Ruff Stuff

A Brief History

80th Figher Squadron

The 80th Fighter Squadron was originally constituted as the 80th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor) on January 6, 1942. It was activated on January 10,1942 at Mitchel Field, NY, and assigned to the 8th Pursuit (later, 8th Fighter) Group. The squadron was redesignated the 80th Fighter Squadron on May 15,1942; the 80th Fighter Squadron (Two Engine) on 22 July 1943; and the 80th Fighter Squadron, Two Engine, on August 20,1943.

Flying the P-39 and P-400 aircraft, the squadron converted to the P-38 in 1943 and saw combat in Southwest and Western Pacific, from July 22, 1942 to August 16, 1945, deploying to Australia, New Guinea, the Schouten Islands, Morotai, Leyte, Mindoro, and Japan. The 80th inactivated on December 26, 1945 at Fukuoka, Japan.

One of the early squadron commanders, Edward "Porky" Cragg named the Squadron "The Headhunters" after the local New Guinean Headhunter tribes who helped to rescue downed pilots. He also commissioned crewchief Yale Saffro, who was once offered a job to work for Walt Disney as a cartoonist but turned it down, to design the 80th's patch.



Allison liquid cooled engines
Left - Army, V -1710-113
Right - Army, V-1710-111

13,500 lbs. Empty
19,500 lbs. Take-Off
Up to 21,000 lbs. Combat

Wingspan: 52 '
Length: 37' 10"
Height: 12' 10"
Propeller Diameter: 11' 6"


4 - .50 Caliber Machine Guns
20-mm cannon