JG 74 was activated as the last West German fighter wing on 5 May 1961. It was equipped with the F-86K Sabre interceptor and first based at Leipheim in 1960 as JG 75. It moved to Neuburg an der Donau air base a short time later after this base had been opened and was renamed JG 74. In the period from 1964/66 JG 74 received the F-
104G Starfighter. The Starfighter proved to be a troublesome aircraft for the Luftwaffe, which lost 292 of 916 Starfighters, 116 pilots died. JG 74 also lost several of them until the wing converted to the F-4F Phantom II in 1974.