F-86D-30 was delivered to the USAF on 17 September 1953 and assigned
to 83rd FIS at Paine AFB, Washington. On 11 August 1954 it was sent
to McClellan AFB for 'Pullout' conversion (to D-45 spec) and re-emerged
as an F-86D-31. Next assignment was to 31st FIS at Larson AFB, Washington
on 28 November 1954, reassigning to 322nd FIS on 18 August 1955. On
6 September 1955 the aircraft was again returned to McClellan AFB for
storage and then it was put into F-86L conversion. On 7 August 1957
the aircraft was assigned to 3550th Combat Crew Training Wg at Moody
AFB, Georgia (photo right). Upon retirement it flew to Wright Patterson
AFB on 1 November 1960 and was donated to the town of Milton, West Virginia
on 28 December 1960 for display.
In the intervening
years, 51-6078 was mounted on a pole in Milton and eventually received
a totally inaccurate camouflage paint scheme. Thankfully in 2002 it
was decided to repaint the aircraft. The following colour photographs
come from Joe Ciccarelli and show the state of the aircraft in July
Due to display of the
aircraft outdoors, silver paint finish is being applied, rather than
natural metal. Once work began progress was swift.
cherry picker enabled restoration team to reach those 'hard to get at'
places without the need to take '078 from its pedestal.
is being given by local W Va ANG volunteers.
hard part finished. Just markings to apply. I'll bring you photos of
that as soon as it's done.