Crew Chief Profiles

  Sgt. William " Wild Bill" Eckberg

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Name Sgt. William Eckberg
Unit 388th Fighter Wing
Crewing F-16s from 1978 until 1980
Contact f4dj79 Send me a private message
1975 reported to Hill AFB Ut, 388th TAC Fighter Squadron. I did not even ask for it and did not know where it was. Fresh out of tech school at Witcha Falls Tx Sheppard AFB. We got four thrashed F4-Ds straight from Udorn Tailand. These jets had pieces missing and holes all over the airplanes. My trainer chief Sgt. Barnes told me that was normal for these pigs. It took a year to get the jets up to ORI ready status. My jets were 65-712, 65-717 and 66-228 these jets later became the squadron commanders jets. I spent two more years on these pigs until the F-16 came to Hill top. I got to crew 68-002, 68-011 and FA-03 these jets flew great for a couple of months then the sit hit the fan. Wiring, engines and fuel system troubles, GD had a permenant crew at Hill to fix all the troubles. I can remember traveling out to Wendover to fix several jets. Anyone who has ever worked on these piles of junk can a test to the first block jets being big trouble and headaches.

Current or Favourite assignment

I got to serve with the all four squadrons at Hill ABF with the last one being the 16th training squadron.


I got to Red flag twice with F4-D and F-16A
I also got to visit the Happy Holigans North Dakota ANG at Fargo ND

My Jets & Assignments

80002 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 388th Fighter Wing [Unit History]
Period 1978 - 1979
Current: 78002   F-16A Block 1 [ i/a]
This jet broke down a lot!!!!!
FA-03 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 16th Weapons Squadron "Tomahawks" [Unit History]
Period 1979 - 1980
Current: FA-03   F-16A Block 1 [ i/a]
This was the first Belgian F-16 at Hill AFB, I got to help train Belgian crew chief and pilots during the jets stay at Hill AFB. This was one of the better F-16A model jets it stayed in the air. As I remember it never failed in the air. However it did get caught up in the IFR door light problem. When IFR door is open the wing tanks would not tranfer on early block models. The door did not have a idiot light to tell the pilots it was open. Hill had one pile in at the end of the runway because of this. Very shortly we install some wires, lights and software to cure this problem. I could go on but why everyone know the early malfunction, GD!!!
J-212 [Detailed history of this F-16]
Unit 388th Fighter Wing [Unit History]
Period 1979 - 1980
Current: J-212   F-16A Block 1 [ scr]
This was the second Dutch F-16 that came to Hill AFB for training.
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