The Air Force football program will honor the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress by wearing alternate uniforms for its Sept. 11 game against Navy, which will don Marine Corps-inspired uniforms that afternoon.
The uniforms are designed after the B-52s that flew in Operation Linebacker II, an aerial bombing campaign conducted against targets in Vietnam in December 1972. The helmets are painted in the Air Force Southeast Asia camo, with a stenciled USAF on one side and the roundel on the other.
There’s also an orange decal on the back that matches the side of the “Diamond Lil,” which flew in Linebacker II and currently sits on the grounds of the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
The white jersey features the same camo pattern as the helmet on the sleeve caps and in the numbers. There’s a Strategic Air Command patch on the right shoulder, an orange Nike Swoosh on the left and the phrase “Maximum Effort” inside the back of contrasting collar, matching a command from then-President Richard Nixon.
The nameplate is also outlined in orange and includes the airport codes for Andersen Air Force Base, U-Tapao International Airport and a 7th Bomber Wing patch.
The uniform is complete with black pants, mimicking the bottom of the plane, that feature the silhouette of 11 B-52s to represent the 11 days of bombing during Linebacker II on the left leg. The right leg has the tail flash of the plane and the player’s uniform number.
This marks the sixth alternate uniform in the Air Power Legacy Series, which dates back to the 2016 season, when the Falcons first wore uniforms based on the Tiger Shark nose art that has been used on multiple aircraft since World War II.
Air Force then paid homage to the F-35 Lighting II in 2017, the AC-130 “Spooky” gunship in 2018, the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III in 2019 and the Tuskegee Airmen in 2020. The Falcons are 10-1 all time when wearing their Air Power Legacy Series uniforms.
Photos courtesy of @AF_Football on Twitter.