b'United States Air ForceThunderbirdsThunderbirds Historyhttp://afthunderbirds.com/siteIn 1947, while the jet age was still in itsU.S Air Force Photosinfancy, military aviation was hurtled into the future with the creation of the U.S. Air Force as aSgt. Earl Young, selected 21 enlisted men toseparate service. Just six years later, on May 25,help maintain the teams aircraft. Captain Bill 1953, the Air Forces official air demonstrationBrock was the final officer selected for theteam, designated the 3600th Air Demonstrationteam. He served as the information officer and Unit, was activated at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz.team narrator.The unit adopted the name Thunderbirds,From these humble beginnings and this group influenced in part by the strong Native Americanof men, the Air Force Thunderbird legend was culture and folklore from the southwestern Unitedborn.States where Luke Air Force Base is located. The team flew and maintained the F-84GSeven officers and 22 enlisted were selectedThunderjet. The straight-wing configurationfor the first demonstration team. Major Dickof the F-84G was considered well suited forCatledge, a training squadron commander ataerobatic and demonstration maneuvers,Luke AFB, was chosen as the teams leader. Twinsthough the aircraft could not exceed theBill and Buck Pattillo were selected and flew thespeed of sound. A series of formationleft and right wing, respectively. The Pattillos,aerobatics, lasting a total of 15 minutes,both captains, were ideal choices as both hadcomprised the original demonstration. flown with a demonstration team for the previ- The solo was not originally incorporatedous three years. For the difficult position of slot,into the demonstration, however, as the season the position sandwiched between both wing- progressed, the team took opportunities tomen and behind the leader, Capt. Bob Kanagaperform solo maneuvers with a spare aircraft.was selected. The spare pilot was Capt. BobAlways trying to display the most advanced McCormick. Like the Pattillo brothers, he also hadfighters of the age, the swept-wing F-84F demonstration team experience. First LieutenantThunderstreak became the teams new aircraftAubry Brown served as the maintenance officer forin 1955.the team. Lieutenant Brown, along with Master.continued on page 12Thank You For Your Service Military Appreciation Resource Magizine 11'