15th Squadron               Activated 1959








1962     "War Eagles"

Description: A black eagle is centered on a white circle bordered in blue and black. He wears a black and blue five-pointed crown. On the left wing is a blue sword and on the right wing five blue arrows. A diamond-shaped aircraft of blue is aimed toward the crown. On a blue ribbon bordered in black is printed “PLUS OULTRE,” the squadron motto in French, meaning “To The Utmost.”

Significance: The eagle symbolizes courage, aggressiveness, and intelligence. The sword and five arrows symbolize “15” and the weapons of war signify preparedness. The diamond-shaped aircraft indicate airpower aimed at the crown. The five pointed crown is the crown of victory and superiority.

History: This is the original squadron patch, designed by Joe H. Wilson, Class of 1963, in 1960-61. (Thanks to Bill Haugen, Class of 1962, for this information).

Nickname: "War Eagles"

Motto: "To the Utmost"

  1965 –



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 Ambassador Lawrence A. Steinhardt Award for Excellence in parades, ceremonies, and military performance in 1965 and 1970.  – C3C John Williams, Class of 1976, Falconews, 29 March 1974


The eagle symbolizes courage, aggressiveness, and intelligence. The sword and five arrows symbolize “15” and the weapons of war signify preparedness. The diamond-shaped aircraft indicates airpower aimed at the crown. The five-pointed crown is the crown of victory and superiority.  – 1975 Polaris





Request for Approval 1961

Squadron History 1961







This is a completely unknown and unexplained variant of the 15th Squadron patch, which appeared in the 2006 Polaris as part of a thumbnail history of squadron patches. In fact, the actual patch was depicted in conjunction with the 15th Squadron pages in the same edition of Polaris.


Personal Recollections


I am a member of the Class of 1962 (the original Red Tags/Red Tag Bastards). Our class had doolie summer at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, the initial/temporary USAF Academy site. 

When the Wing moved down to the permanent location north of Colorado Springs in the fall of 1958, the Cadet Wing was made up of 12 squadrons, four groups with three squadrons each. I was in 9th Squadron, part of Third Group, for my first two years (1958-1960). The 15th Squadron was formed when the Wing Groups expanded, in the summer of 1960. The upper classmen of 9th Squadron were split into 13th and 15th. I went to 15th squadron for my last two years (1960-1962).

The original 15th patch was inexpensively made, a round yellow felt thing, about three inches in diameter, with dark blue lettering. It had a big “15” in the middle with “Bandits” curving over the top and “U. S. Air Force Academy” under the bottom of the “15.” The inside of the lower round part of the “5” had sharp teeth and there was a black bandit mask over the upper left side of the “5."

The present 15th Squadron patch (a black eagle on a white background with blue trim) was designed by a '63 cadet, Joe H. Wilson, during 1960-61 and I think it was adopted as soon as we could get them manufactured during that time period. 

The numbers on my bathrobe sleeve represent that I was in 9th Squadron from 1958 to 1960 and then 15th Squadron from 1960 to 1962. The other numbers are various short-term administrative squadrons. For my doolie summer at Lowry in 1958, I was in 30th, which was the tall (height) provisional summer squadron. I believe the other squadron numbers are Doolie summer training details, and our European field trip. On the back of the bathrobe are patches from countries visited on that trip. Don’t think 9th Squadron had a patch yet when I was in it, so I found a patch with a IX (for 9) and put it on the other sleeve. The front and back of the bathrobe show some units visited, odds-and-ends, and a Colorado College patch (where my girlfriend from Ohio/future wife matriculated when she moved to Colorado in 1960). – Bill Haugen, Class of 1962 (February 2020)