Original U.S. Cold War Colonel Flight Medic 417th Tactical Fighter Squadron MA1 Flying Jacket and Flight Suit

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent condition MA-1 flight jacket that features and embroidered Colonel's insignia, Flight Medic Wings and Military Airlift Command insignia patch to the right chest. Jacket is offered in excellent condition with functional zippers and snaps. Size is approximately a US 42".

Also included is a flight suit in approximate size 42". Inside tag reads, Coveralls, Flying, Man's, Very Light K-2B LARGE LONG. Suit is in excellent condition and features a 417th Tactical Fighter Squadron insignia patch, Colonel's insignia, Air Training Command and name tag F.R. Jones.

Original Item: Only One Available. This is an excellent condition MA-1 flight jacket that features and embroidered MCAS NEW RIVER insignia patch to the right chest and Lieutenant bars. Jacket is offered in good condition with functional zippers and snaps. Size is approximately a US 40.

In November 1952, the Air Force redesignated the unit as the 417th Fighter-Bomber Squadron and activated it on 1 January 1953 at Clovis Air Force Base, New Mexico, for training in North American F-51D Mustang aircraft. Soon thereafter, the squadron converted to the North American F-86F Sabre jet, but the transition period extended over a long period due to an acute shortage of trained people. In the Summer, the 417th moved to Hahn Air Base, West Germany, to become a unit in the United States Air Forces in Europe. The aircraft were deployed to Hahn during Operation Fox Able 20. This marked the first mass flight of an entire tactical wing from the U.S. to continental Europe.[8] At Hahn, the squadron trained in air-to-ground and air-to-air gunnery at places like Fürstenfeldbruck Air Base and Giebelstadt Air Base in West Germany and Wheelus Air Base, Libya.

During early 1958, the 417th turned in its F-86 Sabrejets, and then deployed to Wheelus, where it received North American F-100 Super Sabre aircraft. The unit remained in Libya for nearly 60 days where its completed transition training in the new aircraft. At Hahn, the unit's mission was the delivery of tactical nuclear weapons against Warsaw Pact forces in the event of an invasion of Western Europe. Its secondary missions were tactical air defense and support for North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ground forces. Due to the vulnerability of West Germany to Soviet attack, Air Force planners did not want their tactical nuclear weapons in locations that could be quickly overrun by Warsaw Pact forces. When construction was completed at Toul-Rosières Air Base France, the squadron was moved there in July 1956.

On 8 July 1958, the Air Force redesignated the squadron as the 417th Tactical Fighter Squadron. Disagreements arose concerning atomic storage and custody issues within NATO, resulting in a decision to remove United States Air Force atomic-capable units from French soil. The squadron was moved back to Hahn Air Base in December 1959.[8] It remained in West Germany as a tactical fighter squadron, equipped with the F-100 Super Sabre, until 1966, upgrading to the McDonnell F-4D Phantom II until its inactivation on 30 April 1967.

The 417th returned from Europe for reassignment at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, on 15 July 68 with the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. From there, it deployed for training at Hahn 15 January to 3 April 1969 and 11 September to 9 October 1970.

The return from West Germany, however, brought with it a move to Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, where the 417th remained until 30 April 1977. This time included several deployments: Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand from 10 May to 30 September 1972; Hahn AB, West Germany, from 3 February to 14 March 1973, 6 March to 5 April 1974, 3 October to 5 November 1975, and 24 August to 26 September 1976; and Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, 29 November to 19 December 1975. The tours in Thailand led to two honors for Vietnam War service.

The 417th resumed service when it activated on 1 October 1978 at Zweibrücken Air Base, West Germany, as part of the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. At that time, however, the squadron only received a few people and one F-4D Phantom II aircraft. The unit moved to Ramstein Air Base, West Germany on 1 November 1978, but evidently lost its personnel and aircraft to become a paper organization. Moreover, the 417th also transferred from the 26th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing to the 86th Tactical Fighter Wing on 15 November 1981, remaining a paper organization until it inactivated on 15 September 1987.

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