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06 AUGUST 2016

McChord StarLifter 50

By Tech. Sgt. Bryan Hull, 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs 


Kelsey Schmidt, Miss Washington 2016, rechristens the C-141 StarLifter, serial number 65-0277, August 6, 2016, at Heritage Hill, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, while Lt. Col. Elizabeth Scott, commander 4th Airlift Squadron, and Sandra Marth Hill, Miss Washington 1966, look on. In honor of the first C-141 arrival at McChord, members of the 62nd and 446th Airlift Wings celebrated with museum volunteers, veterans, and community members for the 50th anniversary of the arrival of McChord's first C-141. (Air Force Reserve photo by Tech. Sgt. Bryan Hull)


Nearly 50 years to the day, members of the 62nd and 446th Airlift Wings celebrated the anniversary of the arrival of the first C-141 StarLifter, August 6 at McChord Field, Wash.


The McChord StarLifter 50 event featured the rechristening of McChord’s first C-141 StarLifter, Tacoma StarLifter, by Kelsey Schmidt, 2016 Miss Washington. Presiding over the ceremony was Sandra Hill, 1966 Miss Washington, who christened the airplane when it first arrived August 9, 1966.


On hand for the historic event were Active and Reserve Airmen, museum volunteers, retirees and community members, who took time to honor the legacy of the C-141 StarLifter.


“It’s great to come out here and reminisce,” said retired Senior Master Sgt. Guy Shinkaruk, a former C-141 flight engineer with the 446th AW. “I flew on this very plane. The contributions we made flying C-141’s bring back a lot of memories.”


For 36 years the C-141 StarLifter served at McChord Field until the last one was retired April 4, 2002 with more than 38,000 flight hours, according to McChord Air Museum.  


“A lot of things came to mind thinking about what the C-141 was asked to do,” said retired Lt. Gen. Vernon Kondra, 21st Air Force commander and former 62nd AW commander. “Vietnam was obviously one. Flying supplies in and medevacs out, it also brought home those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”


Operation Homecoming ran from Feb. 12 to April 4, 1973. Fifty-four C-141 missions to Hanoi, Vietnam brought home 591 Prisoners of War.


“I didn’t get to fly the airplane at that time, but I did go down to the flight line at Scott Air Force Base and watched those planes return,” said Kondra. “I can remember how proud I was seeing those men come off of the C-141. I can guarantee that not one of them complained about the noise or the air conditioning system.”


The StarLifter continued to serve in peacetime and war.


During Desert Shield and Desert Storm a C-141 aircraft was landing every 10 minutes, 24 hours a day, for 7 months in Saudi Arabia, said Kondra. The cargo and people moved during this time amounted to all of Oklahoma City being moved from one place to another.


“The C-141 was truly a great airplane. But without people it’s just that; an airplane,” said Kondra. “It takes everybody; the active duty and the reserve. The 62nd AW and the 446th AW have a true partnership. In 2049, McChord will celebrate 50 years of the C-17. If I were a betting man, I would be willing to bet that the 62nd AW and 446th AW will still be second to none.”


From left to right: Tom Hanson, President of the McChord Air Museum, Ernie White, McChord Air Museum Public Relations Representative, Sandra Marth Hill, Miss Washington 1966, Kelsey Schmidt, Miss Washington 2016, Jeff Demmon, son of Lt. Col. George Demmon, and retired Lt. Gen. Vernon Kondra, 21st Air Force commander and former 62nd Airlift Wing commander, next to the C-141 StarLifter, serial number 65-0277, August 6, 2016, at Heritage Hill, Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Lt. Col. Demmon piloted the first C-141 StarLifter into McChord Field on August 5, 1966. Members of the 62nd and 446th Airlift Wings celebrated with museum volunteers, veterans, and community members for the 50th anniversary of the arrival of McChord's first StarLifter. (Air Force Reserve photo by Tech. Sgt. Bryan Hull) 


Click here to view Commemorative McChord StarLifter 50 Items  ON SALE TODAY


27 JUNE 2015


McChord Air Museum "Rescue's" Helicopter


The Museums newest acquisition, a Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw, is tied down by McChord & Kirtland personnel for its last flight in a 62d Airlift Wing C-17 Globemaster II 


On Friday June 26, a McChord C-17 made a historic flight that, on this occasion wasn't a mission performed by the aircraft or crew, this time it was the cargo loaded in its massive airframe, a Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw destined for the McChord Air Museum.


In early 2014, officials at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force informed its field museums and heritage centers in it system that a number of aircraft on display at Kirtland AFB, NM would be deemed as "surplus" and available for acquisition. Almost immediately, McChord Air Museum Director / Curator Ray Jordan put forth his organizations interest in the H-19, an aircraft with a strong tie to McChord.


