Naval Aviation Museum
NAS Pensacola, Florida

 Click on Photo for enlargement.

Photo on left is the new paint job for Bu No 161955 and
on the right is the old paint job when she was with the Blue Angels.

The two MiG-killer Hornets arrived at Pensacola during June. On the historic day they engaged the Iraqi MiG-21s, Lt Mongillo was flying F/A-18C ‘502 (then coded AA 410), while Cdr Fox was in ‘508 (then coded AA 401). The two men were in a flight of four Hornets, each loaded with four 2,000lb Mk.84 bombs. As they approached Al Walid Air Base H-3, their target in western Iraq, the flight received the urgent alert, "400 Bandits on your Nose at 15," from E-2C Hawkeye #600 (from Saratoga’s VAW-125). A brace of MiG-21s were vectoring towards the bomb-laden Hornets for a head-on attack just fifteen miles away!

The squadron began retiring their MiG-21s in 2001, reforming with former East German MiG-29 ‘Fulcrums’ as 41.ELT (Eskadra Lotnictwa Taktycznego/Tactical Squadron). The Fishbed made her last flight on December 19th, 2003, going into storage at Krosno. She was part of a batch of 25 former Polish Air Force MiG-21s that the air defense contractor Draken International of Lakeland, Florida acquired in July, 2012

I would like to Thank Eric Renth for the use of his great photos and sending me these leads.

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