#1216 F-16CM Fighting Falcon

F-16CM Fighting Falcon
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£10.00 €11.67 $12.66
43.8 cm x 29.2 cm
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Print
F-16CM Fighting Falcon
91-0366 '480 FS'
480 FS, 52 FW
Spangdahlem AB, Germany
US - Air Force
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Description

Squadron Prints Lithograph No. 1216 - F-16CM Fighting Falcon, 91-0366 \'480 FS\', 480th Fighter Squadron, 52nd Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem AB, Germany. The 480th Fighter Squadron, the “Warhawks,” was activated in 1957 at England Air Force Base, Louisiana as the 480 Fighter Bomber Squadron, flying the F-100 Super Sabre. Over the next 2 decades, the squadron was assigned to Chaumont and Phalsbourg-Bourscheid, France and Holloman AFB, NM flying the F-84F Thunderstreak, F-100 Super Sabre, and the F-4C Phantom II fighters. The Warhawks deployed to Da Nang Air Base, South Vietnam, in February 1966 as part of USAF buildup in Southeast Asia and was engaged in combat operations, mostly over North Vietnam, from 1966-1971. During this period, the squadron scored nine MiG kills, including the first MiG-21 kill of the Vietnam War, and received two Presidential Unit Citations. Also during this period a member of the 480 TFS, Captain Lance Sijan, became the first Air Force Academy graduate to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism as a prisoner in North Vietnam. In 1969 the 480 TFS moved to Phu Cat Air Base, South Vietnam, then to Cam Ranh Bay Air Base, South Vietnam in 1970. With the drawdown of American forces in South Vietnam, the 480th flew their last combat mission, and the last combat sortie from Cam Ranh Bay, on 20 October 1971. The squadron deactivated in November 1971. The Warhawks were reactivated in 1976 as part of the 52 Tactical Fighter Wing, Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, flying the F-4D Phantom II, the F-4E and then F-4G as part of the “Wild Weasel” Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD) mission. In March 1987, the Warhawks began flying the Air Force’s newest fighter, the F-16C, and during Gulf War I received the Air Force Outstanding Unit Citation for Valor. Cold War military reductions forced the 480 TFS into temporary retirement in 1994, but The Great Warhawk Nation was reactivated in 2010 as the 480 Fighter Squadron flying the F-16CM Block-50 Viper as part of 52nd Fighter Wing at Spangdahlem. In January of 2011, the newly minted Warhawks made their combat debut as “First In” on the opening night of operations over Libya as part of Operation Odyssey Dawn. For 213 sorties and 1349.6 combat hours, the 480th patrolled the skies of North Africa enforcing the NATO-imposed no-fly zone. As part of the overall air interdiction mission, the squadron employed multiple High-Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles against Libya’s air defenses – paving the way for NATO assets to put bombs on target, as well as dropping plenty of their own in order to weaken the military infrastructure. The Warhawks were also instrumental in the recovery of pilots downed behind enemy lines as the first friendly assets on-scene: protecting the site until rescue forces arrived. Later that year, the 480th FS was “Last Out” as coalition forces withdrew the remaining forces from over a decade of operations in Iraq. Today The Great Warhawk Nation is the only US Air Force SEAD squadron in Europe, and the Warhawks proudly carry on the Wild Weasel legacy and the tradition of “First In, Last Out!”