HISTORY OF THE 456th FIS
The History of the 456th Fighter Interceptor
Squadron can be described in very few words "RAPID CHANGE".
Originally constituted as "the 456th Fighter Squadron" on October 15, 1944 at Seymour Johnson Air Field, NC; then moved to Selfridge Air Field, MI on November 21, 1944;
and then to Bluethenthal Air Field, NC on March 19 until June 5, 1945 before being reassigned to North Field, Iwo Jima as part of the 414th Fighter Group, 7th Fighter Command,
301st Fighter Wing, of the 20th Air Force, on July 7, 1945; and then again on December 23, 1945 to Clark Field and Florida Blance Field, Luzon in the Philippines;
where it was finally deactivated on August 25, 1946. Read More...
REUNIONS Past, Present and Upcoming in the Future
LUTHER IS HOME
F-106 DELTA DART COMES HOME TO CASTLE
AIRCRAFT OF THE 456th
SPECIAL EVENTS AT THE 456th FIS
COMMANDERS OF THE 456th FIS
: 106 MISSIONS -- 6 HOURS -- 18 AIRCRAFT
August 11, 1967: 456th Fighter Interceptor Squadron sets ADC and US Air Force Records with 106 Missions in 6 Hours and only 18 aircraft.
Newspaper articles & pictures from THE VALLEY BOMBER & THE MERCED SUN
courtesy of Tom Kline, February 17, 2003
"Now I really can't remember just who thought up the idea of flying 106 missions in 6 hours but it sure sounded like a good idea to me. Since the birds were going in for
the modification of the IR System and the installation of the In-flight Refueling it sounded so logical that I gave some serious consideration to it. Six weeks with
nothing to fly and all that time on our hands just begged for some sort of outstanding event to take place. I remember talking it over with Bob Colgan and Bunchy Plowden.
The Valley Bomber
August 11, 1967
"Pat Gillespie, Buckey, Russ Greenberg, Bob Velle and Dale Chance. They were enthusiastic about the idea so I went to the maintenance shack ( Hell I lived there about
half the time) and ran it up the flag pole. Most of the guys saluted and there were very few negative comments.
"We decided to start at 06:00 and progress from there with a call off time of 10:00 if it looked as if we couldn't make the target. Even the orderly room was in on it.
They carried sandwiches and drinks too the flight line and made them selves useful wherever they could. The hardest part of the operation was deciding who would fly the
T-33 as target, which took 4 crews ,since there was to be no time to switch targets and a constant stream of 106's would be airborne.
"We finally solved that by using B A Hansen in one and Bud Gresham in the other. This left the flight line a little short of officers but I had every confidence in our
maintenance chaps. That was one decision that I never lived to regret. Servicing was complete and timely and cheerfully executed.
"Probably the one thing that I over looked was the development of the radar film and the grading of it. Poor Chuck Masuga and Bob Plowden did not get thru with the chore
"I never did go to NORAD or DIVISION or for that matter to the Sector. I figured that they would find 1,000 reasons why it couldn't be accomplished. So on my own we just
pressed ahead. At about 11:40 the 106th mission landed, I think it was Peachy Keene, ( who damn near broke the sound barrier turning initial ) I decided to spread the
news a little. Maintenance came up with 4 birds and we took to the skies bound for Hamilton AFB. However once there the tower denied us a low pass so all we could do was
wave a little at them.
"I was fortunate enough to command the 433rd squadron in South East Asia and we flew a total of 746 combat sorties in 30 days but the feeling of accomplishment I had the
day of the 106 missions was never challenged. To give a little perspective to this WE ONLY LOST ONE BIRD in the 3 years that I was there. That says a HELL of a lot for
the quality of the maintenance guys that slaved and sweated and produced a quality product.
THERE WERE NO GROUND OR AIR ABORTS AND NO MAJOR MAINTENANCE PROBLEMS!
"WELL DONE YOU FINE AND GORGEOUS TROOPS!"
Lt. Colonel John C. Marcotte, U.S. Air Force (Retired)
Last Commanding Officer of the 456th. F.I.S.
HISTORY OF THE F-106 DELTA DART
In the mid 1950s a unique, delta-winged,
Mach II aircraft--known as 'The Ultimate Interceptor'--took to the air for the first time at Edwards AFFTC (AIR FORCE FLIGHT TEST CENTER) in
the Mojave desert. This culmination of years of work by Convair and the United States Air Force, and stemming from original aeronautical design innovations of Germany's Alexander
Lippisch, was to become the mainstay of American continental air defense for nearly 30 years.
"I now know why men who have been to war yearn to reunite. Not to tell stories or look at old pictures. Not to laugh or weep.
Comrades gather because they long to be with the men who once acted at their best; men who suffered and sacrificed, who suffered and stripped of their humanity.
I did not pick these men. They were delivered by fate and the military.
But I know them in a way I know no other men. I have never given anyone such trust. They were willing to guard something more precious than my life.
They would have carried my reputation, the memory of me. It was part of the bargain we all made, the reason we were so willing to die for one another.
As long as I have memory, I will think of them all, every day. I am sure that when I leave this world, my last thought will be of my family and my comrades.
Such good men." -- Author unknown
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