After a 3 1/2 hour flight from Kirtland AFB , NM, the UH-19 finally touches McChord soil. 


In 1953, the 43d Air Rescue Squadron was established replacing Flight "C" at McChord AFB. The squadron would replace the SB-17 with the SA-16 Albatross amphibian. In mid 1953, the 43d added the Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw giving the unit a capability to locate treat and recover survivors in ways that no previous rescue unit had at McChord. The H-19 & SA-16 of the 43d provided 24-hour search and rescue capability from the McChord Rescue Center whose area of responsibility ranging from the Pacific Ocean to Montana, Washington to Oregon. This would be the case for three years until another reorganization of rescue forces saw the activation of another unit to take on the critical Local Base Rescue Mission at McChord.  


At the stroke of Midnight on the last day of July 1956, the Duty Officer at the McChord Rescue Center left his post for a final time. The next morning, search and rescue alert crews would remove their equipment from their H-19 & SA-16 aircraft in preparation for the deactivation of the 43d ARS. On 01 Aug 1956, McChord's 325th Fighter Wing would use the 43rd's H-19 to establish a Rescue Section under the 325th Operations Group in an effort to provide rescue service for the local area.  The H-19's would serve in that capacity at McChord until 1961 with the return of the Air Rescue Service and their new Kaman H-43 Huskies.


With a little cleaning and painting, the UH-19 should be on display soon. 


After inspection of his Museum's newest acquisition, Mr. Jordan remarked, "The H-19 is in remarkable shape" and stated after some cleanup and touchup painting, the Helicopter could be on display in a short amount of time.  


 29 MARCH 2015

Herculean Rollout 

 With the landing of "Jaded-04", the McChord Air Museum received an aircraft that has been on the top of its wish list for many years, that aircraft being the Lockheed C-130E Hercules. The wait is finally over after the February 2015 rollout of the Museum's C-130 from the McChord Field Corrosion Control Facility signaling the end of a six-year restoration project.   


The aircraft, S/N 62-1789 and its composite crew from Hill AFB, Utah under the radio call sign "Jaded-04", completed a 12 hour flight from a Alabama based maintenance facility to McChord landing minutes before 7pm on October 9, 2009. "The flight was originally scheduled to take about seven hours" said Museum Foundation Member Ernie White "but wing restrictions (fuel) and an engine oil leak forced the crew to land at Hill Air Force Base for fuel and repairs". "It (the flight) took longer than I expected, but it was worth the wait!"


C-130E #1789 is pictured enjoying its first day of retirement on the "Charlie" ramp at McChord AFB in 2009.   


Since the McChord Air Museum opened its doors in 1983, attempts to obtain a C-130's had been dashed, including a Air Force wide 2005 grounding and storage of a number of C-130E’s experiencing severe fatigue in center wing box structure, limited the number of aircraft available for display – until 2009.


In the last weeks of the summer of 2009, Museum Director Ray Jordan, received word that a C-130E, s/n 62-1789, was available for display, if acceptable, since the particular aircraft was not one of the C-130's that served at McChord. Acquiring such an aircraft had been a priority, unfortunately almost all of the former McChord based C-130's had been flown into storage and eventual retirement. Losing this C-130 without a guarantee of acquiring one of the very few remaining former 36th TAS aircraft "wasn't a chance I was willing to take" said Jordan.


Although the aircraft, s/n 62-1789, lacks a tie with the Base during the airplanes storied career, it had been assigned to the 36th early in the aircrafts career. In any case, the Hercules has a very strong connection with McChord. For 14 years, C-130's were a familiar sight in the skies Washington State, flying with the 62d Military Airlift Wings "Eagle Airlifters" the 36th Tactical Airlift Squadron (36th TAS) ". With the transfer of the 36th TAS to McChord on July 1975, the 62d Military Airlift Wing became the only blended Wing in the Military Airlift Command with a Tactical (with the C-130) and Strategic (with the C-141) airlift mission. Recognized as one of the top C-130 units in the Air Force, the 36th flew Hercules from McChord until transitioning into C-141's on October 1, 1989.


Painted in the classic Southeast Asian camouflage with hi-visibility marks, C-130E S/N 63-7788 from the 36th Tactical Airlift Squadron flies by the camera lens in 1978.  


Upon arrival of the McChord Museums newest acquisition, it could not go unnoticed that over 40 years of service has taken a toll on #1789, she was a very tired combat veteran - inside and out. Fortunately, the dedicated and diverse team of volunteers from the Museum, including a number of former "Eagle Airlifters", were up to the task of turning this "hangar queen" into true royalty. With a bucket and brush in hand, a section of the volunteers began a complete nose-to-tail scouring, lifting years of grease and grime. Alongside this effort, the other volunteers undertook painstaking effort to disassemble, restore, and replace major assemblies inside the cockpit & cargo area. From control boxes to seats, interior panels to coffee pots, the volunteers expended thousands of hours to turn back the hands of time with wrenches, paintbrushes, and elbow grease. These efforts, including the addition a "command package" in the cockpit (Air Force blue carpeting) and variety of mission loads in the cargo box, visitors will understand the flexibility and versatility of the  C-130 and the true affection that these volunteers have for the "Herky Bird".


