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434th Fighter Squadron

Founded :
Country : US
Fate :

Conducted air defense prior to flying duties overseas. Between 26th May 1944 and 25th Apr 1945 flew combat missons over the European Theater of Operations. Received Distinguished Unit Citation (DUC) for performance in aerial conflicts against the enemy on 18th August, 5th and 26th September 1944. Trained as fighter-day, and later, tactical fighter squadron, 1952-1962. In 1966, was reinstated as a squadron and began training F-4 crews for assignment in Southeast Asia. In Aug 1972, deployed to Thailand, where it served under operational control of 49 Tactical Fighter Wing. Engaged in combat over North and South Vietnam in October 1972. Redeployed back the USA. By 1975, provided combat aircrew training for US and Allied pilots. From 1977-1991, trained pilots. The squadron flew P-38 Lightning 1943 - 1944, P-51 Mustang from 1944 to 1945, P-47 Thunderbolt in 1945, F-51 Mustang from 1952 - 1953, F-86 Sabre from 1953 - 1955, F-100 Super Sabre from 1954 - 1959, F-104 Starfighter from 1959 - 1962, F-4 Phantom from 1966 - 1976 and T-38 Talon from 1977 - 1991.

434th Fighter Squadron

434th Fighter Squadron Artwork



Gathering Storm by Anthony Saunders (GL)

Final Victory by Simon Atack.

Aces for : 434th Fighter Squadron
A list of all Aces from our database who are known to have flown with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking the pilots name.
NameVictoriesInfo
Robin Olds13.00The signature of Robin Olds features on some of our artwork - click here to see what is available.
Aircraft for : 434th Fighter Squadron
A list of all aircraft known to have been flown by 434th Fighter Squadron. A profile page including a list of all art prints for the aircraft is available by clicking the aircraft name.
SquadronInfo

Lightning



Click the name above to see prints featuring Lightning aircraft.

Manufacturer : Lockheed

Lightning

Designed by Kelly Johnson the P38 made its maiden flight on the 27th January 1939 and introduced into service in 1941. they cost $134,284 at the time each and a total of 10,037 were built. The Lockheed P-38 was introduced as a inceptor fighter but soon proved a valuable long range bomber escort for the 8thUS Air Force's B-17 and-24 bombers as they bombed targets further into Germany.

Mustang



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Manufacturer : North American

Mustang

The ubiquitous North American P-51 Mustang, which many consider to be the best all-around fighter of WW II, owes its origins to the British Air Ministry. Following Britains entry into WW II in 1939, the RAF was interested in purchasing additional fighter aircraft from American sources, particularly the Curtiss P-40. Curtiss, which was busy, was unable to guarantee timely delivery so the British approached North American Aviation as a possible second source for the P-40. North American chose to propose its own fighter design which would use the same Allison engine as the P-40. Utilizing new laminar flow wings, the North American fighter was expected to have performance better than the P-40. Developed in record time the new aircraft was designated as a Mustang I by the Brits, whereas the USAAF ordered two for evaluation which were designated XP-51 Apaches. Intrigued with the possibility of using this aircraft also as a dive bomber, North American proposed this to the USAAF which decided to order 500 of the P-51 aircraft to be modified for dive bombing use. Designated as the A-36 Invader, this version of the Mustang utilized dive flaps, and bomb racks under each wing. Some reinforcing of the structural members was also required because of the G-forces to be encountered in dive bombing. A-36s entered combat service with the USAAF prior to any P-51s. In early 1943 the 86th and 27th Fighter Bomber Groups of the 12th Air Force began flying A-36s out of Northern Africa. Despite some early problems with instability caused by the dive flaps, the A-36 was effective in light bombing and strafing roles. It was not, however, capable of dog fighting with German fighters, especially at higher altitudes. Despite these drawbacks one USAAF pilot, Captain Michael T. Russo, who served with the 16th Bomb Squadron of the 27th Fighter Bomber Group, was credited with five confirmed aerial victories in the A-36, thereby becoming the first mustang ace.

