We use the designation of “BTW” to refer to two different time periods in our Squadron’s History–between WWII and Korea (1945 to 1950) and between Korea and Vietnam (1953 to 1963). A third period, after Vietnam ended in 1975 to the present, is not referred to as BTW. We are known here as the “Juvats.”
WWII to Korea (from 1945 to 1950)
On 26 Dec 1945, as part of the massive draw-down of American forces following World War II, the 80th Fighter Squadron was deactivated. The squadron remained inactive until 20 February 1947, when it was once again activated and assigned to the newly reformed 8th Fighter Group, which had moved to Itazuke, Japan. The 8th Fighter Group was again composed of the 35th, 36th, and 80th Fighter Squadrons and had converted from the P-38 to the F-51D Mustang. 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. In August 1948, the 8th Fighter Wing was formed and activated, and the 8th Fighter Group and its three flying squadrons were assigned under the new wing. A few months later, the squadron moved to Ashiya, Japan, and in March 1949 returned to Itazuke. The 80th began to transition to its first jet aircraft in 1949, trading its Mustangs for the F-80 Shooting Star. The F-80 was the first operational American jet fighter. The conversion to F-80s was completed in 1950, and the squadron designation changed to the 80th Fighter-Bomber Squadron on 20 January 1950.
Korea to Vietnam (from 1953 to 1963)
About a year after the Korean War ended, the 80th moved from Suwon, Korea to Kadena, Okinawa on 21 October 1954. The move attached the squadron to Twentieth Air Force, although still officially assigned to the 8th Fighter-Bomber Group. While at Kadena, the 80th converted to the F-84 Thunderjet. After this attachment ended on 7 August 1956, the “Headhunters” rejoined the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing, which had again moved to Itazuke. Here the squadron began flying the F-100 Super Sabre. During this time the squadron designation changed again, with a 1 July 1958 redesignation as the 80th Tactical Fighter Squadron.