Gate Guardians at LAFB

Gate Guardians

Update:  February 18, 2019

As of today, all the aircraft known to exist as gate guardians have been identified.

  • B-47B-40-BW, 51-2207 (converted to YRB-47B and subsequently to B-47B-II)
  • KC-97F-18-BO, 51-0388
  • C-47B -15-DK, 43-49507 (Later converted to a D model)
  • F-89D-25-NO, 51-11380
  • F-86D-60-NA, 53-831
  • T-33A-1-LO, 50-00383

Update:  February 2, 2016

I received a call from Marion “Farmer” Brown from Kirksville, MO, asking about the U-6A information I had.  He researched the tail number and after talking to some Air Force people, has found the tail number for the aircraft.  He will send me the official documentation from them and I will post it here.  It was 52-6108.

He also provided me with some new photos of the gate guardians I have listed here.  I will post the photos as soon as I can.  jlk

Update:  June 6, 2015

I received a call from Art Williams who was in town for the 307th reunion.  He brought along the following photos of the Lincoln Air Force Base gate guardian airplanes.  I can now take this search off my bucket list!  I am very thankful to Mr. Williams for taking the time to find the photos and to bring them with him so I could scan the photos and place them here.  A very long search is over.  I was about to give up on ever finding photographs. In addition, the serial numbers can now be verified through the photos, except for the C-47. Note added 2-2019:  Marion Brown found the serial number for the C-47 after a long and tedious search.  jlk


KC-97 LAFB Right Side
KC-97F at Lincoln AFB
KC-97 LAFB Front View
KC-97F at Lincoln AFB, front view
  • C-47B-15-DK, 43-49507
C-47 LAFB Front View
C-47 at Lincoln AFB.  The old towers are in the background
  • F-89D-25-NO, 51-11380
F-89 LAFB Left Quarter View
Photo from Art Williams showing the BuNo 51-11380.

F-89 LAFB F-89D-25-NO 51-11380

Marion Brown in front of the F-89D at Lincoln AFB, 1963
  • F-86D-60-NA, 53-831


F-86 LAFB Front


  •       T-33A-1-LO, 50-00383
  • *12/1950: Delivered to the USAF.
    *1952: USAF 3205th DG.
    *Converted to DT-33A.
    *1954: USAF 3200th TG.
    *7/14/1961: Withdrawn from use.
    *Currently preserved in Lincoln. State?

T-33 LAFB Right Side

T-33 LAFB Front View

Mr. Williams also provided me with a map to mark their location on the entrance to the Air Base.



During the early 1960’s five (now six with the T-33 added) aircraft stood guard at the West entrance to the base.  At the time of this writing no up-close pictures of the gate guardians could be found.  However, a picture taken overhead from a far distance reveals that the following aircraft did indeed stand guard.  Except where noted, the serial numbers were obtained from a book authored by Leslie Hunt, published in the 1970’s.

closeup of gate guardians at lafb marked

  • B-47B-40-BW, 51-2207
  • C-47, type and s/n unknown
  • KC-97F-18-BO, 51-0388
  • F-89D-25-NO, 51-11380
  • F-86D-60-NA, 53-831
  • T-33A-1-LO, 50-00383 (from Art Williams 7-2014)

UPDATE:  Art W. doesn’t remember the KC-97 or the B-47 being at the front gate, JLK.  

Sometime around 1963, the airplanes were removed from their position around the front gate and repositioned throughout the base. The B-47 and KC-97 were placed facing each other, on opposite sides of the parachute building.  The F-89 Scorpion and F-86D and another plane unknown (might be the T-33A, 50-00383) at this time were placed in the field just south of and across the street from Bowling Lake.

A review of a picture taken of the flight line shortly after the base was closed shows the B-47 and the KC-97 gone.  According to Mr. Tom Brewer with Wright Patterson AFB, who is the current custodian of most guardians, F-86D, 53-831 is now at the Nebraska Air National Guard, painted as 52-3760.  According to one rumor, the B-47, KC-97, and F-89 were moved to the south end of the air base near the approach end of 35 left.  They were left there until used as fire fighting tools and burned to the ground.

It has been confirmed through the book Cold War Cornhuskers by MIke Hill, the B-47 was towed to the East side of the field and used for fire fighter practice and is no more.

Below is a photo taken around 1964-1965 showing the new construction on the East side of the airfield, the Air Terminal, and about 90 or so B-47’s and KC-97s’s on the Air Base side.

flightline looking west

Several aircraft models that flew for the Nebraska Air national guard are still with us today.

(Those in bold have been verified)


Beatrice:                      T-33A-1-LO, 51-8880 (0-18880 and TR-880)

Boystown:                     T-33A-1-LO, 53-5173

Crete:                           F-86D-40-NA, 52-3735 (0-23735)

David City:                   RF-84F-46-RE, 53-7560 (0-37560)

Franklin:                      T-33A-1-LO, 52-9205

McCook:                      F-86H-10-NH, 53-1503

York:                            RF-84F-10-RE 51-01935

Creighton:                  RF-84F-40-RE 52-06642

Neligh:                         RF-84F-10-RE 51-01929


The City of Humbolt NE was home to T-33A-1-LO, serial number 51-9111 during the 1960’s.  A trip in 2003 to the metropolis did not yield any airplane or anyone who remembered the airplane.



The Nebraska Air National Guard has the following “aircraft on a stick” as Rachael Swetland with the guard calls them.


T-33A-1-LO, 52-9264 (29264)

RF-84F-15-RE, 51-11259

F-86D-40-NA, 52-3760 (0-23760), is really 53-831 according to Tom Brewer with Wright –Patterson AFB Museum

RF-4C-20-MC, 64-0998


An FG-1D in Antelope Park.  See separate page for this story.

A TF-9J was received in trade for the FG-1D and was stored until it was moved to Beatrice for display.  Vandals took their toll on this airplane too and Beatrice park officials turned it back over to the Navy during the 1970s.



Notes:  Flight line photo of B-47s outside AvPac;


B-47 Lineup.jpg
A lineup of B-47’s at Lincoln AFB

36236  B-47E-135-BW

 20214  B-47E-15-LM later converted to an EB-47L.

 31910  B-47E-65-LM

 20075  B-47E-15-DT

 15248  B-47E-65-BW (crashed oct of 1959)

 20292  B-47E-30-LM built by Lockheed-Marietta converted to EB-47L


B-47 arrival.jpg
The first B-47’s to Lincoln AFB.  It is a B-47E-105-BW, 52-5??

B-47s went to Davis Montham for storage.

B-47 refueling.jpg
A Lincoln AFB B-47 refueling over Nebraska