The only aircraft that didn't have the USAF on the wing were those which the AF knew were going to be transferred to other nations. I saw a couple being ferried to their home countries, both had US markings but no USAF on the wings.
The only silver USAF F-5E I can ever recall seeing was the "roll out" (I called it a demonstrator) bird.
When it first showed up, it had the blue stripe along the vertical stab and fuselage, the Tiger head on the tail, and "F-5E Tiger" in script somewherre on the fuselage. There may be some pics out there otherwise, but in my AF career, I never saw F-5Es in anything but Aggressor paint schemes.
Ron M (Login ronsm) HyperScale Forums 18.104.22.168
March 28 2011, 7:54 PM
The aircraft you showed was 419, which was the third aircraft built. There was an aircraft with the blue stripe numbered 01467, according to the photo in my F-5E & F Detail & Scale book. But that stripe could have been applied to any aircraft that went to Farnborough or Paris. There were many more silver aircraft flown with the USAF on their wing, some I remember seeing at Edwards AFB when they were in flight test, and, with the USAF training group, that I believe flew out of Luke.
The only Aggressor F-5Es that regularly show up in photos with "USAF" on the wings are in the "Old Snake" and "Old Lizard" schemes.
There's an example of this on the cover of Kinzey's USAF Aggressor Squadrons book. In a six ship formation with "Silver," "Snake, "Blue," "Pumpkin," "Lizard," and "Ghost" F-5Es, only the "Old Snake" and "Old Lizard" jets show USAF on the upper right wing.
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