The 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron spent more than one month painting the anniversary scheme for one of the wing’s F-15E Strike Eagle. The aircraft will remain painted this way for one full year
Taken from a 916th Air Refueling Wing (ARW) KC-135 Stratotanker the interesting images in this post show an F-15E Strike Eagle that is painted to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the 4th Fighter Wing (FW).
On Sep. 15, 2017 in fact the 4th FW celebrated its 75th anniversary at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (AFB). On that day the unit hosted a 50-year-old time capsule ceremony, a base tour, the Battle of Britain ceremony, a formal gala to honor the milestone and achievements throughout its 75-year history and unveiled a heritage aircraft paint scheme on an F-15E Strike Eagle.
As explained by Master. Sgt. Brittany E. Jones, 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, in the article 4 FW celebrates 75 years of airpower, tradition, Col. Christopher Sage, 4 FW commander, unearthed a time capsule with contents from 1967 and 1992, Sept. 15, 2017. The original ceremony for the creation of the time capsule was held Dec. 2, 1967, and presided by the then 4th Tactical Fighter Wing commander, Col. Paul C. Watson. The other ceremony was held Sept. 25, 1992 on the wing’s 50th anniversary.
The capsule included items such as operations documents, photographs, newspaper clippings from the News Argus, a 334th Fighter Squadron shirt, a small F-4 Phantom II static and more.
Squadrons had the opportunity to include present-day items from 2017 to the time capsule as well. The capsule will be re-buried and is scheduled to be uncovered again in 25 years, on the wing’s 100th anniversary in 2042.
The base tour featured static displays including the P-51 Mustang, F-86 Sabre, A-10 Thunderbolt II, and F-4 Phantom.
Members of Team Seymour and invited guests also commemorated the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Sept. 15, 2017, which celebrates the victory over the German Luftwaffe during World War II. Seven Americans flew for the RAF during the Battle of Britain. Noteworthy three of the pilots were from the No. 71 (Eagle) Squadron, Vernon Keough, Andy Mamedoff and Eugene Tobin, who went on to become the founding fathers of the 4 FW.
The ceremony included speeches from Col. Christopher Sage, 4th Fighter Wing commander, Dr. Roy Heidicker, 4th Fighter Wing Historian, and Maj. Christopher Rugg, Royal Air Force exchange officer.
“Many articles have been written about this event, and our piano burning ceremony was actually featured on CNN last year, but it’s not an event that many get to witness first-hand,” Sage said. “We are excited to share it with you during this celebration year.”
The informal part of the evening included the burning of seven donated pianos. There was also a four-ship missing man flyover at sunset before the piano burn.
Held on Sep. 16, the gala celebrated the heritage, achievements and history of the U.S. Air Force and the 4 FW. The items from the time capsule were on display and guests could also view the F-15E with the new heritage paint, and other heritage aircraft. The night included a meal and live music from various groups including the USO WWII era singers.
The 4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron spent more than one month painting the anniversary scheme for one of the wing’s F-15E Strike Eagle. The aircraft will remain painted this way for one full year.
“If you haven’t gotten the chance to observe the work that Tech. Sgt. Timothy Fox and his fabrication team have done to make that Strike Eagle sing with all the ferocity, pride and esprit de corps this wing is known for, I encourage you to do so,” Sage said.
The 4 FW’s motto is “Fourth but first” because of its reputation for toppling records and firsts throughout history.
Photo credit: Airman 1st Class Kenneth Boyton and Airman 1st Class Victoria Boyton / U.S. Air Force