Skip to main content

Jagdbomber Geschwader 43/1

Armed Force
image/svg+xml
Luftwaffe
 (GAF)
Membership status
Disbanded Member
Member since
1962
Member untill
1992
Silver Tiger Tropy Wins
CFB Baden-Söllingen
, DEU
BA6 Montijo
, PRT
Hosted Tiger Meets
RAF Upper Heyford
, GBR
History

The History of Staffel 43/1 starts in November 1959 at Leck AB, when Jagdgeschwader (JG) 72 was formed. It is thought that the first C.O. of the 2nd staffel (Staffel 722) Capt. Gratz pushed for a fox as the squadron's symbol in memory of his old WWII squadron, so when a local artist went to work on the new crest, he went into the forest an dug out 3 foxes. When the new crest, and one young fox where presented to the squadron, and guest, the little fox got so excited, it pissed all over the C.O.'s uniform! The new crest depicted the fox as much more aggressive and belligerent than is true for a fox's gentle nature.

Meanwhile in 1961 the first Tiger Meet had occurred in Woodbridge (UK), The request from 79TFS for all NATO Tiger Squadrons to join them for the 1962 meet was also received by the 722 Staffel. The young pilots discussed this Tiger business more and more, and decided, since their fox looked aggressive enough, even tiger-like, to go for it. Hoping that HQ would be so busy with all kinds of paperwork, to not notice that they where not a tiger squadron. Unfortunately somebody did notice, but the pilots had made it a sport to get approval, and reacted to the HQ report, with the information that their Crest showed a mysterious "Bavarian Tiger" or "Wolpertinger", furthermore they added a line that would become their famous motto: "Believe it or not, this is a tiger". Due to the loss of paperwork somewhere along the command chain, It was impossible to prepare the necessary ground crew to participate in the planned life firing exercise, so they decided to send 4 F-86 Sabre 6  aircraft in the Air intercept role, and participate in the air parade.

Gradually the Sabre time came to an end. In 1964 JG72 moved to Oldenburg, and their role changed from Air-to-Air to Air-To-Ground and Tactical Reconnaissance . There was some resistance to this conversion, the role of A2A Pilot was higher respected in the German Air Force at that time than that of the "mud mover". JG72 was also renamed to "Leichtes Kampfgeschwader 43" (Light Attack Wing), and finally ended up as Jagdbombergeschwader JaBoG 43 (Fighter Bomber Wing), and the 2nd squadron became the first, and visa-versa. In 1966 they finally retired the Sabre, and the G.91 Gina was introduced. This transition was a serious blow for the wing, as they where no longer able to compete with systems like the F-100, F-104, and later the F-4. In 1980 the story repeated itself, when the G.91's where transferred to the Portugees AF, and the Alpha-Jet was introduced. Even flying what they considered inferior jets, they managed to impress their fellow tigers with their flying skills. In 1992 The German Air Force was scaling down after the melt down of the Cold War, and the JaBoG 43 was disbanded.