#CC7 F-86F Sabre
Purchased products will not feature the Squadron Prints watermark
Squadron Prints Lithograph No. CC7 - F-86F Sabre, 51-2910, 39th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing, Suwon Air Base, Korea. The 51st Fighter Group was activated on 15 January 1941 equipped with P-40 Warhawks. It was assigned to the 10th Air Force in the Far East and had the 25th and 26th Fighter Squadrons with P-40s and the 449th Fighter Squadron with P-38s. It transitioned to P-51 Mustangs late in the war but was inactivated on 13 December 1945. Less than a year later the Group was activated again on Okinawa and flew F-47s and F-61s before converting to the Lockheed F-80 Shooting Star. Redesignated the 51st Fighter Interceptor Group in 1950 it was tasked with the air defence of Japan but soon became involved in the Korean operations. The F-80s of the 25th FIS and 39th FIS flew air-to-ground missions until November 1951 when the 51st FIW became the second wing to fly the F-86 Sabre in the Korean War. The yellow fuselage and wing identification bands were devised by the 51st and it used the checkerboard tail as its own marking. The Wing had about a dozen war aces including McConnell with 16 kills, Fischer with 10 and Foster with 9. Joseph M McConnell joined the US Army in 1940 hoping to become a pilot but was washed out of pilot school and graduated as a navigator. He came to England with the 8th Air Force flying in B-24 Liberators with the 448th Bombardment Group from Seething in Norfolk. After the war he reapplied for pilot training and received his wings at Williams AFB in 1948. He was assigned to the 39th FIS ‘Cobras’ and went to Korea in September 1952 downing his first MiG 15 on 14 January 1953 and had become an ace by 16 February. On 12 April, when claiming his eighth MiG, his F-86 was hit and he ejected over the Yellow Sea. He was rescued by a helicopter and by 24 April he was a double ace. He flew 106 combat missions during the war and was sent home after his 16th victory on 18 May. He was then transferred to Edwards AFB as a test pilot but lost his life when flying in a F-86H on 25 April 1954. His record of 16 kills and 5 damaged was not bettered by anyone else.