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614th Tactical Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon Model, Lockheed Martin, Mahogany 1/33 (18″)

$319.00

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Description

614th Tactical Fighter Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon Model

Fly with the 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron in this handcrafted F-16 Fighting Falcon Model. Each piece is carved from wood and handpainted to provide a piece you’ll love.

Length – 18 inches

The 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron is an inactive United States Air Force unit. It was last assigned to the 401st Operations Group at Torrejon Air Base, Spain, where it was inactivated on 1 January 1992.

The squadron was first activated during World War II as the 614th Bombardment Squadron. After training in the United States it moved to England, where it participated in the strategic bombing campaign against Germany. It earned two Distinguished Unit Citations for combat action. Following V-E Day, the squadron was inactivated in England. It was briefly active in the reserves from 1947 to 1949, but does not appear to have been fully manned or equipped.

The squadron was redesignated the 614th Fighter-Bomber Squadron and activated in 1954 at Alexandria Air Force Base, Louisiana. After temporary deployments to Southeast Asia, the squadron moved to Phan Rang Air Base, South Vietnam. It engaged in combat operations until being withdrawn from the theater and moving to Torrejon Air Base, Spain, where it continued fighter operations until inactivating in 1992, as the Air Force withdrew permanently stationed units from Spain. Shortly before inactivating, its planes and pilots were used to man a provisional organization during Operation Desert Storm.

History
World War II
Organization and training for combat
The 614th Bombardment Squadron was activated March 1943 at Ephrata Army Air Base, Washington, as one of the original squadrons of the 401st Bombardment Group.[1][2] The initial cadre for the squadron was drawn from the 395th Bombardment Group at Ephrata and the 383d Bombardment Group at Rapid City Army Air Field, South Dakota. The cadre soon departed for Orlando Army Air Base, Florida, where they conducted simulated combat missions with the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics out of Brooksville Army Air Field.[3]

The ground echelon moved to Geiger Field, Washington, in May 1943 and to Great Falls Army Air Base, Montana, in July. At Great Falls the first combat crews were assigned to the squadron.[4] In the final stage of training the squadrons dispersed with the 614th training at Glasgow Army Air Field.[5]

After completing training the ground echelon left for overseas on 19 October 1943. After staging at Camp Shanks, New York, they embarked on the RMS Queen Mary and sailed on 27 October disembarking at Greenock on the Firth of Clyde on 3 November 1943. The air echelon staged for deployment at Scott Field, Illinois, then flew to England under the control of Air Transport Command via Newfoundland, Iceland and Scotland.[5]

Combat in the European Theater

On arrival in England, half of the 401st Group’s aircrews were immediately reassigned to the 351st Bombardment Group.[5] The rest of the squadron became part of the Eighth Air Force at RAF Deenethorpe. The 614th became part of the 92d Combat Bombardment Wing of the 1st Bombardment Division. Its tail code was Triangle-S.[citation needed]

On 26 November the 614th flew its first combat mission against Bremen, Germany.[6] The 401st Group did not suffer the combat loss of an airplane until its ninth mission on 30 December.[7] The squadron operated chiefly against strategic targets, bombing industries, submarine facilities, shipyards, missile sites, marshalling yards, and airfields.[2] On 11 January 1944 the squadron was in the lead group of the 1st Bombardment Division in an attack against aircraft manufacturing facilities at Oschersleben, Germany. Although the bombers were able to attack, poor weather conditions prevented the division from receiving effective fighter cover. For over three hours the bomber formation suffered more than 400 attacks by Luftwaffe fighters, including air-to-air rocket attacks. Despite these attacks the unit continued its attack and struck a telling blow against German aircraft production for which the squadron was awarded a Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC).[2][8]

A little over a month later, on 20 February, the squadron earned its second DUC for an attack on the Erla Maschinenwerke aircraft manufacturing facilities in Leipzig, Germany. Despite fighter attacks and battle damage to the 614th’s planes, 100% of the unit’s bombs fell within 1,000 feet of the aiming point.[2][9] Beginning in October 1944, the unit concentrated its attacks on Axis oil reserves.[2]

