Who were the F86 Sabre Pilots Association?



"One of the most successful jet fighters of all time was the North American F-86 Sabre, the scourge of MiG pilots in the Korean War and the first swept wing fighter to fly for America. The day fighter and all weather versions of the aircraft were used in almost all Western countries, remaining in front line service for almost 20 years. Under license, it was built in Canada, Australia, Japan and Italy. The first prototype flew on Oct. 1, 1947 but it had been under development since 1944. The Sabre was an immediate success and went into service in February, 1949. When the Sabres arrived in Korea to meet the MiG threat, the bandits never knew what hit them."

Sabre drivers were proud of their steed and in 1981 formed a "Fighter Jocks" organization called, not surprisingly, the "F-86 Sabre Pilots Association." Membership was limited to those jocks who have flown the F-86 aircraft. All F-86 Wings of the Korean war are heavily represented as were the units in CONUS, Europe, Far East, ANG and Reserves.

This membership in its prime hit over 1,700 members world wide.

They were an international association with members representing 7 countries. Three of their members became Chief of Staff of the Air Force for their respected countries.

It was a 'Jock's Club' so they made no effort to cater to the elite. They acknowledged and congratulated all on their achievements but retain the camaraderie shared by airmen. Without a doubt, it was a premier retired fighter pilots organization.

Their stated goals of the association at that time was to perpetuate the history of the F-86 Sabre, the units to which she belonged and the pilots who flew her. A second goal was to link old Sabre jocks with their buddies. The third goal was to perpetuate an accurate, patriotic portrayal of our national history and heritage. They conducted numerous projects to achieve these goals.

They would publish three issues of their magazine "Sabre Jet Classics" each year.

They had reunions in Las Vegas approximately every 2 years. In 1997, about 1,000 people participated at the reunion.
They showed all that they knew how to party.



Website Notice


Something at GoDaddy updated.. which through my URL off for this website sweetrose.yocumusa.com/sabrepilots - I'm glad you found us again - this link will always work to get here.

yocumusa.com/sweetrose/sabrepilots - I will continue work with GoDaddy to fix the previous link problem. So far they are not much help.

Thank you.



F-86 Sabre Veterans Deactivate 35-Year Association

To view the source article, click here: F-86 Sabre Veterans


By Senior Airman Kevin Tanenbaum, 99th Air Base Wing Public Affairs / Published May 05, 2017

Throughout the storied past of Army Air Corps and the U.S. Air Force, many aircraft have laid the foundation for today’s fleet of air power.

The F-86 Sabre, or SabreJet, is one of the cornerstones upon which the modern Air Force was built since its inaugural flight on Oct. 1, 1947.

The F-86 Sabre Association met on April 24 on the flightline here to pay homage to this retired jet and the Airmen who flew it for the last time.

"The first forming of the association took place in 1981, when three of our pilots got together and realized we needed to have a reunion and an organization," said retired Lt. Col. J.R. Alley, F-86 Sabre Association president. "It started to grow and grow into the mid-90s and it became more organized. We grew in personnel from that small amount in the mid-90s to almost 2,000 worldwide."

The F-86 Sabre was originally designed as a high-altitude fighter, making it highly valued during the Korean War. Subsequently, it was redesigned as an all-weather interceptor and fighter bomber.

"In that era, (the Air Force) had 300 F-86s at that time," said Alley. "It was a different mindset of flying, very aggressive, and you had to do everything better, tighter and faster than the other guy."

The first Sabre arrived at Nellis for testing and training in 1949 and was assigned to the 3525th Aircraft Gunnery Squadron. By late 1950, an average of 27 F-86s were on base.

In early January 1952, after being sent back to the factory for modifications, the F-86 was fully implemented into the Combat Crew Training School. The Nellis training mission grew and implemented pilots from the Royal Air Force, becoming the pride of Air Training Command until the aircraft was removed from Nellis in June 1966.

Soon after the end of the F-86 at Nellis, production halted on the jet in December 1966.

The organization's members travelled to Nellis to have one last reunion before disbanding after 35 years.

