Museum of Aviation, Fighters

At the Museum of Aviation, at Warner-Robins AFB, there a great collection of Air Force fighters from WW2 through current on display. Rumor from the staff is that the collection may be receiving a F-117 Nighthawk in the near future.

There are two MiG killers as part of the collection. The first is a F-4D Phantom, one confirmed and one claimed. This aircraft flew missions over Vietnam while assigned to the 555th “Triple Nickel” Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) from July 1967 to August 1972. The confirmed kill was a North Vietnam MiG-17 shot down by Major Rex D. Howerton and First Lieutenant Ted L. Voight using their 20mm cannon.

The second MiG Killer is the one on the pedestal in front of the museum. This F-15 is credited with downing to MiG-21 during Desert Storm by Captain Tom Dietz.

Inside the museum entrance is another F-15 in a display that pays honor to the role of the Warner-Robins as logistics hub for the USAF.

Respect in paid to Robert Lee Scott Jr., who lived in the local area, with a display of P-40 Warhawk in “Flying Tigers” colors with the kills associated with his becoming a fighter ace.

This P-51H Mustang came from Chanute AFB when it museum closed.

The Museum of Aviation’s P-51H was delivered to the USAAF in October 1945 and subsequently assigned to Pinecastle Army air Field (AAF), Florida.  In June 1946 it was transferred to Chanute AAF, Illinois as a ground instruction air-frame.  It continued in this status until May 1949 when it was dropped from the USAF inventory.  Subsequently it was placed at various locations around Chanute Air Force Base as a static display until 1993 when the base was closed.  It was then transferred to the Chanute Air Museum.  When the Museum closed in 2015 it was transferred to the Museum of Aviation.

Part of the collection is this early Cold War veteran, a Republic F-84E “Thunderjet.”

 The F-84E on display was delivered to the USAF in April 1951 when it was assigned to the 116th Fighter-Bomber Wing then stationed at George AFB, CA.  In July 1951 the unit moved to Kisarazu AB in Japan and began its combat career over Korea. In July 1952 it moved to Kunsan AB, Korea where it continued to fly until it was returned to the United States in June 1953. In January 1955 it was transferred to the 2589th Reserve Flying Center (USAF Reserve) at Dobbins AFB, Georgia until it was removed from service in November 1956.  It was acquired by the Museum in 1987.

On site are two F-86’s “Sabre”, one a D-model and one a H model.

The aircraft on display, serial number 52-3651, came to the museum in April 2011. It is marked as an F-86L assigned to the 116th Fighter Interceptor Wing at Dobbins Air Force Base, Georgia, during the late-1950s. Delivered to the USAF in February 1954, the museum’s aircraft was first assigned to the 54th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. It served with other Fighter-Interceptor squadrons before its final assignment to the 3350th Flying Training Wing at Moody AFB, Georgia. The aircraft was retired in July 1959.
The museum’s F-86H Sabre, serial number 53-1511, was manufactured by North American Aviation at Columbus, Ohio, and was delivered to the USAF in March 1956. It served briefly with Air Training Command (ATC) and the Air Force Reserve before being assigned to the Maryland ANG in October 1957. It was retired from the 178th Tactical Fighter Group, Maryland ANG, in July 1970. It then served as an instructional aid at the Columbus Technical Institute in Columbus, Ohio. It was moved to the Museum of Aviation in 1983.

The North American F-89J “Scorpion” is a rare jet that is parked outside and needs some loving.

The Scorpion on display was delivered to the USAF in February 1955 and delivered to the 63rd Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan.  It served with various units before being retired from the 119th Fighter Group (ANG) at Fargo, North Dakota in 1966.  It was delivered to the Museum in 1983 for display.

Two F-101 “Voodoo” variants are at the museum. Representing the defense of America is a F-101F.

 The F-101F on display was delivered to the USAF in March 1960 and assigned to the 52nd Fighter Group, Air Defense Command, Suffolk County Municipal Airport, New York. Its final assignment was to the 147th Fighter Interceptor Group (ANG), Ellington AFB, Texas before being flown to Robins AFB and the Museum in 1982 for display.

