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Wing's shield preserves long heritage

  • Published
  • By John Okonski
  • 51st Fighter Wing Historian
The shield of the 51st Fighter Wing symbolizes the unit's mission and retains a rich heritage that spans 65 years. The shield was was originally approved for the 51st Pursuit Group on Feb. 5, 1942.

The reflex blue and gold represent Air Force colors. The shield is divided by a partition line called a nebuly which represents a cloud formation. Pegasus, the winged horse of mythology, is shown in an attitude of flight, rising to the sky with a flaming machine gun under each wing to accomplish the mission assigned successfully.  

When the 51st Pursuit Group were deploying for their wartime location in the early days of World War II, the group commander received permission from Mobil Oil Co. to use its trademarked red Pegasus as a basis for their emblem. The War Department approved the emblem with a scroll beneath the emblem.  

On the original emblem, words "Deftly and Swiftly," were below the shield as the wing's motto. For today's emblem, the words were replaced with "Leading the Charge" and approved on June 1, 1993. It has remained unchanged.

For more on the shield's origins, read "51st Fighter Wing Shield."