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Fighter Squadron Patch Evolution 3

Posted by aaron on June 2, 2009

The worst cause of fighter squadron patch evolution is apathy. It's what happens when a new batch of patches show up and no one cares about the accurate reproduction of the intended design. This happens when a fighter squadron, sometime in the past, starts out with a kickass design.  They have someone produce their patch and everyone is happy. Couple years later the squadron needs some more patches so they contact their patch provider, maybe the same one, maybe a new one. They send them a copy of their present patch and place an order. The new patches arrive, they look pretty good, just some slight changes from the original patch but no big deal. Same process happens again a few years later. Old patch provider went out of business, so sent the second generation patch to the new patch company. The third iteration shows up and, again, just slight changes from second generation.  That's OK, but now, since no one is around to remember the initial patch/design they don't notice, or don't care, how far this third design has strayed from the original. Depending on how fast a squadron goes through patches this evolution process probably happens over a number of years.
Today with computerized, digital embroidery processing this kind of patch evolution is not as likely to happen. Now you can just e-mail a design to a patch company, they digitized it, put it on their machines and ta-da, a top quality, near perfect patch.
Below you'll see a patch design for the 428th Fighter Squadron, the Buccaneers.  They're retired now but were last at Cannon AFB, New Mexico flying the F-16 and prior to that the F-111. The squadron was also at Nellis flying the same two jets in the same sequence. Kickass design!! However, watch how the patch evolves over time. This is a perfect example of no one stopping to say, "Hey, our patch looks like shit!" 

Kickass original design.

428th Tactical Fighter Squadron

1st generation.  Not bad.

428th Fighter Bomber Squadron

2nd generation. Still OK but 
what's happening to the ears.

428th Tactical Fighter Squadron

3rd generation. Things are starting 
to go to shit. Is that a skull and cross 
bones? What's on his forhead?  
What's with the lips?

428th Tactical Fighter Squadron

4th generation. Say what!?!? Buck teeth!?!? 
What is that on the hat!?!? What's with the 
Pinocchio nose!?!? Is he wearing sunglasses!?!? 
Is this even a pirate!?!?

428th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron

Your patch is the first thing that a person sees when they start to formulate an opinion of your squadron. Don't let bad fighter squadron patch evolution happen to you.  When it strikes, sometimes it can be fatal. Take note, 428th no longer around.  Maybe the shitty patch had something to do with it.

FU Store
Of course, the FU Store has the kickass 428th Tactical Fighter Squadron patch available on all sorts of products. Buccaneers, you're squadron may be dead and gone, maybe never to return, but your patch is alive and well in the FU Store. Check out the kickass stuff that's available to help you relive your days as a Buccaneer. Or maybe you're a guy that just needs some FU gear to help you pickup chicks. Women love those romance, swashbuckler books. What would be a better opening than walking into a place with a Buccaneer shirt on? You will be identified immediately as a swashbuckling fighter pilot. Even though you may be neither, women will be drawn to you and you'll be thanking the day you visited Fighter Pilot University. Get your Buccaneer stuff in the Retro Fighter Squadron section of the FU Store.


Posted by shiftromeo on
"428th no longer around", you're kickass wrong pal. The Buccaneers 428th FS ressurrected with 1st generation badge IS FLYING the F15-SG, perhaps most advanced version of all F15s, and even to the envies of other. You can check out Mountain Home AFB website or even ask existing inhabitants, the 366th Fighter Wing.
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