60th Fighter Squadron


Lt. Col. Hunter "Felon" Grunden


Train initial, transition, instructor, and senior officer course F-35A pilots

Personnel and Resources

The 60th Fighter Squadron mission is accomplished with 18 personnel and 17 F-35A Lightning II in inventory. The F-35A is a conventional takeoff and landing, low-observable, multi-role fighter aircraft equipped with fifth generation sensors that provide it unparalleled situational awareness making this weapons system optimized to sustain air superiority and execute air interdiction and close air support as part of the DoD fleet.


Constituted in November 1940, the 60th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) was activated Jan. 15, 1941, at Mitchel Field, New York, assigned to the 33d Fighter Group. Airmen initially trained in P-39 Airacobras but soon converted to the P-40 “Warhawk.” Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the 60th flew combat air patrols out of Bolling Field, DC. Redesignated the 60th Fighter Squadron, the “Fighting Crows” entered World War II, Oct. 10, 1942, part of the allied invasion of North Africa. Stationed at 21 different locations throughout North Africa, Europe and Asia, the unit performed a variety of missions including bomber support, close-air-support to ground forces, and bombing and strafing attacks against enemy targets. Transferred to the China-Burma-India Theater in 1944, the 60th converted to the P-47 Thunderbolt and later the P-38 Lightning. By war’s end, the Crows downed 27 enemy aircraft. Maj. Levi R. Chase became the squadron’s only fighter ace, recording eight kills in a 3-month period.

Following its service in World War II, the 60th flew the P-51 Mustang as part of the U.S. occupation force at Neubiberg, Germany. In 1947, the unit moved to Roswell Field, New Mexico, and entered the jet age flying the F-84 Thunderjet in 1948. The squadron moved to Otis Air Force Base, MA, later that year, and transitioned to the F-86 Sabre in 1950. Following a five-year period at Westover Air Force Base, MA, the Crows returned to Otis AFB flying the F-94 Starfire in 1955. In 1959, the Crows became the first squadron in Air Defense Command to fly the F-101 Voodoo. 

The USAF inactivated the 60th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, April 30, 1971, and then activated the 60th Tactical Fighter Squadron without personnel and equipment five months later. Stationed at Eglin AFB, Florida, the Crow’s activation completed the historic reconstitution of the 33rd Tactical Fighter Wing’s original fighter squadrons.  Reorganized in June 1979, the squadron conducted pilot mission qualification training for Pacific Air Forces pilots under READY EAGLE III. In 1983, the Crows deployed 10 F-15Cs as part of Operation URGENT FURY, the rescue of American medical students in Grenada. The unit supported Operation JUST CAUSE in 1989 ensuring the removal and arrest of Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega. 

In 1991, members of the 60th helped gain air superiority over Iraq in Operation DESERT STORM as part of the 33rd TFW (Provisional) at Tabuk, Saudi Arabia. During the war, U.S. Air Force Capt. David G. “Logger” Rose shot down a MiG-23 Flogger while on patrol north of Baghdad. Redesignated the 60th Fighter Squadron, the unit deployed to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, for continued support of DESERT STORM in December 1991.

The Crows deployed 24 F-15s to Haiti for Operation UPHOLD/RESTORE DEMOCRACY in 1994, but the planned invasion turned into a permissive entry operation and no combat missions were flown. The 60th FS enforced U.N. Resolutions over the skies of Iraq deploying five times in support of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH and twice for Operation NORTHERN WATCH from 1993 through 2001. Under these operations, the 60th participated in RUGGED NAUTILUS and DESERT FOX during periods of heightened tensions with Iraq. The Crows also provided a regular rotation in support of the Icelandic Defense Force at Keflavik Naval Air Station, Iceland, throughout the ‘90s. In March 2000, the squadron became the first active-duty F-15C unit in ACC to reach Night Vision Goggle operational status. Following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the 60th provided support for Operation NOBLE EAGLE.

The 60th Fighter Squadron was reactivated Aug. 20, 2021.

The proud heritage of the 60th Fighter Squadron includes a Distinguished Unit Citation in 1943, the 1996 Hughes Trophy as the best air defense/air superiority squadron in the USAF, and five Outstanding Unit Awards.

BLAZON: On a disc quartered saltirewise, Red at top and bottom and chequy Red and White on the sides, a Green disc bearing a Black caricatured crow with White eye, Black pupil, Yellow beak, feet and bow tie detailed and fimbriated Black, wearing a Blue aviator's helmet, with White goggles and a Blue and White checkered vest holding in his wings a Red tommy gun all fimbriated with Black and all within a narrow Red border. MOTTO: FIGHTING CROWS. Approved on 15 May 1942 (49003 A.C.); slightly modified in 1986.

SIGNIFICANCE: The crow represents the fact that this is an Air Force flying squadron. It shows the independent, cocky and aggressive spirit of the organization. The submachine gun represents the fire power of the squadron.


Fighting Crows

Current as of May 2024