August 1943 the 309th Bombardment Squadron, part of the 86th Bombardment Group, was redesignated the 525th Fighter Bomber Squadron while already fighting in the European theatre of operations. From that time on the squadron was seen at many places in Europe , but the story will be picked up in 1953 when it was flying the F-86F from Landstuhl AB, Germany (now Ramstein AB).
Early in 1955 the unit exchanged it's F-86Fs for F-86Ds.
The move to Bitburg AB occurred on 12 Febr 1957, because the squadrons of the 86th Fighter Interceptor Group were dispersed throughout Europe to provide better coverage and to render them less vulnerable to an enemy attack.
On 8 March 1958 the 86th was redesignated "Fighter Interceptor Wing". The 525th FIS nicknamed themselves "Bulldogs Inc.", after it's squadron emblem. The motto of the 525th is "Can Do".
From F-86D to F-102A
The transition training from F-86D to F-102A was done at Bitburg AB and was started on 02 Febr 1959. Some experienced F-102 pilots arrived at Bitburg AB late 1958 to start the ground school and flight training, together with factory representatives. These pilots were : Charles F. Luther, Gary L. Tresemer, Barnard "Black Bart" H. Barton, Richard G. Hause, Ronald A. McGuire, Alan L. Lomax, Thomas E. Wolters, James R. Burch and James A. MacDougald. They were also involved in the transfer of Delta Daggers from St.Nazaire, France to Bitburg AB, together with lesser experienced pilots.
Delivery of 23 F-102As and two TF-102As for the 525th , transferred from CONUS to France by Aircraft-Carrier
The USAF operated two escort aircraft carrier delivery ships, the USNS "Tripoli" TCVU-64 and the USNS "Crotan" TCVU-66.
The first group of 12 aircraft delivered to Europe :
Check-out date Mobile AMA , Brookley AFB , AL : 26 December 1958
Assignment date to Logistics Command Overseas , at St. Nazaire , France : 09 January 1959
At the St. Nazaire harbour, the aircraft were off loaded by cranes and towed about 1 mile to the "Sud-Aviation" shops.
The white plastic coating "cocooning" , which was applied at the Brookley AFB shop, and was to prevent corrosion from sea-salt , was removed here.
All aircraft were inspected and test flown from Montoir Airport (the "Sud Aviation" location) and then delivered to the squadrons.
The first batch of 12 aircraft was delivered by the USNS "Crotan" TCVU-66 :
F-102A 56-1076, -1107, -1120, -1130, -1242, -1243, -1244, -1245, -1255, -1263, and TF-102A 56-2331, -2333
deckload of 8 F-102As on USNS "Crotan" - StNazaire 09 Jan 1959 USAFphoto A91991AC
F-102A off loaded from USNS "Crotan" - StNazaire 09 Jan 1959 USAF photo 91992AC
TF-102A at StNazaire harbour on 09 Jan 1959 USAF photo 91801AC
F-102A 56-1243, TF-102A 56-2333 at StNazaire harbour on 09 Jan 1959 USAF photo 91995AC
F-102A 56-1076 at StNazaire 09 Jan 1959 USAF photo 91994AC
F-102A 56-1244 at StNazaire 09 Jan 1959 USAF photo 91996AC
F-102A 56-1076 F102A StNazaire 14 Jan 1959 USAF photo B91990AC
TF-102As 56-2333, 56-2331 and F-102A 56-1076 at StNazaire 14 Jan 1959 USAF photo 91997AC
Second group of 13 aircraft delivered :
Check-out date Mobile AMA , Brookley AFB , AL : 22 January 1959
Assignment date to Logistics Command Overseas , at St. Nazaire , France : 06 February 1959
F-102A 56-1060, -1077, -1094, -1247, -1249, -1253, -1256, -1258, -1260, -1261, -1264, -1265, -1266
The last aircraft of the initial batch (25 planes) was welcomed at Bitburg AB on 07 March 1959.
First F-102 unit
The 525th was the first European squadron to receive the Delta Dagger, 28 January 1959 was the notorious day when TF-102A 56-2331 touched down with Col. Charles M. Young, 86th FIW Commander and Lt.Col. Raymond S. Brown, 525th FIS Commander at the controls. They leaded a flight of two TF-102As and three F-102As.
The arrival of the first TF/F-102As for 525th FIS at Bitburg AB 28 January 1959 : TF-102A 62333 and 62331 , F-102A 61076 and an unknown Delta Dagger , "chased" by one of the last 525th F-86Ds - photo Flickriver.com
TF-102As 56-2331 and 56-2333 at Bitburg AB 28Jan59, USAFphoto
TF-102As 56-2333 and 56-2331 - still with red scheme from previous assignment to 317 FIS, at Bitburg AB 28Jan59, USAFphoto
Armed Forces Day and 10-year NATO at Bitburg AB 11 April 1959 - Flickriver.com photo
TF-102A 56-2333 525 FIS at Armed Forces day 11 Apr 1959 - flickriver.com photo
F-102A 56-1076 525th FIS Bitburg AB 11 Apr 1959 - photo collection Ragay
F102A 56-1266 and -1258 525th FIS Bitburg AB Armed Forces Day 11 April 1959 - both aircraft still have the arctic red paint of 317th FIS , the previous assignment - photo collection Ragay
The squadron assumed the ZULU alert commitment on 01 July I959
Bitburg ca. 1961 , photo by Ray Roberts
William Tell Meet 1959
The unit is still proud with the results gained in the 1959 William Tell Competition at Tyndall AFB, FL. held from 14 to 23 October. After a relatively short period of time, since transition to the new aircraft, the 525th participated and took the lead. This was kept until the last mission, then they were nosed out by the 460th FIS with a narrow margin.
pilots (l. to r.) : 1Lt Richard Campbell , 1Lt Jack P. Bowman , Col. Robert J. Rogers , Capt. Ray J. Marzullo
F-102A 56-1479 on temporary assignment to 525FIS for the duration of the "William Tell Meet" , Tyndall AFB, FL Oct 1959 , USAF photo via the Bitburg AB PubIic Information Office, collection Ragay
F-102A 56-0989 525FIS at Tyndall AFB, FL Oct 1959 , photo via M. Druzolowski
F-102A 56-1012 525FIS at Tyndall AFB, FL Oct 1959 , photo via J.Vadas
last update 27/03/2019