"The average age of the group is now around 86 to 87 (years old), the World War II guys who flew in Korea are up in their 90s, and the ones who actually flew in the Korean War are in their late 80s," said Alley. "So this will be our last reunion, and we are going to stand down. It’s been tremendous to come out and have Nellis put this on for us."

While the F-86's operational days came to an end, the jet has found its home with the Air Force Heritage Flight, performing at air shows around the country.

"We always like to look back at our heritage," said Alley. "What we were and how we have come along the way. If you forget that then you start losing things."



One In A Million


Poem was given to my attention by Major Joseph Pogue. The background is an actual painting by Joe. He painted it in dedication to those fellow pilots that have "Gone West". It shows eagles flying over the ocean towards the sunset. He sent me poems on this website hoping to inspire other members to share poems as well.

Thanks Joe!



Web Page Categories

Sabre Jet Classics Magazines

SPA Prose and Poetry

Archived SPA Notes/Comments

Original Photos from Sabre Pilots


Folded Wings


Photo Collections

F-86 Video Links


F-86 Art

F-86 Reference Book Media

Additional SPA Articles

F-86 Reference Online Media

Click on the image above the text to view that webpage. Note: SPA stands for Sabre Pilots Association


Website Notes


Is typing "http://sweetrose.yocumusa.com/sabrepilots/index.htm" too long? Try typing "tinyurl.com/sabrepilots" instead. Or of course, just bookmark us!



North American Sabre Misc Photos


Click this photo or link to view many photos of the North American Sabre: F86 Photos

The photos were placed on Facebook by Laura Postaltrip Cidoncha.



Michael Adams Photo Collection - 334th (1955-1957)


Michaels ride: "Yosemite Sam" at Chitose.

Click this link to view the photo collection: Michael Adams Collection

Michael Adams Collection - submitted from Michael Adams

334th - Chitose




2 Squadron (Flying Cheetahs)


2 Squadron (Flying Cheetahs) was one of the four Squadrons making up the 18th Fighter-Bomber Wing in Korea. The other three squadrons were numbers 12, 39 and 67 of the United States Air Force. The Flying Cheetahs completed 10 597 fighter-bomber (air-to-ground) sorties using Mustangs.

The Squadron exchanged its Mustangs in 1953, for the American F-86F-30 Sabre. 39 Squadron (USAF) was withdrawn and the remaining two USAF squadrons in the Wing also converted to Sabres. The Sabre was also used as a fighter-bomber. The Cheetahs flew another 899 operational sorties with Sabres, and lost only one to ground-fire. Another four were lost in accidents, but the South Africans managed to hand back 17 when hostilities ceased.

2 Squadron's Sabres were numbered 601 to 622 and each pilot had a Sabre allocated to him. As with the Mustangs, many pilots also "named" their aircraft. The Officer Commanding of the Cheetahs, Commandant Ralph Gerneke, had Sabre 601 - Code letter "A". He named his aircraft SHERDANOR II - after his wife Sherry, and his sons Dane and Nord. Nord is well known in Pretoria, being the Bossman at JIX. When Ralph returned home, his Sabre - 601 "A" was renamed RENKINS by an unknown pilot. Sabre 602 "J" - named IMP VIII, was flow by Stan Wells, and 604 "K" - BLACK DICK, was flown by Hank Ludick.
The following table contains the Numbers, Codes and Names of SAAF Sabres in Korea, which have been photographed or written about. The list is not complete. Where known, the pilot's name also appears.



608 M (Unnamed) Crashed 28 Feb 53 RODNEY V ROOYEN (E)

611 F DANNY BOY ??

614 P VALERIE Crashed into sea 28 Aug 53 MIKE BOTHA (K)

615 H KEVRIC Crash landing 19 Apr 53 – W/off PIET VISSER
616 Q LADY OF LORETTE Shot down 21 Jul 53 GEORGE THOM (pow)

617 I HELEN ??
619 M MONKEY IV Crash landing 19 May 53 W/off JOHN COETZEE

622 Q (Unnamed) ??

Information was submitted by Buskruit Burger on facebook page: F-86 Sabres of the Korean War



335th "The Chiefs" 4th Fighter Wing

335th Fighting Eagles

Another Newbie website like the 334th.

