Everybody knows the Douglas TA-4J had a lengthy career with the Navy's Training Command, and everybody knows that TraCom had a dedicated aircraft carrier assigned to it. What a lot of folks might not know is that the "Scooter" occasionally bounced off the Big Boats as well. Rick Morgan was on CV-65 USS Enterprise in September of 1987 and took these fascinating images:
Hey, That's Not Gabby's Airplane!
Republic's legendary P-47 Thunderbolt achieved fame and glory in both the Pacific theater and in Europe back during The Big One, but the airplane soldiered on for quite a while afterwards in the Guard and, to a far more limited extent, the regular Air Force. Those airplanes were tired and mostly gone by the time of the Korean Unpleasantness so their combat time was limited to the Second World War and a few skirmishes in Latin America, which means most folks aren't familiar with them in their post-War plummage. Today, thanks to the kindness of Jim Sullivan and Dave Menard, we're going to take a look at some of those almost-forgotten D models.
At some point in the very near future we'll take a look at the post-War P-47N, so hang around. We'll make it worth your while!
And While We're Talkin' About the Guard
We've been traveling down the post-War ANG path quite a bit of late, and there's certainly no reason to stop now! We've mostly covered piston-engined fighters so far, but Mark Nankivil has provided us with a couple of photos of Guard birds that aren't fighters. We think you'll like 'em!
The Bent-Wing Bug Sucker at War
Since we've been riding that F-4 horse of late, it's only appropriate that we run another shot or two of them today. These are from the collection of Chris Williamson and depict aircraft involved in the latter days of the Vietnam conflict.
A few weeks ago Doug Barbier, former fighter pilot and photographer extraordinaire, sent us a small series of air-to-air F-16 shots for this section of the blog. Here's the final one in that series for your enjoyment today.
The Relief Tube
And here we are again, with another batch of corrections, additions, and comments, which is as good a time as any to ask that our readership feel free to write us regarding same. The address is email@example.com and we answer our mail. We also welcome contributions as long as they fall within the rather obvious parameters we've set for the project, so please consider contributing photography if you're so inclined!
We're going to start off a little differently than we normally do, with a request for help on a project. If you've got any previously-unpublished pictures of the 58th FG in the Pacific during WW2, would you consider scanning them (at a high resolution, please, since they're intended for print publication rather than electronic) and forwarding them to that now-famous firstname.lastname@example.org address? Friend of Replica and author Frank Emmett is working on a monograph of the unit and could use a few more photos. Full credit will be given for any images used. And now; back to our never-scheduled corrections and comments!
We were talking about FH-1 Phantoms a couple of issues ago, and made mention of those yellow covers on the nose. Tommy Thomason thought about that for a while and offered this thought: Looking more closely at those yellow "access panels" on the FH-1 color picture, I'm pretty sure that they are yellow zinc-chromate painted vents, added after delivery to resolve some problem like compartment cooling or gun-gas buildup. They would have come from McDonnell, primed but unpainted, and locally installed. Apparently painting them the exterior color was a low priority. Another example of an unpainted fleet modification is attached, the gun-gas vent on the F9F Panther nose. T
Another one of our readers sent in the following comments regarding the TAF-9 photos we ran last issue. The clanger we dropped on that one was large enough to merit instant correction, but here's Rex's comment on the mistake: Phil, those "TF-9As" would have been either TAF-9Js if they were single seaters or TF-9Js if they were two seaters, both were based on F9F-8 which became F-9J, or F9F-8B which became AF-9J. Hope this helps! RexTN Thanks, Rex! (You just never know what we're going to mis-identify next!)
