The History Of The USAF Thunderbirds At Cheyenne Frontier Days
2018 marks the 65th anniversary of the first United States Air Force Thunderbirds show at Cheyenne Frontier Days. The Demonstration Squadron has been a CFD tradition since they were founded in 1953.
The show has only been called off twice over the years. Last year's performance was canceled due to inclement weather. Budget cuts grounded the Thunderbirds in 2013.
Laramie County Community College has hosted the event since 1999. Due to the construction of the Sweetgrass development south of the campus, this will be the Thunderbirds' last year at LCCC.
The show was marred by tragedy in 1977 when a T-38 Talon jet lost control and crashed into the bullpen at Cheyenne Frontier Days, killing Captain Charlie Carter. Carter's co-pilot, Staff Sargent Ted Foster ejected into the rodeo arena and escaped with only minor injuries.
The Thunderbirds had another close call during their 2011 performance when a plane was forced to make an emergency landing.