Released earlier than what I wanted, but thought it would be good to get the names out in the web.

Will be a long Winter project as well with the 334th.

Click the image or here. It's a fresh website. Please let me know if any errors.

Anyone with pictures of the 335th, please email me at eric@yocumusa.com - I will include any given. Thank you!



334th "Fighting Eagles" 4th Fighter Wing

334th Fighting Eagles

This is my most recent "Work In Long Process". Making a directory of the 334th during the Korean and post-Korean war. This will go along with my previous 336th (4th Fighter Wing), and future 335th website.

All fourth fighter wing section.

Click the image or here. It's a fresh website. Please let me know if any errors.

Anyone with pictures of the 334th or future website 335th, please email me at eric@yocumusa.com - I will include any given. Thank you!



The Pirate of Suwon by Darby Perrin

"The Pirate of Suwon"

Darby Perrin

"The base was originally established during the Korean War as Suwon (K-13) Air Base and hosted the 36th Fighter Bomber Squadron. The base was used for the staging of F-86 patrols along the Yalu River and MiG Alley. Darby Perrin's print depicts maintenance troops on a busy flight line preparing F-86F, “The Pirate” for another flight as a C-124 departs." - Aviation Art Hanger



Keith Hanna Photo Collection - 311th

Click this link to view the photo collection: Keith Hanna's Collection

Keith Hanna Collection - submitted from him son Andrew.

311th Fighter-Bomber Squadron



Jason McKeon Photo Collection - Early 50's

Click this link to view the photo collection: Jason McKeon's Collection

Jason McKeon Personal Collection

Korean War, Canadian Air Base




Korean War:Missing in MIG Alley


Korean War:Missing in MiG Alley

(full documentary) HD



F-86 Sabre Production Notes and Photos (Part 02)


Click this photo or link to view many photos of the F-86 production: Production Photos

The photos were placed on Facebook by Laura Postaltrip Cidoncha.



HIstorical Archive from Lt. James Thompson - 336th

Click the link below to view his seven voulmes of historical photos about Kimpo Air Force base, 1953.

Lt. James Thompson Historical Archive

Thank you James for your tributes and service to our country!



F-86 Sabre Production Notes and Photos


Click this photo or link to view many photos of the F-86 production: Production Photos

The photos were placed on Facebook by Laura Postaltrip Cidoncha.



Saved Photos from Major Joseph M. Pogue


F-86Fs on ramp at Williams, AFB 1957




Major Joseph M. Pogue


A few photos of the career of Maj. Joseph M. Pogue.

Joe flew the F-86E, F-86F and the F-86H!

He is currently 83 flying a Vans RV-3M. He noted he had the tail number changed to "86HF", put bullet hole decals on it and named it Sabre 2th (tooth). Amazing!

"I retired through the DELANG, I flew their F-86s, C-97 & C-130. My retirement orders said I had over 40 years, but that is because one has to be 60 years old to receive retirement status as a reservist. I was an airman before I went into Aviation Cadet Corp for pilot training,(class 56-T) Trained at Lackland, AFB, Malden, AB; Bryan,AFB & Williams, AFB ( for Advanced Combat/Gunnery training). I grew up in Wilmington and moved to Texas in 1975. We live in The Woodlands,TX."




Poem's by Major Joseph M. Pogue



Ye Brothers of clouds, sky and space,
Spirits of wind, stars and grace,
Soar with me now in God's loving heaven.

We are The Brotherhood.

Born with adventure in our soul,
Camaraderie we extol,
Knights of the sky one and all.

We are The Brotherhood.

We climb and join those gone before,
Where pain and trouble are no more,
On golden wings not made by man.

We are The Brotherhood.

Time and space may take their toll,
But the bond is in the soul,
So for eternity we ascend.

We are The Brotherhood.

Maj. Joseph M Pogue USAF Ret.

The fighter pilot is an independent and fiercely competitive individual. But few interpersonal ties are stronger then that between fighter pilots. The "discipline”, at times, requires an indifference to ones death in order to maintain the integrity of the "flight" and thereby the success of the mission and survival. This poem is dedicated to this brotherhood--The Brotherhood.

