KC-97 on display at the Lincoln Air Force Base during the early 1960’s. Always wondered what happened to this airplane and the others that were on display at the base. There was a B-47, a T-33, a F-86, a F-89, and a C-47. I believe the F-86 went to the Nebraska Air National Guard and is now on display there. Photos to follow on those.
Right side view of the KC-97 on display at LAFB, Feb 1964.
A photo showing the Lincoln Army Air Base on November 19, 1942, looking East. No aircraft appear to be stationed here as of yet. At this point Oak Creek has been redirected to run parallel with the main North/South road, which today is named NW 38th Street. The four main aircraft hangars are in place, as well as the church. Several barracks are set up on both sides of the creek. Huskerville is shown in the lower left section of the photo. The Southern most road is currently West Mathis Street, named after Jack W. Mathis. The streets were named after MOH recipients during the Lincoln AFB days. The road that runs southwest to northeast is now located within the airport boundary. A section of this road is still there and is used as an airport access road. After the base was closed, the barracks were sold off at auction and bought up my many farmers to use for storage, etc. Arnold Elementary School is now built where Huskerville used to be located. Oak Creek was again redirected during the 1950’s to make room for a longer runway when the air force base was constructed. The east road and railroad tracks were moved during the 1950’s, too. The last two remaining storage buildings, located in the left center of the photo, were removed just a few years ago. The City of Lincoln can be seen in the upper right of the photo as well as West Lincoln.
Dick lived in my hometown in Kansas, so this is not Nebraska aviation related, but a nice story. Dick was one of those World War Two veterans who rarely talked about their experience in the war. As a high school student, I worked in a gas station when they were full service, and Dick would stop by once a week for me to fill up his little green MG. I talked with Dick many times and he never mentioned that he was a P-51 pilot in the war. My dad told me later that Dick was a pilot. I questioned him next time I saw him and he gave me a couple photos of him during the war. Luckily I kept them and after going through a box of photos, I found the one here. It shows Dick and his F-6 (a photo recon verions of the P-51) named “Mazie, Me and Monk.” I regret I never asked him what that meant.
Dick would have been in his mid to late 50’s when I knew him and he worked at the local rock quarry.
“Mazie, Me and Monk” was also the mount of Capt. E. B. “Blacky” Travis (9th Air Force, probably the 9th Recon Group), who earned a Silver Star (General Order No. 44, 1945) when he flew this mustang over the Battle of the Bulge to take photos for General Patton.
Spitfire AA963, a MK V model, was in Lincoln for a war bond tour on July 2, 1943. I do not know who is in the photograph. The spitfire disappeared from records around 1944. Probably scrapped at the end of the war with several P-38 Lightnings.
You can read more about this Spitfire at the AA963 link above.
Union Airport in 1930. The airport must have been brand new at this time as it does not show up on the 1929 Airway Bulletin for Lincoln. The hangar, fuel truck, and airplane looks new in this photo. This building is still standing as of 2016 and is now part of an industrial park.
Nebraska ANG P-80’s in the hangar for maintenance. In the foreground is P-80B-1-LO, 45-8707. In the background is P-80A-1-LO, 44-85333, later upgraded to a P-80C-11-LO. This photo shows the updated C version with the new tip tanks. Date of photo unknown to me.
On an interesting note, the rear P-80 was 285 aircraft after Richard Bong’s P-80 that crashed near Burbank Airport, killing the top scoring U.S. fighter pilot. His death came on the same day the A bomb was dropped on Japan. Cause of the crash? A faulty fuel pump.
On another interesting note, the foreground P-80 has a sister that survives in California. 45-8704, just three B.U. numbers earlier, is on display in Sacramento, California. 45-8704 has the old style wing tip tanks while this one has the newer ‘T-33″ style tanks.