July 25, 1968: 19 BW Adopts “Black Knights” Mascot
The Black Knight mascot originated in 1961 when the 4137th Strategic Wing won the Best Overall Wing Award during Strategic Air Command’s Combat Competition at Fairchild AFB, Washington. Along with increased rank and pay that came with the honor, the team received an unusual trophy: a six-foot-tall papier-mâché knight, donated by the Spokane Chamber of Commerce. From that moment on, the 4137th Wing began identifying as the Black Knights, and they brought the papier-mâché knight back home to Robins AFB, Georgia. Two years later, following inactivation of the 4137 SW, the Black Knight mascot passed on to the 465th Bombardment Wing, and when the 465th inactivated five years after that, the newly activated 19th Bombardment Wing – part of our heritage – adopted the mascot. That occurred this week in 1968, 49 years ago. But that’s not the end of the story. When the 19th BW moved from Homestead AFB to Robins AFB, it did so without personnel or resources, and it assumed the inactivating 465 BWs B-52 mission. Now, for whatever reason, former members of the 465 BW, now assigned to the 19 BW, apparently weren’t all that interested in carrying forward the previous 19th mascot: the Old Crow. And so, the Black Knights remained; and they did so when the 19th transitioned from a Bombardment Wing to an Air Refueling Wing, and again when it stood up here at “The Rock” as the 19th Airlift Wing.

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Photo by: Jeremy Prichard |  VIRIN: 170725-F-DL035-0002.JPG