Congratulations on the F-86 restoration project!
I really appreciate the paint theme of the Minute Men as I grew up around the Minute Men planes as my father flew with the team. 51-2900 is especially important as Captain John Ferrier lost his life in that plane -- the only accident the team ever had.
Also of significance is that the Minute Men flew the rare GunVal variant of the F-86. There were only ten F-86F-2 Sabre Jet GunVal variants built. The status/history of all 10 is below. GunVals were modified existing F-86s and these are the planes as they originated.
F-86E-10: 51-2803, 51-2819, 51-2826, 51-2836
F-86F-1: 51-2855, 51-2861, 51-2867, 51-2868, 51-2884, 51-2900
More on the Minute Men (a work in progress) at www.TheMinuteMen.us
I have been in contact with many aircraft historians including Duncan Curtis, Robert Dorr, Mike Randazzo, the folks at Maxwell AFB, McClellan AFB Museum, Davis-Monthan AFB, the Classic Jet organization, Sabre Pilots organization and others in search of F-86F serial number 51-2819, a GunVal modified Sabre Jet(F-86F-2). The history of this Sabre Jet is confusing and probably due to paper records dating back in the '50s.
The status sheet for this plane indicates transfer to McClellan in 1958 where its status went to Class26 W (Non-Flyable; donated to school or museum) This is the last official USAF record for the jet. Staff at McClellan prior to the base closure say this is incorrect. One security officer who worked at McClellan from 1968 until the base closed in 2001 said he never saw the jet on the base! That would indicate it disappeared shortly after its arrival -- sometime between 1958 and 1968. More weirdness. Of all the people I have contacted they all say they never saw the plane there.
GunVals were unique in that they had two cannon instead of three machine guns and thus only had two gun ports on the side. The Minute Men removed the cannon, added ballast and covered the ports on their planes.
The Minute Men just celebrated their 50th Anniversary and if you are interested, here is the F-16 that was used for exhibits and acrobatics and airshows during 2006 -- http://www.theminutemen.us/MM50F16/
A video of the original planes in flight is here: http://www.theminutemen.us/Video/MinuteMen.wmv
Here is the complete rundown for the 10 Gunvals if you're interested...
51-2803: Lost 30Apr53 over Yellow Sea after cannon firing caused engine stall. Pilot (Lonnie Moore) ejected and picked up by rescue helicopter.
51-2819: 3515 Trng Squadron at Randolph TX, to SAAMA McClellan (Sacramento Air Materiel Area) 21May57 where it was Struck off Charge (SOC) (or deleted from the Active Inventory to be slightly more accurate) on 12Jul57 to “Class26” which normally means Ground Instruction. McClellan did not have ground instruction and nobody ever saw it at the base including the head of security fro 1968 to base closing. Nothing further known on this one. There is no record of it being scrapped thus, there is no telling where this one is.
51-2826: To SAAMA McClellan (Sacramento Air Materiel Area) 31May57. To 120FIS Denver 20Feb58. To 155CLMSq Cheyenne, WY where it was SOC for reclamation & scrapping 05Nov59 HOWEVER this is still in existence at Ontario Airport in Oregon with a private owner, Merle H. Maine, ex Paris TX and Casper WY – which would tie in with it being SOC at Cheyenne. Is currently being restored and is in pretty good condition. Repainted to Korean War colors; gun ports have been restored to the nose.
51-2836: 336FIS/4FIG. Lost 20Jul53, shot down by Mig, Pilot baled out. HOWEVER there are official record cards which show ths aircraft as being with the 3320 TTAWg (Technical Training Wing I would guess), at Amarillo, TX (these days it is Sheppard AFB) where it was SOC for reclamation & scrapping 16Aug57. A bit of a problem here, perhaps the record card has an erroneous aircraft serial number. Another mystery but in either case, this one was lost or scrapped. Not available
51-2855: SAAMA McClellan. To 120FIS Denver 14Feb58. To AASBR (Arizona Aircraft Storage Branch, Now AMARC) at Davis Monthan 14Jul59 where it was SOC for reclamation & scrapping 10Mar60
51-2861: 336FIS/4FIG. Lost 25Jan53. Engine stalled after cannon firing at Mig. Pilot (Murray Winslow) ejected over sea.
51-2867: SAAMA McClellan. To 120FIS Denver 20Mar58. To AASBR (Arizona Aircraft Storage Branch, Now AMARC) at Davis Monthan 14Jul59 where it was SOC for reclamation & scrapping 10Mar60.
51-2868: SAAMA McClellan. To 120FIS Denver 10Feb58. To AASBR (Arizona Aircraft Storage Branch, Now AMARC) at Davis Monthan 14Jul59 where it was SOC for reclamation & scrapping 05Mar60. This was my dad's plane.
51-2884: 120FIS Denver. SOC 08Feb60 as Donated. To Seattle initially I believe. Nicely restored; not flyable; On display at Buckley AFB home to the Minute Men.
51-2900: SAAMA McClellan. To 120FIS Denver 22Feb58. Lost 07Jun58. Crashed at/near Wright Patterson AFB, OH during an air show killing pilot Captain John Ferrier. It was classed as SOC for reclamation & scrapping 10Aug58.
Thanks again for using the Minute Men theme!!!