Warplane Survivors USA: New Hampshire
New Hampshire Warplanes
Republic F-47D-30-RA Thunderbolt 44-89766. First aircraft of the 133d Fighter Squadron, New Hampshire Air National Guard, 1947.
North American F-51H-5-NA Mustang (Serial No. 44-64356), 133rd Fighter Squadron, New Hampshire Air National Guard, ca 1952.
(Paul S. Trask Photo)
North American F-51H-5-NA Mustang (Serial No. 44-64377), 133rd Fighter Squadron, New Hampshire Air National Guard, ca 1952.
(Dave McLaren Photo)
North American P-51H Mustang (Serial No. 44-64506), New Hampshire ANG. Rocket rails can be seen under the wings, and the DF loop antenna is visible under the starboard wing. This antenna was later relocated behind the pilot inside the canopy.
(Bob Fogg Photo)
North American F-51D-30-NA Mustangs "Jazz Baby II" and "Elaine M II" (Serial No. 44-74987), 82nd Fighter Group, Grenier AFB, New Hampshire., 1949. Zero-length rocket launchers and bomb pylons can be seen underwing, late 1940s.
(Dave McLaren Photo)
North American P-51H Mustang (Serial No. 44-64526), PF-526, "Peg", equipped with the dual antenna masts of the AN/ARA-8 homing receiver.
(Paul S. Trask Photo)
North American T-6 Texan (Serial No. 42-44052), New Hampshire Air National Guard, ca 1949.
(W.J. Balogh Sr Photos)
North American T-6 Texan (Serial No. 42-48884), and (Serial No. 42-84772), New Hampshire Air National Guard, ca 1949.
(W.J. Balogh Sr Photo)
Lockheed F-94B Starfire (Serial No. 0935), ca 1953.
North American F-86L-60-NA Sabre (Serial No. 53-0925), 133rd Fighter Squadron, New Hampshire Air National Guard, ca 1959. (USAF Photo)
Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter (Serial No. 53-0311), 133rd Air Transportation Squadron, New Hampshire Air National Guard, ca 1963.
Douglas C-124C Globemaster II and aircrew, 133rd Military Airlift Squadron, New Hampshire Air National Guard, ca 1967.
Boeing KC-135R-BN Stratotanker (Serial No. 62-3547), 133rd Air Refueling Squadron, 157th Air Refueling Wing, New Hampshire Air National Guard, 1997.
(Tech Sgt. Ben Bloker, USAF Photo)
Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker from the 133rd Air Refueling Squadron, 157th Air Refueling Wing, New Hampshire Air National Guard, refueling General Dynamics F-16C and F-16D Fighting Falcons from the 192nd Fighter Wing, Virginia Air National Guard, 2005
(Airman 1st Class Jeffrey Schultze, USAF Photo)
Boeing KC-135R Stratotanker (Serial No. 62-3506), 133rd Air Refueling Squadron, 157th Air Refueling Wing, New Hampshire Air National Guard, 2010.
This aviation handbook is designed to be used as a quick reference to the classic military heritage aircraft that have been restored and preserved in the Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut. The aircraft include those fl own by members of the US Air Force, the US Navy, the US Army, the US Marine Corps, the US Coast Guard, the Air and Army National Guard units in each state, and by various NATO and allied nations as well as a number of aircraft previously operated by opposition forces in peace and war. The interested reader will find useful information and a few technical details on most of the military aircraft that have been in service with active flying squadrons both at home and overseas.
120 selected photographs have been included to illustrate a few of the major examples in addition to the serial numbers assigned to American military aircraft. For those who would like to actually see the aircraft concerned, aviation museum locations, addresses and contact phone numbers, websites and email addresses have been included, along with a list of aircraft held in each museum's current inventory or that on display as gate guardians throughout the New England States. The aircraft presented in this edition are listed alphabetically by manufacturer, number and type.
Although many of New England's heritage warplanes have completely disappeared, a few have been carefully collected, restored and preserved, and some have even been restored to flying condition. This guide-book should help you to find and view New England's Warplane survivors.
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New Hampshire Warplane Survivors
Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Serial No.), New Hampshire Army National Guard Aviation Support Facility, Medevac version mounted on a pylon.
Vought XF8U-2 (XF-88B) Crusader (BuNo. 140448), McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center.
Christa McAuliffe, a schoolteacher from Concord, was to have been the first ordinary citizen in space. She died in the horrifying space shuttle Challenger explosion on 28 January 1986, watched by her family, friends, students, and the world. McAuliffe had been selected from over 11,000 candidates for the honor of fulfilling President Reagan’s plan to send a teacher into space.
McAuliffe taught social studies at a grade school in Bow, New Hampshire, before moving to Concord High School. T he personable social science teacher wore the honor of her selection with grace and dignity and applied herself to the six-month training schedule for the mission. She was fulfilling a fantasy she had harbored since the day Alan Shepard became the first American in space.
