613th Tactical Fighter Squadron (USAFE)

"Squids" 

613 TFS "Squids" (USAFE)
Status:
Disbanded
Version: F-16C/D block 30 (big mouth)
Role:Air Defense, Attack
Tailband: Yellow & Black (checkerboard)
Motto: N/A
Badge: N/A
Disbanded on June 28th, 1991.

Sideways profile for the 613th TFS in 1989.

F-16 History

All squadrons of the 401st TFW were equipped with the F-16 at merely the same time. Production of the block 15 version was at its peak and the USAF wanted all European tactical units to be converted – mostly from the F-4 – as soon as possible. In early 1983 the new jets started to arrive with both pilots and ground-crew getting acquainted very soon. The bright weather in Spain resulted in a very tight conversion scheme. In 1988 the decision was taken to re-equip the squadron with block 30 airframes. Yet again the learning curve was quite steep with the squadron reaching IOC already later that year.

The squadron’s role was conventional air-to-ground by day and night. Although F-16s of the squadron were seen carrying dummy B-61 bombs from time-to-time, indicating a possible strike role as well. However, the unit was never officially designated for that, nore Torrejon AB ever hosted any tactical nuclear weapons. It could be that the squadron was tasked with a nuclear TDY assignment elsewhere in Europe, but that has never been confirmed.

In 1988 the United States and Spain agreed on a new contract regarding the use of Torrejon AB. In that agreement it was stipulated that all fighter operations on Spanish soil would end by early 1991 and all fighter squadrons were either disbanded or moved elsewhere. This process was halted when the Iraqi crisis emerged during 1990. The squadron didn’t deploy during Desert Storm so was the first of the Torrejon squadrons to be disbanded on June 28th, 1991.


USAF F-16C block 30 #86-0369 of the 613th TFS seen in the static at the Mildenhall Air Fete in 1991. [Photo by Ed Groenendijk]

Aircraft Markings History

1983 - 1988

On top of the tail was a yellow and black checkered tailband. In the center the tailcode 'TR' (from Torrejon) with the serial underneath. Sometimes a solid yellow one was seen as well.

1988 - 1991

The general lay-out remained the same, but an eagle was added above the tailcode with the introduction of the C/D models and the squadron logo was added in the tailband.


Unit History

  • 1943: Activation of the squadron in Ephrata, Washington
  • 1943: B-17 'Flying Fortress' (part of 401 BG)
  • 1943: B-17 'Flying Fortress' (Geiger Field, Washington)
  • 1943: B-17 'Flying Fortress' (Great Falls AAB, Montana)
  • 1943: B-17 'Flying Fortress' (Deenethorpe [Eng.])
  • 1945: B-17 'Flying Fortress' (Sioux Falls AAF, South Dakota)
  • 1945: Disbanded
  • 1947: Activation of the squadron in Brooks, Texas
  • 1947: No aircraft assigned (part of 401 BG)
  • 1949: Disbanded
  • 1954: Activation of the squadron in Alexandria, Louisiana
  • 1954: F-86 'Sabre' (part of 401 FBG)
  • 1955: F-84 'Thunderjet'
  • 1957: F-100D/F 'Super Sabre' (part of 401 FBW)
  • 1958: F-100D/F 'Super Sabre' (part of 401 TFW)
  • 1966: F-100D/F 'Super Sabre' (Torrejon AB [Sp.])
  • 1971: F-4E 'Phantom II'
  • 1973: F-4C 'Phantom II'
  • 1978: F-4D 'Phantom II'
  • 1983: F-16A/B 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 1988: F-16C/D 'Fighting Falcon'
  • 1991: Disbanded

F-16 Airframe Inventory

Photos

Errors and Omissions



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