48th Fighter Wing Unveils F-15E Strike Eagle In Heritage Color Scheme

An F-15E Strike Eagle assigned to the 492nd Fighter Squadron is painted in the heritage colors of its World War II P-47 Thunderbolt predecessor at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England Jan 31. The 48th Fighter Wing officially unveiled the aircraft publicly during a ceremony on Jan 31. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

The special color it’s the first of three heritage F-15s.

On Jan. 31, the 48th Fighter Wing revealed the first of three “heritage” F-15s.

The aircraft, a Strike Eagle belonging to the 492nd Fighter Squadron is painted in the skin of a P-47 Thunderbolt, the primary aircraft used by the 48th FW during its service in World War II. In fact, during WWII, the then 48th Fighter-Bomber Group flew the Thunderbolt in support of operations in Europe, including the Invasion of Normandy June 6, 1944 in which the group flew early 2,000 sorties, dropped around 500 tons of bombs and fired over 160,000 rounds of ammunition.

“This heritage project is about the 48th Fighter Wing legacy, and more specifically the wing’s support to the D-Day invasion during World War II,” said Col. Will Marshall, 48th Fighter Wing commander, in a public release.

“It’s kind of a mesh of the old with the new; it’s a P-47 and F-15 hybrid,” said Tech. Sgt. Casey Cheff, 48th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Corrosion Control Section non-commissioned officer in-charge. “We had 25 designs we thought of and managed to work that down to three. It ended up being a great opportunity for training our crew.”



The aircraft sports a checkered pattern on the nose, black stripes down the wings, several national insignias, and a Statue of Liberty painted on the tail. More than 640 man-hours, across 15 days and $15,000 worth of painting equipment went into the process according to the 48th FW.

The crest of the 492nd Fighter Squadron is view-able on the side of an F-15E Strike Eagle painted in the heritage colors of its World War II P-47 Thunderbolt predecessor at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England Jan 30. The 48th Fighter Wing officially unveiled the aircraft publicly during a ceremony on Jan 31. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Matthew Plew)

Let’s wait for some photographer to catch the new special bird flying through the Mach Loop!

About David Cenciotti 3886 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.