USA Patriotism! ... "Showcasing Pride of America"
USA theme polo shirts, t-shirts, shorts, hats, caps, swimwear, sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, jackets, under garments, and other apparel items

Home - Articles - USA's Birth - Great Patriots - Heroes - Honor Halls - Music - Photos
Poems - Quotes - Reference - Speeches - Stars for Troops - Stories - Student Patriots
Videos - New Content
-
About - Contact - Submit - Partners - Press - CureNow - Donate

USA Store! ... American / Patriotic themed gift products at USA Patriotism!

USA Patriotism! YouTube Channel

Join / Like the USA Patriotism! Facebook page

USA Patriotism! On Twitter

Pinterest

USA Patriotism! at Tumblr

Patriotic Article
Military

Collectibles, apparel, and other gifts ... for Marines, Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, and veterans!Checks with USA, military, and other patriotic designsFree Gifts from The Bradford Exchange Online

Forged In War
by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson
September 9, 2017

Patriotic Face Coverings
Satute of Liberty / Flag Mugs and Steins

USA, military, and other patriotic themed pullover and button down Polo shirts

Personalized Patriotic Embroidered Shirts

Tough Tex American Flags

"Mere Chance" by David G. Bancroft

Cemetery Woods by David G. Bancroft

U.S. Air Force 33rd Fighter Wing - sealFor over 70 years, the 33rd Fighter Wing has earned their title, “Nomads.” During each of our country’s largest contingencies, the unit would uproot and take the fight to different corners of the world. Because of that constant flexibility during the better half of the last century, one of the main themes for the historic unit is change.

Throughout the different aircraft, mission and locations, the one constant was being at the forefront of our global reach. However in 2009, the wing would be faced with its biggest change yet, a different mission set all together. They would no longer be the warriors who wield the spear in war, instead they would sharpen the spear and create the warfighter.

Newly formed in 1941, the 33d Fighter Group began flying the P-39 "Aircobra." Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the group became part of the defense forces along the eastern coast of the United States.

The fighter group was one of the most active American fighter groups, taking part in Operation Torch in North Africa. It was at this time the group swapped to the P-40 “Warhawk” while participating in the Tunisian campaign.

November 10, 1942 - U.S. Army Air Corps 33rd Fighter Group Pilots with a P-40 Warhawk on the USS Chenango. The Army Air Corps was replaced by the U.S. Air Force, a separate military service from the Army, on September 18, 1947. (Courtesy photo provided by U.S. Air Force)
November 10, 1942 - U.S. Army Air Corps 33rd Fighter Group Pilots with a P-40 Warhawk on the USS Chenango. The Army Air Corps was replaced by the U.S. Air Force, a separate military service from the Army, on September 18, 1947. (Courtesy photo provided by U.S. Air Force)

In one memorable engagement against the Luftwaffe on 15 January 1943, the Nomads destroyed almost every bomber that attacked their airfield at Forward Operating Base Thelepte, Tunisia. For this defense, the Nomads received a Distinguished Unit Citation.

The Nomads were active participants in the attack on Pantelleria, and the invasions of Sicily and Italy. Its leading aces were its Commander, Gen. William Momyer with eight aerial victories, and Maj. Gen. Levi Chase, with 10—the top American “Ace” in Tunisia. Overall the Nomads recorded 114.5 aerial victories during World War II.

As the war progressed, the fighter group transitioned yet again, this time to the P-38 “Lightning” as they were positioned in China. This new aircraft brought huge advances to the Army Air Force’s airborne capability. The Lightning’s powerful engines, 50-caliber machine guns and 20-mm cannon coupled with capable pilots drove terror into the minds of axis aviators. They were so effective, it was called, “der Gableschwanz Teufl.” German for “fork-tailed devil.”

As the war came to an end, the group would return to its original ground attack role, supporting from Burma. In November of 1945 the unit returned to the United States and was inactivated.

Their next big aircraft changeover was to the F-4C Phantom II upon the unit’s reactivation in 1965 as the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing. Again, huge advancements had been made increasing the warfighter’s capabilities. This fighter aircraft was able to carry twice the payload of a WWII-era bomber.

Two F-4s taking off circa 1965, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. (Courtesy photo provided by U.S. Air Force)
Two F-4s taking off circa 1965, at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. (Courtesy photo provided by U.S. Air Force)

The United States Air Force activated the 58th, 59th and 60th Tactical Fighter Squadrons under the 33 TFW, newly assigned to Eglin Air Force Base. Two years later, the 58th TFS’s Gorillas deployed the F-4E for Operation CONSTANT GUARD II. It was during this time that the 33 TFW would begin a legacy and gain its notoriety in jet-fighter combat, and the title “MiG Killers.”

While deployed to Udorn AB, Thailand, Maj. Phillip W. Handley and his weapon systems officer, Lt John J. Smallwood, from the 58 TFS recorded the first and only supersonic gun kill in Vietnam when they shot down a MiG-19 on June 2, 1972, with a 300-round burst. After four missiles had misfired, this gun kill against the highly maneuverable MiG-19 dispelled the perception that American aviators had lost their dog fighting skills.

The squadron downed its second and last MiG in Vietnam on 12 August, 1972. Capt. Lawrence G. Richard, U.S. Marine Corps, and Lt. Cmdr. Michael J. Ettle, U.S. Navy, shot down a MiG-21 during a target weather reconnaissance mission. Additionally, Capt. Steve Ritchie, assigned to the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, the only Air Force “Ace” during Vietnam, scored three of his five MiG-21 kills using a 58th TFS F-4E.

By now, the Nomads had defined their purpose in military aviation. Since the 33rd FW’s initial activation, it had grown accustomed to transitioning between platforms, but on the horizon was an aircraft that they would build their foundation and legacy around—an aircraft designed and built as an “air superiority fighter.” The F-15C Eagle would become the cornerstone of lasting fame and success.

By U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Peter Thompson
Provided through DVIDS
Copyright 2017

Comment on this article

USA Gifts Store! ... over 1,000 American / Patriotic themed products at USA Patriotism!USA / Americana theme ... polo shirts, t-shirts, shorts, hats, caps, swimwear, sweatshirts, hoodies, hats, jackets, under garments, and other apparel itemsAmerican Pride: Poems Honoring America and Her Patriots! by David G. Bancroft
Special Offers - FREE Gifts with Purchase
Home - Articles - USA's Birth - Great Patriots - Heroes - Honor Halls - Music - Photos
Poems - Quotes - Reference - Speeches - Stars for Troops - Stories - Student Patriots
Videos - New Content - About - Contact - Submit - Partners - Press - CureNow - Donate
USA Store! ... American / Patriotic themed gift products at USA Patriotism!

Google Custom USA Patriotism! Search

 

Zoom Custom USA Patriotism! Search

Flag Shirt ... A USA Patriotism! sponsor
Copyright © 2002-2020 | Privacy