Phantom

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Manufacturer : McDonnell Douglas
Production Began : 1960
Retired : 1992
Number Built : 5195

Phantom

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber produced for the U.S. Navy by Mcdonnell Douglas. It became a major part of the United States Navy, Marine Corps and American Air Force. The Phantom F-4 saw service with all American forces during the Vietnam war serving as a fighter and ground attack aircraft. The Phantom first saw service in 1960 but continued in service until the 1980’s (being replaced by the F-15 and F-16 ) The last Phantoms saw service during the Gulf war in 1991 being used for reconnaissance. Other nations also used the Phantom to great success. The Israeli Air Force used them during various Arab-Israeli wars and the Phantom also saw service in the Iranian Air Force during the Iran Iraq War. Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5,195 built. The Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy flew versions based on the F-4. The British Phantoms were powered by Rolls Royce Spey engines and also received British avionics, under the names pf Phantom FG.1 and Phantom FGR.2. The last British Phantoms served with 74 Squadron until they were dispanded in 1992.

Sabre



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Manufacturer : North American
Number Built : 11787

Sabre

The North American Aviation F-86 Sabre was a transonic jet Fighter. The F-86 Sabre is best known for its role during the Korean War role where it was pitted against the Soviet MIG 15. With speeds often nudging the sound barrier, and performing combat manoeuvres at 600 m.p.h. imposing crushing G-forces, the F-86 pilots ran up a spectacular kill ratio of 8:1 against the MiGs. Although developed in the late 1940s and outdated by the end of the 1950s, the Sabre proved adaptable and continued as a front line fighter in air forces until the last active front line examples were retired by the Bolivian Air Force in 1994. More than 7,800 Sabres aircraft were built between 1949 and 1956, in the United States, Japan and Italy. It was by far the most-produced Western jet fighter, with total production of all variants at 9,860 units.

Starfighter

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Manufacturer : Lockheed
Production Began : 1956
Retired : 1986

Starfighter

The introduction of the Mig-15 by Communist forces during the Korean War, came as a shock to military planners in the United States. The Mig-15 showed some superior attributes even when compared to the F-86. This rude awakening increased the Air Forces interest in a new generation of fighters which would be faster and more maneuverable than any enemy aircraft which would be encountered; a true air superiority machine. Clarence Kelly Johnson, Lockheeds innovative designer who would be involved in many of the most innovative aircraft designs of the century, had been thinking along these same lines, and in late 1952 the company submitted an unsolicited proposal for a new fighter, the XF-104. An initial contract was placed for prototypes, and the first flight took place in 1954. The F-104 was unlike anything the Air Force had previously flown. A long thin needle nose, a bullet-like fuselage, a small, thin mid-fuselage mounted wing, and an unusual high mounted horizontal stabilizer characterized this revolutionary design. The XF-104 attained a speed of Mach 1.7 during its flight tests, and the Air Force gave a go-ahead for production once meaningful quantities of the J-79 engines became available. The first production Starfighters reached the Air Force in February of 1956. The fuselage was lengthened by nearly six feet to accommodate the J-79. The first large production order was for 146 F-104As. These aircraft could carry wing mounted missiles, and had provision for an internal cannon. Troubles with the gun system were never really solved and most of these first F-104s were never equipped with the cannons. The simplicity of operation of this aircraft and its phenomenal speed made it an ideal interceptor, and this capability was appreciated during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Lockheed had meaningful success marketing export versions of the Starfighter shipping significant quantities to Pakistan, Italy, Germany, Greece, Japan, Taiwan, and Jordan. American military planners were disappointed with the range of the F-104. Recognizing this, Lockheed continued to refine and improve the aircraft. The F-104C was the second major variant and first flew in 1958. The C was capable of 1,450-MPH, and had an improved range of nearly 1,400 miles with drop tanks. The C was primarily used by the 479th Tactical Fighter Wing. The 479th deployed a squadron of F-104Cs to Vietnam in 1965, where the aircraft flew more than 2,000 combat sorties before being withdrawn. The F-104s were phased out of active Air Force service beginning in the mid-60s, but many aircraft remained with Air National Guard units. The last American unit to be equipped with the F-104 was the 198th Tactical Fighter Squadron of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard. The Royal Canadian Air Force also flew the 104. Its variant lacked the cannon, which was replaced by an additional fuel tank. The RCAF flew 104s until 1986.

