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F-4C Phantom II 63-7666 'This One's for You Baby' from the 171st FIS, 191st FIG Michigan ANG taxi's back to the ramp after completing a Profile IV mission. This profile was practically the only time the aircraft were seen sporting tanks.

All the 191st Rhino's at WT84 carried nose art:
63-7583 'Never Trust a Smiling Cat'
63-7412 'We Bad!'
63-7595 'Make My Day'
63-7442 'Baby!'
This along with the colorful yellow/Black checks made these jets very popular with photographers and modellers alike.
© Alec Molton/Premier Aviation Auctions
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William Tell is* the USAF's premier fighter competition. Officially designated the 'USAF Air to Air Weapons Meet' William Tell was first held at Yuma, Arizona in 1954 (as part of the USAF Fighter Gunnery & Weapons Meet). In 1958 it moved to it's current home of Tyndall AFB, Florida. The competition is normally conducted every two years and was originally for units of Air Defence Command but was eventually expanded to incorporate air defence units from other commands, the Air National Guard as well as Canada. The naming of an overall winner started in 1980 and in 1996 the teams stopped competing as units but instead represented their various commands, such as Air Force Reserve, Air National Guard.

Report:Peter Greengrass
Photos:Alec Molton (unless noted)

The competition involves the various units flying a range of intercept profiles against manned aircraft, as well as live-firing against sub-scale and full-scale aerial targets (FSAT). This is subdivided into aircraft types, 1984 involved McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagles (Category I), McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II's (Category II) and Convair F-106 Delta Dart's (Category III). The competition is not just limited to the aircrew but also consists of separate contests for the unit's weapon controllers, maintenance personnel and weapons loaders.

William Tell 1984 was notable for a couple of reasons, this was the last year that Convair F-106 Delta Dart equipped units competed (in later years the 'Ultimate Interceptor' still participated as a TARGET!) and this was also the first appearance of the QF-100 as an unmanned target replacing not only the PQM-102's but also the sub-scale BQM-34 'Firebee'. 1984 was also the first year since 1963 that the Canadian Armed Forces did not send a team to compete.

Category I - McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
McChord AFB, Washington

25th NORAD Region/McChord AFB 
The 318th were the only F-15 outfit at William Tell to operate the 'Alpha' model of the Eagle. Photographed here is the 'Squadron bird' F-15A 76-0008. The 318th went on to hit two drones during Profile I/II, killing one of these,QF-100D 56-3313, which was the last kill of the meet.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
76-0008 76-0091 76-0098 76-0099 76-0101    
1st Tactical Fighter Wing FF
Langley AFB, Virginia
72nd TCF/Fort Monroe
F-15C 82-0014/FF, 1st TFW 'First Team' this was one of two 9th Air Force teams competing at WT84, the other being the 33 TFW. The weapons controllers selected to support each unit were taken from the units that they normally worked with, in the case of the 1 TFW this was the 72nd Tactical Control Flight.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
81-0020 81-0032 82-0010 82-0014 82-0030    
33rd Tactical Fighter Wing EG
Eglin AFB, Florida
507th TACW/Shaw AFB; 728th TCS/Eglin AFB
The 33rd TFW would go on to dominate the awards at William Tell, taking top honours in the F-15 category,maintenance, weapon control and receiving the 'Gen. Daniel 'Chappie' James Jr.' Trophy for top team. Here one of their 'Charlie' F-15's (83-0012) returns after another sortie over the Gulf of Mexico.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
82-0037 82-0038 83-0011 83-0012 83-0013    
49th Tactical Fighter Wing HO
Holloman AFB, New Mexico
82nd TCF/Holloman AFB
The 12th Air Forces team went on to win the active duty only aerial gunnery profile at WT84, also taking second and third places. 77-0079 seen here was the personal mount of 'Top Aerial Gunner' Capt. Doug Fraser.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
77-0078 77-0079 77-0102 77-0135 77-0147    
32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron CR
Soesterberg AB, Netherlands
601st TCW/Sembach AB
The 32 TFS was unusual in that it was under the operational command of NATO and the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Seen here is F-15C 79-0029 on the taxiway at Tyndall. The 32nd got the first kill of the meet, when 79-0026 nailed a QF-100 with an AIM-9P on the 12th October.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
79-0018 79-0024 79-0026 79-0027 79-0029    
18th Tactical Fighter Wing ZZ
Kadena AB, Okinawa
623rd TCS;848th AC&WS;26th AS/Kadena AB
F-15C 78-0479 scored a kill against one of the 82nd TATS's Full Size Aerial Targets when Capt Jack Catton hit the drone with an AIM-7. This was the only unassisted kill of WT84.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
78-0477 78-0479 78-0491 78-0497 78-0543    
The Competitors
Category II - McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

