Squadron Patches

Narratives are from the 29 March 1974 edition of the Falconews, written by members of the class of 1976 from their respective squadrons.

At first glance the patch may appear only to designate the squadron number, however when said together, the letters “XL” form the word “excel”, the goal of the 40th. In the fall of 1969 the ultimate squadron, 40, had been reached.

One of the latest additions to the wing, the squadron has graduated only four classes. Gary Addison ’70 was the first cadet to receive his senior parachutist wings and Steve Berta ’70 graduated first in his class. The 379th Bombardment Wing, Wurtsmith AFB, MI is the current squadron sponsor.

The 38th was the first squadron in Academy history to be named a Dodo All-Star. The All-Stars then went out to capture two consecutive first-places in intramural Lacrosse for ‘71 and ‘72. The All-Stars are sponsored by the 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, McChord AFB, Wash.

The patch reflects the bold, decisive nature of the squadron. A knight in shining armor mounted on a bridle-less horse represents intense determination to advance with and uphold tradition while improving the present and looking to the future. In the fall of 1969 the 37th Squadron was created when the wing expanded to 40 squadrons.

The Pink Panther depicts the cunning and sophistication derived from a cadet’s career. The flight jacket and gold bars are symbolic of the cadet’s two most immediate goals. The 36th originated in the fall of 1969 with the expansion of the Cadet Wing and is sponsored by the 23rd TFW, England AFB, La.

The design of the 35th was taken from the symbol of the soon-to-be-adopted F-15. The 35th has been a constant competitor due to the leadership of such Academy greats as All-American Ernie Jennings and Kevin Brennan. They are sponsored by the 31 TFW, Homestead AFB, Fla.

The charging razorback depicts the fighting spirit and aggressiveness of the men of the 34th Squadron. On their emblem three stylized aircraft symbolize the future of the Air Force and the desire of the cadets to become and integral part of this future. Sponsored by the 474th TFW, Nellis AFB, Nev., the squadron was formed in 1969 and nicknamed “Loosehog 34.”

Like the 28th Squadron, the 33rd adopted the Air Force colors for its patch. The figures displayed represent two diving falcons, the Academy mascot. Nicknamed “Cellar Rats” due to the location in the new dorm, the 33rd has among its members William Sims, this year’s Rhodes Scholar. The 33rd is sponsored by the 60th MAW, Travis AFB, Calif.

The Roadrunner Squadron challenges all others to “catch us if you can.” The Roadrunner symbolizes the cocky cartoon character and the jet indicates the desire to join other pilots for greater service. The Roadrunners are sponsored by the 380th Strategic Wing, Plattsburgh AFB, NY.

The squadron entered the wing in 1968 and established themselves immediately by being selected to march in President Nixon’s first Inaugural Parade for excellence in drill competition. The Southern Communication Unit, Tinker AFB, Okla. Is the squadron sponsor.

The “Dirty” Thirty has had its share of distinguished grads including 1970 Squadron commander John Hasleton, who was killed in action. They are sponsored by the 90th SMW, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

The Black panther depicts the silent courage of today’s Air Force. The Black Panthers are sponsored by the 2nd BW at Barksdale AFB, La. In 1973 they were honored as one of the two squadrons to march in the Presidential Inaugural Parade.

In 1968 the 28th was awarded the Gillen-Slezak Intercollegiate Athletic Award. In 1973 the squadron was awarded ATC’s Academic Achievement Award as well as being chosen to represent the Cadet Wing in the Inaugural Parade. The 28th is sponsored by the 12th FTW at Randolph AFB, Tex.

Dominated by a figure of the Thunderbird, the squadron patch symbolizes the Air Force’s global defense posture and mastery of the skies. The squadron has been a spawning ground for leadership as exemplified by the large number of its cadets who have achieved Wing and Group Staff positions since its beginning in 1967. “Professionalism” is the squadron’s key word.

One’s first impression upon seeing the patch of the Barons is that it is something less than serious. However, this comical creation has set an enviable example. The lesson to learn is despite a person’s wins or losses, he can and must continue to fight on to achieve his goal. Sponsored by the 1550th Aircrew Training and Test Wing, Hill AFB, Utah, the Barons house many All-Americans including the butterfly record-holder, Stephen Fenton, ’73.

“Red Eye” typifies the qualities of luck and good future. The two fighters in formation represent the comradeship, and the golden contrails left by the fighters indicates that this comradeship extends beyond the cadet squadron. The 25th was one of the first squadrons to occupy the new dorm and is presently being sponsored by the 62nd Military Airlift Wing out of McChord AFB, Wash.

The Polaris is a guide to the squadron as they study atomic energy and related subjects. The eagle holding a bolt of lightning  above the world provides strength, courage and power in the quest for knowledge. The phantoms began their history in 1961 as a new squadron. They boast All-American fencer Warren Manchess, ’63 and champion parachutist Alan Dillman, ’68. The squadron won the Malanaphy Trophy for ’71-’72. The squadron is sponsored by 317 TFW, Pope AFB, N.C.

The first graduating class for the “Crash and Burn” 23rd came in 1962. Since that time the tradition of the 23rd has grown until today it is recognized throughout the Cadet Wing. The 23rd is sponsored by the 552nd Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing, McClellan AFB, Calif.

Since its formation in 1961, the 22nd Squadron has produced many distinguished officers. Former double deuce graduates carried the tradition and spirit of the squadron to South East Asia. Three were among the returned POWs: Tom Browning, Tom McNish and Ed Mechenbier. Also from the squadron came the outstanding twice All-American center, Odeira Mitchell. The 22nd is sponsored by the 55th SRW, Offutt AFB, Neb.

