Hobby Master HA1308 USAF Fairchild A-10A Thunderbolt II Ground Attack Aircraft - 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, England AFB, Louisiana, 1990 (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The A-10 and OA-10 Thunderbolt IIs are the first Air Force aircraft designed specifically for close air support of ground forces. They are simple, effective, and highly survivable twin-engine jet aircraft that can be used against all ground targets, especially tanks and other armored vehicles. The first production A-10A was delivered to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, AZ., in October 1975.
The aircraft can carry a wide variety of ordnance under its wings and nose, loiter on-station for long periods of time, and fly over a wide combat radius, making it an ideal warrior on today's battlefield. In the Gulf War, A-10s, with a mission capable rate of 95.7 percent, flew 8,100 sorties and launched 90 percent of the AGM-65 Maverick missiles used in-country.
This particular 1:72 scale replica of an A-10A Warthog was attached to the 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, then deployed to England AFB, Louisiana, during 1990.
Release Date: December 2008
Historical Account: "Flying Tigers" - The 23d Tactical Fighter Wing moved "on paper" without people or equipment to England Air Force Base, Louisiana, July 1st, 1972 and took over the assets and personnel of the 4403d Tactical Fighter Wing. Assigned to the Ninth Air Force, the wing activated all three of its original World War II fighter units - the 74th, 75th and 76th Tactical Fighter Squadrons for the first time since 1949, and began operations with the Ling-Temco-Vought A-7D Corsair II aircraft.
Squadron markings were a blue tail stripe, later adding white stars and a "74" in 1979 for the 74 TFS; s white outlined black tail stripe, later changed to black and white checkered for the 75 TFS, and a red tail stripe with white stars and a "76" for the 76 TFS. All 23 TFW aircraft carried the "EL" tail code at England AFB.
On July 5th, 1973, the 74 TFS deployed to Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, Thailand, on temporary duty with the 354 TFW (Deployed) from Myrlte Beach AFB South Carolina. The 74th replaced the 354 TFS from Davis-Monthan AFB Arizona that had completed its temporary duty. For just over a month, until the cessation of all U.S. bombing on August 15th, 1973, the 74 TFS supported the air war activities in Cambodia, accounting for the destruction of 311 enemy structures, 25 ground artillery and missile sites, three bridges and 9,500 cubic meters of supplies. The 74 TFS returned to England AFB on December 28th, 1973.
The 23 TFW took part in a variety of operational exercises both in the United States and overseas, including tactical bombing competitions against the Royal Air Force at Lossiemouth, Scotland, during October 1977 and July 1978. In both events, A-7D teams captured the Sir John Mogg Team Trophy.
On September 23rd, 1980, the 74 TFS received the 23 TFW's first operational Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. The 75 and 76 TFS received A-10s within the next few months, and the 23 TFW took top honors in Ninth Air Force's tactical bombing competition (Gunpowder 1981) in July, and advanced to TAC's worldwide Gunsmoke 1981 competition at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, in September. The Flying Tigers won six of nine events, including top maintenance and munitions awards, and was the top A-10 unit in the competition. The wing's maintenance complex was also awarded the 1981 Daedalian runner-up trophy, and earned the 1984 Daedalian Aircraft Maintenance Trophy.
Eight of the 23d's A-7Ds were transferred to the 4450th Tactical Group, based at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada in June 1981, during the transition to the A-10. The 4451st Tactical Squadron at Tonopah Test Range Airport used these aircraft to train F-117 pilots and to provide a cover story for F-117A development.