AUT VINCERE AUT MORI 1st Fighter Wing Patch – Plastic Backing
A 4.1″W x 3.9″H squadron patch of the AUTVINCERE AUT MORI 1st Fighter Wing with plastic backing.
The 1st Fighter Wing (1 FW) is a United States Air Force unit assigned to the Air Combat Command Ninth Air Force. It is stationed at Langley Air Force Base, Va. where it is a tenant unit, being supported by the 633d Air Base Wing.
Its 1st Operations Group (1 OG) is a successor organization of the 1st Fighter Group, one of the 15 original combat air groups formed by the Army before World War II. The 1 OG is the oldest major air combat unit in the United States Air Force, its origins formed on 5 May 1918.
The wing was initially part of Tactical Air Command being formed at March Field, California in 1947 and was one of the first wings to be equipped with the North American F-86 Sabre in February 1949. Briefly a part of Strategic Air Command in 1949, it was reassigned to Air Defense Command in 1950 and provided air defense of the Upper Midwest of the United States until being reassigned to Tactical Air Command in 1970. The 1 FW was the first operational wing equipped with the F-15A/B Eagle in 1976; and in 2005, was the first operational wing equipped with the Lockheed Martin F-22A Raptor air superiority fighter.
The 1st Fighter Wing was activated at March Field California on 15 August 1947. It was assigned to Twelfth Air Force, Tactical Air Command (TAC).
In December 1948 Twelfth Air Force was assigned from Tactical Air Command to Continental Air Command (ConAC), established on 1 December 1948. ConAC assumed jurisdiction over both TAC and the Air Defense Command (ADC). This move reflected an effort to concentrate all fighter forces deployed within the continental United States to strengthen the air defense of the North American continent. The move was largely an administrative convenience: the units assigned to ConAC were dual-trained and expected to revert to their primary strategic or tactical roles after the air defense battle was won. The 1st Fighter Wing was subsequently transferred from Twelfth Air Force/TAC to Fourth Air Force/ConAC on 20 December 1948. Organizational and equipment changes continued throughout 1949. The first F-86 Sabre, assigned to the 94th Fighter Squadron, arrived on 15 February. By the end of June the wing had received seventy-nine of its eighty-three authorized F-86s. On 1 May the wing transferred from ConAC to Strategic Air Command (SAC) and the Fifteenth Air Force. The wing was subsequently attached to the 22d Bombardment Wing on 1 July.
At March, the wing trained in large formation flying and competed to establish various formation records. The 71st Fighter Squadron struck first in September 1949, when it launched a twelve and later an eighteen-aircraft formation. The 27th and the 94th countered on 21 October. On that day the 94th launched three thirteen-plane formations, but the 27th topped this with two twenty-one plane formations, The purpose of this exercise became clear in early January 1950, when the wing deployed a sizable contingent of aircraft to participate in the filming of the RKO film Jet Pilot. The group claimed a final formation record on 4 January when it passed a twenty-four plane formation (consisting of eight aircraft from each squadron) before the cameras. The group formed its own aerial demonstration team in January 1950. The team, dubbed the “Sabre Dancers”, was composed of five members of the 27th Fighter Squadron. The Sabre Dancers made what was probably their most widely viewed flight on 22 April 1950, when they performed before an Armed Forces Day audience at Eglin AFB, Florida, that included President Harry S. Truman, most of his Cabinet, and numerous other political leaders.