US Air Force - ACC F-16s

Lt. Col. Gary North the 33rd FS commander; SSgt. Roy Murray, crew chief; SA Steven Ely, assistant crew chief, pose with the F-16D #90-0778 which Lt. Col. North was flying when he shot down an Iraqi MiG-25 over the "No Fly Zone" on December 27th, 1992 during Operation Desert Storm. Lt. Col. North is the only U.S. F-16 pilot to have shot down a MiG. Mounted on the wing tips are the AIM-120A advanced medium-range air-to-air missiles. Location of this photo is at Shaw AFB on April 1st, 1993. [USAF photo by A1C Robert Trubia]


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  • Aircraft Database: F-16 #90778

    The only F-16 to shoot down a MiG-25. The MiG-25 kill marking was placed on the left side just below the canopy frame to mark that kill of December 27, 1992. At the time of the kill the aircraft was part of the 19th FS but on loan to the 33rd FS. Gary North, the commander of the 33rd FS and the pilot on that day had the authority to have the aircraft transfered to the 33rd FS after returning from the deployment. Crew Chief Roy Murray launched the aircraft that day: "On 27 Dec 1992 I launched "Benji 41" for a combat mission from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The only reason for it flying the combat mission (4 Hours) that day was to take flying hours off it so it could go in for a phase inspection. Most of its flight time during Operation Southern Watch was (FAM) rides for in coming pilots and VIP's, being the only D model. The canopy was so bad that Lt. Col North (at that time) stated "it was like landing with a paper bag on your head. HA! The family bus still got the job done that day. I also remember a reporter asking Lt. Col North why he did not use the cheaper missile, his come back was great; he stated if you were in a fight and had a knife and a gun, which one would you use. We painted the star and a blue tail on it while it was in phase, because it was on loan from the 19th FS at the time, then it became a 33rd FS aircraft. I stayed as the Crew Chief of 778 when we returned to Shaw, AFB and then transferred out with it to Luke AFB, AZ. I took my retirement flight in 90-0778 and launched Gen. North one more time when he came through Luke. I do miss those days!

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