This is an unofficial, private
party site created due to my own personal interest in the
subject. It does not carry any official endorsement
of the United States Air Force, Holloman Air Force Base,
the 49th Fighter Wing, or anyone else for that matter!
The 49th Fighter Wing can trace its
history back to November 20, 1940
when the 49th Pursuit Group (Interceptor) was
established. The 49th PG activated at
Selfridge Field, Michigan on January 15, 1941.
Initially equipped with hand-me-down P-35, the 49th
was later equipped with P-40s. In May of 1941 the
unit moved to Morrison Field, Florida and in
January, 1942 to Camp Darley, Australia. During May,
1942 the designation changed to the 49th Fighter Group.
For the remainder of World War Two the 49th
FG moved throughout the Pacific Theater of Operations as
the war drew closer to Japan. August 16, 1945 found
the unit on Okinawa and after VJ Day the 49th moved to
Atsugi Air Base, Japan. For the next five years the
49th remained in Japan while moving to three different air
bases. During this time the unit acquired the
understandable nickname of the "Forty Niners".
While WW II still flared in the PTO the
49th had flown P-40s, P-38s and P-47s. While in
Japan that changed to P-51s and a few P-61s.
After the creation of the United States
Air Force in 1947 most Groups were reorganized as Wings
and on August 10, 1948 the 49th Fighter Group became the
49th Fighter Wing. On February 1, 1950 this was
changed to the 49th Fighter Bomber Wing. With the
outbreak of the war in Korea the 49th moved from Japan to
Taegu AB, Korea October 1, 1950. April 1, 1953 found
the unit moving to Kunsan AB, but on November 2, 1953 the
unit went "home" to Japan.
When first arriving in the Korean
Theater the unit transitioned to F-80s. The actual
aircraft flown in Korea is open to dispute. While
some reference state that the 49th equipped with F-80s in
1948, others indicate that the Forty Niners entered conflict still
equipped (or partially equipped) with F-51s. Ehile in
Korea the Shooting
Stars were swapped out with F-84s and that is
what the 49th went back to Japan with.
The 49th FBW would remain in Japan for
another four years until moving to Etain/Rouvres AB,
France on December 10, 1957. In reality it was a
move on paper as the 388th Fighter Bomber Wing at Etain
was simply renumbered as the 49th Fighter Bomber
Wing. On July 8, 1958 the designation was changed to
the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing which would not change
again until 1991. The 49th did move to Spangdahlem
Germany on August 25, 1959 though.
When the 49th "moved" to Etain/Rouvres
the unit inherited the 388th FBW's F-100D Super Sabres.
In 1962 the Huns were replaced with F-105D Thunderchiefs.
In 1966 the 49th started conversion to the F-4D Phantom II.
On June 30, 1968 the 49th TFW entered
the history of Holloman AFB. The exact dates given
in official histories are an administrative date
only. In reality the movement of a Wing requires
some weeks, or even months to complete. Even after a
location to a permanent base there will always be deployments and TDY to far off
locations. A good example of the former was
the wing's deployment to Takhli Royal Thai Air Force Base,
Thailand from May to October, 1972. The wings was
considered to be "dual based" in Germany as part of our
NATO commitment and was expected to return to Europe
during a time of crisis. Throughout the 70s' and
80s' the 49th took part in the annual Crested Cap deployments.
In 1977 the 49th TFW started
transitioning to the F-15 Eagle, which remained the mission
aircraft until 1992 when the F-117 Nighthawk replaced
The name changed once more on October 1 ,1991, becoming
the 49th Fighter Wing. This coincided with a major
restructuring of the USAF, with both the Tactical Air
Command and Strategic Air Command being combined into the
new Air Combat Command. The F-117 was retired
in April 2008 and replaced with the F-22 Raptor.
On 25 June, 2010 the name was again changed to simply the
The 49th has a distinguished past
,credited with 667 aerial victories during WW II the unit
fought from Australia during the early phases of the war
in the Pacific. As the war progressed through the
SWPA the 49th was there to carry the fight to the
Japanese. Maj. Richard I. Bong scored twenty one of his
forty victories with the 49th. The colorful George
Laven flew a tour with the 49th FG. During the
Korean War the 49th FBW flew a great many missions, with
most being interdiction, or close support. In short
"mud moving" missions that bring the air war right to the
front lines. While under the command of the United
States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), the 49th provided a
deterrent against any Soviet incursion into Europe.
At this time the wing also had a limited tactical nuclear
capability. The 49th was called back to combat again
during the war in South East Asia and again during
Operation Enduring Freedom. It is safe to assume
that the 49th Fighter Wing will provide for the
defense of this nation for many years to come and
(hopefully) will enjoy the wing's home in New Mexico for
the foreseeable future. In August 2010 the Secretary
of the Air Force announced that the 49th's Raptors would
be leaving Holloman to be replaced by F-16s. No
timeline for that has been determined as of this writing
and as of 4March, 2013 approximately twenty F-22s remain
at Holloman. Hopefully, someday the Forty
Niners will eventually be equipped with F-35s.