McAuliffe’s genuine enthusiasm for the undertaking attracted a big following and fostered much enthusiasm for the mission. She had planned to conduct two lessons while orbiting in space and they were to be broadcast to schools across the country. As a fitting tribute to her memory, a planetarium was built in Concord following the tragedy.
The 1957 news of Russia’s Sputnik I spurred a national urgency to keep pace in the space race. The Mercury Project was being developed and in early 1959 one hundred candidates, including East Derry, New Hampshire’s Alan Shepard, were chosen for astronaut training. After carefully screening the candidates, the United States’ seven original astronauts were selected.
Shepard was chosen for the first manned sub-orbital flight, which took place on 5 May 1961, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The tiny Mercury capsule was mounted on top of a Redstone rocket, which produced 78,000 pounds of thrust. The capsule was shot in an arc over the Atlantic reaching an altitude of 116 miles and speeds up to 5,180 mph. Shepard’s flight of 15 minutes and 28 seconds ended when he splashed down in the Atlantic 297 miles from the launch site.
In 1986, Shepard was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame at ceremonies held in Dayton, Ohio, and given the Hall of Fame’s Spirit of Flight Award. Shepard retired from the Navy and wrote a book, Moon Shot, with his close friend, the late Mercury astronaut Donald “Deke” Slayton. Alan Shepard died at the age of 74 on 21 July 1998.
Aerial Reconnaissance in the Civil War: Thaddeus Lowe, also known as Professor T. S. C. Lowe, was an American Civil War aeronaut, scientist and inventor. He was born in 1832 in Jefferson Mills and was mostly self-educated in the fields of chemistry, meteorology, and aeronautics. With the onset of the American Civil War, Lowe offered his services as an aeronaut for the purposes of performing aerial reconnaissance on the Confederate troops on behalf of the Union Army.
Lowe's first outing was performed at First Bull Run. His performance was impressive though he had the misfortune of having to land behind enemy lines. Fortunately members of the 31st New York Volunteers found him before the enemy could discover him, but after the landing he had twisted his ankle and was not able to walk out with them. They returned to Fort Corcoran to report his position. Eventually his wife, disguised as an old hag, came to his rescue with a buckboard and canvas covers and was able to extract him and his equipment safely. In July 1861 Lowe was appointed Chief Aeronaut of the Union Army Balloon Corps by President Abraham Lincoln. Learn more about aeronauts in the Civil War. Wikipedia.
The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire is located at 13 East Perimeter Road in Londonderry, NH. It is housed in Manchester Airport's historic 1937 terminal building and is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Museum exhibits cover persons, places, events and artifacts related to the aviation history of New Hampshire. There are no full size aircraft on exhibit at this time. The Museum does present live programs covering aeronautical history and aviation related science and publishes a monthly newsletter.
Curtiss-Robertson Robin (Serial No. 55), Reg. No. N3115L, Fred H. Dexter, PO Box 7009, Loudon, NH 03307-7009.
Grumman C-1A Trader (BuNo. 136788), Reg. No. N6788, Martha C. MacGoldrick, 555 Canal Street, Ste 1613, Manchester, NH 03101.
North American T-28B Trojan (Serial No. 138140), Reg. No. N504GH, Tan Air Ltd, 321 Lincoln Street, Manchester, NH 03103.
Manchester, Grenier Army Air Field
Some would suggest the history of aviation in New Hampshire began with the first balloon ascension over Manchester. In the 1850’s balloonist Eugene Goddard ascended over Manchester on the back of a horse.
But it was the success of Charles A. Lindbergh in crossing the Atlantic Ocean in his single-engine “Spirit of St. Louis” in 1927 that truly sparked great interest in aviation. Manchester, like most American cities, embraced the aviation phenomenon with enthusiasm.
On 25 August of that year, a loan was approved to establish an airport in the Queen City. Construction of two 1800-ft. runways began on 25 October, at what became known as Smith Field. In 1933 Amelia Earhart landed here. The airport saw gradual improvement during the 1930s, including construction of a hangar and administration building. During this time the runways were paved with asphalt. A Civilian Pilot Training program was begun in 1939 under the auspices of the Civil Aeronautics Administration. This led to a tremendous increase in flying activity at Smith Field.
On 3 October 1940, the War Department announced that the Manchester Airport would be developed as the Manchester Army Air Base (later renamed Grenier Army Air Field). Expansion efforts began immediately. The Works Project Administration (WPA) broke ground in October. During December, work began around the clock on the strengthening and expansion of the airfield's runway and tarmac areas. The rapid construction of the base was a remarkable feat. By June the empty field had been transformed into an airbase capable of housing more than 2,000 people.
During a crucial part of World War II, this airport was the primary staging base for heavy bombers en route to the war in Germany. The hospital, occupying fifteen different buildings, was designated as an Air Evacuation Center for war casualties returning from combat in Europe. Training of combat aircrew required access to a practice bomb range, and in 1941 the government acquired a plot of land near Joe English Mountain in New Boston, New Hampshire.
