The reason I feel a special connection to the AG-51 is that my late father-in-law was assigned to the squadron. He flew the RF-4 in the first echelon in the late seventies; the time I met my wife.
I will not duplicate the content of the AG-51 home page, which I encourage you to visit. They have published very nice pictures of their recon aircraft. The site is in German, but if you don't speak that language, you can find an overview of the squadron's history in English below.
1959 – Nomination order for the Recon Squadron 51
1959 – Put under command of the German Air Force Group South
1959 – Commission of Recon Squadron 51 on the base Erding (ETSE)
1959 – Outfitted with the RF-84F Thunderflash
1960 – Start of redeployment to the base Ingolstadt-Manching (ETSI)
1960 – ETSI became the first German air base directly under command of the NATO
1960 – The owl officially became the Squadron insignia
1960 – Completion of the redeployment to ETSI
1961 – Grant of the traditional name "Immelmann"
1961 – The Squadron was put under command of the NATO
1963 – Open day with air show and over 100.000 visitors
1965 – Refitting with the RF-104G Starfighter
1968 – 1st award of the Prinz-Heinrich prize
1969 – Redeployment to the base Bremgarten (EDSG)
1970 – Award of the Flugsicherheitspreis (Flight Safety Award)
1971 – Refitting with the RF-4E Phantom
1972 – Open day with air show and over 100.000 visitors
1973 – 2nd place on the NATO competition Royal Flush XVII
1975 – Best rating at TAC EVAL
1975 – 1st place on the NATO competition Royal Flush XVIII
1976 – Participation in the Frankfurt Flight Show with two F-4 Phantom
1976 – 2nd award of the Prinz-Heinrich prize
1976 – Open day with air show and over 150.000 visitors
1977 – Celebration of 50.000 incident free flight hours covering 39.000.000 flight kilometres.
1977 – Echelon exchange with the 41 (F) Squadron Coltishall
1978 – Echelon exchange with Italian squadron based at Gioia del Colle
1979 – 3rd award of the Prinz-Heinrich prize
1978 – Echelon exchange with Norwegian squadron based at Rygge
1978 – Echelon exchange with Danish squadron based at Karup
1980 – Host to eighteen F-15 aircraft after nonstop transatlantic flight related to the exercise "Coronet Eagle 80"
1981 – Deployment of a command to Beja/Portugal
1982 – Host to twenty-four F-15 aircraft and a crew of 573 ground personnel belonging to the 58. TFS – 33. TFW from Florida
1983 – Echelon exchange with Turkish 113 Sqn based at Eskisehir
1984 – 4th award of the Prinz-Heinrich prize
1984 – Host to an exercise of the 60th Fighter Sqn from Eglin with twelfth F-15 and 330 ground personnel
1989 – Award of the Flugsicherheitspreis (Flight Safety Award)
1991 – 5th award of the Prinz-Heinrich prize
1991 – Award of the Flugsicherheitspreis (Flight Safety Award)
1992 – Release from NATO assignment
1993 – Award of the Flugsicherheitspreis (Flight Safety Award)
1993 – The last aircraft leaves the base
1993 – Decommissioning with Great Tattoo
1994 – The last soldier leaves the base
1994 the new Recon Squadron 51 was commissioned at the base Schleswig-Jagel (ETNS). While the traditional number and name "AG-51 Immelmann" from the old AG-51 survived, the Red Owl was finally sent into retirement. Instead the Black Panther from the likewise decommissioned Recon Squadron AG-52 was chosen as the new squadron emblem. The new AG-51 is the only recon squadron of the German Luftwaffe. They are equipped with 46 Recce Tornado aircraft. Since 2007 they participate in the ISAF Force in Afghanistan with recon missions from the base in Mazar-e-Sharif.
Click on the logo below to visit the homepage of the former Recon Squadron AG-51 Immelmann.
The airport Bremgarten (EDSG, today EDTG) was planned in 1950 by the "Haute Commission alliéé en Allemagne" in coordination with the German government. It is located in the southwestern part of Germany, close to Switzerland and only a stone's throw from the French border. Construction work began in 1952 and by 1953 the airport was in full operation with the Brigade Aerienne of the French Air Force.
Planning had gone far to avoid the possible evacuation of a nearby town. People who had lost fields and land to the airport often found work on the base. By the time the first AG-51 units arrived in 1968, the airport had become positively integrated into the region.
After the AG-51 was decommissioned, the former base was turned into a business park. Today the airfield is in civilian use. Click on the image below to open the airport website.
RF-4E - Special Paintwork
Twice the AG-51 has created very remarkable paint schemes for the RF-4 to honor special moments in the squadron's history. One of them is certainly the "Last Call" design. But the masterpiece was the 25th anniversary livery.
You should visit the squadron's homepage to see more photos published there
I would like to pay tribute to Michael Pearson for his skill and work in creating these special liveries for the Flight Simulator at my request. In addition to the 25th Anniversary
and the Last Call
liveries, Mike also created the standard camouflage scheme
Thank you, Mike!
Two repaints and two photos ;-)
(all photos on this page are © Traditionsverein Aufklärungsgeschwader 51 "Immelmann" Bremgarten e.V.)