William tell '84 comprised of 12 teams from five USAF commands or subordinate organizations. The only command to have problems deciding which units to send to Tyndall, was Air Defence Tactical Air Command (ADTAC). With 17 ADTAC and ADTAC gained ANG Interceptor Squadron's to choose from and only 7 available places, the command decided to hold a competition - named the 'William Tell 84 Shootoff' - to select the units to be sent to Tyndall. This comprised of a series of one day evaluations held during May 1984. The other commands choices were much easier, for example PACAF only had one wing flying F-15's and TAC sent all of it's F-15 Wings!.

Each unit's team comprised of 5 aircraft and crews (4 primary aircraft/crews plus 1 spare), maintenance/weapon loader personnel and a weapons controller team. The Weapons Controller Teams selected were from units that normally worked with the Squadron, group or Wing, and are listed in the following tables in green.

The Competition
The first competition was the Aircrew arrivals on the 7th October,the contest was simple, who could arrive closest to their scheduled arrival time. The winners were the 318th FIS who had a time of + 0h 0m 0.76s, closely followed by the 87th FIS. William Tell proper started two days later on the 10th. The competition was divided into Profiles, numbered from I to V. All missions were flown over the Tyndall ranges in the Gulf of Mexico (see map below).

Profile I/II 'Live Fire'
Profiles I and II were parts of the same mission. The teams flew these profiles as two ship elements, with each element flying the mission twice.

Profile I was a frontal radar missile attack against an unmanned manoeuvring QF-100 FSAT.

Profile II was an IR missile attack from the rear on the same target.

Missions were flown with live missiles but with the warhead removed. The elements were also accompanied by a chase plane for range safety.

Profile III 'Cold Fire'
The aim of this profile was to test the teams ability to scramble (teams were allowed 16 minutes from the 'horn' sounding to getting airborne), identify and engage 2 manned targets. The interceptors launched in pairs. Each aircraft was fitted with 2 simulated IR missiles and 2 Radar missiles. Each target had to be 'killed' by an IR and Radar missile therefore one interceptor could 'kill' both targets if necessary.

Profile IV 'Cold Fire'
This profile involved the teams (all 4 aircraft) attempting to intercept a massed raid involving manned targets (at various altitudes/speeds). Targets used ECM and chaff to evade and a typical target force comprised of 3 F-111's, 2 B-52's, 2 T-33's (for ECM) and 2 F-106's (simulating cruise missiles and ECM aircraft). Each team aircraft was equipped with 3 simulated missiles and 12 targets (some targets did multiple passes through exercise area to provide the 12 targets) were to be engaged, therefore to obtain maximum points all shots had to be on target.

Profile V 'Live Fire'
Live fire aerial gunnery profile against Low Cost Tow Targets (LCTT). This was limited to Active duty units. The aim was for each aircraft to hit the target in a minimum time then score maximum hits. Each 'shooter' was limited to 150 rounds.

Target and Support

There was a total of 40,000 points available, spread between Profiles I,II,III and IV. The total profile scores were used to select the winning team. The awards were split in to team and aircrew awards.

