Bitburg Air Base - 36th Fighter Wing

36th Fighter Wing

In July 1952 the 53rd Fighter-Bomber Squadron (FBS) from the 36th Fighter-Bomber Wing (FBW), from F├╝rstenfeldbruck Air Base a few miles west of Munich arrived at the newly built base. Throughout the summer, elements of the 36th FBW moved into Bitburg, with the wing officially arriving in November 1952. Under various designations, the 36th would remain at Bitburg for the next 40 years.

With its arrival the 36th FBW was equipped with the Republic F-84E "Thunderjet". Operational squadrons were:

  • 22d Fighter-Bomber Squadron (Red motif)
  • 23d Fighter-Bomber Squadron (Blue motif)
  • 53d Fighter-Bomber Squadron (Green motif)

In August 1953, the North American F-86F "Sabre" was introduced to the wing, replacing the F-84s. In August 1954, the wing was redesignated as the 36th Fighter-Day Wing. After transitioning to the Sabre the 36th TFW added two new squadrons, the 32nd Fighter Day Squadron from Soesterberg Air Base in the Netherlands, and the 461st Fighter Day Squadron from Hahn Air Base. At first the 36th's F-86 markings consisted of Korean Theater-styled yellow and black-bordered bands, but squadron-specific colored bands were eventually applied to all the 36th FDW Sabres.

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