Is It Sunset Or Is It Dawn?

Is that a Sunset or a Dawn that I see at the end of this journey long?
Am I going East or going West on this vast ocean of life's test?

Is it Sunset, or is it Dawn?

My Navigator knows the way, been with me every day,
has always pulled me thru; the storms and life’s calms too.

Is it Sunset, or is it Dawn?

The closer to our journey’s end the clearer it begins to be, that we
were meant to be here now and for all eternity.

Is it Sunset, or is it Dawn?

Do not fear the end of day, for the “Sunset of life” makes way
for the “New Dawn” to come today.

Is it Sunset, or is it Dawn?

Now it has become quite clear, this Sunset is a Dawning Sphere and
only God could make it so, to raise us up from below, to complete
the rest of His life's test.

It IS a Sunset, AND a Dawn.

Maj. Joseph M Pogue USAF Ret.

"This poem has to do with end of life but was inspired by all of the long flights over the oceans when we were extremely tired and the sun would be on the horizon. In the fog of fatigue one would have to stop and remember if we were going East or West and whether we were seeing the sun set or rise." - Joe

The Sky Has Called Me

Did you ever want to fly a plane, be it high wing or be it low,
Just weaving in among the clouds, nice and easy nice and slow?
Did you want it fast and high or something slow and low?

What about a Piper Cub or bi-wing Stearman trainer.
There are many others but none that are much plainer.

Perhaps more like a soaring bird you would prefer to be,
Something like a sailplane, that's my choice you see.

You can soar among the lofty clouds for all the day long.
I guarantee that deep within will arise a heavenly song.

For I have been there flying high, fast, low and slow,
Have soared with eagles and the hawks so this is what I know.

The sky has called me since a child to join the clouds and birds.
I’ve enjoyed so many adventures that I can’t find all the words.

Maj. Joseph M Pogue USAF Ret.


Like the mariner of the sea
the aviator oft will be
enthralled by siren song.

Something in my soul sings
when I soar on rnan-made wings
through God’s blue sky,

Where the eagle and the hawk
long dominated there to stalk
their prey below.

There is the danger and the grace
and the thrill of combat chase
that few have known.

There is peace and there is freedom
high in this part of God's kingdom
shared only with His creation, man.

I think the thrill of flight may be
man's reflection on his ancestry
and promise of what future brings,

When from the sea then to the land
and on into eternity
one day he may abandon Earth

And seek the mystery beyond…

Beyond into the universe.

Maj. Joseph M Pogue USAF Ret.



Folded Wings Update: In Memory of William R. Sommer


William flew out of Suwon, Korea with the 35th FBS. He was shot down by small arms fire June 19, 1953. He passed away on January 16, 2013.



North American F-86A-L Sabre (1970)


North American F-86A-L Sabre in USAF and Foreign Service

Aircam Aviation Series No 17 (1970)




North American F-86 Sabre Jet Day Fighters


North American F-86 Sabre Jet Day Fighters

Warbird Tech Series Volume 3 (1996)




F-86 Saber Jet at the 2001 Westfield International Air Show


Westfield International Air Show 2001
Celebration of Freedom-Barnes Municipal Airport

North American F-86 Saber Jet
Owned by Ed Shipley
Previously Owned by Colonel Frank Borman



Sabre Ace Down - Korea Combat and Capture



Flight Journal February 2018




David Grasmick - 334th - Historical Photos

Click on the photo or here to see David Grasmicks' fathers historical photos from the Korean War. He was a part of the 334th. If anyone recognizes any of the other people or places, please email me. Thanks.



Marlyn Acker Collection - 334th - Historical Photos

Click on the photo or here to see Marlyn Acker's historical photos from the early 50's. He was a part of the 334th. His son David, shared them with us. If anyone recognizes any of the other people or places, please email me. Thanks.



"The Mig Hunters" Art (Aero Classics)


Aircraft Portrait by Jack Young

"The Mig Hunters is a painting from my private collection. This painting is of Captain Bob Love and captain Cliff Jolley, aces and friends flying their F-86 Sabres in Mig Alley Korea.

