Tiger Unit Data
The Aufklärungsgeschwader 52 (Reconnaissance wing 52) was founded at Erding in 1959. The first aircraft type to equip the unit was the RF-84F Thunderflash. Still flying this aircraft, the unit moved from Southern Erding to Eggebek in the Schleswig-Holstein province in the North. After operating there for approximately four years another moves follows; from Eggebek to nearby Leck in 1964.
The same year sees the introduction of the RF-104G Starfighter to replace the F-84 Thunderflash. The panther depicted in the squadron badge grants the unit access to the NATO Tiger Meet organisation and the units hosts its first Tiger Meet in 1967.
The unit’s 'codes', until the German Air Force changed to specific serials on their aircraft, were all in the EA-range (EA+101 etc.).
The smoking and howling F-104s make room for another smoker, the RF-4E Phantom from 1971. The Geschwader receives about half of the 88 RF-4Es the Luftwaffe ordered to fulfil the recce-needs. In 1975 the unit hosts its second Tiger Meet and flies its 150.000th flying hour in 1976. This is followed by its 200.000th hour in 1982 and the third Tiger Meet in 1984 (coinciding with the celebration of its 25th birthday).
The changing world and development of alternatives to photo reconnaissance led to the decision, in the early nineties, to disband the unit. The unit was eventually disbanded on 1 January 2004 (??) and its traditions and unit markings were passed on to AG51 at Schleswig-Jagel. A small change was that the batch reflected '51' from then on instead of '52'.