Whiskey Four

History

The “Whiskey Four” aerobatic display team was formed in 1956 at the RNLAF’s Woensdrecht Air Base. All four pilots were instructors from the Flight Training school located there and they flew Gloster Meteors fighters.

In 1958, they transitioned to Lockheed T-33A “T-bird” aircraft. At that time, the team's planes carried no special colors and simply used the standard RNLAF silver and orange paint scheme. With the arrival of T-33, the team leader, Capt. Wierikx, also experimented with the use of white smoke, but it proved to be very thin.

In 1960, a new leader, Capt. Nic de Vrij, grew the reputation of the team throughout the Netherlands.

In 1962, the team officially received its name "Whiskey Four" from a combination of the Flight Training School’s call-sign “Whiskey” and from the number of the pilots in the team. It was in this year that the team visited foreign countries for the first time with displays in England and Scotland.

In 1963, Capt. "Mustache" van Dommelen became the team’s new leader.

In 1964, their participation both in a TV show and in airshows in Belgium and Italy, further raised the profile of the team throughout Europe. This same year “Whiskey Four” finally improved the white smoke generation but still had trouble with blue and red smoke that the team also wanted to use.

On June 8, 1965 during an airshow at the Woensdrecht Air Base, two of the team’s planes collided killing pilots Liem and Sommer.

In 1966, the team was re-formed and received a new special color scheme in white and green designed by one of the team’s pilots, Bennie Drenth. Later that year, the team had to be disbanded in order to use all the T-33’s for pilot training.

In 1967, No. 314 Sqn at Welschap AFB, in Eindhoven continued the tradition of “Whiskey 4”, by re-creating the team again. This squadron flew F-84F Thunderstreak fighters, so this new “Whiskey 4” team flew these aircraft painted in a white and green color scheme similar to their predecessors. Unfortunately after only a few months, one of the team's pilots, Lt. Schuur, crashed and died during practice flight and soon after this crash, the “Whisky 4” demonstration team was permanently disbanded.

 

Gallery

Lockheed T-33 T-bird (1956-66)

Thank you to T.F.J. Leversedge at K.A.R. Inc for his editorial assistance with this website!