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Wing Emblems

The 116th Air Refueling Squadron Patch The notable ace of spades patch that is worn on the flight suits of the air crew of the 116th Air Refueling Squadron was approved in 1931. At that time the unit was known as the 116th Observation Squadron and was located at Felts Field in the Spokane Valley. The officer in charge of the photo section was Lt. Laurie Heral and he is credited with the original design of the squadron ace. Wing legend is that Lt. Heral came up with the idea during a late night squadron poker game. The lieutenant removed the ace of spades from the deck and threw it on the table. All players agree the card was known as the death card. Lt. Heral decided that using the ace of spades alone as the squadron insignia wouldn't be enough of an attention grabber. He wanted to make a statement. Lt. Heral then took out a dagger and drove it through the center of the card. The ace and dagger insignia idea was born. The words "Caveat hostis" Latin for "Let the enemy beware" was added in a banner on the lower left corner of the playing card. The design was then sent to the Pentagon for approval. The ace of spades with the dagger was approved, but the banner was not. Squadron members cut the ace and dagger silhouettes out of sheet metal and hand painted each one. They were then taken out to the flight line and screwed on each side of the fuselage of the unit's O-17 aircraft. The silhouettes were placed slanted to the left. In photos taken during that era, the dagger's blade would point directly to the ground when parked on the flight line. Once the aircraft was airborne, the dagger would be in the appropriate position. The ace and dagger insignia was also placed high above the hangar doors at Felts Field. It is still displayed on the hangar today even though the unit moved from Felts Field in 1949. The 141st Air Refueling Wing Patch The wing patch depicts the ash of Mount St. Helens spewing out of the mountaintop. There are a total of three green mountain peaks, two of which are snow capped and the third is the volcano erupting. The peaks are set against an azure blue sky with a bright yellow sun rising from between two of the peaks. A white plume of ash rises from the volcano. Directly below the scalloped band of red and white are six yellow five-pointed stars arranged on a deep ultramarine blue background. The shield is piped or bordered in Air Force yellow.