32nd TFS Tribute

 F-102 & F-4 & F-15  

by Jeroen Berkvens

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Having had these models on my many many shelves for years I decided to write something about them. The first airshow I attended was somewhere in the seventies at Deelen airfield in the Netherlands.  Greatest plane in the show was no doubt the F-15 Eagle.  I remember it taking off and immediately start a vertical climb with full afterburner.  It only took the mighty machine seconds to disappear clean out of sight in a cloudless sky!  I must have begged my father to pay for the book that holds many many eagle-pictures and the history of the infamous 32th tactical fighter squadron.  The book can be seen in the first picture.  In the following years the models I built were American jets and the same with Dutch markings.  In the 90's Dutch decal produced some really great sets of decals: Dutchdecal set 72011 and 72012.  I used them to build the 3 aircraft below.  An F-4E phantom form Fujimi (Soesterberg airbase 1969), a Hasegawa F-102 Delta Dagger (Soesterberg airbase 1959) and last but not least the mighty Eagle from Airfix with Wolfhound noseart (Soesterberg airbase 1988).  All of them of course in 32nd TFS colours and markings.  All of the models are built o.o.b   Using Humbrol and Tamiya paints.    

Click on images below to see larger images

  

  

  

The Wolfhound Insignia was designed by the Walt Disney Studios during World War 2 to symbolize the squadron's mission of searching for enemy submarines operating in groups called 'wolfpack'in the Caribbean.  In December 1942, the Commanding General, Army Air Forces, approved the design as the official insignia for the 32nd.

In 1959, the 32nd became the only USAF unit in the world authorized to bear the Royal Crest of another country, when the Crown and Wreath were added to the famed 'wolfhound' design.  The crown symbolizes royalty, while the wreath and twelve oranges represent an orange tree, a traditional symbol of the Dutch royal family-the house of Orange-who are direct descendants of William of Orange, the first Prince of the Netherlands.

This unique honor was granted in recognition of the unit's contribution to the defense of the Netherlands and graphically illustrates the 32nd's close ties with the Royal Netherlands Air Force.

It was back in the days of the Cold War off course that as a boy I used to be thrilled to see American aircraft flying over our country together with our own Starfighters, F5's and F16's.  It must have given me a sense of security that these planes and pilots would save us from the Russians if they came.  I guess it was in the early nineties that these fighters were not needed any longer after the Berlin wall had collapsed.  I remember the 32nd was waved off by hundreds of Dutch fans who hated to see them leave.

They are remembered well, the defenders of our freedom.  We will not forget them.

Hope you all like this submission.  Greetings from Alkmaar, the Netherlands
Jeroen 

Photos and text by Jeroen Berkvens