Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

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The Patch

This widely-respected symbol began with F-105 aircrews. Capts. Bruce Holmes and Will Koenitzer, two pilots in the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388th Tactical Fighter Wing, designed the original 100-mission patch while on leave in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1965. Holmes completed his 100-mission tour on Jan. 15, 1966, and Koenitzer finished his the next day. 

Although unofficial, this patch became a powerful symbol of a proud tradition. A badge of honor, it showed that one had faced mortal danger 100 times and survived where so many others had been lost. It also certified the faithful completion of a tour and the right to go home.

Click here to return to Badge of Honor: 100 Missions Up North.