29 September 1954 – The North American F-100 Super Sabre entered service with the United States Air Force‘s 479th Fighter Wing. Initially, the new wing maintained tactical proficiency with the World War II-era F-51Ds inherited from the Air National Guard, then in February 1953 upgrading to the North American F-86H Sabre jet aircraft. The wing
Henry J. Pirkkala, Jr.
John “Perk” Pirkkala flew the F-10o with the 429th Tactical Fighter Squadron, “Black Falcons”, out of Cannon AFB, NM from August 1967 to March of 1968 and then with the 352nd Tactical Fighter Squadron “Yellow Jackets” out of Phan Rang AB, Vietnam from April 1968 to April of 1969. In March of 1969 Perk was a “Top Gun” in the F-100.
John was a proud member of the Cadet Class of 1960. He was a Vietnam War Veteran and served active duty for over 20‑years. Perk flew 257 combat missions in the F-100D and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, 12 Air Medals, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm device for his actions during the Vietnam War.