The team awards were 'Top team' and 'Category Best Team', which was awarded to the top Category I,II and III teams (F-15,F-4 and F-106). The individual aircrew scores selected the 'Top Gun' award and also the the top gun award for each aircraft category. The support troops - Maintenance,Weapon Loaders and the Weapon Control teams - also competed for awards and trophy's.

Profile V selected the 'Top Aerial Gunner' and 'Top Aerial Gunnery Team' from the active duty units.

Various other awards were awarded by the various contractors. Among these were the Airframe manufacturers, Sperry Corporation (QF-100 drone conversions) and Cubic Corporation responsible for the ACMI (Aircraft Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation) range equipment used at Tyndall.

Profile I Profile II Profile III Profile IV Total Profile V
33rd TFW/TAC
F-15C 8240 5840 9750 9100 32930 981
49th TFW/TAC
F-15A 7360 8145 9650 7300 32455 2510
142nd FIG/ANG F-4C 7300 9310 9250 6500 32360 -
1st TFW/TAC F-15C 7860 7275 9750 6500 31385 718
119th FIG/ANG F-4D 6120 6890 9600 7850 30460 -
32 TFS/USAFE F-15C 5740 6865 7725 9100 29430 0
318th FIS/ADTAC F-15A 6180 5500 9700 7200 28580 458
18th TFW/PACAF F-15C 6120 8895 5000 8200 28215 1158
177th FIG/ANG F-106A 5180 3800 8950 8300 26230 -
191st FIG/ANG F-4D 4620 6930 4000 8300 23850 -
87th FIS/ADTAC F-106A 1680 3585 9300 8200 22765 527
102nd FIW/ANG F-106A 3000 1890 9000 7500 21390 -


As can be seen from the table below the 33rd TFW won the 'Top Team' trophy, they also took top honours in the F-15 aircraft category. Capt. Scott 'Stork' Turner from the 32nd TFS was named 'Top Gun'. The 87th FIS won the 'Top Weapons Load' award and then it was 33rd TFW all the way, winning the maintenance awards and also their weapons controllers - the 507th TACW - took the award for 'Top Control Team'.

In the active duty only category of aerial gunnery, the 49th TFW were top dogs with a points total of 2510, 884 of these provided by Capt. Doug M Fraser who was named 'Top Aerial Gunner'.

WT84 QF-100 Drone Kills & Hits
Date QF-100D
Serial/Code Type Serial Unit Crew Weapon
12/10/84 56-3044/125 F-15C 79-0026 32 TFS Capt. S Turner AIM-9 KILL/F-15 Chase
First kill of meet
13/10/84 56-3410/135 F-15 ? 18 TFW ? AIM-9 HIT
F-4 ? 191 FIG ? AIM-9 HIT/Recovered
18/10/84 56-3253/127 F-4C 63-7532 142 FIG Capt. L Kemp (Pilot)
Capt. R Peterson (WSO)
AIM-7 KILL/F-15 Chase missed Self destructed
18/10/84 56-3251/124 F-4C
142 FIG
LtCol. R Pilcher (Pilot)
Maj. D Anderson (WSO)
F-15C ? 1 TFW Capt. Carl Van Pelt AIM-9 KILL - F-15 Chase (Gun)
19/10/84 55-2949/146 F-15C 78-0479 18 TFW Capt. J Catton AIM-7 KILL/Destroyed
First unassisted kill of meet
19/10/84 55-2898/143 F-15C ? 33 TFW Capt. E Cantwell AIM-7 KILL/Destroyed
20/10/84 55-3564/148 F-15A 76-0008 318 FIS Capt. R Hill AIM-9 HIT/Recovered
22/10/84 56-3313/129 F-15A 76-0101 318 FIS Capt. D Darnell AIM-7 KILL/Self destructed
Last kill of meet

For interceptors to do their job they need targets, and at William Tell '84 Tactical Air Command provided quite a variety of target aircraft for the meet. Based at nearby bases (see map) were A-7's, F-4's, F-16's and F-111's, which along with Tyndall based F-15's, T-33's and deployed F-106's made up the target package's for Profiles III/IV. Strategic Air Command weren't to be left out neither, providing two B-52 targets for each Profile IV evaluation. These launched from their Bomb Wings respective home bases and were flown as normal training missions by the crews.

