Air Force Jets Fly in 'USA' Formation
Netlore Archive: Viral image purports to show a Veterans Day flyby of T-38 Talon jet fighters in 'USA' formation over Randolph Air Force Base.
Description: Emailed image
Circulating since: Dec 2002
Email contributed by R. Figueira, Jan. 22, 2003:
Subject: Fw: Hip Hip Hooray for the Fly Boys
Randolph AFB is near San Antonio, Texas, and is the headquarters of AETC, Air Education and Training Command. The building shown is Bldg. 100, best known as the "Taj Mahal", and originally served as the administration building for Randolph Field, Texas. Today, the building serves as the 12th Flying Training Wing headquarters on Randolph Airfare Base. The base was recently named a national historic landmark on the National Register of Historical Places by Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton. The formation was flown on Veterans Day, November 11th, 2002. The aircraft in the formation are the T-38 Talon, the supersonic trainer flown by USAF student pilots.
Analysis: MSgt. Lee Roberts of the public affairs office of Randolph Air Force Base expressed more than a little exasperation when I queried him as to the authenticity of this photo. "I'm getting inundated with email on this subject," he said, and urged me to spread the word: "The flyby never took place. The photo is an illustration."
I wasn't able to determine who created the "illustration" or where it was originally published, but it has been circulating by email and posted on various Websites since December 2002. Its intent, in an atmosphere of looming war, is clearly to spread patriotic sentiment among Americans, though at least one variant of the accompanying text sounds a note of caution as well: "Please pray for all our young men and women serving our country and going into danger, that we might keep our Freedom. And please pray for wisdom for our leaders."
Amen to that.
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History of 'Taj Mahal' (Building 100) at Randolph Field
From the Randolph AFB Website
Randolph Field Historical District
National Park Service
Last updated: 02/13/02