One of the most historical Hellenic Air Force Squadrons, the 341st "Arrow", celebrated its 60th Anniversary on Friday 20th of June 2014. Read more on the history of the greek "Arrows", the celebrations and we keep for surprise some extra bonus photos from the making of this beautiful F-16 paint scheme.
341 Squadron formed in July 1954 in 112 Combat Wing () at Eleusis and as 341 Day Interception Squadron was equipped with the F-86E fighter aircraft. During the period of between 21st to June 26th, 1955 the 341 squadron consisting of 25 fighter aircraft, pilots and technical personnel redeployed to 111CW at Volos - Nea Anchialos. On 3rd of November 1956 the squadron redeployed to 114CW at Tanagra. An brand chapter in 341 Squadron's long history is that from August 1957 to September 1964. During this period, the flying and technical personnel of the Squadron created the second acrobatic Hellenic Air Force team equipped with F-86E and named as Acroteam (from the acronym Acrobatic Team). In early 1962 the team was renamed to "Greek Flame" (Hellenic Flame) and flew with that name until its dissolution in autumn 1964.
In May 1960 341 Squadron returned to 111CW and on July 1965 the F-86E type was replaced with the new F-5A/B Freedom Fighter. In June 1971 changing the primary role from Interception into Bombardment but in 1975 changes its role once more from Bombardment into Day Interception. In August 1993, 341 Squadron was dissolved in 111CW and handed over the aircraft to 343 Squadron at 113CW in Thessaloniki.
On 30 March 1998 the squadron was reconstituted to receive the F-16 C/D Block 50.
60 Years Celebration
On Friday, June 20, 2014, in the presence of the Chief of Tactical Air Force, Air Marshal Christos Vaitsis the ceremony of the 60th anniversary from the establishment of 341 Squadron took place at 111 Combat Wing, Air Base of New Achialos.
The program of the event included a wreath, a memorial service invitation for the fallen, reading the Daily orders from the Commander of the Squadron, Wing Commander Dimitrios Nikolaidis, photographic and static display and flight / passing of the anniversary esepcially painted aircraft in formation with other two F-16s.
The ceremony attended also the Commander of Air Support, Major General Christos Christodoulou, Former Commanders of 341 Squadron, its serving and retired personnel , having served in the squadron, delegations Officers of the Armed Forces and a large number of guests.
Attendees had the opportunity and luck to enjoy a specially painted F-16 with Squadron's colors. This artistic masterpiece was the result of a team of people who where responsible for the overall design:
- Sq. Commander - Lt Colonel Dimitrios Nikolaidis
- Stelios P. Kontopoulos on behalf of Highlander gp
- 2nd Lieutenant George Athanasiadis
Another artwork team was responsible for the painting of the aircraft:
- 2nd Lieutenant George Athanasiadis
- Warrant Officer Dimosthenis Anagnostakis
- Chief Master Sergeant Anastasia Pazaridi
The final result was more than great. Only for the visitors of airforce.gr 2nd Lieutenant George Athanasiadis made us the honor to provide some step by step photos from the painting process. You can enjoy them below.
Photos by Kostas Alkousis, George Athanasiadis :
At the celebration a limited edition anniversary patch and a photobook were available for sale to the attendees. If you wish to order the photobook please feel free to visit Eagleaviation.gr. The patch is manufactured by Highlander gp.
*We would like to sincerely thank 2nd Lieutenant George Athanasiadis for his kind help for the preparation of this article and our supportive friend Kostas Alkousis for providing the photos.
We wish to 341 Squadron's personnel Clear Skies and Safe Landings !!!