|Active May 20, 1948 – Present|
Branch Israeli Air Force
Garrison/HQ Hatzor Airbase
Role Air Defence
Nickname(s) First Fighter Squadron
101 Squadron of the Israeli Air Force, also known as the First Fighter Squadron, is Israel's first fighter squadron, formed on May 20, 1948, six days after Israel declared its independence. Initially flying the Avia S-199, it has since operated the Supermarine Spitfire, North American Mustang, Dassault Mystere IV, Dassault Mirage IIICJ, IAI Nesher and IAI Kfir. It currently operates out of Hatzor Airbase, flying the F-16C Fighting Falcon.
101 Squadron was formed on May 20, 1948, at two air bases simultaneously: IAF Ekron (former RAF Aqir, currently Tel-Nof Airbase) and Žatec (code-named "Zebra") in northwestern Czechoslovakia, a former Luftwaffe airfield close to a Messerschmitt production facility, where pilots received initial basic type flight training on the Avia S-199s, Czechoslovak-built copies of the Bf 109G with 1,320 hp Junkers Jumo 211F powerplants. During one ferry flight some of the squadron's 15 aircraft were forced to land in Greece, and were immediately impounded, so during the next ferry flight a C-46 was used as a navigation guide, and a corvette was readied off the coast in case any aircraft had to be ditched and pilots rescued from water. Four of these flew the squadron's first mission on May 29, strafing the Egyptian ground forces near Ad Halom, in the prelude to Operation Pleshet. 101 Squadron was responsible for the Israeli Air Force's first aerial victories when on 3 June 1948, Modi Alon shot down a pair of Royal Egyptian Air Force C-47s which had just bombed Tel Aviv.