Squadron Exchanges 1983

12 till 21 April 1983

This month a German Navy MFG2 staffel based at Eggebek, flying the F-104G exchanged with Royal Air Force 56 Squadron based at Wattisham flying the Phantom FGR.2. It was a one-way exchange where five F-104Gs and one TF-104G flew to the UK.

26 April till 3 May 1983

This period Dutch Air Force 306 Squadron based at Volkel AB, flying the RF-104G exchanged with German Air Force 1 staffel/JBG32 based at Lechfeld AB, flying the F-104G. It was a 1 way exchange where a number of Dutch Starfighters flew to Lechfeld in the afternoon of April 26th. Due to the busy operational schedule, such as a deployment to Decimomannu, JBG32 could not find any time and possibilities to have a delegation exercises from Volkel as well. The Dutch delegation got support by Fokker F-27M Troopships from 334 Squadron. To Lechfeld by C-10 and back home by C-12. Starfighters from 306 Squadron seen at Lechfeld were D-8052, D-8066, D-8103 and D-8112, all RF-104G. IFS Note: It is a bit strange that a specific recce squadron exchanged with a typical Fighter Bomber squadron in Germany. Formation photo beneath was taken by pilot Rene Arnts (over Germany). The other photos thanks to Ferry van der Geest. Last photo shows the departure to Holland with Günther Weiss (commander) waving the Dutch Starfighters goodbye. Note: This was the first of two exchanges in 1983 for this German Staffel.

26 April till 5 May 1983

This period (likely four) Starfighters from the Italian Air Force 132 Gruppo based at Villafranca exchanged with 42 Escadrille, based at Florennes and flying the Mirage 5BR. It was a 2-way exchange. Italian Starfighters at Florennes included F-104G MM6535 code 3-06.

9 till 19 May 1983

This month the Danish Air Force 726 Eskadrille based at Aalborg AB, flying the CF-104 and F-104G, exchanged with Royal Air Force 29 Squadron based at Coningsby flying the Phantom FGR.2. It is unknown if the squadron exchange was one or two way but at least the Danish Starfighters were seen at Coningsby. Only aircraft known was TF-104G RT-682 and this was used many times to give RAF colleagues an interesting F-104 flying experience. Attached a view pictures taken at Coningsby by Soren Flensted.

16 till 25 May 1983

This month a German Navy MFG2 1st staffel based at Eggebek, flying the RF-104G exchanged with Hellenic Air Force 345 Mira based at Souda AB and flying the A-7H. It was a two-way exchange where five F-104Gs and one TF-104G flew to Greece. According 345 Mira the Corsair aircraft arrived at Eggebek on May 17th and the exchange ended on May 25th.

25 May till 3 June 1983

This period a squadron exchange took place between French Air Force EC 2/5 from Orange AB, flying the Mirage F-1C-200, with the Dutch Air Force 312 Squadron at Volkel AB flying the F-104G. Four French Mirages came to Holland and six Starfighters flew to France which were F-104Gs D-8022, D-8061, D-8062, D-8114 and D-????. The sixt Starfighter was TF-104G D-5801 from CAV. On May 27th the Mirage F1 aircraft received 312 Squadron badges on their tails at Volkel AB. The photos beneath shows the preparation for a special formation which was flown over Volkel Air Base on June 1st. They borrowed an F-16 from 311 Squadron to participate in the formation. (Photos Eric Tammer and 312sq archive via Michael de Boer)

VKLmay83aVKLmay83bD-8300 met F1s_jun83
28 June till 7 July 1983

This period four Starfighters from the Italian Air Force 12 Gruppo based at Gioia Del Colle exchanged with 315 Squadron at Twenthe AB flying the NF-5. It was a 2-way exchange. At Twenthe 4 Starfighters were seen flying around being MM6740/36-05, MM6807/36-11, MM6800/36-13 and MM6705/36-14. The Italians also brought a C-130H Hercules MM61990/46-04 which was seen at Twenthe on 28 June and 7 July. The photo beneath shows all 4 Italian Starfighters ready for their return back to Italy after the exchange (by Paul Kiewik) and another photo shows the MM6705 code 36-14 landing at Twenthe and MM6807 code 36-11 taxying during the event (both by Harry Koning). Also the flyby photo was taken by Harry Koning. Finally two landing pictures were shared by Eric Tammer.

