Unit Details

80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron

80thfightersquadron.jpg  80thfightersquadron.jpg

USAF Organizations in Korea 1950-1953 Judy G. Endicott http://www.afhra.af.mil/index.asp

8th Fighter-Bomber Group
    35th, 36th, and 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadrons
    4th Fighter (All-Weather) Squadron Command
    9th Fighter-Bomber Squadron
    339th Fighter (All-Weather) Squadron (- flight)

80th Fighter Squadron

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80th Fighter Squadron
80th Fighter Squadron F-16D in training exercise.jpg
80th Fighter Squadron F-16D Block 40G Fighting Falcon 89-0172 21 Oct 2010
Active 1942–present
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type F-16 fighter squadron
Size 16 aircraft
Nickname(s) Headhunters
Motto(s) Audentes Fortuna Juvat
Lt Col Matthew "Trap" Crowell

The 80th Fighter Squadron (traditionally nicknamed the "Headhunters", and since 1971 also the "Juvats") is an F-16 fighter squadron of the United States Air Force, currently part of the 8th Operations Group of the 8th Fighter Wing, and stationed at Kunsan Air Base, Republic of Korea.

The 80th has served in combat operations in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.





Activated on 10 January 1942
Redesignated: 80 Fighter Squadron on 15 May 1942
Redesignated: 80 Fighter Squadron (Two Engine) 22 July 1943
Redesignated: 80 Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on 20 August 1943
Inactivated on 26 December 1945
Activated on 20 February 1947
Redesignated: 80 Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 1 January 1950
Redesignated: 80 Fighter-Bomber Squadron, on 20 January 1950
Redesignated: 80 Tactical Fighter Squadron, on 1 July 1958
Redesignated: 80 Fighter Squadron, on 3 February 1992.


Attached to: 49 Fighter-Bomber Group, 11 August – 25 September 1950
Attached to: 51 Fighter-Interceptor Group, 25 September – 27 October 1950
Attached to: Twentieth Air Force, 21 October 1954 – 10 February 1955
Attached to: 49 Fighter-Bomber Group, 10 February 1955 – 18 October 1956
Attached to: 8 Fighter-Bomber Wing, 1 February – 30 September 1957
Attached to 41st Air Division, 13 May – 17 June 1964
Attached to 2 Air Division, 30 October – 29 December 1964
Attached to 2d Air Division, 27 June – 26 August 1965
Attached to Detachment 1, 475 Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 February – 15 March 1971



Operational history[edit]

The Headhunters' history began only one month after Pearl Harbor, as the squadron shipped out to fight in the Pacific Theater. The Squadron was first activated on 10 January 1942 at Mitchel Field in New York.

Originally designated as a pursuit squadron, they were redesignated in May 1942 as a fighter squadron. Attached to the 8th Fighter Group. One of the early squadron commanders, Edward "Porky" Cragg named the Squadron "The Headhunters" after the local New Guinean Headhunter tribes who hated the Japanese and helped to rescue downed pilots. He also commissioned a crew chief, M/Sgt. Yale Saffro, who was once offered a job to work for Walt Disney as a cartoonist but turned it down, to design the 80th's patch. (This original patch design can be seen "here". , and has been officially sanctioned by the Office of Air Force Heraldry for current uniform wear.)

The squadron saw action against the Japanese in the Pacific including deployments in Australia, New Guinea, the Schouten Islands, Morotai, Leyte, Mindoro, and Japan.

It was later redesignated as the 80th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine, on 14 January 1947, the squadron reactivated on 20 February 1947 at Itazuke AB, Japan, and was assigned to the 8th Fighter (later, 8th Fighter-Bomber) Group. It would undergo a number of different attachments over the next few years. It was attached to 49th Fighter-Bomber Group from 11 August to 25 September 1950; the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Group from 25 September to 27 October 1950; the Twentieth Air Force from 21 October 1954 to 10 February 1955; the 49th Fighter-Bomber Group from 10 February 1955 to 18 October 1956; and the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing from 1 February to 30 September 1957).

An 80th FBS F-80C in the Korean War.

From 1947 to 1950, the squadron would operate the P-51, before switching to the F-80 Shooting Star in 1950. With their conversion to jet engines, the headhunters were redesignated as the 80th Fighter Squadron, Jet, on 1 January 1950. Later that month, they would become the 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron. The outfit served in the Korean war in June and July 1953 while mostly flying the F-86. In 1956, the Headhunters would begin flying the F-100.

Following the squadron's engagement in the Korean War, the 80th was tasked with providing air defense in Japan and Korea (1953–1954), in Okinawa (1954–1956), and in Japan and Korea (1956–1971).