Profiles I/II were the 'live fire' parts of the meet and this was where the old 'Huns' earned their money. QF-100D FSAT's flew 24 sorties during October in support of WT84 and only eight times did they fail to return (see table below for a list of these) An interesting side story to this concerns QF-100D 55-3564 named 'Carl's Hun' which was hit and lost a wing tip but recovered to Tyndall on Saturday 20th October. On that day it was being 'flown' by RCA Service Company contractor Carl Jeffcoat (The drones were operated by this company on behalf of the 82 TATS) who twenty years earlier had flown this same aircraft on his first assignment.

None the less important as the target aircraft were the support aircraft based at Tyndall. Moody F-4E's were deployed for Profile V as target tugs, whilst Tyndall's own 325th Tactical Training Wing (TTW) F-15's and T-33A's flew numerous sorties as Range patrols and Chase aircraft. Especially sought after, was the opportunity to fly chase on Profiles I/II where the chase might be called in to finish of a damaged drone (Lt Col Doug Weidman found himself in just this situation on the 12th October and got some 'gun time' on QF-100D 56-3044)

The table below lists all units and aircraft that operated in support of William Tell '84. In the case of the 325 TTW (F-15/T-33) and 475 WEG (QF-100) only aircraft known to have directly supported the meet are listed.
Credits & Sources

This 'Those Were the Days 03' could of not been possible without two things, one a book by John M Deur 'William Tell 84' published by Aeolus Publishing Limited and the slides shot by Alec Molton of Premier Aviation Auctions (Then as proprietor of Mil-Slides) which I have the privilege of having in my collection. Therefore we would like to offer our thanks to these two gentlemen as well as the following guys in the 'fraternity' ; Doug Slowiak, Daniel Soulaine, Steve Hill, Don Logan and Tom Hildreth.

William Tell 84 by Aelus Publictions   Journal of Military Aviation Vol2/2 - article 'William Tell 1992 by Steve Hill
Wings of Fame (various issues) Aerospace Publishing Ltd   Aviation News (various issues)
USAF Fighter Interceptor Squadrons (Osprey)   F-4C Phantoms C&M Vol.3 (Detail&Scale Publication)
World Air Power Journal (various issues)    
* The last time the event was held was in 1996, Whether it will ever be held again is anyones guess! It has missed years before, between 1966 and 1969 (Vietnam), 1990 (Desert Storm) so their is still a possibilty it could be held in the future.
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123rd Fighter Interceptor Squadron
142nd FIG - Oregon ANG
Portland IAP, Oregon
25th NORAD Region/McChord AFB
Resting between sorties is Oregon ANG F-4C 64-0713. Previously equipped with the F-101B Voodoo, they re-equipped with Phantom's in 1978. In October 1989 they receive their first F-15's which they still fly today.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
F-4C 63-7532 63-7670 63-7699 64-0713 64-0776    
171st Fighter Interceptor Squadron
191st FIG - Michigan ANG
Selfridge ANGB, Michigan

24th NORAD Region/Griffiss AFB

F-4C 63-7442 'Baby'. The 171st received their F-4C's in 1978 being the first ANG unit to transition from F-106's. The squadron went on to operate F-4D's and then in 1990 re-equipped with F-16A ADF's.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
F-4C 63-7412 63-7442 63-7583 63-7595 63-7666    
178th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
119th FIG - North Dakota ANG
Hector Field, North Dakota