In addition to strategic missions, squadron operations included attacks on transportation, airfields, and fortifications to support Operation Overlord, the Normandy invasion. On D-Day the 614th attacked Normandy beachhead areas dropping bombs five minutes before troops landed.[10] The following month it provided close air support for Operation Cobra, the breakthrough at Saint-Lô, it also supported the siege of Brest in August and Operation Market Garden in September. During the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944 and January 1945, the unit attacked transportation and communications in the battle area. It supported airborne forces involved in Operation Varsity, the airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945.[2]

The squadron flew its last combat mission on 20 April 1945 against Brandenberg.[11] It had flown 254 combat missions from Deenethorpe airfield.[12] After V-E Day, the squadron flew missions to Linz, Austria, to evacuate British and French prisoners of war. It also flew Trolley sightseeing missions at low level, flying ground support personnel over the Ruhr and Frankfurt am Main to see the damage that had been done as a result of their efforts.[13]

The unit was alerted for redeployment to the Pacific Theater and the last plane departed Deenethorpe in early June. The ground echelon sailed on the RMS Queen Elizabeth on the fifth.[14] Upon arrival in the US, personnel were granted thirty days leave, reassembling at Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota, but plans had changed and personnel were either transferred to Boeing B-29 Superfortress units or processed for discharge and the squadron was inactivated.[15]

Reserve operations
The squadron was activated at Brooks Field (later Brooks Air Force Base), Texas in January 1947 as a unit of the reserves. It trained under the supervision of the 178th AAF Base Unit (later 2593d Air Force Reserve Training Center) of Air Defense Command (ADC).[16] It is not clear whether or not the squadron was fully staffed or equipped.[17] In 1948, Continental Air Command assumed responsibility for managing reserve and Air National Guard units from ADC.[18] President Truman’s reduced 1949 defense budget required reductions in the number of units in the Air Force,[19] and the 613th was inactivated in June.[1]

Fighter operations
Tactical Air Command

The squadron was redesignated the 614th Fighter-Bomber Squadron and activated at Alexandria Air Force Base, Louisiana in February 1954. Initially equipped with North American F-86 Sabres, then with Republic F-84F Thunderstreaks, by 1957 the squadron was flying North American F-100 Super Sabres as the 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron.[1] The squadron participated in firepower demonstrations military exercises and maneuvers. It also deployed aircraft and personnel to Europe and the Middle East to support NATO. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the squadron operated from Homestead Air Force Base, Florida. By 1965, however, deployments had begun to the Pacific and Southeast Asia.[20]

Combat in Vietnam

In the spring of 1966, the squadron’s parent wing moved to Torrejon Air Base, Spain, but the squadron remained at England Air Force Base until September, when it moved to Phan Rang Air Base, in the Republic of Vietnam, where it was assigned to the 366th Tactical Fighter Wing. Shortly after the squadron’s arrival at Phan Rang, the 366th Wing moved on paper to Da Nang Air Base, and the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing became the squadron’s new headquarters. The squadron continued combat operations in Vietnam until the 35th Wing stood down from combat on 26 June 1971.[21]

Operations in Europe and the Middle East

The squadron moved on paper to rejoin the 401st Wing at Torrejon in July 1971, replacing the 353d Tactical Fighter Squadron and assuming its personnel and McDonnell F-4 Phantom IIs.[22] The squadron deployed to advanced locations in Europe and the Middle East, where it stood alert status. it deployed its forces to Doha International Airport, Qatar in 1990, where they formed the 614th Tactical Fighter Squadron (Provisional). It flew 1,303 sorties into Iraq and Kuwait, delivering 3.7 million pounds of ordnance. It was the first USAF unit to ever deploy to Qatar. It was inactivated in 1992 as the United States removed its combat units permanently stationed in Spain.

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