Cold War A-10s: Bentwaters and Woodbridge Tankbusters

In the June, 2015 issue of Aviation News, Doug Gordon looked back at the A-10 Thunderbolt IIs and pilots attached to the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing at RAF Bentwaters and Woodbridge during the Cold War.

The story of the A-10 in the United Kingdom began in August 1978 when three Fairchild Republic A-10A Thunderbolt IIs arrived at RAF Bentwaters in Suffolk, assigned to the 81st Tactical Fighter Wing for maintenance training.  The following January, some 15 A-10As landed at a snow-covered Bentwaters on the 25th, the first aircraft assigned to the 92nd Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) of the 81st TFW – which also occupied nearby RAF Woodbridge.  The 81st was destined to become the largest fighter wings in the USAF, eventually comprising six squadrons: the 78th TFS, 91st TFS, 92nd TFS, 509th TFS, 510th TFS and 511th TFS.

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