525th FIS

F102A 525FIS Check SIX BitburgPhoto 900

525FIS decal 700



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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


F102A deckload StNazaire 09Jan59 USAFph A91991AC

deckload of 8 F-102As on USNS  "Crotan"  -  StNazaire  09 Jan 1959 USAFphoto A91991AC


F102A StNazaire 09Jan59 USAF photo91992AC

F-102A  off loaded from USNS  "Crotan"  - StNazaire 09 Jan 1959 USAF photo 91992AC


TF102A StNazaire Jan59 USAF91801AC

TF-102A at StNazaire harbour on 09 Jan 1959 USAF photo 91801AC


561243 F102A 62333 StNazaire 09Jan59 USAF91995AC

F-102A 56-1243, TF-102A 56-2333 at StNazaire  harbour on 09 Jan 1959 USAF photo 91995AC


561076 F102A StNazaire 09Jan59 USAF91994AC

F-102A 56-1076 at StNazaire 09 Jan 1959 USAF photo 91994AC


561244 F102A StNazaire 09Jan59 USAF91996AC
F-102A 56-1244 at StNazaire 09 Jan 1959 USAF photo 91996AC


561076 F102A StNazaire 14Jan59 USAFph B91990AC

F-102A  56-1076 F102A StNazaire  14 Jan 1959 USAF photo B91990AC


562333 TF102A StNazaire 14Jan59 USAF91997AC

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. 


562333 TF102A 28Jan59 FlickriverCom 1190

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


562331 525FIS Bitburg 28Jan59 USAFphoto 

562333 525FIS Bitburg 28Jan59 USAFphoto

TF-102As 56-2331 and 56-2333 at Bitburg AB 28Jan59,  USAFphoto 


562333 TF102A 62331 Bitburg 28Jan59 USAFphoto

TF-102As 56-2333 and 56-2331 - still with red scheme from previous assignment to 317 FIS,  at Bitburg AB 28Jan59,  USAFphoto





F102A delivery Bitburg 28Jan59 FlickriverCom 1

Armed Forces Day and 10-year NATO at Bitburg AB 11 April 1959 - Flickriver.com photo


562333 TF102A Bitburg 1959 FlickriverCom

TF-102A 56-2333   525 FIS  at Armed Forces day  11 Apr 1959   - flickriver.com photo



561076 F102A 11Apr59 CLanphere

F-102A 56-1076   525th FIS    Bitburg AB   11 Apr 1959 - photo collection Ragay



561266 F102A 11Apr59 CLanphere

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

ZuluHangar 525FIS Bitburg RayRoberts
                                                                                                                                                                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.

561479 525FIS Tyndall Oct59 viaBitburgPubInfoOff

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 


560989 F102A 525FIS Tyndall Oct59 viaDruzolowski

F-102A  56-0989  525FIS at Tyndall AFB, FL   Oct 1959 , photo via M. Druzolowski


561012 F102A 525FIS Tyndall Oct59 viaVadas

F-102A  56-1012  525FIS  at Tyndall AFB, FL   Oct 1959 , photo via J.Vadas



last update 27/03/2019