Flying Fiend 100 Year Anniversary
Got the following from Astro this morning. The Fiends are planning a 100 year Anniversary/Reunion at Osan AB, ROK some time in June 2017 (more to follow). You can follow reunion details on FB at https://www.facebook.com/groups/36TFS.FlyingFiends/. You can also donate to the reunion fund at https://www.gofundme.com/Fiend100. I will edit below links to our store with Fiend garb from the F-86, F-4, and F-16. Maybe we can get a Piano fire going and sing some old school fighter pilot songs!
The Flying Fiends have been around since 1917. When I was flying out of Da GU in the early 80's, the Fiends and the Hooters made up the 51st Tactical Fighter Wing. The Fiends were based at Osan with the Wing HQ and the Hooters were a detached unit south at Taegu. I found this You Tube video on the Fiends when they were in Korea the first time in the 50s as the 36th Fighter Bomber Squadron. Here's a little history on the squadron's lineage:
The Flying Fiends came into existence when a group of aviation pioneers, eager to prove the value of air power inWorld War I, formed the 36th Aero Squadron at Kelly Field, Texas, in June 1917. First Lieutenant Quentin Roosevelt, the son of President Theodore Roosevelt, was one of the squadron's first commanders, assuming command later that year. While the new squadron did not see combat as a unit when it moved toFrance, several of its members did while flying for other squadrons.
After World War I, the 36th was inactivated, only to be resurrected in October 1930 at Selfridge Field,Michigan, to train pilots and develop new air tactics. In 1932, the 36th relocated to Langley Field, Virginia, as part of the 8th Pursuit Group. While assigned to the 8th, the 36th flew airmail for the U.S. Postal Service, flying in all types of weather without instruments. During World War II, the squadron flew P-40 Warhawk, P-39 Airacobra, P-47 Thunderbolt, and P-38 Lightning fighters in a number of Pacific Theater campaigns. These included the defense of New Guinea and the battle for the Philippines. They moved to Fukuska,Japan at the end of the War.
When the communist forces attacked the Republic of Korea in June 1950, the 36th found itself in the fight from the beginning of the conflict. Flying F-80 Shooting Stars, the squadron attacked advancing North Korean tanks, trucks, artillery, and troops. The unit later converted back to the piston-engined F-51 Mustang, considered more suitable for operations in Korea. The 36th ended the war equipped with F-86 Sabres, flying bombing and strafing missions against enemy air fields. The 36th returned to Japan after the Korean War, operating out of Itazuke Air Base for the next 10 years.
During the Vietnam War, the 36th flew combat missions into Southeast Asia from Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base. 36th pilots flew F-105 Thunderchiefs, escorting rescue aircraft and suppressing anti-aircraft fire. The squadron was re-equipped with F-4 Phantom II fighters in December 1967 and stationed at Yokota Air Base, Japan, with regular deployments toKunsan Air Base beginning in March 1971. The 36th moved to Kunsan in May 1971, establishing a forward operating location at Osan Air Base. The squadron permanently moved to Osan and was assigned to the 51st Composite Wing (Tactical) in September 1974.
The 36th ushered in the era of the "Viper" on 10 August 1988. The squadron's combat capabilities were transformed in 1990 when the squadron converted to the Block 40 Low Altitude Navigational and Targeting Infrared for Night (LANTIRN) F-16C/D. The addition of LANTIRN gave the Fiends the current ability to fly at low levels and deliver precision guided munitions during nighttime conditions. Upgrades to the Block 40 in recent years have included GBU-31 JDAM capability for all weather precision engagement.
Editors Note: I recently visited the US Cemetery at Normandy and discovered more Fiend History while I was there. Quenton Roosevelt was killed in France during WW I while commanding the 36th Aero Squadron. Quenton Roosevelt (L) is now buried at Normandy with his brother Theodore Roosevelt Jr (R) who died shortly after leading his troops ashore at Omaha Beach. Quenton's remains where moved to the US cemetery at Normandy after the War where he was laid to rest next to his brother.
If you would like to see more on Fiend history, and Phantom history in particular visit the 36th TFS Web Site.
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My Uncle Raoul P. Mouton Jr. flew with the 36th FBS from Feb. 53' to 18 Jun. '53 where he perished in the crash of C-124 Globemaster in Tachikawa, Japan.
The guy who made this video is named Jimmy Escalle. His Uncle Jim Escalle was shot down and KIA the following day, 19 Jun. '53.
There are still about 20 36th pilots in the squadron photo that are still alive and I stay in almost daily touch with 7 of them. I forwarded your links to them on 36 FS gear. One gent, Bob Veazey is interested, I believe, in buying a ballcap. You should consider putting an F-86 on some of your 36th gear.
If you're interested in learning more about the 36th FBS, see:
My father flew F-80's with the 36th in 1950 at Suwonand I f flew F-4E's with the Fiends in 1976-77 at Osan