Photos – Spangdahlem AB, Germany – 2010 (Set One Hundred Nine – The 480th Fighter Squadron “Great Warhawk Nation” Rises Again

The 480th Fighter Squadron (FS) was activated again on Friday, August 13, 2010 – and the, “Great Warhawk Nation” rose again to continue the proud tradition of excellence  and honor of the Warhawks; in memory of Captain Lance P. Sijan, Medal of Honor Recipient during the Vietnam War, and in the great spirit and tradition of American fighter history from 1916 to the present day:  “From Escadrille to Warhawks.”

– “Encyclopedia – Lafayette Escadrille”

– “Wikipedia – Lance Sijan”

Here are the links to Friday’s activation ceremony of the 480th FS, “Great Warhawk Nation:”

– “480th activated as Spangdahlem’s newest F-16 squadron”

– “Dedicated Crew Chief Ceremony recognizes some of Spangdahlem’s F-16 experts”

From out of the storied past of the greatest American fighter spirit and tradition – the 480th FS, “Great Warhawk Nation” has been reborn;  and in marking this historic occasion I’ve selected 48 photos from the proud Warhawk past:  three from during the Vietnam War and the rest from the early to mid 1980s.  Welcome to the – “Great Warhawk Nation!”


14 thoughts on “Photos – Spangdahlem AB, Germany – 2010 (Set One Hundred Nine – The 480th Fighter Squadron “Great Warhawk Nation” Rises Again

  1. I was in the 526 AMU at Ramstein from May 1983 to May 1986 as a comm-nav avionics specialist. I spent a few TDYs to Zaragoza as well as Decimommannu AB, Italy. I really enjoyed looking at all the photos you’ve posted, especially the photos of the jets. I miss working on the great F-4E. I have always had a strong interest in military aircraft, and took thousands of photos of military aircraft during my ten years in the USAF. Unfortunately I rarely saw any 480th Phantoms, but I did shoot most of the 81st and 23rd jets at Zaragoza and Ramstein. I’d be pleased to share them with you if you’re interested.
    Thanks for taking the time to put all your photos online, they brought back a lot of great memories.

    • Scott,

      Thanks for stopping by and checking in! The ’80s were the best time to be assigned to USAFE – the DM exchange rate was good and both the Command and NATO were robust – with fighter wings at every air base on the continent it seemed. We all helped bring peace to hundreds of millions of people in Eastern and Western Europe through ending the Cold War, and we were appreciated by all those who love freedom and democracy! All-in-all it was a turbulent time in history, with one of the happiest endings mankind has ever known when the wall came down – peace for a continent without firing a shot in anger! 🙂

      My goal in making my photos available to everyone, is an effort to preserve the small slice of history that I lived through and participated in. They were historic times, and those that participated in it should never be forgotten! I’d love to see your photos but I’m not equipped to receive them, I suggest you post them in your own WordPress blog – it takes only seconds to sign up – and then send me a link that I’ll post here! 🙂

      I’m glad you enjoyed your stroll down memory lane with me!



      • Hi again, Mark, I haven’t yet scanned all of my slides of Spangdahlem F-4s, but the ones I have scanned I put on PhotoBucket. I’ll put the link below, but in the meantime I have a favor to ask of you. I belong to several on-line forums for aircraft modelers. I like to help out when I can when guys have questions about modeling the F-4. I post photos to illustrate details. I have saved a number of your photos that would be great for this purpose, so I would like to ask your permission to post your photos credited to you and with a link to your site on these forums. If you decide later on I should not use your photos let me know and I’ll take them off the forums immediately. Thanks!
        Here’s the link to the photos of Spangdahlem F-4s I took at Ramstein and Zaragoza from 1983 to 1986, I hope you enjoy them:

  2. Scott,

    I enjoyed looking through your photos and strolling down memory lane! 🙂 I was in the 23rd TFS for three months before going down the street to the 480th TFS in the fall of 1983, so I flew many of those blue tail jets! Later in the Warhawks I flew both the F-4E and the F-4G, but was never MR (Mission Ready) in the F-4G because of a change in the upgrade qualifications procedures which required a TDY to the Weasel Schoolhouse at George AFB, CA, that I didn’t make. I did take the F-4G cross-country to Zaragoza AB and across the pond to Hill AFB, UT.

    You can post links to any of my pictures to any of your modeling forums, I’m glad to help out! 🙂 My aim is to preserve the memories and events of our time in USAFE to ensure our efforts back in the Cold War and beyond won’t be forgotten, which is what our pictures do. Thanks, Scott, for your service to our country and in protecting freedom around the world!