“Black Jack” 21 was formed in the fall of 1961. Establishing itself early, the squadron attained Honor Squadron in ’63. The squadron boasts All-Americans Jack Hudson, pistol; Jim Murphy, track; and Rhodes Scholar Bart Holaday.

The troll is a symbol of robust strength and craftiness, representing the need in the Air Force for skill of both mind and body. The “Tough Trolls” entered the Cadet Wing in 1960 as the “Can Do” Squadron.

The 19th Squadron with their ability to make the best of a situation has usually placed high in the Honor Squadron competition. They took the competition in 1972. They are sponsored by the San Antonio Air Materiel Area, Kelly AFB, Tex.

The Unicorn head symbolizes great strength, fierceness, endurance and matchless spirit. The chess rook symbolizes the Academy as the stronghold and basis for the training of career Air Force Officers. With a tradition of academic and military excellence the 18th has become one of the leaders among squadrons. The 18th is sponsored by the 460th FIS, Grand Forks AFB, ND.

A mailed silver fist holding a silver torch symbolizes the strength of purpose, character and the knowledge and opportunity to learn. The squadron was formed in 1961 from the ______ Squadron.

The 16th is symbolized by the “Chickenhawk” representing speed, cunning and domination. These traits have long been employed by cadets in the squadron in establishing a history of intramural excellence, ranging from many Wing Championship teams to an endless list of Wing Open Boxing Champs. The squadron is sponsored by the 355 TFW, Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz.

War Eagle 15 was established in 1960. The squadron has won the Aerospace Defense Command Award for Military proficiency in 1969 and 1970. They also received the Lawrence A. Steinhardt Award for Excellence in parades, ceremonies and military performance in 1965 and 1970.

The 14th is celebrating its 14th anniversary this year. The spirit of the squadron is omnipresent in everything the squadron does. The mighty Cobras are sponsored by the 91st SMW, Minot AFB, N.D.

Since 1960, the 13th has been the home of Brock Strom, the first All-America football player. The Bulldogs have been the Honor Squadron five times and are being sponsored by the 375th Aeromedical Evacuation wing, Scott AFB, Ill.

“Dirty Dozen”, one of the original eighteen squadrons created in 1957 had the distinction of having the first Wing Commander Robert D. Beckel in its ranks. In more recent times, Charles M. Hardman ’72 rose to Wing commander. The squadron takes its patch from the 401st TFW and is sponsored by the 436th MAW, Dover AFB, Del.

The three segments of the circle cut by the triangle represent academics, athletics and military training. The winged propeller stands for the entire Cadet Wing. “Reb Eleven” was established soon after the move from Lowry AFB. The squadron has earned the Academic Achievement Trophy in ’66-’67 and the Intercollegiate Athletic Trophy in ’64-’65. The 11th is presently sponsored by the 44th SMW, Ellsworth AFB, S.D.

Among the squadron’s outstanding graduates is Terry Issacson ’64 an All-American wrestler. Michael Jackson ’69, a recent returning POW was also a member of the 10th. They were chosen Honor Squadron in ’72-’73 and are sponsored by the 27th TFW, Cannon AFB, N.M.

The “Niners” won the Wing Intramural wrestling and were runner-ups in water polo for ’62-’63. The 9th was also the home of Steve Ritchie, the first air ace in the Vietnam War. The 9th is sponsored by the 82nd Fighter Wing, Williams AFB, Ariz.

Squadron history is highlighted by two members of the class of ’64. Karl Richter was killed in action on his 195th mission in Vietnam in 1967. Leroy Stutz was released from a Hanoi prison camp last year after being held for seven years. He is presently the squadron associate AOC. The squadron is sponsored by the 63rd MAW, Norton AFB, Calif.

The unicorn signifies strength for victory since this mythical animal was virtually unbeatable in battle. The 7th has won the Malanaphy Trophy, symbol of the Cadet Wing intramural supremacy, five out of the last six years. The 7th is presently sponsored by the 363rd Reconnaissance Wing, Shaw AFB, S.C.

By 1959 the “Bull Six” won the Intramural Championships. Since then they have won the Academic Achievement Award in 1965, Military Proficiency in ’65 and ’66 and was named Honor Squadron in 1965. Presently the 6th is being sponsored by the Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

The flying horse symbolizes flight with power and the shield and sword indicate fighting men of the clouds. The 5th, sponsored by Headquarters Aerospace Medical Division, Brooks AFB, Tex., and was Honor Squadron in 1971.

They have the distinction of being one of the first squadrons at the Academy. One squadron graduate was Monty Moorberg All-America football. Monty died in a F-105 over Vietnam. Presently the squadron is sponsored by the 92nd Bomb Wing, Fairchild AFB, Wash.

The gold three indicates 3rd Squadron. The blue and silver are the traditional colors of the Academy and the star represents the future as a career officer in the Air Force. Known as the “Thirsty Third”, it has led the Wing in drill excellence and parades. Their sponsors are the 5th Fighter Interceptor Wing, Minot AFB, N.D.

“Tuff Two” began its history when it was awarded Honor Squadron for 1959-60. In 1967-68 they were presented the Air Force Association Trophy for outstanding squadron and the Academic Achievement Trophy by the Air Training command. They were also named intramural champions in ’68 and were presented the Gillen-Slezak Memorial Trophy in ’73. The squadron is sponsored by the 437th Military Airlift Wing (MAW), Charleston AFB, S.C.

This emblem is fashioned after the emblem of the famous First Fighter Wing. The Griffin taken from Greek Mythology and is a creature that seeks hidden treasure and protects its own from intruders. The First continues to compete in all realms of cadet life under its sponsor the 314th Tactical Airlift Wing (TAW), Little Rock AFB, Ark.