MICHIGAN GUARD PILOT

by Dean Juhlin

There were two squadrons in the Michigan Air National Guard, both based at Detroit-Wayne Major Airport, the 107th and 171st Fighter Interceptor Squadrons. The only other aircraft operating at Detroit-Wayne were transports, airliners, and general aviation small planes. One of the transport types was ZANTOP, and a few of our guys had regular jobs flying C-54s, with them or should Isay DC-4s.

The 107th Squadron can be traced all the way back to World War One when it maintained the aircraft of the AFF in France. In May 1926, the 107th Observation Squadron was activated at Rouge Park Airfield in Detroit. During World War Two, the 107th was assigned to the 67th Observation Group in 9th AF, flying Spitfires and F-6 Mustangs, The 107th was extended federal recognition in September 1946, initially flying Douglas A-26 Invaders, then Republic F-84B Thunderje'ts.

The 171st Squadron can be traced back to the 374th Fighter Squadron, 361st Fighter Group flying P-47s and P-51s in the 8th AF. The 171st was granted federal recognition in April 1948, initially flying F5Is before also converting to F-84Bs in 1950. Both the 107th and 171st were activated on 1 February 1951 and deployed to Luke AFB, Arizona, as part of the 127th Pilot Training Group.

Several of us had flown the F-86A and I, at Selfridge, and some had the 100 mission requirement in Korea. We departed for Korea when the 107th and 171st were activated and sent to Luke. In Korea, I was successful mice, getting a NlJG on 20 January and 5 March 1952 while flying with the loth Squiewiron. We were based at Selfridge AFB, near Deunit from September 1950 until Jule 1951, after which we departed for Korea Both squadrons were released


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