5 till 14 July 1983

This month the Italian Air Force 21 Gruppo based at Cameri AB and flying the F-104S exchanged with Spanish Air Force 142 Escuadron (ALA 14) at Albacete, Spain flying the Mirage F1CE. Some stated that 4 Starfighters flew to Spain but we have no confirmation about that yet. At least Spanish Mirages were seen at Cameri this period in July.

12 till 21 July 1983

This month four Starfighters from the Italian Air Force 22 Gruppo based at Istrana, flying the F-104S exchanged with German Air Force JBG34 at Memmingen flying the F-104G. The aircraft were MM6804/51-02, MM6764/51-04, MM6703/51-05 and MM6937/51-20, added was MM6720 code 51-03 which replaced one of the others. One C-130H Hercules arrived with the 104s being MM61993/46-12. Photo beneath shows MM6804 code 51-02 leading a formation over Southern Germany and another photo showing MM6703 code 51-05 with others at the Memmingen flightline and taxying. (Photos Peter Doll). Pre exchange visit was performed by aircraft MM6763 code 51-06 and MM6824 code 51-14 which flew to Memmingen on May 31st. The Germans flew to Istrana with five Starfighters being F-104G 20+05, 23+94, 25+59, 26+49 and TF-104G 27+97.

18 till 28 July 1983

This month Royal Air Force 41 Squadron based at Coltishall, flying the Jaguar GR.1 exchanged with the Canadian 421 squadron at Baden-Sollingen, flying the CF-104. It was a 2 way exchange (maybe shifted). At Coltishall at least the following six CF-104 Starfighters were seen : 104747, 104761, 104770, 104786, 104869 and 104883.

22 till 29 July 1983

This month the German Air Force JBG32 (1st Staffel) based at Lechfeld AB, flying the F-104G, participated in a squadron exchange with RAF 14 Squadron based at Bruggen, Germany, flying the Sepecat Jaguar GR.1. It was a two-way exchange. During this period two different F-104 squadrons were rotating with Bruggen Jaguar squadrons which made quite some interesting traffic at the Air Base. Four Jaguars flew to Lechfeld on July 22nd and returned back home the 29th. The German Starfighters landed at Bruggen on July 25th and flew back to Lechfeld on the 29th. The four participating aircraft were F-104G 21+90, 24+02, 24+69 and TF-104G 27+26. The Do-28D 58+53 (JBG-32) provided transport on the 25th while Do-28D 58+55 (JBG-32) provided transport on the day of departure.  Beneath a copy of an article inside a base published newsletter. Information thanks to Hans-Jürgen Breuer.

25 July till 4 August 1983

This period the Canadian Air Force 439 Squadron based at Baden-Sollingen AB, flying the CF-104 exchanged with the Royal Air Force 17 Squadron, operating the Jaguar GR.1 at Bruggen. It was a 2 way shifted exchange. First the Starfighters visited Bruggen in July/August while the Jaguars were at Sollingen between 6th and 13th of September. Beneath photos thanks to Steve Hill, processed by the photogroup Bruggen when the CF-104s were at Bruggen and a photo showing the Jaguars at Sollingen in September with CF-104s in the background. The Starfighters which landed on July 25th were : 104711, 104737, 104761, 104799, 104826, 104837, 104873 and 104893, all wearing 439 Squadron markings. Support was provided by C-130 130321. The next day two-seater CF-104D 104650 (439 Squadron markings) arrived which departed again on the 29th. Aircraft 104799 flew back to Sollingen on the 27th when also a CT-133 (133450) visited Bruggen for a crew ferry. First noted on the 29th were new CF-104's 104865 and 104891 (both 439 squadron markings). The 104891 departed again on August 2nd. The next day, August 3rd, two extra aircraft arrived being 104760 and again 104891 (both 439 Squadron markings). On the final day all Starfighters at Bruggen returned to Sollingen again together with a C-130 for transport. After take off, two CF-104s returned (104865  and 104891) performing a low fly by over the 17 Squadron area with full afterburners! It is interesting to see that the squadron brought three Starfighters to Bruggen which had just been received the day before from 417 Squadron in Canada!!, 711,799 and 650) Exchange information thanks to Hans-Jürgen Breuer.