25th NORAD/McChord AFB
Returning after a Profile I/II mission, 64-0959 from 178th FIS 'the Happy Hooligans' still has a live AIM-9P Sidewinder. The 119th had been the ANG winners at William Tell in 1970,1972 with F-101B Voodoo's and would go on to be the leading ANG unit in WT86 (F-4D)and 94 (F-16A ADF)
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
F-4D 64-0953 64-0959 64-0965 64-0976 64-0977    
Category III - Convair F-106 Delta Dart
87th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
K.I. Sawyer AFB, Michigan
24th NORAD/Griffiss AFB
The 87th FIS were the only active duty F-106 operator competing in WT84 and this was the last time active duty 'Six's' would attend. A 'Red Bulls' F-106A 56-0466 taxis in after a mission.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
F-106A 56-0466 57-0241 59-0035 59-0051 59-0097    
101st Fighter Interceptor Squadron
102nd FIW - Massachusetts ANG
Otis ANGB, Massachusetts
24th NORAD/Griffiss AFB
This was the third time the 101st had competed in a William Tell, in 1978 they finished fourth, 1980 second was this third time lucky...
F-106A 57-2505 would appear at Tyndall again but as a target, QF-106/AD204. It was shot down in 1993 by a AIM-7M.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
F-106A 57-2467 57-2493 57-2503 57-2505 57-2506    
119th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
177th FIG - New Jersey ANG
Atlantic City ANGB, New Jersey
24th NORAD/Griffiss AFB 
The New Jersey ANG 177 FIG were destined to be last operational operators of the Delta Dart. F-106A 59-0048 would return to Tyndall, as most F-106's would, under the 'Pacer Six' Drone conversion project. As QF-106/AD217 it crashed on landing on 5 November 1996.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
F-106A 59-0027 59-0031 59-0037 59-0048 59-0049    
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The competition aircraft and teams weren't the only aircraft and units taking part, Tactical Air Command supplied various aircraft to operate as targets for the meet. Hover mouse over Bases to find out which units and aircraft were based at each location in support of William Tell 84.
For more info concerning these units see Targets & Support Below
Tyndall AFB
Target (Profile III/IV)
5th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
Minot AFB, North Dakota
The 5th FIS despatched three 'Sixes' to Tyndall. Shot here between target sorties is F-106A 59-0002 which coincidentally ended it's career as a real target, when as QF-106/AD113 it was shot down by an AIM-7M over the Tyndall ranges on 27th March 1992.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
F-106A 56-0461 59-0002 59-0130    
49th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
Griffiss AFB, New York
Returning after a Profile III sortie is F-106A 59-0077 (this aircraft also returned to Tyndall as a drone and was dipatched by an AIM-7 in July 1993) from the Griffiss based 49th FIS. The F-106 was used during Profile IV evaluations to simulate Cruise missiles.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
F-106A 59-0077 59-0081 59-0127 59-0135  
159th Fighter Interceptor Squadron
125th FIG - Florida ANG
Jacksonville IAP, Florida
A 'FANG' F-106A returns to the ramp. The 125th Fighter Interceptor Group had finished fourth in WT 76, the last time they participated as a team. In February 1992 59-0109 was another QF-106 shot down, this time by an AIM-120.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
F-106A 59-0104 59-0109      
Target (Profile III*/IV**) & Support (Range Patrol & Chase duties)
1st Tactical Fighter Training Squadron TY
2nd Tactical Fighter Training Squadron
325th TTW - ADWC
Tyndall AFB, Florida
F-15A 74-0114 returning to the ramp after a Range patrol mission. Tyndall F-15s were extensively used for safety chase duties. A bonus for these pilots was the opportunity to 'Gun' any damaged drones that were non recoverable.
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions
F-15A 74-0102 74-0103 74-0110 74-0112* 74-0113 74-0114 74-0116 74-0132 74-0134 75-0021
  75-0027 75-0031 75-0032 75-0034 75-0036 75-0044 75-0060*      
F-15B 74-0137 74-0140 74-0142 75-0080 75-0081 75-0082 75-0084* 75-0086* 75-0088 75-0089*
  76-0125 76-0134                
95th Fighter Interceptor Training Squadron
325th TTW - ADWC
Tyndall AFB, Florida
Photographed four years previous, in May 1980 is T-33A 58-2101 from the 95th FITS. This aircraft didn't actively participate in WT84 but was still operational with the unit at that time. The T-33's flew mainly as range patrols but were also used as ECM targets during Profile IV.
T-33A 53-5947 57-0761 58-0467 58-0494 58-0508 58-0577 58-0628**      
Target (Profile I/II)
82nd Tactical Aerial Targets Squadron
475th WEG - ADWC
Tyndall AFB, Florida