These two photos were taken at the May, 1978
Holloman open house and show one of the last F-4Ds
(66-7701) left. At this time the F-15
conversion was in full swing and the Phantom would be gone
from the 49th TFW by the end of the summer. Though
the photos are of poor quality they do show the final
markings for the F-4D. The wing emblem is carried
ion both sides of the fuselage without a squadron
patch. In the second photo the tail of an F-84F
(51-5396), this is a display aircraft that was towed out
to the flight line for every open house. It is most
likely left over from when the 366th TFW was based at
Holloman. The 49th was never equipped with the swept
wing F-84, however this aircraft is now displayed in
Holloman's air park in the markings of the 49th.
photos were taken by John Paul Jones at an open house in
May, 1972. In June 1972 the 49th TFW adopted the
tail code HO. Prior to that standardization codes
were allocated to the individual squadrons within the
wing, the 49th had used HB for the 7th TFS, HC for the 8th
TFS, HD for the 9th TFS and HE for the 417th TFS.
The above photos illustrate the
following F-4Ds and squadrons: 65-0884, 8th
TFS. 65-0773, 9th TFS. 66-7753, 7th TFS.
The following F-4 photos
were contributed by Master Sgt. Dale Jensen USAF
(Ret) and date from Dale's service with the 49th TFW.
photo is of 64-0949 and actually predates Dale
Jensen's time at Holloman: "During
the spring and summer of 1973 I was assigned to Forbes
AFB, Topeka, Kansas. One Saturday a buddy and I
drove up to Offutt AFB for an open house. 949 was
parked off by itself. I'd never been close to an F-4
before so I took a couple of photos. Little did I
know at the time that about 6 months later I would be
assigned to the unit where that F-4 came from! "
65-0719 at rest while on static display.
65-0760 under tow.
66-7749 undergoing engine work.
66-8808 on display at March, 1975
open house: "Why I decided
to try shooting b/w film, for the first time, on a very
cloudy day I will never know. This was at a March
'75 open house. It snowed the night before."
(Those of us living in the Chihuahuan desert of the
Southwest USA know all too well about the precociousness of
Mother Nature; Easter 1981 saw snow and then the
temperatures climbed into the 80's a couple of days later,
yet at times there will be highs in the 70s' throughout
February and March.)
The following photos were provided by Sargent Steve Morris,
who was an
49th FMS aircraft structural repairman, from 1974 to 1977.
They were taken when the 49th TFW was dual based between
Holloman and Germany:
From 1969 until 1977 the 49th Tactical Fighter Wing
would deploy to Germany for the annual Crested Cap.
That was an exercise that allowed the United States Air
Force to meet a NATO commitment without permenantly basing
units in Germany. The C-141s in the above photos are
loading up with equipment to fly to Germany for the 1977
Crested Cap, the F-4s are at Ramsteim AB. The 49th
would use Ramstein, Spangdahlem and Hahn Air
Bases. (Steve Morris)
1992 - 2008
29th Attack Squadron
Official list of station:
MI, 15 Jan 1941; Morrison Field, FL, c. 23 May 1941-5 Jan
1942; Camp Darley (near Melbourne), Australia, 2 Feb 1942;
Bankstown, Australia, 16 Feb 1942; Brisbane, Australia, 7
Apr 1942; Darwin, Australia, 17 Apr 1942; Port Moresby,
New Guinea, 9 Oct 1942; Dobodura, New Guinea, Mar 1943;
Gusap, New Guinea, 20 Nov 1943; Finschhafen, New Guinea,
19 Apr 1944; Hollandia, New Guinea, c. 17 May 1944; Biak,
5 Jun 1944; Tacloban, Leyte, 24 Oct 1944; San Jose,
Mindoro, c. 30 Dec 1944; Lingayen, Luzon, c. 25 Feb 1945;
Okinawa, 16 Aug 1945; Atsugi AB, Japan, 15 Sep 1945;
Chitose AB, Japan, 18 Feb 1946; Misawa AAB (later, AB),
Japan, late Mar 1948; Itazuke AB, Japan, 9 Jul 1950; Taegu
AB, South Korea, 1 Oct 1950; Kunsan AB, South Korea, 1 Apr
1953; Komaki AB, Japan, 2 Nov 1953; Nagoya AB (later,
Nagoya Air Stn; Moriyama Air Stn), Japan, 16 Sep 1954;
Misawa AB, Japan, 1 Jun-9 Dec 1957; Etain/Rouvres AB,
France, 10 Dec 1957 (operated from
Chalons-Vatry AB, France, 1 Sep-30 Nov 1958); Spangdahlem
AB, Germany, 25 Aug 1959-30 Jun 1968; Holloman AFB, NM, 1
Jul 1968- Current.
A painting left over from the 1990's when the 49th
was located on a different part of the flight
line. Photo taken 10 May, 2014.
The Phantom Man lives! This marking was in
the area that the 20th FS parked F-4Fs in the
1990's. The photo was taken the same day as the