McChord Air Museum Restoration Crew - Dick Jones (Crew Chief), Lowell Ashlock, Jim Bernethy (pictured), Tom Caparella, Larry Clemons, Wayne Currie, John Funk, Alice Jackson, Sherri Jenne (pictured), Ken Regan, Bill Tafoya, Don Vandenbergh, and  Ernie White (Restoration Research).


Preparation for this step back in time was not only focused on the interior of the aircraft, a total makeover for the exterior was planned as well. Since data for the "retro" paint scheme was not readily available, countless pictures, drawings, and technical data was gathered to create a extensive paint plan to create the Southeast Asia (SEA) scheme worn by USAF C-130s including those of the 36th upon their arrival at McChord in 1975.  After hundreds of hours of research, a "script" was developed for the final act in this restoration project, the paint.


A young crew of airmen drawn from McChord 62d Maintenance Squadron (62 MXS), most of which born years after C-130s first landed at McChord, drew on their creative juices to complete this part of the project. In less than 8 weeks, a crew familiar with painting the low-visibility gray aircraft, sanded, primed, and painted the multi colored C-130 with full color markings while upholding their commitments to their Wings latest combat airlifter, the C-17.


62d MXS Paint Crew - TSgt Brian Guernsey, TSgt Christopher Orsi, SSgt Tobias Abernathy, SSgt Kyle Baldini, SSgt Harlyn Johnson (pictured),    SSgt Brandon Parkinson, SrA Trevor McGinn, SrA Nathaniel Briley (pictured), SrA Joshua Johnson, SrA Justin Lounder, SrA Nicholas Watkins, A1C Bienvenido Domingo (pictured),  A1C Julian Engelhardt.


After years of preparation, planning, contributions of time and money, C-130E # 1789 recently rolled out of the McChord Field Corrosion Control Facility with a new paint scheme, and a new identity. With hundreds of  gallons of paint, primer and thousands of hours of labor, members of 62nd Maintenance Group, and the McChord Air Museum transformed the C-130 into a very impressive copy of "Eagle One", s/n 63-7788, flagship of the 36th TAS.  "They really took it to the next level", said Jordan, it (the C-130) will be something to talk about for many years to come."


06 MARCH 2015


New sign points visitors

in the right direction.


A few weeks ago, a new fixture arrived on Heritage Hill, this time it wasn't an aircraft - it was a new sign for the McChord Air Museum. Since removal of the most visible landmarks from the McChord Museum's main building and Gift Store on Barnes Boulevard, visitors to the aircraft's current home on Heritage Hill, often believed that the museum's aircraft collection on the hill is the entire McChord Air Museum - not so!  


Funded completely by the McChord Air Museum Foundation,  the new sign, installed by Image360 of Tacoma,  will not only point visitors to Heritage Hill to the main museum building, it also highlights the efforts of the Museum's volunteers in keeping the aircraft on display in tip top condition. Come by and see our new sign - - aircraft, and the Museum !


The rear of the sign displays a friendly reminder to the visitors to treat the museum aircraft with care.  


 29 JANUARY 2015

Lt. Col. Edward Saylor
Doolittle Raider
15 March 1920 - 28 January 2015

Lt. Col. Edward Saylor, local hero and one of four surviving Doolittle Raiders who attacked Japan during a daring 1942 mission credited with lifting American morale during World War II, has died. He was 94. Rod Saylor said his father died of natural causes in Sumner, Washington.


Lt. Col Ed Saylor was born on March 15, 1920, in Brusett, Montana. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps on December 7, 1939, and was trained in aircraft maintenance and as a flight engineer.


The then Sgt Saylor was serving as a B-25 Mitchell flight engineer with the 34th Bomb Squadron of the 17th Bomb Group when he was selected for the Doolittle Mission in February 1942. He was the flight engineer aboard the 15th B-25 to take off from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) on April 18, 1942, and after bombing its assigned targets in Kobe, Japan, the crew ditched their aircraft in the water off the coast of China.


After returning to the United States, Sgt Saylor served as a Line Chief in the U.S. and then deployed to England before accepting a commission as a 2d Lt in the Army Air Forces on March 4, 1945. Lt Saylor served as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer until leaving active duty on March 29, 1946, serving in the Air Force Reserve until returning to active duty beginning October 25, 1947.


