There was a competition for the name of the 495th Squadron, during which about 700 proposals were sent. The names of archangels, sabers, guards and swordsmen (archangels, sabers, guards and swords) qualified for the finals. In the end, however, the name Valkyries won.

The name is derived from Norse mythology and means semi-divine warriors who come after the fallen warriors in the field of glory. This is to indicate the location of the European base where the squadron will be stationed. The RAF Lakenheath base – adapted to the needs of the F-35A for $ 205 million – is located in eastern England, in a region that has been dominated by the Vikings for years. The name is also intended to echo the unit’s motto “Mala Ipsa Nova” – “Bad news in itself”.


However, it appears that all attempts to justify choosing this name are not entirely correct. It may also be behind Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now”, more precisely the scene of a ruthless, crushing US Air Cavalry attack on an insufficiently protected Vietnamese village. The unforgettable raid was accompanied by Wilhelm Richard Wagner “Gallop of the Valkyries”. Thanks to this spectacle, its meaning and the carrying of energy, the work, which was supposed to be anti-war, is remembered today in areas completely different from what its authors would have liked, for example. Precisely among the military, and for completely different reasons.