Based at Webb AFB in Texas,
331st FIS was one of the last USAF units to fly the F-86L. Bud Norris's
photos show the last days of the Sabre with this squadron.
Taken from a Webb AFB
postcard, 53-4062 was one of the last F-86Ds produced. Bland markings
are typical of the latter days of USAF F-86L operations.
53-755, seen here
taking off from Webb in 1960, was delivered to USAF on 7th March 1955.
It was assigned to 331st FIS on 11th April 1959 and passed to the
Texas ANG on 9th March 1960. Barely visible are the high visibility
dayglo bands applied to the nose, rear fuselage and wing tips.
1959 shot of the 331st FIS flight line; note the differences in 'star
and bar' placement on 53-819.this aircraft was assigned on 1st April
1959 and passed to the Texas ANG on 21st January 1960.
Taken during 1959,
this shot of alert pad aircraft shows the variety of schemes borne
by 331st FIS F-86Ls. Note differences in buzz number placement, lack
of 'high viz' markings on some aircraft.
This rig was used
by personnel in 331st FIS's Radar Shop to replicate and fault find
items in the F-86L's E-4 Fire Control System. Radar scope is prominent
A 331st FIS Sabre
undergoing Periodic Inspection during 1959. Rear fuselage is removed
to allow access to the J47 engine and afterburner.
J47 engines await
installation. The engine in the foreground has the top half of its
rollover stand fitted, allowing the engine to be revolved for access.
First in, last out. This 1960 shot shows the first F-102A Delta Dagger
for 331st FIS and the last F-86L. The latter is s/n 53-803, assigned
to 331st FIS on 22nd September 1959 and flown away to storage at Davis
Monthan on 28th March 1960.
Also resident at Webb
AFB was the 3560th Flying Training Wing, equipped with T-33 'T Bird'
trainers. Four are seen here taxiing out for a training mission during
As a reminder of things
past, one 331st FIS F-86L was donated to the nearby city of Big Springs
during 1960. The above newspaper clipping shows the aircraft, 53-4035,
being taken by road during May 1960 to be displayed at the local airport.
53-4035 safely on
its plinth at Big Springs Airport. It is nowadays restored and displayed
at Dyess AFB, TX.
Representative of one
of the last 331st FIS Sabres, this side view of 53-819 shows the distinctive
high visibility dayglo orange areas.
thanks to Bud Norris of Columbus, OH.