His next assignment was as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer with the 140th Air Force Base Unit and the 2470th Air Force Reserve Training Center at Sioux City, Iowa, from October 1947 to June 1949, followed by service as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer with the 325th Fighter Wing and the 318th Fighter Squadron at Moses Lake AFB and then at McChord AFB, Washington, from July 1949 to June 1952.


Capt Saylor next served as Assistant Base Maintenance Officer with the 86th Air Base Squadron and the 529th Material Squadron at Paine AFB, Washington, from July 1952 to October 1953, and then as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer with the 59th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Goose AFB in Newfoundland, Canada, from October 1953 to July 1955.


His next assignment was as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer with the 530th Air Defense Group, the 84th Fighter Group, and then the 84th Material Squadron at Geiger Field, Washington, from July 1955 to October 1958.


Maj Saylor served as an Aircraft Maintenance Officer with the 25th Air Division at McChord AFB from October 1958 to December 1961, followed by service as an Exchange Officer with the British Royal Air Force at RAF Coltishall, England, where he served as a Senior Technical Officer with the Air Fighting Development Squadron from December 1961 to January 1964.


Lt Col Saylor next served as Chief of Maintenance of the 337th Fighter Group and 337th Consolidated Aircraft Maintenance Squadron with Air Defense Command at Portland International Airport, Oregon, from January 1964 to March 1966, and then as Chief of Maintenance of the 328th Fighter Wing at Richards-Gebaur AFB, Missouri, from March 1966 until his retirement from the Air Force on October 1, 1967


 22 JANUARY 2015


Museum Featured on

Comcast "Neighborhoods"


Sabrina Register host for Comcast  "Neighborhoods" is pictured with Museun Director Ray Jordan, and Foundation Board Members Ernie White, Greg Christian, and Randy Getz.


Late last year, we had the pleasure of hosting Sabrina Register from Comcast's "Neighborhoods" a local feature program highlighting some of the more interesting locations around the Northwest. The feature on the Museum filmed by Sabrina and Crew can now be seen by local subscribers of Comcast Xfinity by visiting your "On Demand" section. Comcast Digital TV customers can see the segment by following these easy steps:


Comcast Digital TV customers can see the segment by following these easy steps:
1. Go to On Demand, Channel 1.
2. Look for the Get Local folder.
3. Go to ‘Around the Sound.’
4. Click ‘Neighborhoods.. Go to On Demand, Channel 1.
2. Look for the Get Local folder.
3. Go to ‘Around the Sound.’
4. Click ‘Neighborhoods.. Go to On Demand, Channel 1.
2. Look for the Get Local folder.
3. Go to ‘Around the Sound.’
4. Click ‘Neighborhoods.

1. Go the On Demand, Channel 1

2. Look for the Get Local folder.

3. Go to "Around the Sound"

4. Click "Neighborhoods".

The segment will be airing On Demand for a few months, later it will be filed on YouTube.

. Go to On Demand, Channel 1.
2. Look for the Get Local folder.
3. Go to ‘Around the Sound.’
4. Click ‘Neighborhoods.

17 AUGUST 2014


2014 Museum Picnic


On August 16, the McChord Museum had its annual Volunteers Picnic at McChord Field's Heritage Hill. Perfect weather, food and conversations - if you missed it this year there will always be next year !


An event held every year at the Museums Picnic is the recognition of the volunteers with service awards. This year 9 awards were presented, they were as follows:


20 Years of Service: Cy Rech


10 Years of Service: Paul Bastin & Deb Laughery


5 Years of Service: Marianne Bastin, Greg Christian, Dick Jones, Richard King, Jack Whitaker, & Harvey Wishoff.

Service Award Recipients

20 Years of Service: Cy Reck


5 Years of Service: Greg Christian


5 Years of Service:  Dick Jones


5 Years of Service: Richard King

AFA Donation

Museum  Foundation President & Air Force Association Executive Committee Member (McChord Chapter)  Tom Hansen presents donation from the  AFA to Foundation VP Randy Getz. 

04 JUNE 2014

Lt Col. Herb Mellor

March 20, 1923  - May 19, 2014

We are deeply saddened to share the news that we have lost a valued Member of the Foundation, Former President Herb Mellor who passed away on May 19th 2014  after a long illness. 


Longtime Editor of the Foundations Quarterly news letter "The Rip Chord", Herb was always one of the first members to lend a helping hand on many projects around the Museum.   


Memorial Services for Former Foundation President Herb Mellor has been scheduled for Friday, 25 July at 1PM at United Methodist Church located at 6900 Steilacoom Blvd. SW Lakewood, WA 98499 - All are welcomed to attend.


