16th Squadron               Activated 1959








1963     "Chicken Hawks"

Description: The patch consists of a silver and white hawk on a blue background. A gold lightning bolt is clutched in the hawk’s talons. The hawk’s chest bears a deep blue keystone with the squadron number “16” across it. The patch is in the shape of a larger keystone edged in dark blue.

Significance: The hawk, with its outstretched wings, expresses the freedom of flight. The bared talons clutching the lightning bolt exemplify the power which one must possess to maintain one’s freedom. This serves as a constant reminder that the Air Force must maintain a high degree of readiness to use force if necessary to retain our freedom. The blue keystone signifies the knowledge that must be possessed by the individual to remain free.

History: This is the original patch and was designed in 1963 by David Connaughton, Class of 1965.

Nickname: "Chicken Hawks"

  1965 –



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 Champion teams to an endless list of Wing Open Boxing Champs. The squadron is sponsored by the 355th Tactical fighter Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona. – C3C Jim Porter, Class of 1976, Falconews, 29 March 1974


A large silver hawk is the dominant motif of the patch for Sixteenth Squadron. The hawk, a symbol of courage, strength, and aggressiveness, is a constant reminder of the qualities of an Air Force Officer. The lightning bolt, grasped by the hawk, symbolizes the academic integrity of Air Force cadets. The blue field and golden “16” on the hawks chest are indicative of the spirit of the squadron and of the Air Force.  – 1975 Polaris


Personal Recollections


I recall that some third class cadets asked for ideas and when I sketched the 16th patch everyone liked it. Back in those days you’ll remember that all the Vandenberg Hall floors were linoleum, so in our Air Power Room (I don’t remember the room number – it was in the cross hall at the east end of the 16th area) I cut pieces of colored linoleum and created a patch built into the floor near the entrance. I understand that patch is still there, or was about 5 years ago when cadets heard about it and raised the carpet. – David Connaughton, Class of 1965 (February 2020)






Squadron History 1961

Request for Approval 1962