F-106 Delta Dart 498 FIS

498th Fighter Interceptor Squadron

'Geiger Tigers'

Wing / Group(s) Assigned:
84th Fighter Group

Air Division(s) Assigned:
25th Air Division

Geiger Field, Spokane
McChord AFB, Tacoma
Paine Field, WA
Hamilton AFB, CA

Dates Unit Was Active:

29 July 1963 - 14 Jun 1966
14 Jun 1966 - 30 Sep 1968

Alert Detachment’s:

Number of Aircraft:

Number of Aircraft Loses:

8 Lost

Assigned Aircraft

The 498th FIS was activated in August 1955 at Geiger Field with F-86D aircraft. In February 1957 it transitioned into F-102As and in May 1959 into F-l06As. It was ADC's first operational F-106A squadron. In July 1963 the squadron moved to McChord AFB followed by moves to Paine Field in June 1966 and Hamilton AFB in September 1968 where it was deactivated on 30 September 1968.

The 498th FIS at three locations: Geiger Field WA 29 May 1959-01 July 63. (Geiger Field was renamed Spokane IAP on 05 May 60), McChord AFB WA (dual squadron with 318th FIS) 01 July 63-14 Jun 66 after a swap-out of F-106s with the 456th FIS from Castle AFB CA and Paine Field WA 14 Jun 66-30 Sep 68

On 30 Sep 68 the 498th was deactivated and redesignated the 84th FIS at Hamilton AFB CA. F-106s were assigned to the 498th FIS. The 498th FIS operated from three locations during its F-106 history. First was from Geiger Field WA from 29 May 1959 to 01 July 63. (Geiger Field was renamed Spokane IAP on 05 May 60). Second was from McChord AFB WA (dual squadron with 318th FIS) from 01 July 63 to 14 Jun 66 after a swap-out of F-106s with the 456th FIS from Castle AFB CA. Third was from Paine Field WA from 14 Jun 66 to 30 Sep 68. On 30 Sep 68, the 498th was discontinued and redesignated the 84th FIS at Hamilton AFB CA.

About the Tail Flash
29 Nov 2013 by one of the F-106 Forum Members, who's dad, Denney Narog, flew with the 498th when they were co-located at McChord with the 318th in the 1964-1965 time frame. He took many photos of the ramp at McChord where both squadrons are captured, as well as some in flight photos around Mt. Rainier. Included in his collection are his last formation flight where he is in the lot position.

So, with all the photo evidence I have, the 498th had no tail flashes while at McChord. The 318th had their early polar star flash-the one that is similar to their final design-but much slimmer. He asked his dad why they (498th) had no tail flashes but he didn't recall the reason. Before the 498th moved to McChord from Geiger field in Spokane, they had a large Geiger Tiger on the tail.

After the 498th moved from McChord to Paine Field, they did get new tail art which consisted of a red, white and blue lightening bolt flash with a small Geiger Tiger above on the left side. You might recall this configuration is what the 84th had. That's because the 84th used the same flash but replaced the Geiger Tiger with their black panther when the 498th was inactivated and their planes turned over to the 84th.

More about the 318th vs. 498th Compass Rose “Northstar” Tail Flash Saga [by Ernie White (Edit by Pat McGee)]

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.