The Eagle and it’s history, today 86-0165 (F-15C). was delivered to the USAF in October 1988 and started operational flying with the 33 TFW at Eglin AFB, (I am still searching which squadron). In 1994, 165 changed sunny Florida for the United Kingdom and at arrived at RAF Lakenheath on February 18th to join the 493rd FS ‘Grim Reapers’
With the Grim Reapers , 165 would participate in many exercises and deploy frequently in support of Operation Southern Watch, Iceland Air Policing, Baltic Air Policing to name a few, but would make history while flying into combat during Operation Allied Force. On March 26th, 1999 Jeff “Claw” Hwang scored a double MiG kill. While flying 86-0156 he shot down two Serbian MiG-29’s.
With the 493rd FS transitioning to the F-35 in 2022, 0156 returned back to the U.S. On April 13rd. 86-0156 left RAF Lakenheath to join the Eagle School house at Klamath Falls training new Eagle Drivers with the ANG. She wouldn’t stay long in the ‘Land of No Slack’ and during 2022 transitioned to the 131 Fighter Squadron ‘Barnstormers’ (Massachusetts ANG). This would be the last operational assignment, but luckily the Air Force saw the historical value and didn’t retire 86-0156 to the Boneyard in Arizona,
On April 24th, 2023 Lt. Col. Matthew “Beast” Tanis flew 0165 from Barnes Air National Guard Base in Massachusetts to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright Field, in Dayton, OH. Were 86-0165 will be preserved and placed on display for many more years to come.