63d Fighter Squadron Patch – Plastic Backing
A 3.46*3.54″ 63d Fighter Squadron Patch – Plastic Backing
The 63d Fighter Squadron is an active United States Air Force unit, assigned to the 56th Operations Group, at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. It operates the F-35A aircraft, conducting advanced fighter training since its reactivation in 2016. When this Squadron was reactivated in 1975, their mission was to train pilots and weapons systems officers for the McDonnell F-4E Phantom II, and they switched to the F-4D in 1978.
Seversky P-35 1941
Curtis P-36 Hawk 1941
Curtis P-40 Warhawk 1941-1942
Republic P-47 Thunderbolt 1942, 1943-1945, and 1946-1947
North American P-51 Mustang 1946-1947
Lockheed P (later, F)-80 Shooting Star 1947-1950
North American F-86 Sabre 1950-1954, 1955-1957
Northrop F-89 Scorpion 1955-1958
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II 1975-1981
Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcon 1981-2009
Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning 2017- present
World War II
see 56th Operations Group for an expanded history of the squadron’s World War II history
The squadron was constituted as the 63d Pursuit Squadron one of the three original squadrons of the 56th Pursuit Group at Army Air Base Savannah, Georgia on 15 January 1941. The squadron immediately began training for its wartime missions under III Fighter Command, rapidly transitioning through the Seversky P-35, Curtiss P-36 Hawk, Bell P-39 Airacobra, and Curtiss P-40 Warhawk aircraft. On 7 December 1941, the 63d assumed the mission to defend the Northeastern United States from anticipated enemy air attack while it converted to the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt aircraft and prepared to deploy overseas, operating under the I Fighter Command, New York Fighter Wing in the early months of 1942.
It was redesignated 63d Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942, and deployed to England on 9 January 1943. It was declared operationally ready two months later and flew its first combat missions 13 April. The squadron was given fuselage code “LM” and operated from several RAF stations during the war, flying the P-47C Thunderbolt as an VIII Fighter Command bomber-escort unit initially for Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses and beginning in 1944 for Consolidated B-24 Liberators attacking enemy targets in Occupied Europe. Flying escort for fighter sweeps ahead of U.S. bomber fleets, the pilots destroyed 167.5 enemy aircraft in the air and 110 on the ground. After the end of the war in Europe, the squadron was inactivated on 18 October 1945.