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Unit History

105 Squadron

(105 Tayeset "Ha'Akrav" - The Scorpion Squadron)
Role: Fighter, later Fighter-Bomber

The Cheyl Ha'Avir's second fighter unit, 105 squadron, was formed in August 1950 to act principally as an OTU for 101 sqn. It had originally been planned to form the unit earlier, with the Spitfires which instead went to 101 sqn in September 1948. Flying commenced at Herzliya, with the arrival of additional Spitfires, alongside 101 sqn.

From 1951, the squadron strength was supplemented by a number of ex-Swedish P-51D Mustangs. In late 1952 the unit was described as a Fighter/Photo Recce OTU mostly with Spitfires. Further Spitfires were acquired in March 1954, when 107 sqn was disbanded, and its aircraft transferred to 105 sqn. The unit temporarily closed in February 1956 when all the Spitfires were retired, but a short while later reformed with P-51Ds on 1 June 1956 at Ramat David. It was placed in reserve (with its aircraft going into storage) on 21 September 1956; only to be called up on 25 October for the Sinai Campaign - at which time it had 13 P-51Ds. 105 sqn conducted extensive close air support operations in the 1956 Sinai Campaign, losing several aircraft to ground fire. The unit disbanded late November 1956, with the remaining P-51s going to 116 sqn.

In December 1958, the first examples of the potent Super Mystere B.2 were delivered, making 105 for a while the IDF/AF's premier interceptor fighter squadron. A further batch of ex-Armee de l'Air examples was received in 1963.

Super Mystere B.2 096 has been converted to Sa'ar configurationClose-up of the tail fin

Although theoretically outclassed by the time of the Six Day War, in June 1967, the type flew extensive interception and fighter escort missions and 105 sqn claimed over 16 kills in air combat for 9 losses. At least two of the kills were against Syrian MiG-21's.

Although the nominal strength of the unit was 36 Super Mystere B.2s, it was often much higher than this. During the period 1960-67 Israel undertook the regular overhaul of more than 60 French Air Force Super Mysteres, and many of these aircraft saw short periods of service with the IDF/AF (without permission) before being returned to their rightful owner. It is of interest that the unit's Scorpion badge is very similar to the marking carried by Armee de l'Air unit EC2/12 (also a Super Mystere B.2 unit at the time). Postwar, the type was relegated to ground attack missions, although high fuel consumption at low level severely limited endurance. A drastic solution was developed, which involved rebuilding the Super Mystere's rear fuselage to accommodate the J52 engine used by the A-4H Skyhawk. A total of 26 aircraft were re-engined in 1969-73. Some 22 examples were available to fly attack missions in the Yom Kippur War, during the course of which 6 aircraft were lost. The squadron reportedly also used a small number of Neshers after October 1973.

The Super Mystere's were finally retired in March 1975, in favour of the F-4E Phantom. The unit received twenty-four F-4Es in early 1975, becoming last unit to convert, but has never operated the RF-4E.

The unit now operates the F-16C block 40, having converted in 1991. This variant being distinguished from the block 30 aircraft by the tinted cockpit canopy and an additional blade aerial on the forward part of the fuselage/fin fairing.

Air Bases:
Base Duration
Herzliya Aug 1950-Feb 1956
Ramat David June 1956-Nov 1956
Hatzor Dec 1958-Present

Aircraft Used:
Type Qty Service Badge Example Serials
Spitfire LFIXE15+Jan 1949 - Feb 19561,2,303,24,48,64, 69,79
P-51D Mustang201951 - Nov 19561,2,3141
Super Mystere B.236Dec 1958 - Mar 1975 02,06,18,25, 30,66,70,325,705,708,821
F-4E22Mar 1975 - 19915,6216,223
F-16C Block 40141991 - Present4534
F-16D Block 40141991 - Present4621,628

Unit Insignia:
Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3
Figure 4 Figure 5 Figure 6
to be added
Figures 2, 4 & 5 courtesy of Amos Dor

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First Created: 9 January 1998 - Last Revised: 30 March 1998
Copyright © 1998 John Hayles.     e-mail: