86th Airlift Wing “Virtus Perdurat” Patch – Plastic Backing
A 4.1″W x 3.9″H squadron patch of the 86th Airlift Wing “Virtus Perdurat” with plastic backing.
The 86th Airlift Wing (86 AW) is a United States Air Force wing, currently assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe. The 86th AW is stationed at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
The wing’s primary mission is to conduct airlift, airdrop and aeromedical evacuation operations flying the C-21A, C-20H, C-37A, C-40B and C-130J aircraft. The 86th Airlift Wing commander also serves as the Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC) commander, leading the largest American community outside the United States.
Originally the 86th Fighter Wing was established and activated on 1 July 1948 at Neubiberg AB, Germany.
The 86th Fighter Wing was established and activated on 1 July 1948 at Neubiberg AB, Germany. Its initial mission was to provide air defense, primarily in West Germany with its operational component, the 86th Fighter Group.
Equipped with P (later F-47) Thunderbolts, the 86th was one of two active USAF fighter units in Germany (the other being the 36th FG) during the immediate postwar years. Over the next several years, the 86th underwent several redesignations and several station assignments in occupied Germany. In June 1948, the 86th Fighter Wing was stationed at Neubiberg Air Base, near Munich when tensions with the Soviet Union culminated in the Berlin Blockade.
With the arrival of the jet age in Europe, USAFE wanted to move its units west of the Rhine River, as its bases in the Munich area were just a few minutes flying time from Soviet Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 bases in Czechoslovakia. In February 1951, the United States and France signed an agreement in which USAF bases in their German occupation zone would be built and made available to USAFE. In late 1952, enough construction was completed at Landstuhl and the 86th Fighter-Bomber Wing was reassigned to the new base.
The 86th Wing (under various designations) has been assigned to Ramstein for almost 60 years, with a brief period (1966–1973) being inactive or assigned to Zweibrücken Air Base.
In March 1958 the 86th Fighter-Bomber Group was inactivated and its operational squadrons were assigned to the Wing. In May, the 406th FIW at RAF Manston, England was inactivated. Its three F-86D squadrons, the 512th, 513th and 514th were reassigned to bases on the continent and were also assigned to the 86th. These squadrons were detached to the following bases:
512th FIS to Sembach Air Base, Germany
513th FIS to Phalsbourg-Bourscheid Air Base France
514th FIS to Ramstein (Blue tail stripes)