13th Fighter Squadron
|13th Fighter Squadron|
13th Fighter Squadron Patch
|Active||13 January 1942 – 10 October 1943
2 May 1966 – 30 June 1975
15 January 1976 – 1 July 1982
1 June 1985 – present
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Part of||Pacific Air Forces
5th Air Force
35th Fighter Wing
35th Operations Group
|Nickname||"The Panther Pack"|
|Engagements||World War II
AFOUA w/V Device
RVGC w/ Palm
The 13th Fighter Squadron "Panther Pack" operates the General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon CJ Block 50 aircraft conducting air superiority missions. The Panthers provide in Offensive and Defensive Counter-Air capabilities, and specialize in the role of Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD).
The 13th flew antisubmarine patrols in the Gulf of Mexico from, June–August 1942 and served as an operational and replacement training unit from, April 1942–October 1943. It flew combat missions in Southeast Asia from, 15 May 1966 – 30 June 1975.
During the Vietnam War, while stationed at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, the squadron's mascot was a full-grown black panther (Asian leopard), named Eldridge. The cat was given to the squadron in 1970, as the story went by an Air America (CIA) pilot who picked it up in Laos. Eldridge was kept in a large cage near the Squadron building and often taken for walks around the Base. Although tame, he was still a wild animal and after the war was given to the Phoenix Arizona zoo in 1973. The squadron adopted the nickname "The Panther Pack," and the image of the black panther appears on the unit emblem. The name Eldridge was chosen as a nod to Eldridge Cleaver (31 August 1935 – 1 May 1998) a radical and author, who served as the Minister of Information for the Black Panther Party.
- Constituted as 313th Bombardment Squadron (Medium) on 13 Jan 1942
- Activated on 1 Feb 1942
- Disbanded on 10 Oct 1943
- Reconstituted, and consolidated (19 Sep 1985) with 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron, which was constituted, and activated, on 2 May 1966.
- Organized on 15 May 1966
- Inactivated on 30 Jun 1975
- Re-designated as 13th Tactical Fighter Training Squadron on 18 Dec 1975
- Activated on 15 Jan 1976
- Inactivated on 1 Jul 1982
- Re-designated as 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron on 5 Jun 1984
- Activated on 1 Jun 1985
- Re-designated as 13th Fighter Squadron on 31 May 1991.
- 21st Bombardment Group, 1 Feb 1942 – 10 Oct 1943
- Pacific Air Forces, 2 May 1966
- 18th Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 May 1966
- Attached to 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 May 1966 – 17 Oct 1967
- 432d Tactical Reconnaissance (later, 432d Tactical Fighter) Wing, 15 Nov 1967 – 30 Jun 1975
- 56th Tactical Fighter (later, 56th Tactical Training) Wing, 15 Jan 1976 – 1 Jul 1982
- 432d Tactical Fighter Wing, 1 Jun 1985
- 432d Operations Group, 31 May 1991
- 35th Operations Group, 1 Oct 1994 – present
- Bowman Field, Kentucky (1942)
- Jackson Army Air Base, Mississippi (1942)
- Columbia Army Air Base, South Carolina (1942)
- Key Field, Mississippi (1942)
- Hattiesburg, Mississippi (1942)
- MacDill Field, Florida (1942–1943)
- Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand (1966–1967)
- Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand (1967–1975)
- MacDill Air Force Base, Florida (1976–1982)
- Operated From: Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida (26 November – 22 December 1979)
- Misawa Air Base, Japan (1985 – present)
- Douglas B-18 Bolo (1942)
- Douglas A-20 Havoc (1942)
- North American B-25 Mitchell (1942)
- Martin B-26 Marauder (1942–1943)
- Republic F-105 Thunderchief (1966–1967)
- McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II (1967–1982)
- General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon (1985 – present)
Capt Jeffrey Feinstein. 5 kills.
- AFHRA 13 FS Page
- Military Times Hall of Valor http://militarytimes.com/citations-medals-awards/recipient.php?recipientid=3490
- Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) . Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.
- Hagdedorn, Dan (1995), Alae Supra Canalem: Wings Over the Canal, Turner Publishing, ISBN 1-56311-153-5
- 13th Fighter Squadron Fact Sheet
- Eldridge the mascot 
- Cambodia Bombing of the 13 TFS 1973 "Letters from the War – Thailand I | An American Family". Archived from the original on 2015-04-12. Retrieved 2015-01-22.