Category Archives: 81st Inactivation

The Last Flight

The 81st Fighter Squadron sent its last A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft out of Germany May 17. Here’s one pilot’s journey as he travels to the States in his jet and returns without it.

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The Lone Ace

The 81st Fighter Squadron flew hundreds of fighter escort, close air support and interdiction missions, supporting the D-Day invasion and operating from numerous forward landing bases in while covering the Allied advance. The squadron also produced the 50th Fighter Group’s … Continue reading

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The Avenger

The GAU-8 Avenger 30mm Gatling gun is the A-10’s deadly weapon of choice and is what makes it different from other attack aircraft in the Air Force inventory. It can fire all 1,150 30-millimeter rounds in only 17 seconds, and … Continue reading

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“Sandy”

A-10 pilots play an important role in the rescue of downed pilots. When a rescue mission is planned and an A-10 is in that area of operations, the pilots take on the callsign “Sandy.” The combat search and rescue efforts … Continue reading

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The Mackay Trophy

Capt. Scott Markle received the Clarence Mackay Trophy Oct. 29, 2007, for his actions while deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2006. Markle, an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot from the 81st Fighter Squadron, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, directly … Continue reading

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Did You Know?

The 81st Fighter Squadron flew eight different airframes from the time they activated in 1942 to their inactivation this year. P-40 Warhawk P-47 Thunderbolt F-51 Mustang F-86 Sabre F-100 Super Sabre F-4 Phantom II F-16 Fighting Falcon (pictured flying with … Continue reading

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The Last A-10s Leave Europe

We recently said farewell to the last pilots and A-10s from the 81st Fighter Squadron as they inactivate. They are also the last A-10s stationed in Europe, which makes them not only an important part of history at the 52nd … Continue reading

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