F-86F Sabre: Longstanding symbol of U.S.-Japan alliance Published Jan. 9, 2019 By Senior Airman Sadie Colbert 35th Fighter Wing MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan -- Risner Circle at Misawa Air Base, Japan, displays the F-86F as a static aircraft today. After the first Combined Air Festival in 1980, the Japanese and American base commanders dedicated an F-86F as a symbol of the U.S.-Japan friendship. The F-86F Sabre began production in 1952, and gained popularity during the Korean War. It displayed a superior ability to survive, had no operating problems and effectively stable at high altitudes. By mid-1953, Fifth Air Force described it as the most suitable fighter-bomber in Korea, downing 818 MIGs during combat.