On this Monday, we bring to you some awesome footage captured by members of the 35th Fighter Squadron, the “Pantons.” They operate the Lockheed-Martin Block 40 F-16C and are based at Kunsan Air Base in South Korea. The video was captured during a recent trip to Alaska to participate in Red Flag Alaska 15-1. I could tell you all about the beauty that exists in the Joint Pacific Alaska Range Complex, but I think I’ll just let you see for yourself.
The 35th is one of two F-16 squadrons that make up the 8th Fighter Wing, ‘Wolf Pack’. The Pantons trace their history all the way back to June of 1917 when they were activated as the 35th Aero Squadron. Originally they were an aircraft maintenance squadron that served in France from activation until 1919 when they returned to the United States after the Armistice.
The unit demobilized during the American disarmament. With the United States’ recognition of the need for a strong air arm, the squadron’s mission was changed 20 years after birth. In June of 1932 they were designated the 35th Pursuit Squadron and would operate out of Langley Field in Virginia, flying aircraft such as the P-12 and P-36.
In 1939 they would be redesignated the 35th Pursuit Squadron (Fighter) and would move to Mitchell Field in New York to fly the P-40 Warhawk. Leaving New York in 1942 on an old cattle boat called the USS Maui, it would be the last time the squadron would ever call the United States home.
The squadron has called numerous locations all over the Pacific their home. Their first assignment was Brisbane, Australia in 1942. They bounced around New Guinea and Australia for the next three years before arriving in Okinawa in 1945. The Pantons have been in and around Japan and Korea since the end of World War II aside from their deployments to Thailand and South Vietnam between 1964 and 1972.
Brought to you by one of the oldest squadrons in the USAF. Push It Up!
First To Fight
(Editor’s Note: Due to some video difficulties we had to swap to this video at the last minute. We’re trying to source the original video and should have that shortly.)