04/10/12 — 4th Wing planning day of sorties

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4th Wing planning day of sorties

By From staff reports
Published in News on April 10, 2012 1:46 PM

Seymour Johnson Air Force Base's 4th Fighter Wing will pay homage to World War II history at 11 a.m. Monday, launching 70 F-15E Strike Eagles in a training mission to destroy more than 1,000 targets on bombing ranges across the state.

On April 16, 1945, during World War II, the 4th Fighter Group destroyed 105 enemy aircraft as part of an 8th Air Force mission involving 1,252 bombers and 913 fighters. By the end of the mission, the 4th Fighter Group had destroyed a total 1,016 enemy aircraft during the war -- more than any group or wing in U.S. Air Force history.

On the same day, nearly 70 years later, the 4th Fighter Wing will launch 70 aircraft to achieve the same objective. In 1945 it took thousands of aircraft to destroy 1,016 targets. On Monday, the 4th Fighter Wing will achieve the same goal with only 70 F-15Es. U.S. Air Force Col. Patrick Doherty, 4th Fighter Wing commander, will lead the launch.

The 4th Fighter Wing is home to four fighter squadrons, three of which were part of the original Eagle Squadrons, American volunteers who flew as part of the Royal Air Force in the early days of the war.

"We proudly carry on the legacy of the 4th Fighter Group's victory today with the F-15E Strike Eagle," Doherty said.