8th Squadron               Activated 1955

1962

1971

1975

 

 

 

     

1962


Description: This patch is a black-bordered, white rhombus with a large black numeral “8” in the center. Two silver lightning bolts go through the “8.” Behind the “8,” a silver shooting star leaves a red, gold, blue, and silver trail.

Significance: The colors red, gold, blue, and silver represent the Academy’s four classes. The star represents cadets’ ultimate career goal. The lightning bolts represent the dynamic spirit and aggressiveness of the squadron.

History: This was the squadron’s first patch. It appeared in Polaris from 1965 through 1971, and was still displayed on Vandenberg Hall (Photo, Below) as late as October 1971.

  1965 – 1971

 


 

Photos


     

1971     "Evil Eight"


Description: This circular patch depicts an eight ball bordered by a thin line of gold. The red and black head of “Lucifer” is on the bottom left. Four stylized aircraft ascending in echelon are in the center of the eight ball.

Significance: The Eight Ball, along with the head of Lucifer illustrated the squadron motto, “Evil Eight.” The four delta-shaped planes colored gold, blue, silver, and red, flying in echelon, represented the four class colors at the Academy.

History: This was the squadron’s second patch and was worn from 1971 through 1975. Contemporary accounts confirm this patch in use as early as the Fall of 1971. Wing Heritage cites this patch in use from 1966 until 1975, when in fact it was in use only from 1971 through 1975. No patch was depicted in the 1972 yearbook for 8th Squadron (although the motto "Evil Eight" was published).

Nickname: "Evil Eight"

  1973 – 1975

 

 


 

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, California.  – C3C Jeffrey Sogard, Class of 1976, Falconews, 29 March 1974


 

The patch is a red devil’s head on a black eight-ball with four jets and contrails. The four jets symbolize the four classes, and the eight-ball depicts power, since the eight-ball is the most powerful ball in pocket billiards. The head of the devil goes with the nickname of Eighth Squadron: “EVIL EIGHT.” The patch design also depicts the heroic determination and the immortal character experienced in the military.  – 1975 Polaris


 

Personal Recollections


 

The First Classmen (Class of 1971) in the squadron wanted to update the old patch as part of an esprit de corps move. I volunteered to be the project officer. We asked for designs, and one from the Class of 1973 won. The patch was based on a design from an active fighter squadron (the 356th based in Florida as I recall). The only USAFA significant items in the patch were the colors of the aircraft and their contrails, which represented the colors of each class. I chose blue (1972) as the lead aircraft. I ran the gamut of heraldry regulations and got it approved. But soon my AOC gave me a memo from the Academy powers that rescinded their approval, stating that the patch represented too much “evil.” I appealed based on the legacy of the patch and the active duty squadron that fought valiantly in WWII. I eventually won the appeal.  – Bruce Kroehl, Class of 1972 (December 2002)


 

The "Eight Ball" patch (black background) is what we wore as doolies in the squadron. Its origin stems from a famous squadron prank, that of turning the planetarium roof into a giant 8 ball. That occurred a year or two before our class arrival. Some upperclassman talked about it with first hand knowledge. We wore the black patch for several months as doolies. As I recall, this black background version was an "unofficial," preliminary edition. Sometime during our doolie year, the guys that approve patches came back and made the squadron change the background to blue. The reason given was black has "evil connotations" and the Academy didn't want the patch to communicate that attitude. Of course, squadron cadets were upset because it was an "Eight Ball" which by definition is black. So the patch didn't make much sense with the Academy's modification.  – Perry Lamy, Class of 1975 (November 2019)


 

Sketches & Prototypes


 

This patch has been alternately identified as the "lost" patch for CS-08 (Clark Special Collections) or worn briefly in 1972 (Squadron Insignia of the United States Air Force Academy by P. Michael Sheridan). However according to Bruce Kroehl, Class of 1972: “This patch was one of the entries when we ran a contest to choose a new patch design to replace the original one. I don't recall wearing it. Perhaps they used it as a "ghost" patch under another coat” (November 2019). These personal recollections and the verified timeline for the official patches support the notion that this was likely a prototype or "unofficial" patch, never officially approved or worn.


 

Photos


     

1975     "Eagle Eight"


Description: This circular patch is a large circular emblem bordered in dark blue. Inside the dark-blue border is a white field with a multicolored F-15 Eagle centered in the middle of a white field. The letters “EAGLE” are printed in dark blue across the top of the aircraft. A dark-blue “8” is at the bottom. Four stars, colored gold, blue, silver, and red are on the right-hand side of the emblem.

Significance: The Eighth Squadron chose the F-15 for the squadron emblem for two reasons: the F-15 was the newest interceptor in the Air Force inventory and the name Eagle begins with the letter “E” as does the squadron number. The ghost gray color along the plane’s leading edge is the color used by the Air Force Aggressor squadrons. The four different colored stars represent the four classes at the Academy and their class colors. The patch symbolizes Eighth Squadron’s aggressiveness in intercepting and destroying its enemies.

History: This patch is the third to belong to the Eighth Cadet Squadron and was designed in 1975. Wing Heritage cites this patch as the fourth in the squadron's history, but there is no evidence of a patch between the Eight Ball and Eagle Eight patches.

Nicknames: "Eagle Eight"

  1976 –

 

 

Personal Recollections


 

I graduated in 1961 from 8th Squadron and I designed the first 8th Squadron patch. It showed a falcon in full flight holding an eight ball, and under the falcon and ball we put the class year, 1961 in my case. In those days of “yesteryear”  we were not allowed to put such trivial things on our athletic jacket. It just was not considered military. As a result we could only use the squadron patch as an informal way of identification. – Hector Negroni, Class of 1961 (June 1990)