"Aces of The Eighth" by Jack Fellows

Aircraft Flown

World War II
P-39 Airacobra: 1942-1943
P-400 Airacobra (1): 1942-1943
P-38D-H, & J Lightning (2): 1943-1945

Between The Wars (BTW):
P-5lD Mustang (3): 1947-1950

Korean War:
F-80C Shooting Star (4): 1950-1953
F-86F Sabre (5): 1953-1957

F-84G (6) Thunderjet “Hog”: 1954-1956
F-100D/F Super Sabre: 1956-1963

F-105 Thunderchief “Thud”: 1963-1968
F-4C Wild Weasel Phantom II: 1968-1971

F-4D Phantom II: 1971-1981
F-16A, B, C,& D Fighting Falcon: 1981-Present

Note 1: The P-400 was an export version of the P-39, originally built for the British. Among other differences, the P-400 had a less-powerful engine and a 20 millimeter cannon instead of the 37 millimeter cannon used in the P-39. Surprisingly, the P-400, although slower than the P-39, was actually preferred by pilots because its cannon was more reliable. As World War II began, the 35th Pursuit Group was equipped exclusively with P-400s and the 8th Pursuit Group was equipped exclusively with P-39s. However, as the war progressed, the two types became intermixed so each group ended up with both P-400s and P-39s.

Note 2: There were two major types of P-38 that we flew, the P-38D-H models, and the later improved “Bearded” (because of the larger under-engine radiators) P-38J model which was up-engined and equipped with hydraulic actuators for the control surfaces which increased its speed and maneuverability.

Note 3: After 1948, the Air Force changed the designation from “P” for pursuit to “F” for fighter, so after 1948 the P-51 Mustang was designated as the F-51.

Note 4: The 80th’s sister squadrons, the 35th and 36th converted back to the F-51 Mustang when parts began to become scarce for the new F-80s. The 80th continued to fly the F-80 in the ground support role using the F-80’s superior speed and carrying capacity.

Note 5: Even though the F-86Fs that the entire 8th Fighter Bomber Wing was re-equipped with were superior in every way to the Mig-15, the wing continued its ground support role.

Note 6: The F-84F was the swept-wing version of the F-84. It was more or less mechanically identical to the F-84G, except the F model had 30 degree swept wings and therefore dramatically increased top-end speed and maneuverability.


  1. A correction to the information about the assignment of aircraft flown from the different locations for the 80th TFS. At Itazuki during 1956-60 the 80 TFS flew a mixture of F-84s,F- 86s, and F-100s. Itazuki turned into a transition base between the wars for the 80th TFS, and multiple aircraft were shuttled through the base. There seemed to be always something different sitting on the ramp, not always assigned to the squadron, but something different for the 80th pilots to look at. I remember seeing the F-100 Thunderbirds fly in for a special occasion once. Dad was even invited to transfer and fly lead for them, but turned down the opportunity. Asked why, and he simply stated that they didn’t carry guns. A few new F-104s also came through while I was there. Dangerous plane to fly, but she sure could go fast. Also, you probably need to address Brady Air Station, which was only 7 miles away from Itazuki and was used multiple times as an alternate landing strip, or crash site for the 80th.

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