FOURTH BUT FIRST

While the US Air Force was celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2017, the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB in was marking its 75th. As the USAF’s largest F-15E Strike Eagle wing, it’s a unit that never stands still.

A three-ship of JDAM-toting F-15Es from the 4th Fighter Wing flies over Roanoke Island, near the Outer Banks, North Carolina, during a mission from Seymour Johnson AFB.
report and photos: James Deboer

AMERICAN VOLUNTEER PILOTS who stepped forward in 1940 to fly alongside the Royal Air Force in World War Two were at the heart of the United States Army Air Forces’ 4th Fighter Group as the US formally joined the European campaign in September 1942. It marked the birth of one of the most distinguished US military units, and one that continues to lead from the front in the modern US Air Force.

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