Bob furnished me with the aircraft marking details for this painting. When it was finished, I met him in his hangar where he kept his P-51 at the Livermore, California airport. There I presented him with some 8 x 10 photos and set the painting up for his viewing. He looked at it very quietly, and then with a show of emotion, told me, "you have brought back a lot of memories". This was in the early 1980's. His response was and always will be a pleasant memory for me."

Link: http://aeroclassics.us/hunters.html



1949 National Air Race (Cleveland, OH)

The Thompson Trophy Race
"J" Division

Four Air Force F-86A Sabers were entered in the "J" Division of the Thompson Trophy Race but one was unable to start due to engine trouble. The three flew the five mile course at such high speeds that it was estimated that they actually flew 25 miles each lap. During the second lap Captain Vernon Henderson pulled out of the race after a high "G" turn broke the bolts holding the seat in place. Captain Vernon was able to control the jet while in a crouching position to make a safe landing. Captain Johansen also had a problem when a 10 x 16 inch inspection door flew open on the left wing causing considerable drag, Johansen had just taken the lead when a check of his fuel supply required him to throttle back thereby losing his lead. When he landed he did not have enough fuel left to taxi to the hangars. Captain Cunningham was doing well until he made the last high speed turn, that's when most of his elevator was torn off causing him to consider ejecting the aircraft.

Tail of Capt. Cunningham's F-86A

1st Place: Capt. Bruce Cunningham

2nd Place: Capt. Martin Johansen

3rd Place: Capt. Vern Henderson

Captain Bruce Cunningham

Source: http://www.airrace.com/1949 NAR .htm




F-86E Thrust Augmentation Evaluation


Augmentation Evaluation

Thanks to Isobel Dozier "I had seen an article in Volume 14, Number 3 (Sabre Jet Classics) referring to tests which were conducted by North American Aviation, Inc. with an Aerodyne rocket installation.

The article mentioned that not much was known about the 1956 testing. I was able to find the following DTIC file which gives more details regarding this unique NAA project –“

March 1957




The F-86 Sabre Jet and Pilots


A Sabre Pilots Association exclusive!

The F-86 Sabre Jet and Pilots

Turner Publishing Co 1997




Folded Wings Update: In Memory of Gene Fentress


Gene Fentress October 24, 2017

Click on his name to view larger pictures of Gene, and a wonderful family video of him.



Korean War Scrapbook by Ward Hitt, Jr.


Eight pages of photos from Ward "Spider" Hitt, Jr. recorded at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

Air and Space Museum link



"Five Men, Fifty-Five Migs" by Nixon Galloway

Kimpo Airfield, Seoul Korea

Link to larger version: here

National Archives Catalog



Latest SabreJets Classics Magazine (Vol. 24, No. 2)


To view the final SabreJet Classics (Volume 24, Number 2), click on the above photo.



F-86 Sunset Flight Demonstration

Published on Jul 22, 2016

The Planes of Fame Air Show 2016 featured a sunset solo aerobatics performance by Tommy Williams in the Planes of Fame Air Museum F-86F during the Friday performance.

Planes of Fame Air Museum
Where Warbirds Fly



Heritage Flight

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Chris Massey
Sabres FU-756 FU-834 FU-666

Three F-86 Sabres and an F-22 Raptor fly in formation during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

Steve Hinton, Ed Shipley and Dan Friedkin leading the F-22 Raptor.



Canadian CL-13 MK-5



F-86 Sabre Historical Web Ring Guide
Click the photo below to visit that web region

Sabre Pilots Association

Duncan's Sabre Website

Every Man A Tiger

S/N 52-4539 Website

S/N 52-2854 "Stardust" Website

Sabre Website Links



Contact Webmaster
All information is listed for historical and educational purposes. The F-86 Sabre Pilots Association will stand down after being organized 35 years ago.My mission is to return this website to preserve the history of the F86 Sabre jet and the men who flew them for current and future generations.

To contact the webmaster, or to post comments / links / memorials on this website; email me at: eric@yocumusa.com

Website created: September 14, 2017