Youngstown Herc art and tail flash honor heritage and community

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Noah J. Tancer and Mr. Eric M. White
  • 910th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

The 910th Airlift Wing unveiled the fleet’s new C-130H Hercules tail flash along with a new nose art honoring the 75th anniversary of the 757th Airlift Squadron here, May 3, 2018.

The old tail flash design represented the 910th AW’s original two C-130 squadrons, the 773rd AS, the "red" squadron, and the 757th AS, the "blue" squadron. Following the inactivation of the 773rd AS in 2014, Col. Dan Sarachene, Commander of the 910th Airlift Wing, thought it was time for a change.

“The inspiration for changing our tail flash first came to me after seeing a social media posting describing the elements of a ‘Fin Flash,’” said Sarachene. “We no longer had two C-130 squadrons.”

During several meetings and casual conversations within the public affairs office, several different ideas for the tail flash floated around. One that kept coming up was to tie the new design into the Mahoning Valley.

“The addition of the Ohio state flag, the state map icon with the star depicting YARS’s location and of course Youngstown spelled out with the Youngstown State University ‘Y’, clearly identifies where we are along with who we are, as we show our mission presence around the world,” said Sarachene. “We're proud to be a part of the Mahoning Valley, a defense community, and hope the latest ‘Fin Flash’ design represents where we come from and the support we garner.”

The designer who brought Col. Sarachene’s idea for the new tail flash to life is Master Sgt. Bob Barko Jr., the superintendent for the 910th AW public affairs office. Barko graduated YSU in 1993 with bachelor’s degree in graphic design.

“I’m proud to have been part of creating a long-lasting symbol of Youngstown Air Reserve Station’s support of the local community,” said Barko. “It is really cool to be able to use my art degree to create this new tail flash for the 910th, our valley’s military unit.”

910th AW personnel have already applied the new tail flash to two of the C-130H Hercules. The rest of the fleet will receive the new tail flash soon.

The new nose art, installed on the wing’s flagship, features a historic cartoon depicting the 757th AS Blue Tiger mascot. The 757th celebrates its 75th anniversary on July 1.

Lt. Col. (Ret.) John Wingerter, a former pilot with the 757th Airlift Squadron who flew C-119 Flying Boxcars and several other of the unit’s aircraft, attended the nose art and tail flash unveiling. The nose art reminded him of the unit’s transition from fighters to transport aircraft.

“People who flew jet fighters thought it was a downgrade to have to go and fly a big airplane,” said Wingerter, “so that’s how they got the basic blueness to the tiger.”

Wingerter said the nose and new tail flash should inspire pride among the Reserve Citizen Airmen of the 910th AW as the unit’s aircraft fly around the community and the world.