The Thunderbird squadron is one of the premier aerobatic teams in the world. The squadron was formed in 1953 as the United States Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, with the mission of promoting the Air Force and demonstrating the capabilities of its aircraft. The squadron was initially equipped with the F-84G Thunderjet, which was succeeded by the supersonic F-100C, becoming their signature aircraft, and it performed its first demonstration in May 1953 at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona. During the first six shows, the team was known as the Stardusters. However, after those initial performances, the name was changed to Thunderbirds, influenced by the local Native American culture around the Luke base. The Native Americans believed in the thunderbird, a sky creature resembling an eagle or a hawk that represented power and ruled the skies. According to Native American mythology, the thunderbird played a crucial role in ensuring victory in times of war by casting thunders and lightning from its eyes.

The iconography of this folklore formed the basis for the squadron’s insignia, as seen here on the MILITARY TEE / THUNDERBIRDS — a mid-weight ringer tee cut from 100% 8oz. Cotton into a boxy, slightly cropped vintage-style fit, ribbed with Air Force blue collar and cuffs, and sewn with 100% cotton thread. The t-shirt has been hand-printed at our Kobe HQ and just like the original, will age over time with wearing and washing.

  • 100% Cotton, 8 oz.
  • Cotton Sewing Thread Construction
  • Print on Front & Back
  • Made in Japan