Super Sabre

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Super Sabre

F-100

Thunderbolt



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Production Began : 1943
Number Built : 15683

Thunderbolt

Alexander Kartveli was a engineer with Seversky Aircraft who designed the P-35, which first flew in 1937. With Republic Aviation Kartveli supervised the development of the P-43 Lancer. Neither of these aircraft were produced in large numbers, and neither was quite successful. However, the Republic Aviation P-47 Thunderbolt, also nicknamed the Jug, was quite a different story. The Jug was the jewel in Kartvelis design crown, and went on to become one of the most produced fighter aircraft of all time with 15,683 being manufactured. The P-47 was the largest and heaviest single seat fighter of WW II. The P-47 immediately demonstrated its excellent combat qualities, including speed, rate of climb, maneuverability, heavy fire power, and the ability to take a lot of punishment. With a wingspan of more than 40 feet and a weight of 19,400 pounds, this large aircraft was designed around the powerful 2000 HP Pratt and Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engine. The first P-47 prototype flew in May of 1941, and the primary variant the P-47D went into service in 1943 with units of the U.S. Armys Eighth Air Force. The Jug had a maximum speed in excess of 400 MPH, a service ceiling in excess of 42,000 feet, and was heavily armed with either six or eight heavy caliber machine guns. With its ability to carry up to a 2,500 pound bomb load, the Jug saw lots of use in ground attack roles. Until the introduction of the N model, the P-47 lacked the long range required for fighter escort missions which were most often relegated to P-51 Mustangs or P-38 Lightnings. In his outstanding painting entitled Bridge Busting Jugs, noted aviation artist Stan Stokes depicts Eighth Air Force Jugs in a ground attack mission in the Alps in June of 1944. The top P-47 ace was Francis Gabreski who had flown with the 56th Fighter Group, the first unit to be equipped with the P-47. In August of 1943 Gabreski attained his first aerial combat victory (over an Fw-190) and by years end he had reached ace status with 8 confirmed victories. As Commander of the 61st Squadron, Gabreski continued to chalk up victory after victory, and on seven different occasions he achieved two victories during the same mission. However, in July of 1944 Gabreski damaged the prop on his Jug during a low level attack on an airfield near Coblenz. Forced to make a crash landing, he was captured and remained a prisoner of war until Wars end in 1945. Following the War Gabreski returned to military service with the Air Forces 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing in Korea. Flying the F-86 Sabre Jet, Gabreski attained 6.5 more aerial victories in 1951 and 1952 becoming an ace in two different wars
Signatures for : 434th Fighter Squadron
A list of all signatures from our database who are associated with this squadron. A profile page is available by clicking their name.
NameInfo


Brigadier General Robin Olds
Click the name or photo above to see prints signed by or with the mounted signature of Brigadier General Robin Olds

14 / 6 / 2007Died : 14 / 6 / 2007
14 / 6 / 2007Ace : 13.00 Victories
Brigadier General Robin Olds

After leaving West Point in June 1943, Robin Olds was posted to the 479th Fighter Group in England, joining 434 Squadron. Based at Wattisham in East Anglia, and flying P-38s, he was involved in heavy bomber escort duties and fighter sweeps until the Normandy invasion, soon after which his Squadron converted to P51 Mustangs. by early 1945 Robin Olds was in command of 434 Squadron taking part in the Battle of the Bulge, flying escort missions, and providing air support to the airborne attack across the Rhine. At the end of World War II Robin Olds had 24.5 victories, of which 13 were in the air. Later in Vietnam Robin Olds gained four more victories, flying F4 Phantoms and flew with the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing. Sadly, Robin Olds passed away on 14th June 2007.


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