Warplane Survivors USA: Rhode Island

Rhode Island Warplanes

(RN Photo, IWM A21398)

A Royal Navy Vought Corsair Mk.II from 1833 Naval Air Squadron in flight during a training mission near Naval Air Station Quonset Point, Rhode Island, in 1943.

(USN Photo)

Martin PBM-3S Mariner (BuNo. 6729) of Patrol Bombing Squadron 206 (VPB-206) operating from Quonset Point, Rhode Island, ca 1944.

(USGOV-PD Photo)

North American F-51D-25NA Mustang (Serial No. 44-72750), 152d Fighter Squadron, Rhode Island Air National Guard, 1954.

(USN Photo)

Martin AM-1 Mauler of attack squadron VA-174 taking off from the aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge (CV-33) during carrier qualifications in 1949.  The tests took place in the Atlantic Ocean off Naval Air Station Quonset Point, Rhode Island.

(Bill Larkins Photo)

Douglas C-46D Commando (Serial No. 44-77687), Rhode Island Air National Guard, 1957.

(Gerard van der Schaaf Photo)

Lockheed C-130J Hercules (Serial No. 99-1431), 143rd Airlift Squadron, Rhode Island Air National Guard.

(Oren Rozen Photo)

Lockheed C-130J Hercules (Serial No. 99-1431), 143rd Airlift Squadron, Rhode Island Air National Guard, 2016.                                

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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Rhode Island Warplane Survivors


North American SNJ-5 Texan (Serial No. 43936), Reg. No. N241F, Frank J. Govednik III, 2 Chester Ave, Bristol, RI 02809-1416.

North Kingstown, Quonset Air Museum, 488 Eccleston Ave., North Kingstown, RI 02852.  This museum is now closed.

Founded in September 1992, the Quonset Air Museum was dedicated as an educational facility whose mission was to preserve and interpret Rhode Island’s aviation Heritage.  The museum's collection included military vehicles, missiles, aircraft and over 5000 smaller aviation artifacts.  An extensive archive of books, magazines, manuals, photos, documents and blueprints was preserved within the Quonset Air Museum.  The collection represented Rhode Island's achievement in private, commercial, and military aviation.

The museum occupied Painting Hangar No. 488 located at what was once the Quonset Naval Air Station.  This 50,000 sq. ft. facility was one of only three existing specialized wood and brick hangars built during the Second World War.  Heavy snowfall in the winter of 2015 partially collapsed the building's roof.  The hangar building was condemned, and despite an 18-month search for a new home, the museum was unable to re-open.

The museum's collection included a Grumman TBM Avenger, F6F Hellcat, and an F3D Skyknight.  Other notable aircraft in the collection are the last surviving Curtis XF15C mixed propulsion prototype and a twin tail C1A COD.  This one of a kind aircraft was the precursor to the E-1 Electronic Counter Measure aircraft and has the distinction of being the last aircraft to fly from Quonset Naval Air Station upon its closure in 1974.  The museum housed several Vietnam era combat aircraft as well as the legendary F-14 Tomcat.  On 16 Dec 2016, it was announced that the museum would not reopen.  Aircraft in the collection have been transferred to other museums, including the following:

Aero Commander 680 (Serial No. 680-432-105), Reg. No. N2100M

Aero L-29 Delphin (Serial No. 490925)

Antonov AN-2TD Colt (Serial No. 1G2619)

Bell UH-1B Iroquois (Serial No. 64-14021)

Bell UH-1H Iroquois (Serial No. 64-13492)

Bell UH-1H Iroquois (Serial No. 65-09560)

Bell UH-1H Iroquois (Serial No. 65-09996)

Bell UH-1M Iroquois (Serial No. 66-15083), served with the 57th Aviation Company in Vietnam as a gunship.

(Author Photo)

Bell AH-1S Cobra (Serial No. 66-15317), donated by the Rhode Island Army National Guard.

Bell OH-58A Kiowa (Serial No.)

Cessna T-37B Tweet (Serial No. 66-7983), in parts.

(Author Photos)

Douglas AD-5W Skyraider (BuNo. 135188).  Possibly in St. Paul, Minnesota.

(Author Photos)

Douglas F3D-2Q Skyknight (BuNo. 124620)

Douglas A-4C Skyhawk (BuNo. 147790)

(Author Photos)

Douglas A-4F Skyhawk (BuNo. 155027), Blue Angels.