A further note and some insight on that whole TraCom thing from one who was there is provided by former "Stoof" driver Doug Siegfried: Phillip, the shots of TraCom were over the top. Great shots of the real oldies. By the way - a correction. In the summer of 1971 the Naval Air training Command was reorganized for the first time since late 1945. TraCom disestablished the Basic and Advanced Training commands and coordinated all flight training through eight new training wings under the single base concept. The new TraWings 1 thru 8 were to be at NAS Meridian, Chase, Kingsville, Corpus, Whiting, Pensacola, Saufley and Glynco. The wings at Glynco and Saufley were disestablished when the two bases closed. There were no Tra Wings in 1964. The squadrons belonged to the base and the the Basic and Advanced Training Commands. Great shots all the way around. Cheers, Doug Many thanks, Doug!
Our last F-102 installment included a photo of F-102A 56-1334. Marty Isham and Dave Menard both sent unit IDs on that one, and Dave also added some comments regarding the F-84F factory shot we ran:
Hi, Phil. Two more (corrections) for you! That Deuce 61334 is from the 332nd FIS, who was based at beautiful Thule AB Greenland, not Alaska. I was TDY up there during April, May and June of 1958 and know those hangers well! Also, that factory fresh F-84F was 53-6776, not 56, as there were no F-84s built with a higher FY than 1953. That shortened tail number was a result of some moron in HQ USAF deciding that radio call numbers (the official name for tail numbers) should only be four digits. This meant that many a/c got totally SNAFUed numbers for a year or so til sanity returned. I know of one F-86D 210035 that wound up with 2035 as her number. Will try to dig up some shots of this farce to send along. Oh, yes, the Thunderbird F-84Fs got the four digits only scheme. Since they flew that model in late 55 and then into 1956, that will help ID possible dating for future photos perhaps? Great job on the blog, usual. Cheers, dave
We'll run that shot of 52-10035 in a minute, but first let's hear from Marty about that "Deuce": Hi Bud...just a bit of a geography lesson, the 332nd was based at Thule AB, not Alaska, from July 60 to Apr 65, last 5 a/c left to Perrin. Hanger space only allowed 12 a/c. 332nd inactivated on 1 July 1965. Cheers....Marty
Thanks as always, guys! And here's that F-86D that Dave mentioned:
It's not often we get to see where the airplanes we feature ended up, but reader Kevin Kuhn found one of them on display: It was with some amazement that I opened the first photo in your selection of Texas Voodoos to see F-101B 57-0308, a Voodoo I've become quite familiar with over the past few years. By some weird twist of fate, she's now the gateguard at Wilmington Airpark (ex-Airborne Airpark) in Wilmington, Ohio. As I go to school just south of Cincinnati, and live in Columbus, I've tried to stop and photograph her whenever I'm traveling between the two cities. Her presence is probably a result of the airport's former status as Clinton County Air Force Base, but I'm at a loss as to why, as I don't think it was ever a fighter base, and the only Voodoos in Ohio that I'm aware of were based in my hometown of Columbus, at Rickenbacker AFB. I've attached a pair of photos of the old lady as she appears today; she's looking a bit rough but she's still a proud bird standing her guard post. They're probably not nearly as interesting as the in-service pictures but if you'd like to publish them go right ahead, just credit me as Kevin Kuhn.
I've only seen one other photo of 308 while in service, found here: http://www.airfighters.com/photo/39499/L/USA-Air-Force/McDonnell-F-101B-Voodoo/57-0308/
To be honest I'd never expected to find any photo of her while in service, let alone two. If you happen to come across any photos of F-86H 53-1528 while still in service please let me know, as she's another airframe I've got some connection to. I'm a big fan of your blog-only discovered it recently but the wealth of photographic information contained in it is astounding. Enjoy the photos, and keep up the good work! Kevin Kuhn Thanks, Kevin, both for your kind words and for the photos!
email@example.com . Kevin would enjoy it and we'd like to see it too!) Both photos by Kevin Kuhn
As a final note, we don't do much with aircraft of the Second World War around here, but we've recently been offered some extremely interesting images that we think you'll all enjoy. We'll begin looking at a few of them next issue but until then, be good to your neighbor. We'll meet again soon.