Historic Markers Across South Carolina



Replacement Training Unit (RTU) 1968-1969



Marker ID:  
Location: intersection of Farrow Parkway and South Kings Highway, Myrtle Beach, SC
County: Horry
Coordinates: N 33° 39.606    W 078° 55.659
  33.6601    -78.92765
 



Text:

Replacement Training Unit (RTU) 1968-1969


On April 22, 1968, the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing was replaced at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base by the 113th Tactical Fighter Wing, a former District of Columbia Air National Guard (ANG) unit which had been recalled to active duty January 26, 1968. A few months later, the 354th Tactical Fighter Wing was deployed without personnel or equipment to Korea.

The 113th Tactical Fighter Wing, including the 119th Tactical Fighter squadron from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, and the 121st Tactical Fighter squadron from Atlantic City Airport, New Jersey, was given the mission of establishing a replacement training unit (RTU) for F-100 pilots at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base. The RTU began operation in September 1968 with the arrival of the first 15 pilot students.

Prior to its recall, the 113th Tactical Fighter Wing was considered one of the top Air National Guard units in the nation, one of three Air National Guard wings which had been designated by the Secretary of Defense to achieve peak "combat readiness.”

The District of Columbia Air National Guard unit was established on Memorial Day, 1946, and was federally recognized in October of that year. At that time it was equipped with the P-47 Thunderbolt. In December 1959, the 113th became one of the first Air National Guard wings in the country to be equipped with the North American F-100 Super Sabre.


( photo caption )

The first replacement training unit class to be graduated at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base poses outside the 119th Fighter Squadron headquarters. The class, which graduated March 22, 1969, consisted of Majors H. H. Skeen, T. R. Morris, J.R. Mourning and M. W. Talcott; Captains W. F. Rogers, R. M. Foley, I. Melendez, J. C. Gaston, R. R. Fuller, W. D. Atkins, W. E. Gabel and J. D. Constantine; and First Lieutenant M. J. Kelly.


( adjacent marker )

Replacement Training Unit (RTU) 1968-1969

In February 1951, the District of Columbia Air National Guard was mobilized for the Korean Conflict and served for 21 months. Again in October 1961, the 113th was called up for the Berlin Crisis. During this period the unit participated in several United States Strike Command exercises, including "Bristle Cone" and "Swift Strike II.”

The 113th Tactical Fighter Wing gained international recognition in August 1964 when it became the first Air National Guard tactical fighter unit to fly non-stop to Europe. The unit deployed its F-100s from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, to Hahn Air Base, Germany, on Operation "Ready Go,” employing three air-to-air refuelings supported by Air National Guard tankers. This operation was cited by the Department of Defense as demonstrating the Air National Guard's combat readiness and capability to deploy immediately in support of the regular forces.

The former Air National Guard personnel assigned to Myrtle Beach Air Force Base were programmed for release from active duty during April, May and June 1969. Early in May 1969, the 113th Tactical Fighter Wing, comprised of the 12th Tactical Fighter Squadron from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, and the 119th Tactical Fighter Squadron from Atlantic City, New Jersey, returned to their original bases for deactivation to National Guard status.