F-100 Conversion and 40th Anniversary

By SM Sgt. Wilbur Tackaberry

After return of the unit from France, formal demobilization ceremonies were conducted at Lambert Field on August 20, 1962. A considerable number of personnel were discharged from the Air National Guard, having completed their enlistments. An extensive recruiting drive was undertaken to fill the unit’s ranks once again.

The F-84F aircraft were transferred to the regular Air Force in support of the Cuban Crisis and command of the 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron was assumed by Major George C. Carpenter.

In September 1962 the unit was notified that it would receive the F-100C Super Sabre [Photo Enlargement]  manufactured by North American Corporation. The F-100 incorporates modern armament and electronic equipment into a complete integrated weapons system. The aerodynamic design of the F-100 insures its effectiveness as a supersonic striking force in any theatre of operations throughout the world and has earned a reputation as one of the most effective tactical aircraft ever conceived. Photo Left: F-100 in flight.

During the period following receipt and transition into the F-100, tactical aircrews participated in firepower demonstrations and gunnery exercises at Luke AFB, Arizona, Bergstrom AFB, Texas, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Summer encampments were held at Volk Field, Wisconsin where extensive training in air-to-ground and air-to-air gunnery and bombing was conducted on ranges near the bases.

The 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron was rapidly approaching the 40th anniversary of its activation. In early 1963 plans were made for a celebration which would feature an air show, static displays, antique aircraft flights, reenactment of the early air mail flights and a formal anniversary ball.

Various committees were formed and details of the anniversary celebration began to materialize. Aircraft and static display would include antique and experimental aircraft, World War I and II fighters, a Ford trimotor, a flying replica of ‘The Spirit of St. Louis" and a McDonnnell space capsule.

Open house day at Lambert Field, aircraft static display.
 

Considerable effort was expended in locating some 22 members of the original unit who had scattered from coast to coast. Major C. Ray Wassall was located in California and Major J. Roy Alexander in New York. Both men had served as commander of the unit and both indicated their intent to attend.

Bob Hoover, world famous test and aerobatic pilot, the U.S. Army ‘Golden Knights" parachute team and a contingent of the "Confederate Air Force"flying World War II fighters were invited to participate in the air show.

On Friday, June 21, 1963, a luncheon and general aviation symposium was held in the Khorassan Room of the Chase Hotel featuring the Honorable Alan Boyd, chairman of Civil Aeronautics Board, Federal Aviation Agency, the Military, State of Missouri, St. Louis County and City of St. Louis participated. That evening the local hangar of quite birdmen sponsored an "Old Timers" affair.

A public open house was held at Robertson ANG Base on Saturday, June 22. Thousands of people viewed the many aircraft on static display and witnessed a repeat of the first Chicago to St. Louis air mail flight , flown by Nick Rezich in a 1929 Travel Air. Letters from Mayor Daley of Chicago and the Mayor of Champaign, Illinois were carried on the flight and delivered to Mayor Raymond R. Tucker of St. Louis.

On Saturday evening the anniversary ball was held in the Khorassan Room featuring the U.S. Air Force Orchestra, "The Airmen of Note." Special recognition was extended to the original unit members present.

The air show at Civic Memorial Airport, Alton, Ill. on Sunday, 23 attracted a crowd estimated in excess of 30,000 persons. In the all-day program, spectators were treated to the thrills of skywriting, parachute jumping, formation flying, championship aerobatics and skydiving.

In the forty years of its existence, the 110th Tactical Fighter Squadron had spanned the era from "Jennys to Jets" with distinction and looked forward with anticipation to the future.

What did the future hold in store for the 110th and the 131st Tactical Fighter Group ? Attainment of the highest rating given a Tactical Fighter Unit in an operational readiness test, participation in Guard Strike I, and Guard Strike II, the largest field exercises ever conducted employing an all-Guard Force, sustained maintenance of a 100 percent strength posture, participation in a tactical forces deployment to Puerto Rico and achievement of the highest skill level manning of any like unit in the Air National Guard.

June 23, 1973 will mark the unit’s golden anniversary, fifty years of service to the community, state, and nation in peace and war.

F-100 Pilots, circa Vietnam War era.  Left to right: Micky Neusteadter, Terry Liggett, Fredy
Moore, Jim Myrick, John Streeter and Col William Cannon  Enlargement

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F100 in front of protective revetment at an overseas base.


 

The MoANG F110 named 'Spirit of St Louis II'
 

 

Sgt McCrady an armament technical working on an aircraft gun.

 

Aircraft in hangar for extensive inspection of all systems. 
 

 


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