F-106 DELTA DART

F-106 Delta Dart 318 FIS

318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

'Green Dragons'

Hughes Achievement Trophy 1971 Korea TDY

Wing / Group(s) Assigned:


Air Division(s) Assigned:
25th Air Division

Location(s):
McChord AFB, WA

Dates Unit Was Active:

Mar 1960 - 1 Nov 1983

Alert Detachment’s:
Det 1, Castle AFB, CA
Det 1, Kingsley Field, OR
Det 1, Walla Walla CCA WA

Number of Aircraft:
72

Number of Aircraft Loses:

5 Lost

Assigned Assigned

The 318th FIS was activated in May 1947 at Mitchell Field. In December 1947 it was transferred to Hamilton Field where it received its first aircraft, P-61s. In the spring of 1948 the squadron received P-82s and in November 1948 moved to McChord AFB. In the fall of 1950 the squadron transitioned into F-94As. In June 1953 the squadron moved to Thule Air Base, Greenland; under control of the North East Air Command. The squadron came back under ADC in August 1954 when it was moved from Thule to Presque Isle AFB with F89D's. In August 1955 the squadron moved to McChord AFB and transitioned into F-86D's.

In March 1957 the squadron began a transition into F-102A's and three years later in March 1960 into F-106A's.

On November 1, 1983 McChord's 23 year association with the F-106 came to a close as the unit converted to F-15's.  The 318th's final flight was of 59–0141 to the Davis-Monthan “Boneyard” for storage.  59-0141 would later became the 134th F-106 to be converted to a full-scale target drone on June 21, 1991 as AD134, but lasted less than a year before meeting its ultimate fate with a direct hit by a Stinger Missile on November 6,1992.

In Sep 1983, prior to the 1 Nov 1983 final flight and disassociation of the F-106 with the 318 FIS, the 318 FIS Det 1 Alert Detachment (Det 1) at Castle AFB, CA continued to operate with F-106's under control of the 318th, but using aircraft and pilots from the 194 FIS, 144 FIG Fresno, CA.  The 318 FIS Alert Crew Chiefs, your webmaster here being one, and other F-106 technicians continued to operate the 318 FIS Det 1 F-106 Alert facility until official close-out and F-15 turn-over on 30 Dec 1983.  The final two 318 FIS Det 1 Alert Crew Chiefs on duty 30 Dec, 1983 were SSgt Larry Mogavero and yours truely webmaster SSgt Patrick McGee, who launched out the last F-106's from Castle AFB ending a long standing history of them with Castle.  F-106A 58-0774 was the last F-106 to operationally fly at Castle, launched out of Alert Bay #3 by your webmaster SSgt (at that time) Patrick McGee.

The 318th flew F-15's from 1983 until squadron inactivation 7 December 1989.

Winner Hughes Achievement Trophy 1975

Photo Galleries

Photo Galleries

McChord Air Museum

318th vs 498th Compass Rose

“Northstar” Tail Flash Saga by Ernie White

There has been a lot of talk over the years about the 318th FIS Compass Rose aka Northstar tail flash and whether it was ever also on 498th jets after moving to McChord. Initially many believed that during the time the 498th was co-located with the 318th FIS at McChord they had no tail flash. As such, any F-106 found with either an early version or later version of the 318th style tail flash, was in fact a 318th jet. This does not seem to be the case. During the transition from Geiger Field to McChord AFB, the 498th swapped out their "1957" model F-106 jets with the 456th FIS, gaining a majority of "1959" models. This was accomplished to ensure the 325th FW, the host wing at McChord AFB, had a more common fleet to assist in maintenance, training, and etc. After things "settled" down following the move, the fleet was, once again, (slightly) reshuffled with the 318th and 498th, swapping tails [aircraft] between the squadrons with a majority of the ex 456 FIS fleet being assigned to the 498 FIS. With this transition, some of the jets with the 318th Compass Rose tail flash ended up serving with the 498th, and some of the "new" Sixes served with the 318th. I would consider the tail flash one that was approved for both F-106 units as a Wing tail flash, although haven't seen the design used for the 325th’s T-33's. During this time, the 325 FW ‘shield’ was applied to the left side of the aircraft (replacing the 318ths Green Dragon emblem on their jets). I would consider this another indication that the Compass Rose was truly a Wing tail flash during this era. From what I understand, no squadron insignias were applied to any McChord jets, except for the Sixes from the 318th that participated in William Tell. They were the only F-106's that wore squadron emblems during that period. Further compelling evidence can be seen on F-106 photo's in this gallery of 590009, 590131 and 590140, all of which served ONLY with the 498th Gieger Tigers at McChord, but all sporting the Compass Rose and 590009 and 590131 also sporting the 325th FW shield on the tails.

