia and flew combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom playing a key role during the 27 day air war by suppressing enemy air defenses and destroying Iraqi radar sites.

In April 2010 the majority of 22 Fighter Squadrons F 16s were flown from Spangdahlem back to the US and the 22 and 23 Fighter Squadrons consolidated and redesignated 480 Fighter Squadron.

 

This patch dates from the 1980s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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