(Author Photos)

McDonnell Douglas A-4M Skyhawk (BuNo. 158148), SD-8, 1st A-4M built

Eaglet (Serial No.)

Fouga CM 170R Magister (Serial No.).

Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat (Serial No. 70185), being restored.

(Author Photo)

Grumman F6F ¾-scale Hellcat (Serial No. 1), Reg. No. N6FN, 3, built by Al Sparling.

(Author Photos)

Grumman A-6B Intruder (BuNo. 155629), AG-501.

Grumman C-1A Trader (BuNo. 136780), cockpit only.

(Author Photos)

Grumman C-1A Trader (BuNo. 136792), converted to prototype E-1.

(Author Photos)

Grumman F-14B Tomcat (BuNo. 162591), AD-260, C/N 513

Hughes OH-6A Cayuse (Serial No. 67-16265).

Hughes OH-6A Cayuse (Serial No. 67-16279).

(Author Photo)

Hughes OH-6A Cayuse (Serial No. 67-16570).

(Author Photos)

Ling-Tempco-Vought A-7D Corsair II (Serial No. 75-0408)

Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star (Serial No. 53-6091), in parts.

(Author Photo)

Lockheed TV-2 Shooting Star (BuNo. 137936), USMC.

(Author Photos)

Lockheed P2V Neptune (BuNo. 131403), C/N 426-5272.

McDonnell F-4A Phantom II (BuNo. 148252).

(Author Photo)

McDonnell F-4B Phantom II (BuNo. 148371).

 (Author Photos)

McDonnell Douglas AV-8C Harrier (BuNo. 158710).

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 Fagot (Serial No.).

(Poggiosantos Photo)

(Author Photos)

Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F/LIM 6bis Fresco C (Serial No. 1FO326), 325, Polish Air Force.

(Author Photos)

MIM-14 Nike Hercules surface-to-air missile.

North American T-28S Fennec (Serial No. 51-3529).

(Author Photos)

Northrop T-38A Talon (Serial No. 63-8197), in parts.

Piasecki/Vertol CH-21C Shawnee (Serial No. 51-15892)

(Author Photos)

Sikorsky SH-3H Sea King Helicopter (Serial No. 149738)

Stinson L-9B Voyager (Serial No.)

North Kingstown, Quonset State Airport, Rhode Island Air National Guard, 143rd Airlift Wing.  This air guard unit is the only cargo operator of the Lockheed C-130J Super Hercules in the Northeast.

Bell AH-1 Cobra (Serial No. 67-15530, painted as Serial No. 70-16530

Bell UH-1B Iroquois Helicopter (Serial No. 62-0233)

Hughes OH-6A Cayuse (Serial No. 67-16627)


Roy Knabenshue was a builder and exhibitor of dirigibles of his own design.  His outstanding contributions to aviation include making balloon flights and being the first to pilot a steerable balloon.  He also piloted the first successful American dirigible.  In addition, he also became well-known by building US Army observation balloons during World War I.

Roy turned to ballooning to supplement his income because wages for a telephone man were not enough to support his large family.  Because of his family’s standing in the community and their embarrassment with his ballooning venture, he changed his name to “Professor Don Carlos” during the early days of his flying.

His first successful dirigible with constructed with an engine designed and built by Glenn Curtiss, in 1904.  The second was built in August of 1905.  He flew it over New York’s Central Park, and stopped all traffic with the unusual sight.

In 1907 Knabenshue's third dirigible was completed and flown in exhibitions at Providence, Rhode Island; Hartford, Connecticut; Worchester, Massachusetts and London, Ontario.  In the latter part of the year Knabenshue began building a three-man airship designed to carry passengers, and also for exhibition work.

By late 1909, public interest began to turn to airplanes and the Wright Brothers decided to put on flight exhibitions.  They employed Knabenshue to plan exhibitions for the Wright Fliers being trained at a flying school in Montgomery, Alabama opened in March 1910, now known as Maxwell Field.

Knabenshue arranged for the first exhibition at the Indianapolis Speedway in June 1910.  In July, the team performed at Atlantic City and in August the team made exhibition flights along the Chicago Lake Front.  In October the team also participated in the Belmont Park International Air Meet.

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