1 till 10 August 1983

This month the Belgium Air Force 1 Squadron based at Bierset, flying the Mirage 5BA, exchanged with Hellenic Air Force 336 Mira based at Araxos AB, flying the F-104G. It was a 2 way exchange. Greek Starfighters seen in Belgium were F-104Gs 7172/FG172, 7176/FG176 and 7183/FG183 and TF-104G 5708/TF-708. Beneath a very nice photo taken by Pieter Bes showing FG-172. Other photos show 7183 taxying on the flightline  and 5708 on the platform still wearing the old Luftwaffe color scheme.

August 1983

This period the Canadian Air Force 441 Squadron based at Baden-Sollingen AB, flying the CF-104 exchanged with the Royal Norwegian Air Force 338 Skv, operating the F-5 at Ørland. It was a shifted two-way exchange. First the Norwegian F-5 visited Sollingen in April and later in August the Starfighters flew to Norway. Participating aircraft included CF-104 104756, 104815, 104841 and CF-104D 104639, flying at least between 12th and 18th of August.

September 1983

This month the Italian Air Force 155 Gruppo based at Istrana, flying the F-104S exchanged with Royal Air Force 16 Squadron, flying the Buccaneer S.2B, based at Laarbruch. It was a one way exchange were only the Buccaneers flew to Istrana.

16 till 25 August 1983

This month four Starfighters from the Italian Air Force 102 Gruppo based at Rimini, flying the F-104S exchanged with USAFE 510th TFS/81 TFW at Bentwaters flying the A-10A. It was a two-way exchange. The Starfighters were MM6887/5-07, MM6833/5-16, MM6946/5-06 and MM6924/5-12. The last two aircraft arrived August 17th, one day after the first two. On 5 July 1983 two Starfighters made already a pre-exchange visit to Bentwaters. These were MM6833/5-16 and MM6836/5-24. During the exchange the Italians also brought an C-130H Hercules, MM61991/46-05. Note: Some reports show 92TFS in stead of 510TFS (both belonging to 81 TFW). We are still looking for confirmation.
Beneath a photo of MM6833 code 5-16 at Bentwaters.

2 till mid October 1983

This month a squadron exchange toke place between the Spanish Air Force ALA 12, flying the F-4C from Torrejon Air Base,  and the Canadian 1 CAG flying the CF-104 from Sollingen, Germany. All 3 Sollingen based units (421, 439 and 441 SQN.) were involved but 441 Sqn was the leading unit to Torrejon while 421 Sqn was the hosting unit in Baden-Sollingen  It was a “joint” 2-way exchange with four CF-104 aircraft flying to Torrejon! The pre-exchange reported toke place during August at Getafe instead of Torrejon (at the time Torrejon was a mixed EdA-USAFE base, with some restrictions about the use). Please take note that Spain joined NATO only during 1982 and was put into the Squadron Exchange program from 1983. During the first year (1983), only ALA 12 and ALA 14 participated in exchanges.
On 21 September 1983 a Spanish delegation came over to Sollingen also for a pre-exchange. That day the ALA 12 commander Col. Enrique Ortiz de La Cruz got a ride inside CF-104D 104650 together with Lt Niemi at Baden-Sollingen. At Torrejon at least the following three CF-104s were noted: 104770, 104784 and 104893.


Note: At Soesterberg Danish Starfighters were seen in June 1983 which felt like a squadron exchange but actually they were at Soesterberg because of exercise Central Enterprise. (see more about it here: https://www.i-f-s.nl/other-exercises/)


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