On 15 February, 1971, the 80th moved from Yokota AB to Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea, and was temporarily assigned to Det 1, 475th TFW. After a few months, the 80th was in the process of being deactivated. Fortunately, former “Headhunter” Lt Gen Jay T. Robbins, who was Vice Commander of TAC at the time, caught the action and rescued us at the last minute. Instead, we were re-staffed with new personnel, primarily from the 391st Tactical Fighter Squadron. The 391st Tactical Fighter Squadron’s insignia was a tiger’s head on an inverted triangular green background. Below the patch, on a rocker, was the 391st motto “AUDENTES FORTUNA JUVAT” which translates from the Latin: “Fortune Favors the Bold”. This motto subsequently became the new “Headhunters” motto. As the new “Headhunters” were removing their old 391st patches, they would grasp the triangular patch by the upper left hand corner to tear them off. All would tear off except the word “JUVAT”. It caught on immediately. The harder the higher echelons attempted to stamp it out, the more entrenched it became (to the point of covering the Wing Commander’s flight suit with “JUVAT” patches each time he hung a flight suit on the line to dry!).
The motto has also been adopted by the Squadron, with very common usage.
We also mentioned that Sol Harp was the first JUVAT! Seeing that Sol was there at the time, here are more details from him of that beginning:
“The 80th TFS was the first fighter squadron formed under the 3rd TFW at Kunsan Air Base, Korea during March 1971. The aircraft came from the deactivated 475th TFW at Misawa (Japan) and the personnel primarily from the 391st TFS of the 475th TFW. Lt Col Bill Driver, Commander of the 391st TFS, was the first 80th TACTICAL Fighter Squadron Commander.
Lt Col “Curly” Reeder was the 80th TFS Commander during May of 1971 before I (Sol Harp) became the Commander in June 1971. One day, Lt Jeff Feinstein (an Ace of the Vietnam War) came to my office with the JUVAT patch and requested the patch be sewn on the flight suit sleeve of an aircrew member of the Squadron who had excelled in his flying duties. I asked Jeff the meaning of JUVAT and where it came from. He gave me a paper with four meanings of “AUDENTES FORTUNA JUVAT” which translates from the Latin “Fortune Favors the Bold.” (A copy of the original paper was included with Sol’s letter showing the first person to use that motto was Virgil [70 – 19 BC])!! I approved Jeff’s request, and the patch was sewn on an aircrew member’s flight suit without his knowledge. Incidentally, I was the first JUVAT Squadron Commander!”
On 16 September 1974, the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing replaced the 3 TFW at Kunsan, reuniting the “Headhunters” with the “Wolf Pack.”
In September of 1981 the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing became the first unit stationed overseas to convert to the F-16 Fighting Falcon. On 3 February, 1992, the 80th Tactical Fighter Squadron was redesignated the 80th Fighter Squadron and reassigned to the new 8th Operations Group (a direct descendant of our original 8th Pursuit Group). The 80th Fighter Squadron continues to support the United States Contingent in Korea with the same pride and excellence instilled by the “Headhunters” of the past. In demonstration of this, we proudly bear the name given to us by “Porky” Cragg in 1943, wear a patch very similar to the one designed for us by Yale Saffro, and use some of the Flight-Lead call-signs (“Chevy,” “Olds,” and “Buick”) dating back to World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.