The other is a RF-101C representing the crews that flew the recon version.

The RF-101C on display was delivered to the USAF in July 1958 and assigned to the 66th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing at Loan AB, France.  It served at various units in Europe and the US before being retired from the 186th Tactical Reconnaissance Group (ANG) at Key Field, Meridian, Mississippi in October 1978.  It was transferred to the Museum in 1992.

One of my favorite aircraft is the F-100 “Super Sabre” and one at the Museum of Aviation represents the early Wild Weasels from the air war over Vietnam.

The museum’s F-100D, serial number 56-2995, was built by North American Aviation in Inglewood, California in 1957 and came to Robins AFB for modifications before being assigned to an operational unit.  For nine years, the aircraft operated from bases in Europe and North Africa before returning to the United States.

In December 1968, 2995 was assigned to the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) and was flown on combat missions from Tuy Hoa and Phan Rang Air Bases in the Republic of Vietnam.  In August 1970, the aircraft was assigned to the 35th TFW at Phan Rang.

56-2995 returned to the United States in July 1971 and was assigned to the Massachusetts Air National Guard. The aircraft was retired from active service in 1978 and put on outdoor display at Otis Air National Guard Base, Massachusetts.  The aircraft arrived at the museum in December 2010 and restoration was completed in 2017.

The Delta family is represented by both models, a F-102 “Delta Dart” and F-106 “Delta Dagger.”

The F-102 on display, serial number 56-1151, was delivered to the USAF on 31 May 1957.  It was originally assigned to the 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadron (FIS) at Langley AFB, Virginia. In March 1958 it was transferred to the 95th FIS at Andrews AFB, Maryland. It next went to Tyndall AFB, Florida, where it was assigned to the 4756th Air Defense Group. In 1970, 56-1151 was redesignated GF-102 and became an instructional airframe. Two years later, it was placed on static display at Lackland AFB, Texas, where it remained until it was moved to the Museum of Aviation in 2009.
The aircraft on display was delivered to the USAF in September 1960. It served with the 318th and 48th Fighter Interceptor Squadrons during its service career before being retired in 1982. It was moved to the Museum for display in 1992.

One of the heavy lifters of the Vietnam Air War was the Republic F-105 “Thunderchief” and this bird is a conflict veteran.

The F-105D Thunderchief on display, s/n 62-4259, was built by Republic Aviation in Farmingdale, New York, and delivered to the USAF in March 1963. It was first assigned to the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, NC. In November, it was transferred to Osan AB, South Korea, where it stood nuclear alert with the 41st Air Division. In August 1967, 62-4259 was transferred to the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing at Takhli RTAB where it remained until October 1970. During this time, the aircraft flew numerous combat missions.
In August 1972, 62-4259 was transferred to the 507th Tactical fighter Group (AFRES) at Tinker AFB, OK. In October 1980 it was transferred to the 466th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Hill AFB, UT where it was one of the last F-105Ds operated by the USAF. It was retired from active service in 1983 and sent to Lackland AFB, TX where it was used to train Air Force Security Forces personnel in flight line operations. The aircraft arrived at the Museum of Aviation in the summer of 2011.

One of the newest aircraft on display this F-16A “Fighting Falcon” that flew with the USAF Thunderbirds.

The F-16A on display (S/N 81-0676) was one of the first F-16s to be received by the Thunderbirds in 1982 when they transitioned from T-38s to F-16s. The Thunderbirds continued to fly this aircraft until 1992 when they converted to F-16Cs. It was then modified to operational condition and assigned to the 425th Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB, Arizona before being retired to Sheppard AFB, Texas as a ground instructional trainer in 1993. It was moved to the Museum of Aviation in 2008.

This museum is the second largest USAF museum and growing every year.

All aircraft history information is from the Museum of Aviation’s website.

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