German submarines had begun to take their toll on Allied shipping, and Manchester-based aircraft armed with depth bombs participated in the search for the U-boats. The 13th Anti-Submarine Squadron began operating from Grenier during the summer of 1942 with bombers and a number of Lockheed aircraft.
An uncertain future lay ahead for many of the nation's wartime facilities after the war. Beginning as early as 1943, military leaders had discussed the need for the formation of National Guard and Reserve flying units following the termination of hostilities. Manchester eventually became home to units of the Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve until 1966.
The sharp-eyed traveler today can still catch a glimpse of the airport's wartime history. A group of wooden two-story barracks exists in the southwest corner of the property, not far from the UPS and FedEx facilities. Located among the tall pines in this area, these remnants of Grenier Army Air Field house a number of small businesses. (Excerpts from Grenier Army Air Field in WWII by Tom Hildreth and the NH Aviation Museum’s timeline).
Thirty-one North American P-51H Mustangs of the 82nd Fighter Group on the ramp at Grenier AFB, Manchester, New Hampshire.
Douglas DC-3C (Serial No. 20215), Reg. No. N33623, Dakota Aviation Museum Inc, 492 Old Ashby Road, Mason, NH 03048. Northeast colors.
Grumman OV-1A Mohawk (Serial No. 63-13128), Reg. No. N87864, Transupport Inc, 53 Turbine Way, Merrimack, NH 03054-4129.
Aviation history buffs will quickly recognize the name Alberto Santos-Dumont as Europe's premier aviator when they drive by the Santos Dumont Coffee and Ice Cream Parlor. In 1906 Dumont achieved Europe's first manned, powered, and controlled flight. He is recognized as one of the great pioneers of aviation with an array of recognizable aircraft. Fewer may realize that he funded his endeavors through his thriving coffee bean trade.
Douglas C-47 Skytrain (Serial No. 45-0972), Atlantic Warbirds.
Douglas C-54D-1 Skymaster (Serial No. 42-72525), 056498, Atlantic Warbirds, “June’s Behind”.
The Portsmouth Municipal Airport had a role to play in the Granite State's development. Airline passenger service was inaugurated on the Boston-Bangor Civil Airway in 1933, with Portsmouth designated as an auxiliary landing field on the route. During part of World War II, the airfield came under Army Air Force jurisdiction, but was not used as a military airbase.
During the 1950s, the US Air Force grew from a fledgling branch of the military to a global force. The backdrop of this growth was the arms race. The Air Force's Stratojet program produced more than 2,100 of the medium jet bombers, and SAC officials looked hard to find real estate from which to operate this burgeoning fleet. Nearness to Europe and the North Atlantic air routes made New England a prime choice for new base construction.
On 7 October 1954, the Air Force opened a liaison office in the Portsmouth area. Their sights were set on a large, sparsely populated tract of land situated between Great Bay to the west, the Piscataqua River to the north, and Portsmouth to the east. This acreage was easily reached by rail, highway and water. In December 1954 the initial phase of base construction began.
Land clearing and construction gained momentum with base activation early in 1956. The 100th Bomb Wing (BW) was activated at Portsmouth AFB. Then the 100th Air Refueling Squadron (ARS), which operated 18 tankers, was assigned to the 100th BW. Construction of a badly needed 1,100-unit housing project was begun in 1957. The importance of these and other expansions to Pease AFB became obvious on 1 July 1958, when the 509th BW arrived on permanent assignment from Roswell, New Mexico. The 100th Bomb Wing operated from Pease AFB for ten years. They performed global strategic bombardment training and air refueling missions. On 1 April 1991, after 36 years as a bomber base, Pease was closed as an active Air Force installation. (Excerpts from an article by Tom Hildreth).
Douglas B-26B Invader (Serial No. 44-35696N), Reg. No. N8036E, Clarke L. Hill, 1 Pond Brook Road, Wentworth, NH 03282.
Grumman/General Motors TBM-3E Avenger (Serial No. 91733), C/N 4638, Reg. No. N9590Z, Clarke L. Hill, 1 Pond Brook Road, Wentworth, NH 03282.
North American AT-6F Texan (Serial No. 121-42583), Reg. No. N4503B, Clarke L. Hill, 1 Pond Brook Road, Wentworth, NH 03282.
North American T-28B Trojan (Serial No. 140020), Reg. No. N8046D, Alton Aviation LLC, PO Box 5398, West Lebanon, NH 03784-5398.
The Wright Museum of WWII History, P.O. Box 1212, 77 Center Street, Wolfeboro, NH 03894. Phone: 603/569-1212, 603/569-1212, Fax: 603/569-6326. The museum’s mission is to preserve and share the stories of America’s Greatest Generation for the benefit of generations to come. To fulfill this mission, the Wright Museum collects, cares for, and exhibits artifacts illustrating the heroic efforts of ordinary people living during extraordinary times.