  3. Senior Airman George F. Moose Krauss – USAFE Spang Clinic and TE for the SPang Sheiks (#84) from1981-1982 and BITBURG BARONS WHO?! LOVED your articles and pictures! I was blessed to be at the 354th TFW at MBAFB (GO UGLYEARLY WARTHOGS) prior to being stationed at SPang… I met my FRAU Iris there from Dusseldorf and went on to retrain as a C-5 Galaxy loadmaster at the 436th Eagle Wing at DAFB from 1982-1997! God bless the WARHAWKS & WILD WEASELS sir and FREEDOM IS NOT FREE…. – George MOOSE Krauss, MSgt, USF DAV retired in Delaware

  4. George,

    Thanks for checking-in in with your USAFE and Spangdahlem AB memories! Thank you also for your service and for your kind comments! We both brought home German wives from our time spent in USAFE – as my wife is from the village of Bruch – on the low road to Wittlich. We’re also both fortunate to have retired from our days in the Air Force and I’m glad that my memories and photos allowed you to ‘stroll down memory lane!’

    Cheers, 🙂


    • Copy Direct sir and when Fraulein Iris realized my last name was Krauss I must admit it was advantageous! We lived in Duddledorf and Binsfield before getting PCS orders for DoverAFB… I loved TRIER and the Port Negra and especially the Spatlese wines… You’ve made a Gulf War DAV feel pretty ‘youthful’ and thanks again for your service in plugging up that Soviet Tank Gap during the Cold War… John 15:13 and God Bless THE BEST! – Moose

  5. George,

    We’re both from the same era and Gulf War Veterans – but we’re not as old as we look! lol 🙂

    I meant to include your email quote in my earlier reply, so here it is now: Luke 1:37 “For no word from God will ever fail.” as well as, John 15:13 “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

    Our favorite place to vacation in Germany was Bavaria and the Bavarian Alps! Oh, how we’d love to spend another couple of weeks in Garmisch & Munich! 🙂



  6. Hi Mark, I was on that Sculthorp-Zaragoza trip in ’84 as a WCS(radar) tech in the 480th AMU. Remember you as well as many of the pilots and WSO’s in your photos, have ran into a few over the years. Was in the 480th from ’82 to ’85, than went on to Moody, George(2nd time) and Nellis. I retired in ’96 after the last Phantoms went to AMARC, sad times. Wish you the best and thanks for the great memories.


    • Thanks so much, Ted! ☼ I’m glad I allowed you the opportunity to stroll down Memory Lane, and revisit our days together in Spain! 🙂 I’ve since gone through many postcards and letters from the 1980s indicating the dates of each ZAB trip, and although in this blog I can’t rearrange posts, I can indicate the time and dates each trip actually took place, instead of my earlier guestimates. One day I hope to begin that process of updating my story, but the details remain as some of the best times of my life flying the Phantom! Cheers! ☼ 🙂 Mark

      • Danke Schon Mark and WARHAWK NATION…. We are retiring in old ~MBAFB~ – South Carolina and my first duty station prior to pcs’ing to SPang in 1980 ! Many TAC / USAFE brothers & sisters live in the Grand Strand areas… Happy 4th / Happy Birthday Uncle Sam & Lady Liberty from George Moose Krauss, USAF DAV Retired ( MB , SP and KDOV : C-5 Loadmaster in the 3rd, 9th & 31st Airlift Squadrons…. Frau Iris say’s “GO GERMANY!” in the World Cup. John 15:13 and FREEDOM is not FREE. – Moose & Family

      • Good for you, Moose! ☼ Enjoy your retirement and don’t go swimming in the ocean, otherwise you’ll be likely to be shark bait and won’t get a chance to enjoy your golden years! Cheers! ☼ 🙂 Mark

      • PS: Phantoms #1: Our son graduated from Coastal Carolina (GO Chanticleers!) in 2010 prior to graduating from the RTS seminary in Charlotte NC in 2012 and CCU’s oceanography dept. tagged a female Great White and tracks her movements from Myrtle Beach down to Florida and back up to Maine annually! Do humans really taste like chicken?! I understand that General Bob Plowden retired in Pawleys Island,SC too and I loved playing for him as a Spang Sheiks Tight End (Ole #84) from 1980 – 1981… So we married well Mark – German Frauleins – and I pray one day we can meet in the near future sir… God Bless and always SPang Up Warhawk Nation!

      • Happy retirement, George ~ I’ll let you know whenever I happen to be in your neck of the woods! ☼ 🙂 Mark

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