13th Fighter Squadron

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This article is about the 13th Fighter Squadron first activated in 1966. For other uses of 13th Fighter Squadron, see 13th Fighter Squadron (disambiguation).
13th Fighter Squadron
13th Fighter Squadron.png
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
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Type Fighter
Part of Pacific Air Forces
5th Air Force
35th Fighter Wing
35th Operations Group
Nickname(s) "The Panther Pack"
Motto(s) Cave Putorium
Mascot(s) Eldridge
Engagements World War II
Vietnam War
Decorations Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.svg PUC
Outstanding Unit ribbon.svg AFOUA w/V Device
Vietnam gallantry cross unit award-3d.svg RVGC w/ Palm
F-16C block 50 #92-3913 from the 13th FS departs for the Fort Irwin ranges on 20 August 2008, during exercise Green Flag 080-9 at Nellis AFB.
Eldridge, mascot of 13th Tactical Fighter Squadron
A 13th TFS F-4D over Vietnam in 1971, carrying a Pave Sword laser pod.

The 13th Fighter Squadron (13 FS) is part of the 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base, Japan.


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.

The squadron performed tactical fighter training for pilots and weapons systems officers from, January 1976–June 1982 and since 1985.[1]


  • 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.


Attached to 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, 15 May 1966 – 17 Oct 1967




Capt Jeffrey Feinstein. 5 kills.


 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

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