Menu

318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

318 FIS 'Green Dragons'

Deployed to Osan AB Korea
Wing / Group:
Air Division: 25th Air Division
Location(s): McChord AFB, Tacoma, WA
Dates Active: Mar 1960 - 1 Nov 1983
Alert Det's:
No. of Aircraft: 72
No. of Loses: 5

The 318th FIS was activated in May 1947 at Mitchell Field.  In December 1947 it was transferred to Hamilton Field where it received its first aircraft, P-61s.  In the spring of 1948 the squadron received P-82s and in November 1948 moved to McChord AFB. In the fall of 1950 the squadron transitioned into F-94As.   In June 1953 the squadron moved to Thule Air Base, Greenland; under control of the North East Air Command.  The squadron came back under ADC in August 1954 when it was moved from Thule to Presque Isle AFB with F89D's.  In August 1955 the squadron moved to McChord AFB and transitioned into F-86D's.

In March 1957 the squadron began a transition into F-102A's and three years later in March 1960 into F-106A's.

The 318th converted to F-15's in 1983.  On November 1, 1983 McChord's 23 year association with the F-106 came to a close with the flight of 59–0141 to the Davis-Monthan “Boneyard” for storage.  59-0141 became the 134th F-106 to be converted into a Full scaled target drone on June 21, 1991, re-numbered “AD134”, but lasted as a drone less than a year when 59-0141 met it's ultimate fate with a direct hit by a Stinger Missile on November 6,1992.  The squadron inactivated 7 December 1989

Osan AB, Republic of Korea, 22 Mar-Dec 1968

The 318th FIS deployed for this mission arriving in Korea on 22 Mar 1968 as the first unit to deploy for this mission, and remained until Dec 1969. The 318th was the first F-106 unit to deploy to Korea.

Due to tensions of the USS Pueblo incident of 23 Jan 1968, and the shoot-down of an EC-121 Constellation on 15 Apr 1969 by North Korea, several F-106 Delta Dart FIS units had the distinction of flying across the Pacific ocean for deployments to Osan AB, South Korea as part of the Korean buildup stemming from those two incidents. These Sixes flew air defence over the country and shotgun for EC-121 Constellation's still flying.

The 318th FIS was the first ever F-106 unit to fly across the Pacific ocean. The first F-106's deployed from the 318th on 22 Mar 1968 conducting unprecidented in-flight refueling en-route, the first such refueling of F-106's. 318th personnel stayed until Dec 1968 and were relieved by the 48th FIS, but personnel only. The 318th aircraft remained and the 48th aircraft back home flew to the 318th at McChord AFB while the 48th members were deployed. 48th FIS pilots flew the 318th jets back to McChord in June 1969 when the 48th departed Korea and picked up their own 48th jets and returned to Langley.

The first F-106's were deployed from the 318th FIS McChord AFB in Feb 1968, officially arriving for deployment on 22 Mar 1968. During the flight they conducted the first in-flight refueling of an F-106 as they were en-route to Korea. The 318th remained until Dec 1968, when the personnel were swapped out with personnel from the 48th FIS, Langley VA, but the 318th aircraft remained. The 48th did not bring aircraft or equipment, rather took over 318th assets. Joining the 48th FIS was the 71st FIS out of Malmstrom AFB MT, arriving in Dec 1968, to assist the 48th FIS who remained. The 71st FIS brought their Sixes making this a joint 2-unit effort all part of the on-going plan to swap F-106 assets as part of the Korean buildup. The 48th with their 318th aircraft, and the 71st equipment, personnel and their aircraft remained at Osan AB until Jun 1969 when they were replaced by the 94th FIS and their F-106's. The 94th remained until being relieved by the 95th FIS and their aircraft on 15 Nov 1969. The 95th was the last F-106 unit to serve in Korea, remaining until May 1970.

More about the 318th vs. 498th Compass Rose “Northstar” Tail Flash Saga [by Ernie White (Edit by Pat McGee)]
There has been a lot of talk over the years about the 318th FIS Compass Rose aka Northstar tail flash and whether it was ever also on 498th jets after moving to McChord. Initially many believed that during the time the 498th was co-located with the 318th FIS at McChord they had no tail flash. As such, any F-106 found with either an early version or later version of the 318th style tail flash, was in fact a 318th jet. This does not seem to be the case. During the transition from Geiger Field to McChord AFB, the 498th swapped out their "1957" model F-106 jets with the 456th FIS, gaining a majority of "1959" models. This was accomplished to ensure the 325th FW, the host wing at McChord AFB, had a more common fleet to assist in maintenance, training, and etc. After things "settled" down following the move, the fleet was, once again, (slightly) reshuffled with the 318th and 498th, swapping tails [aircraft] between the squadrons with a majority of the ex 456 FIS fleet being assigned to the 498 FIS. With this transition, some of the jets with the 318th Compass Rose tail flash ended up serving with the 498th, and some of the "new" Sixes served with the 318th. I would consider the tail flash one that was approved for both F-106 units as a Wing tail flash, although haven't seen the design used for the 325th’s T-33's. During this time, the 325 FW ‘shield’ was applied to the left side of the aircraft (replacing the 318ths Green Dragon emblem on their jets). I would consider this another indication that the Compass Rose was truly a Wing tail flash during this era. From what I understand, no squadron insignias were applied to any McChord jets, except for the Sixes from the 318th that participated in William Tell. They were the only F-106's that wore squadron emblems during that period. Further compelling evidence can be seen on F-106 photo's in this gallery of 590009, 590131 and 590140, all of which served ONLY with the 498th Gieger Tigers at McChord, but all sporting the Compass Rose and 590009 and 590131 also sporting the 325th FW shield on the tails.

Links



Complete GALLERY HERE