Herbert F. Mellor (Herb) was born on March 20, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois to Dudley and Cary Mellor. In his youth, Herb was an avid trumpeter, sold papers on a Chicago street corner, and was a Boy Scout; eventually earning the rank of Eagle Scout. While attending Taft High School, Herb met his life-long love Jane Geib, shortly after graduation in June of 1941, the couple married while he was attending college at Northwestern University in Illinois. Herb and Jane lost two babies shortly after child birth but eventually were blessed with two sons, Roger and Dennis.


Herb left Northwestern to join the war effort in late 1942. As a member of Aviation Cadet Class 44E, Herb's Preflight training began at Texas Tech in Lubbuck Texas in June and July of 1943. In addition to ground school, he logged time in the Piper L4-B Grasshopper (Cub). Later, Herb continued his training at Condor Field, 29 Palms CA between November 1943 (Primary Pilot Training, flying the PT-13/17, Stearman)  Minter Field, Bakersfield, CA between January 1944 and March 1944, (flying the BT-13 Vultee). At Minter, Herb "deadsticked" his BT-13 into a field after engine failure due to catastrophic oil system failure.


Finally, Herb was sent to Pecos Texas for Advanced Twin Engine training in the Cessna AT-17B, Bobcat. Herb graduated from cadets on March 15, 1944 with the silver wings of the Army Air Force as well as a commission as a second lieutenant.  He completed advanced training in the C-47 and the C-46 at in Syracuse Army Air Base, NY as well as Bowman Army Air Base, Lexington, KY before shipping out to War in the Pacific.


Herb spent 13 months in the Pacific Theater of Operations during 1944 and 1945. He flew airlift missions throughout the theater, staging out of New Guinea, Leyte and Luzon, PI as well as Saipan. Herb returned to the US, landing in San Francisco in June 1945.


Herb returned to Northwestern University and finished his degree in Accounting, graduating in 1948. He would move on to jobs in sales, working in large vehicle sales (school buses and later dump trucks). He also trained and received a full qualification as an Air Traffic Controller with the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), and organization that later formed  into the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).


During this time, Herb remained in the military as a reservist (promoted to 1st Lt on Dec 5th, 1945) with the 437th Troop Carrier Wing, Medium, a reserve unit flying the Curtiss C-46 Commando at Chicago-Orchard Airport, IL.


In August 10, 1950, the 437th TCW was activated for the Korean war. Herb and over 1,400  of his wingmates moved to Shaw AFB and by November, deployed to Japan to support the war. Flying out of such bases as Itasuki, Herb flew numerous missions to the Korean peninsula. Herb was promoted to Captain on July 14, 1950.


Herb returned to the US in 1952 but rather than return to the Chicago area he moved to the Northwest joining the 939th Tactical Airlift Group's 313rd Tactical Airlift Squadron at Portland International Airport, OR flying the C-119, Flying Boxcar. He served in several positions such as flight instructor, instrument instructor, operations officer receiving a promotion to Major on July 15, 1957. In the early 60s Herb became a fully time Air Reserve Technician and was promoted to Lt. Col on August 21, 1963 where he became Commander of the 313rd in December of 1963.


In 1968, the 939th moved to McChord AFB and became the 939th Military Airlift Group. The unit and Herb converted to the C-141 StarLifter at this time. Herb once again went to war flying airlift missions in support of the war in Vietnam.


After the 446th Military Airlift Wing replaced the 939th MAG as the 62nd Military Airlift Wings reserve component in 1973, Herb assumed the position of Executive Officer for the 446th a position he retained until his retirement in January of 1985.


 For 42 years (27 of those on active duty), Lt Col. Herb Mellor served his Nation with pride in peacetime and in war.


While living in Lakewood, WA, Herb and Jane became heavily involved parishioners at the United Methodist Church. Maintaining his love for music, Herb participated in the Memory Singers, a volunteer group who visited nursing homes and sang at local events.


Air Force enthusiast for life, Herb was an avid volunteer at the McChord Air Force Museum, joining in 1986, and in 1993 he became the longest serving President of the McChord Air Museum Foundation leaving the position in 2012. Herb was also the editor of the Foundation’s quarterly newsletter, The Rip Chord, for almost 30 years and his writing skill will be sorely missed.


A friend to all that knew him, Herb passed away at 11 AM on May 19th at the age of 91. He was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Jane of (May 13, 2011) and is survived by his sons Roger and Dennis, granddaughter Deanna, and great-grandchildren Jackson and Ellie.


