German air force pilots visit Luke

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Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Leala Marquez
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Brig. Gen. Todd Canterbury, 56th Fighter Wing commander, shows his display tail flashes to retired German air force pilots who were part of the Cactus Starfighter Squadron based at Luke from 1958 to 1983. While visiting Luke Air Force Base, Ariz, Oct. 18, 2019, members of the GAF met with Canterbury, toured the base, met with members of the 310th Fighter Squadron and shared the history of the program.
 

Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Leala Marquez

Brig. Gen. Todd D. Canterbury, 56th Fighter Wing commander, speaks to retired German air force Maj. Gen. Hans Juergen Merkle, former commander of the Cactus Starfighter Squadron, Oct. 18, 2019, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Members of the German air force visited Luke 36 years after the last F-104 Starfighter departed from the base in 1983 for a tour and reunion with the American members of the Cactus Starfighter Squadron who were instructors for the program.
 
Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Leala Marquez

Retired German air force Maj. Gen. Hans Juergen Merkle, former commander of the Cactus Starfighter Squadron, gives Lt. Col. Donald Davenport, 310th Fighter Squadron director of operations, a Cactus Starfighter Squadron patch Oct. 18, 2019, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. Former German air force pilots from the Cactus Starfighter Squadron, which was stationed at Luke from 1958 to 1983 and trained more than 2,500 German pilots, met with 310th FS pilots to share the squadron’s history and alliance with the German air force.
 
Air Force photograph by Airman 1st Class Leala Marquez

Retired German air force Maj. Gen. Hans Juergen Merkle, former commander of the Cactus Starfighter Squadron, shares the history of the Cactus Starfighter Squadron with members of the 310th Fighter Squadron, Oct. 18, 2019, at Luke Air Force Base, Ariz. In 1958, German air force pilots trained to fly the F-104 Starfighter and F-84 Thunderjet at Luke AFB; more than 2,500 pilots earned their wings when the program ended in 1983.

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