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WTFO in Texas

Posted by Jolly on April 20, 2009

I was on NAS Ft. Worth, Joint Reserve Base, Texas (formerly Carswell AFB) recently. They have some great jets on sticks. Well, they're not on sticks, they're on cement. Soon as you drive in the base there's stuff on the left and the right; jets, helicopters and even an old bulldozer (the engineers getting in the act). One of the best displays is seen as you drive up a hill towards the Base Exchange, BX. In front of the BX are three jets, an F-16, F-4 and F-105. Since they're at the top of the hill as you're driving up they look quite impressive and majestic sitting there upon high. 
Since it's a Joint Reserve Base, there are Navy, Marine and Air Force jets on display. Not too long ago the Air Force jets got a fresh paint job. These three jets in front of the BX look particularly fine now. However, as I drove past them something didn't look quite right. Before the fresh paint the F-4 had always had a red star painted just below the canopy. That red star signified that in this jet's flying days it, along with its crew, had shot down an enemy aircraft, more than likely a MiG during the Vietnam conflict. Well, what seemed wrong was the star was still there but it wasn't red anymore, it was yellow. My first thought was, "Good grief, was this another political correctness measure? Can't be displaying a symbol of US aggression? Don't want to upset anyone by showing that this jet was involved in a violent act that resulted in the downing of an enemy aircraft and the possible death of an enemy pilot? Don't want to appear to be rubbing our military superiority in the faces of any visitors that may take offense? This old red star thing just a harbinger of antiquated fighter pilot traditions that does not properly reflect the 21st century corporate US Air Force image which is trying to be embedded in the minds of the American people?" Well, that actually is an expanded version of my thoughts, because I'm really not that clever or quick witted. I pretty much just thought, "WTFO."

F-4 Display @ NAS Ft Worth, JRB, Texas

Well, I needed to see what was what and luckily I had my camera with me. I stopped and parked, took a full aircraft picture to document this situation and then was pleasantly surprised when I walked closer to get a close up of the yellow star. Boldly displayed on the star was the name of the crew, the date of the aerial victory and the type aircraft shot down. Well, I immediately crawled down off of my high horse and took the picture.  So, I guess yellow is fine. Probably shows up better from a farther distance too. Crisis over. Indignation stowed away for now but ready to resurface at a moment's notice.

Star on F-4 Display, NAS Ft Worth, JRB, Texas


Posted by NoSlack on
What the hell was wrong with the Red Star? I like how they have the name and the dates but a little more historical accuracy would of been better. Rest of the paint on the old girl looks great.
Posted by McGraw on
WTF? I agree Rowdy, it's good they at least put the crew names and what aircraft they killed, but really, no red star? I'm torn on this.....
Posted by TheGunner on
I'll bet it's someones idea of "improving" on the design. Just swap the colors and it would be better. A basic red star was all I ever saw. Oh well!
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