 26 JANUARY 2014


30 for the "Six"


On November 1, 1983, the very day the last F-106 left McChord for retirement, McChord's 318th Fighter Interceptor Squadron presented F-106A S/N 56-0459 to the McChord Air Museum. In the picture above former Curator Fred Johnson accepts ceremonial "chalks " from 459's last Crew Chief, SRA Ahmad McGee as LTC Gordie Breault, 318 FIS Commander and the aircraft's final pilot, Capt Randy Neville look on. Following the arrival of the Museum's Douglas B-18 Bolo on  in May 23, 1983, F-106 was the second aircraft acquired by the McChord Air Museum.


 15 DECEMBER 2013


 Next up - C-130


In early 2014, the Museum's C-130E S/N 62-1789 will be repainted as S/N 63-7788 squadron flagship from McChord's 36 TAS from the mid 70's (pictured above).


In early December, Museum Administrator Ray Jordan finalized painting requirements for the Museums C-130E with the leadership of the 62d Maintenance Group (62 MXG). Members of the 62 MXG to paint the Museums C-130E in early February 2014 during a downtime period for the unit.


For the last few months, Museum volunteers have compiled all painting details needed to ensure the C-130 will accurately represent C-130E 63-7788 from McChord's 36th Tactical Airlift Squadron "Eagle Airlifters" as it looked in the mid 1970's. Considered the "flagship' of the fleet -7788 wore a post Vietnam war Southeast Asian paint scheme with full color markings.


Much of the funding for this project was provided by the McChord Foundation and raised by a "Eagle One" campaign established to fund the restoration and siting of the Museums C-130E.


 16 OCTOBER 2013


The newest Washington Huskie

With its rotor blades hidden away in their shipping containers, the Museums HH-43A S/N 58-1833 sits quietly in the McChord Air Museum's Restoration Hangar.


In early October, the McChord Air Museum achieved another organizational milestone it had not accomplished in its 31-year history - acquiring its first helicopter, a Kaman HH-43A Huskie Rescue helicopter. The dual-rotor helicopter, a longtime part of the Museum of Aviation located at Warner Robins AFB, GA was one of the 29 scheduled to be removed from the Museum's collection as a result of a reduction in funding.


Adding to the list of rare aircraft at the McChord Air Museum, the early model HH-43, S/N 58-1388 is the only H-43 on display and one of a very small number in existence, (1 complete aircraft and 2 airframes) of the 18 A-model Huskies produced for the USAF in the late 50's.


The addition of the HH-43 is an important addition to tell the "Local Base Rescue" story of McChord AFB, a mission performed by Huskies from 1961 through 1972. Huskies assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing and later to the multiple units of the Military Airlift Commands Air Rescue Service , provided rescue and recovery and search and rescue  of Airmen and Civilians within a for 75 nautical mile radius of the Base. It was one of the many rescues involving a private citizen where a McChord HH-43B crew won the prestigious Cheney Award in 1961.


Established in 1927, The Cheney Award is an aviation award presented by the United States Air Force to an airman for an act of valor, extreme fortitude or self-sacrifice in a humanitarian interest, performed in connection with aircraft.  


 24 AUGUST 2013


McChord tie to "Cooper" on display at

the Washington State History Museum


The Washington State Historical museums new exhibit "Cooper" covering D.B. Cooper the Man involved in the most famous unsolved hijacking of the century features items from the 318th FIS loaned by the Museum and Foundation Member Ernie White.


On  Thanksgiving eve 1971 a man calling himself "D.B Cooper" boarded a Northwest Orient flight in Portland, OR and once aloft  threatened to destroy the plane if did not receive $200,000 and four parachutes. The plane landed at Seattle-Tacoma Airport were his demands were met, Cooper ordered the Boeing 727 to take off and head for Mexico. A short time later Two F-106's from the 318th FIS were called in to action to chase the airliner. Their task that night was to the shadow hijacked airliner and track its escape to Mexico.  Cooper would later jump from the rear of the plane somewhere over Washington state, taking the money with him. He were about is still one of the great mysteries of the 20th Century. Squadron Members of the 318th would commemorate this incident with an annual dinner which was held until the units deactivation in 1989.  


The Cooper exhibit, opened to the public on August 24 through January 2013 - for more information please visit the Washington State Historical Society's webpage:



Items from the 318th FIS can be seen at the WSHS's Cooper Exhibit

 21 AUGUST 2013


 They're Back


After taping a segment on the McChord Air Museum in January, the Tacoma's TV12 returned to tape several background segments for their upcoming CityScape program in September.


Locally TV Tacoma Channel 12 can be seen in the Tacoma City limits and Pierce County, but offers much of the Channels programs available for download off of it's website on the City of Tacoma's website: http://www.cityoftacoma.org/Page.aspx?nid=148 Links to the programs can be found on the TV12 & the Museums websites.


17 AUGUST 2013


 Food and Awards at the annual

Museum Picnic


Foundation President Tom Hansen (L) & 62 AW Vice Commander Col. Jeffrey D. Philippart present a 25 Year plaque to longtime B-18 Member Carl Schuler.


