An A-10C Warthog has been rolled out of the paint barn at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona wearing one of the most iconic camouflage patterns ever to fly on American warplanes—the Southeast Asia scheme that adorned thousands of aircraft during the decade-long Vietnam War.
The Warthog Demo Team will be flying the special jet, which also has a list of names that memorializes members of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing who were Killed In Action or became Prisoners of War during the conflict in Southeast Asia on its nose, for the 2021 airshow season. The 355th Tactical Fighter Wing, which flew F-105D Thunderchiefs and later A-7D Corsair II combat jets out of Thailand during the late 1960s and early 1970s, subsequently became the 355th Fighter Wing, the primary operational unit at Davis-Monthan today.
While other commemorative schemes have made their way around the Air Force, the Southeast Asia one hasn't really gotten as much play as one would think it would. Most recently, a T-38C jet trainer wore the scheme and the QF-4 demo jet also wore it prior to the type's retirement. A UH-1N Twin Huey helicopter also appeared with this pattern last year. In recent years, the A-10 demo team flew a handful of World War II commemorative schemes on its primary display jet.
But not only does it hearken back to the Vietnam War, it also plays a bit into the history of the A-10 itself, which came into being as that conflict was wrapping up and wore a green camouflage scheme for the Cold War portion of its service life.
In fact, one could argue that, for the A-10, the Southeast Asia scheme is far more relevant today than its current overall gray scheme, especially in regards to the presence these jets have had over eastern Europe and even parts of the Middle East where the airspace was less than totally friendly in recent years.
Regardless, it is a great tribute to all those who fought in the Vietnam War, and especially to those who gave their lives or experienced the horrors of captivity during the bloody conflict. It will also add some great variety to the team's look for the 2021 season.
You can check out the A-10 Demo Team this year at the locations and dates shown below:
Contact the author: Tyler@thedrive.com