The F-111 Aardvark is a supersonic, medium range and tactical fighter aircraft that was designed by General Dynamics with the help of Grumman. The F-111 was apart of the Tactical Fighter Experimental program that was suppose to be for the US Air Force and the US Navy. The first F-111 rolled out of the Fort Worth, Texas plant on October 15, 1964. In 1968 the US Navy canceled the F-111B due to weight and performance issues. The F-111C model was developed for the Royal Australian Air Force with the first ones being accepted at Nellis Air Force Base(AFB) on March 15, 1973. The F-111A,D,E and F models were all designed for the US Air Force. Production ended in 1976 with the final total being 563 F-111.
The first initial 6 USAF F-111 were delivered to Nellis AFB on July 17, 1967 to the 428th Tactical Fighter Squadron for crew training. After some initial testing phase, these six F-111 were quickly deployed to Southeast Asia in March of 1968 for Combat Lancer testing against the North Vietnamese. After a month being deployed the F-111 detachment had lost 3 aircraft and they decided to halt all testing. It took nearly 3 more years of testing before the 474th Tactical Fighter Wing at Nellis AFB became fully operational.
For these reasons we chose to incorporate the 428th Tactical Fighter Squadron and the 474th Tactical Fighter Wing patches on the bottom of the F-111 Challenge Coin. We wanted to honor the men and women at Nellis AFB for their initial testing and helping to make the F-111 Aardvark fully operational. This aircraft is scaled to size at 3 inches and has a polished nickel finish to really make it pop.
This diecast challenge coin is 3 inches in size with a polished nickel finish.
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