Alice Jackson receives her 5 year plaque from Col. Philippart. Alice has helped on the restoration on the SA-10 & C-130.


The new "Hangar Boss" Jim Bernethy shakes the hand of Col Philippart after receiving his 5 year award.


Foundation President Tom Hansen & 62 AW Vice Commander Col. Jeffrey D. Philippart present 5 Year plaque to Foundation Vice President Randy Getz.

Not Present: Jack Whitaker & Harvey Wiskoff

17 AUGUST 2013


 It's official: HH-43A on the way

 to the McChord Air Museum


In late July, McChord Heritage Center Administrator Ray Jordan confirmed that the Museum will acquire a Kaman H-43A Huskie from the Museum of Aviation at Robbins AFB GA. The HH-43 was one of 32 aircraft the Georgia Based museum inventory that will be moved to other museums, put into storage, or scrapped.


As a part of the Local Base Rescue detachment at McChord AFB, Huskies provided rescue and recovery and search and rescue assistance within a for 75 nautical mile radius of the Base involving Airmen and Civilians of Western Washington from 1961 through 1972.

The HH-43 will is expected to arrive to McChord in mid September aboard a 62d AW C-17 return flight from depot maintenance at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center.


25 JULY 2013


 Foundation Member completes

McChord historic image book

McChord Field is the subject of a new book in a series of titles from Arcadia Publishing of South Carolina. The book, Images of Aviation - McChord Field is the latest in a long line of books  covering "hometown" history of many locations across the country, including Military subjects.

For more than a year, the author, Foundation Member Kim Peterson, who is also a military researcher and award-winning photographer used these skills to to create an excellent book covering the McChord Field through its many phases of history from the pre-war 30's through today's modern Air Force.


The book will be sold at the McChord Air Museum's Tower Gift Store and other retailers.


16 JUNE 2013

Museums SA-10 Restoration Project wins AMC Heritage Award

The McChord Air Museum (Heritage Center) recently was awarded the 2013 Air Mobility Commands (AMC) Heritage Award for the restoration of the Museums SA-10A Catalina. The Command level award is given annually to recognize commendable work by the Command’s Heritage Centers who foster a better understanding and appreciation of the Air Force, its missions and its accomplishments.


In December of 1988, truckloads of parts from three separate Consolidated PBY-5s and Vickers SA-10As arrived at McChord AFB, WA signaling the beginning of what was to be a 25-year effort to restore one of the few remaining genuine Air Force OA-10/SA-10 "Cats". After the acquisition of an earlier, more complete PBY fell through, The McChord Air Museum was extraordinary lucky to acquire the hull of S/N 43-43847, a former Air Force SA-10, since a overwhelming majority of the Catalina's were built for the U.S. Navy. The aircraft, which formally flew under civil registration "N4760C", was modified to the civilian "Super Cat" standards with larger engines and empennage long after its military career. The aircrafts flying days ended with a wheels up" landing in an open field in Wisconsin, fortunately none of the five crew members aboard were injured.


After an extensive restoration lasting 25 years, the SA-10 was towed into McChord Field's Corrosion Control Facility to begin the last stage of the aircrafts restoration with new paint reminiscent of SA-10’s from the McChord's based Flight "C" of the 4th Air Rescue Squadron of the late 40s.  


Members of McChord's 62d Maintenance Squadron spent over 1,600 man-hours repainting the SA-10 over 6 weeks, while performing their normal mission for the 62d Airlift Wing. Using the Wing's personnel and paint facility saved the Heritage Center an estimated $80,000 dollars compared to the cost for a contractor to complete the paint project. Painting Museum aircraft also provided military personnel valuable experience with paints and procedures not normally used.


“I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the outstanding work performed by McChord Field personnel and the thousands of hours performed by Museum Foundation volunteers to the PBY project” said Ray Jordan, McChord Air Museum Administrator “Without this great coordination between the two groups, none of this would have been possible”.

The Museums SA-10 as it arrived in 1988

20 JANUARY 2013


Museum to be featured on

Tacoma City Cable TV12


Dave Gordon, TV Tacoma Photojournalist makes his final adjustments before his interview with McChord Air Museum Foundation volunteer Greg Christian in the Museums Restoration hangar at McChord Field.

 In March of 2013 the McChord Air Museum will be featured under the TV lights of the award winning "CityScape" news magazine program on TV Tacoma Channel 12.


Dave Gordon TV Tacoma Photojournalist documented the stories several of the McChord Air Museums volunteers and staff along with many of the sights and sounds of the Museums Gallery, Airpark and Restoration Hangar. 


