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Mon, Apr 16, 2012

Today Is A Big Day For The 4th Fighter Wing

4th FW Airmen To Launch Massive Flight of Aircraft To Honor WWII History

Members of the 4th Fighter Wing will pay homage to World War II history at the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, NC, Monday, April 16th by launching 70 F-15E Strike Eagles in a training mission to destroy more than 1,000 targets on bombing ranges across North Carolina. They do so to commemorate a pivotal day in history.

During World War II on April 16, 1945, the 4th Fighter Group destroyed 105 enemy aircraft as part of an 8th Air Force mission involving 1,252 bombers and 913 fighters. This mission catapulted the 4th Fighter Group to 1,016 enemy aircraft destroyed, more than any group or wing in U.S. Air Force history.

On the same day, nearly 70 years later, the 4th Fighter Wing will launch 70 aircraft to achieve this same objective, officials said. In 1945, it took thousands of aircraft to destroy 1,016 targets; the 4th Fighter Wing will achieve the same goal in 2012 with only 70 F-15Es. Col. Patrick Doherty, the 4th Fighter Wing commander, will lead the launch.

The 4th Fighter Wing is home to four fighter squadrons, three of which were part of the original Eagle squadrons, American volunteers who flew as part of the Royal Air Force in the early days of the war.

"We proudly carry on the legacy of the 4th Fighter Group's victory today with the F-15E Strike Eagle," Doherty said. "Even though today's fight is different, the dedication of our Airmen has not wavered, and we are still 'Fourth but First.'" [ANN Thanks the 4th Fighter Wing Public Affairs for the story -- and wishes the 4thFW "Happy Hunting!"]




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