McChord Air Museum

318 FIS Inactivation 1989

From the McChord Air Museum, 11 Dec 2020

This week 31 years ago, Dec 1989, the members of the 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron held their inactivation ceremony after 47 years of service with the Air Force, for today’s Friday Flashback we recognize this with a look back at a beginning and a end at the 318th FIS in the final years of the squadrons existence.

After visiting 1987 McChord last week, we will jump back in the time machine, spin the dials. After the smoke clears, we are still at McChord.
As you leave the machine, there is a roar overhead, as you look skyward, you spot two sleek delta winged fighters are escorting a twin tailed fighter. After that pass, the roaring returns, this time the roles have been reversed. You see that single twin tailed fighter, a F-15 Eagle, is now escorting two F-106 Delta Darts. Now you know what day it is, June 10, 1983 the day the 318th FIS received their first F-15 replacing the squadrons longtime mount – the F-106 Delta Dart.

In the associated picture, we see the first F-15, a “family model” s/n 76-0141 a few days after her arrival at McChord paving the way for 20 additional Eagles destined for McChord. Next to this aircraft, we see what will be the Squadrons last active F-106, s/n 59-0141 – another “141” paying homage to the hosts of the base the C-141 equipped 62 MAW)? If that though crossed your mind, reading the bold statement “PROTECTORS OF MAC” painted on the side of the squadrons alert barns will quickly kill that thought!

For the next few months more Eagle tails would appear on the ramps of McChord AFB as some of the “Starburst-less” F-106’s left the Base for the final time off for new assignments in the freezing climates of North Dakota, Michigan or New York. Other “Sixes”, designated for retirement, went the way of many seniors, off to the warm weather of Arizona.

On November 4, 1983, there was just one Six on the ramp, s/n 59-0141, this day would be her last at McChord after 17 years with the squadron. Every F-106 would be flown by a Green Dragon pilot, 141’s last flight was no different. This would also be the last day at the base for the man behind the controls, Lt. Col. Peter Bracci, at the end of this flight he would start a new assignment at Davis-Monthan, taking command of the alert detachment of one of the benefactors of the 318th F-15 conversion, the 5th FIS, the North Dakota based F-106 Squadron.

Similar to Lt Col Bracci, about two-thirds of the squadron, including the Commander, Lt Col Gamble, would leave to other assignments in the F-106s or other aircraft. These members would be replaced by trained F-15 personnel the remaining one-third of the would retrain into the F-15.
By the end of the day “141” was back among friends, in a group of 20 F-106’s stored in the boneyard taking a well-deserved rest.

DB Cooper

D.B. Cooper

The Skyjacking of Northwest 727-051 Flight 305

Codename: Norjak
Over the states of Washington & Oregon
November 24, 1971

Northwest Airlines flight 305, a Boeing 727-051, registered tail number N467US, departed Portland International Airport in Oregon, carrying 36 passengers, and 6 crew members, en route to Seattle, Washington, early on the afternoon of November 24th, 1971.  Just minutes into the flight, at 2:58 PM, a middle-aged man in seat 18E, wearing a black raincoat and loafers, a dark suit, white shirt, black necktie with a mother-of-pearl tie pin, and black sunglasses, and who had registered for the flight under the name, "Dan Cooper", handed stewardess Tina Mucklow a note for the captain that read: "I have a bomb in my briefcase. I will use it if necessary. I want you to sit next to me. You are being hijacked." He opened the case, and revealed to the stewardess a set of "red sticks", with a large battery and electric wires.

The rest of the story is in the history books, but noteworthy of this story is that a pair of F-106A's assigned to the 318th FIS, McChord AFB, WA were scrambled from their alert barn at McChord to follow the 727.  The Sixes were sitting alert at McChord, although the 318th pilots and personnel had stood-down to attend a Christmas party.  One of the pilots was Roy Keyt, who claimed himself to be a teetotaler, and when the alert horn went off was immediately 'selected' to be one of the pilots from the Christmas party to launch, while they tried to find the next least inebriated participant in the dining in to be his wingman. Doug Barbier, who knew Roy and got the story from him, got the impression from him while hearing his story that the unit had been allowed to stand down from alert for the evening with the alert birds were in place, but all the pilots had been released to attend the dining in. So, the Sixes scrambled and flew about two miles behind the 727, keeping it within sight, but the Six pilots never saw anything drop from the 727 -  in reference to the claim DB Cooper bailed out of the rear exit of the 727.  The F-106 pilot names are not known, although we wish they were.

318 FIS

Osan AB, Republic of Korea, 22 Mar-Dec 1968

The 318th FIS deployed for this mission arriving in Korea on 22 Mar 1968 as the first unit to deploy for this mission, and remained until Dec 1969. The 318th was the first F-106 unit to deploy to Korea.