Fortunately, after several years of patience and hard work by Lt Col Dana Duthie, Maj Richard M. “Woody” Woodward, and Yale Saffro, plus several pounds (literally) of paperwork, we were finally able to convince the Air Force Heraldry Division that the original “Headhunter” patch design should not be changed. Our Unit patch is now the only official patch in the United States Air Force without any unit designation markings–something our active Squadron is very proud of, and it is captured in our Squadron song “Twin Tail Lightning” .“They were known, not as a number, but as a name, denoting fear….”
About 1992-1993, these subdued patches were toned down even more to conform with USAF subdued patch policy. The actual BDU patch was completely Black and OD, with no brown border. They didn’t have Velcro backing, because they were sewn directly on the BDUs.
Today we are once again called the 80th Fighter Squadron (and stationed under a direct descendant of our original 8th Pursuit Group), we once again proudly bear the name given to us by Capt Edward “Porky” Cragg in 1943, and we once again wear patches very similar to the original “Headhunter” patch designed by Yale Saffro during the fierce fighting in WWII.
Note to the PC Police: With this patch we proudly remember our “friends down in the jungle”. They rescued many of our P-38 “Lightning” pilots, who’d been shot down, saving them from being murdered by members of the Imperial Japanese Army had they been caught. Notice the blue aviator goggles. The green flash represents colors used on the tail and prop spinner of our P-38’s. The symbolic broken bones are a statement that no one should underestimate the fierceness of the native peoples of New Guinea.
These native peoples were our friends and comrades-in-arms. Bless them all!