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
Sterling J. Moeller
In 1948, after graduating from Cuero High School in Cuero, Texas, Sterling “Sam” Moeller enlisted in the United States Air Force to carry out his dream. He was given the nickname Sam because Sterling took too long to say. He held the enlisted rank of Staff Sergeant until being commissioned as an officer and receiving his pilots’ wings in August, 1953.
During his Air Force career, he was stationed at Perrin AFB in Denison, Texas, where he married and welcomed his first daughter. Stationed at Yokota AFB in Japan he welcomed daughters two and three; at Chanute AFB in Rantoul, IL he welcomed daughter four; and finally at Cannon AFB in Clovis, NM he welcomed his only son. Upon receiving a promotion from Captain to Major, Sterling was assigned to Da Nang AB in Vietnam as the Base Operations Officer. When his tour of duty in Vietnam was complete, he was assigned back to Perrin AFB.
During his Air Force career, he was awarded the Bronze Star and Air Force Commendation Medals for meritorious service. As a fighter pilot, he flew many planes including the T28, F86D and T33. He was a member of the Mach Buster’s Club, having exceeded the speed of sound in a USAF F-100 Super Sabre and holds a place on the National Air and Space Museum’s Wall of Honor.
After retiring from the Air Force in July 1968, Sterling went on to work for American Airlines from 1969 to 1970 as a pilot instructor. In June 1971, he went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration, Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in Oklahoma City as an Aviation Safety Inspector. During his time with FAA, he learned to fly helicopters adding helicopter pilot and instructor to his list of many accomplishments. He retired from FAA in January, 1993.