USAF Patch Fighter c 561 TFS Tactical Ftr Sqn F 105 Vietnam b
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USAF Patch Fighter c 561 TFS Tactical Ftr Sqn F 105 Vietnam b

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  • Item #: 1P 02US 4USA 01SQN 2OP 561TFS 05
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USAF Patch 561 TFS Tactical Fighter Squadron F 105 Thunderchief Strike 100 Missions North Vietnam 1966 Embroidered on twill cut edge 87mm by 85mm three and seven sixteenth inches by three and three eighth inches.

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Squadron History´╗┐´╗┐

561 Tactical Fighter Squadron was activated at McConnell AFB Kansas on 1 May 1962 assigned to 388 Tactical Fighter Wing equipped with F 105 Thunderchief fighter bomber aircraft tasked with strike attack. The Squadron was reassigned to 23 Tactical Fighter Wing when it was reactivated at McConnell on 8 February 1964 with its Squadrons renumbered 560 561 562 and 563 TFSs. In response to the Gulf of Tonkin Crisis 23 TFW immediately began TDY 4 month rotational Squadron deployments to Takhli AB Thailand for combat strike missions over North Vietnam with a Detachment at Da Nang AB South Vietnam for operations over South Vietnam. Following the 563 and 562 TFS deployments 561 TFS began its first tour in November 1964. TDY deployments continued supplementing South East Asia based Squadrons. Increased US losses due to intensification and sophistication of North Vietnamese Surface to Air Missile SAM capability led to air operations over North Vietnam restricted to below the 19th parallel on 31 March 1968 and the bombing campaign over North Vietnam halted on 1 November 1968 with combat missions changed to intensive operations against the enemy in South Vietnam. With the increased vulnerability of the Thunderchief and use of the more capable F 4 Phantom II fighter for strike attack missions the Squadrons primary task became the suppression of enemy air defense SEAD and upgraded to F 105Gs Thunderchief Wild Weasel aircraft.

In April 1972 561 TFS deployed to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base in Thailand as Detachment 1 561 TFS when the US turned heavily towards air power and throughout Linebacker I and Linebacker II 561 TFS flew over 1900 combat sorties nearly 6000 combat hours and was awarded the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with Combat V for valor and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation.

On 1 July 1973 the 561 moved to George Air Force Base and joined the 35 Tactical Fighter Wing. In 1978 561 TFS began conversion to F 4G Advanced Wild Weasel aircraft and the Squadron transferred to 37 Tactical Fighter Wing on 30 March 1981 reverting back to 35 Tactical Fighter Wing on 5 October 1989.

In August 1990 561 TFS F 4 Phantom Wild Weasels deployed to Sheikh Isa Air Base Bahrain and during Operation Desert Storm flew over 2400 sorties logging more than 8000 combat hours before returning to George AFB in March 1991. The Squadron was redesignated 561 Fighter Squadron on 1 November 1991 and was inactivated on 30 June 1992.

561 Fighter Squadron reactivated at Nellis Air Force Base on 1 February 1993 as part of 57 Operations Group and soon deployed to Incirlik Air Base in support of Operation Provide Comfort and returned to Southwest Asia at Dhahran Air Force Base in Saudi Arabia supporting Operation Southern Watch and Operation Vigilant Warrior.

In 1994 the 561 FS became the largest fighter squadron in the United States Air Force and the Squadron was also employed as an Aggressor squadron during RED FLAG exercises at Nellis AFB. 561 FS inactivated on 26 March 1996 with the retirement of the F 4G Phantom II and the Wild Weasel SEAD mission was assumed by F 16s in different squadrons.

The Squadron was reactivated as 561 Joint Tactics Squadron on 22 May 2007 at Nellis AFB assigned to 57 Wing. The Squadron is tasked with rapidly compiling and disseminating tactical lessons learned evolving tactics techniques and procedures in the battlespace.

Squadron members regularly deploy into combat theaters to identify emerging tactics techniques and procedures as well as gaps in warfighter support. The Squadron collates and prepares the information to improve capability designing training programmes to enable deploying Air Expeditionary Forces are kept current relevant and extremely well prepared for combat on day one in theater. 

 

 

This patch dates from 1966.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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