Photographed here at 'Death Row' during WT84 is QF-100D 56-3313/129. This aircraft was hit by an AIM-7 which took of a wing! It was then remotely self destructed (This being the last kill of the meet).
Alec Molton/Premier Slide Auctions

QF-100D 55-3668 56-3251 56-3044 56-3239 56-3253 56-3291 56-3313 56-3310 56-3328 56-3389
  56-3410 55-3593 55-2898 55-3623 55-2889 55-2949 55-3564      
Support (Search & Rescue)
38th Aerospace Rescue & Recovery Squadron - Detachment 5
39th ARRW - TAC
Tyndall AFB, Florida
CH-3E 65-12800 shot at Tyndall during a Jan 85 excercise named 'Copper Flag'.
Tom Hildreth
CH-3E 64-14223 64-14226 65-12800              
Moody AFB* - Target (Profile III) & Tyndall AFB - Support (Profile V)
70th Tactical Fighter Squadron MY
347th TFW - TAC
Moody AFB, Georgia
F-4E 68-0447 photographed at Moody AFB during October 1984 was one of the two F-4E's that flew as targets for Profile III. The 70th TFS also provided four aircraft as target tugs for Profile V. The Phantoms were equipped with LCTT's (Low Cost Tow Targets)
Daniel Soulaine
F-4E 68-0447* 68-0490* 68-0343 68-0346 68-0511 68-0536        
MacDill AFB - Target (Profile III)
166th Tactical Fighter Squadron OH
121st TFW - TAC
Rickenbacker AFB, Ohio
The 121st TFW flew their A-7D's as targets on Profile III evaluations. Each Profile III mission required 4 dissimilar aircraft, comprised of one A-7D, one F-16 and one each of either an F-4,F-15 or F-106 depending on the teams aircraft type.
Unknown/Peter Greengrass Collection
A-7D 71-0347 72-0191 72-0251              
16th Tactical Fighter Squadron HL
388th TFW - TAC
Hill AFB, Utah
The other profile III targets flown from MacDill during the meet were F-16A's from the Hill AFB based 388th TFW. Photographed four years later in April 1988 is one of them, 82-0921. The F-16 community had to wait until 1992 to participate as competitors at William Tell.
Douglas E Slowiak/Vortex Photo Graphics
F-16A 82-0919 82-0921 82-0923              
Eglin AFB - Target (Profile IV)
524th Tactical Fighter Squadron CC
27th TFW - TAC
Cannon AFB, New Mexico
F-111D 68-0123/CC (photographed here attending William Tell 92) was one of six F-111D's operated from Eglin AFB as targets for Profile IV.
Steve Hill/EMCS
F-111D 68-0096 68-0123 68-0148 68-0163 68-0171 68-0177        
Homebased SAC B-52 - Target (Profile IV)
Bombardment Wings - SAC
B-52's like this example flew target sorties from their home bases. Each target package consisted of two B-52's. B-52G 59-2599 from the 2nd BW was photographed 6 months later, 22nd May 1985 at RAF Fairford. (It is not known whether this actual aircraft participated in WT84 though)
Unknown/Peter Greengrass Collection
B-52G/H Unknown - Various            
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