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5th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

5 FIS 'Spittin Kittens'

Deployed to Hahn AB, Germany
Wing / Group:
Air Division: 25 Air Division
Location(s): Minot AFB, ND
Dates Active: 23 Feb 1960 - April 1985
Alert Det's: Det 1, Davis Monthan AFB, AZ
No. of Aircraft: 45
No. of Loses: 9

Reactivated in 1946 as a United States Air Forces in Europe fighter squadron; was primarily an occupation unit at Schweinfurt and Bad Kissingen Airfields. Reassigned from USAFE to Air Defense Command in June 1947, equipped with F-61 Black Widows and assigned to Mitchell Field, New York to perform air defense of the eastern United States.

In June 1948 the unit transitioned into F-82 Twin Mustangs. In the fall of 1949 the unit moved to McGuire AFB, New Jersey and in August 1955 the 5th FIS designation was transferred to Suffolk County AFB. In the spring of 1957 the 5th transitioned into F-102As.

In January 1960 the 32d Fighter Group brought the first F-106 Delta Darts from California to Minot. The following day, February 1, 1960 the 5th Fighter Interceptor Squadron transferred to Minot from Suffolk County Airport, N.Y.

On 22 October 1962, before President Kennedy told the nation that missiles were in place in Cuba, the squadron dispersed one third of its force, equipped with nuclear tipped missiles to Hector Field at the start of the Cuban Missile Crisis.[5][6] These planes returned to Minot after the crisis.

An interesting thing about the 5th, was their mascots, two live Lynx kittens that produced several offspring which were kept on base. In late 1962 the 5th FIS acquired the two live lynx kittens ("Spitten" and "Kitten") as mascots with the assistance of the Minot Daily News after a farmer had killed their mother.

In September 1975, the 5th FIS deployed 7 of thier F-106 aircraft (F-106A 56-0460 59-0005 59-0010 59-0015 59-0019 59-0063, F106B 58-0901) to Hahn AB, Germany (Europe) to participate in the NATO exercise Autumn Forge/Cold Fire 1975 from 4 to 27 September 1975. These were the first ADC aircraft to fly operationally in Europe for 15 years prior to this date.

On December 4, 1984 the first F-15 arrived beginning the 5th FIS conversion from the F-106 to the F-15 Eagles. The F-15s only flew over Minot until the spring of 1988, when the 5th FIS was deactivated. The lynx den in the squadron was one of the few places where Canadian Lynx had bred in captivity in the U.S., prompting both the St. Louis and San Diego Zoos to copy the enviornment in an attempt to get their own lynx inhabitants to produce offspring. Several generations of lynx flourished there, and after the 5th was inactivated twin kitten descendants of the original two Lynx kitten mascots, Delta and Dart, were donated to the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot.

As an Air Defense Command unit, the squadron's motto was Isti Non Penetrabunt, literally "they shall not penetrate", but colloquially to crews as "The Bastards Shall Not Pass".

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Complete GALLERY HERE