Celebrating its 29th year TV Tacoma, the City's Municipal Television Station not only broadcasts City Council Meetings it also features a number of well produced local originated programs featuring the people and places of Tacoma and the surrounding community. Locally TV Tacoma Channel 12 can be seen in the Tacoma City limits and Pierce County, but offers much of the Channels programs available for download off of it's website on the City of Tacoma's website: http://www.cityoftacoma.org/Page.aspx?nid=148


 06 JANUARY 2013


Museum to display "Aces"  Flightsuit.

The late Col. Charles King, 325th Fighter Wing Commander and William Tell '58 Western Air Defense Force F-102 Team Leader strikes a classic pose at Tyndall AFB after arriving at  the Interceptor competition. The flightsuit in this photo was donated to the McChord Air Museum by the Colonels son, Gary King.


   In 1958, the Top Guns of the 318th FIS lead by 325th Fighter Wing Commander Col Charles King fought against other top interceptor squadrons in the Super Bowl of aerial combat, William Tell. The  specially created flight suit  Colonel wore in that iconic competition is now a part of the collection of the McChord Air Museum.

   Late last year (2012), the Museum received the flightsuit, squadron hat and other personal effects from Kings son, Gary, after he chose the McChord Air Museum as a place to display his fathers items. For almost two years, Col. King commanded a Wing of advanced F-102 delta Daggers tasked to defend the Pacific Northwest from Soviet bombers.


   On 08 July 1958 through 15 February 1960, Col King commanded the 325th Fighter Wing (Air Defense) at McChord, a wing equipped with two squadrons (64th FIS & 318th FIS) of  almost 50 F-102 Delta Dagger fighters. Before his McChord Assignment King served as Deputy of Operations of the 4702nd Defense Wing and 9th Air Division at Geiger Field, Spokane, Washington.


   The highly experienced fighter pilot flew in combat in the Pacific Theater during World War with the famous "Cobra in the Clouds" squadron, the 39th Fighter Squadron, In his 3 years of combat flying the Bell P-39 Aircobra and Lockheed P-38 Lightning, "Snarlin' Charlie" King scored 5 kills 3 probable kills and 3 damaged enemy aircraft in 201 combat missions.


    After some shuffling of displays, Col Kings flight suit will be displayed in the Museum galleries "Post War Fighter Briefing Room"


A youthful King is pictured displaying the mark of his first kill of five kills to be painted under the canopy of his P-38G Lightning s./n 42-12699. The the Captain earned the mark by downing a Imperial Japanese Army Air Force Nakajima Ki-43 "Oscar" on 2 March 1943.


14 DECEMBER 2012


Early Christmas Gift


On December 14, 2012, 62d Airlift Wing & Museum personnel pre-positioned the recently completed SA-10 Catalina at the Museums Heritage Hill Annex at McChord Field. By mid-2013 the Museums PBY will be placed on stands at its permanent location behind the F-106A Delta Dart. 

11 NOVEMBER 2012

The Cat's out of the Bag


On Monday, November 5, 2012 the restoration clock stopped at 24 years for the McChord Air Museums SA-10A Catalina S/N 44-43847. During November and December of 1988, two trucks from Kansas and one from Canada to brought the McChord Air Museums SA-10A Catalina to its new home in Washington State.  Since then, McChord Air Museum Foundation members, with some assistance from the 62d & 446th (Military) Airlift Wings have rebuilt, reskined, restored and repainted the PBY back to its glory years at McChord in the late 40's. 


Currently, the SA-10 is back at the Museums Restoration Hangar where final preparations will be accomplished for the flying boat sets sail for McChord Fields Heritage Hill in 2013 or 2014.


SA-10A is pictured above where crews from the 62d Maintenance Squadron prepares to paint the smaller details on the aircraft. For additional pictures, please visit the "Paint Projects" on the "Restoration Hangar" page.


21 OCTOBER 2012


Cruising back


The painting of the McChord Air Museum's SA-10A Catalina began in early August, but real world issues arose wit one of the Bases C-17 caused the Museum's fling boats paint schedule to hit some rough waters. After a month delay, McChord paint crews have completed all sanding, priming and in late October, will begin applying the aircrafts topcoat.


With an open schedule through early November, it will be "smooth sailing" from here on out. Completion is scheduled for November 2nd.


 02 SEPTEMBER 2012


2012 Foundation Picnic

Wearing "two hats" Foundation President Tom Hansen, presents a $1000 check from the McChord Chapter of the Air Force Association to Foundation Vice President Randy Getz. Serving in many positions with the AFA, Hansen is currently one of the Chapters Vice Presidents.

In the 2012 Foundation picnic Foundation President Tom Hansen, presents a Museum plaque to Patrick Lemon, son of longtime member the late Don Lemon.


After addressing the members of the Museum Foundation, new 62d Airlift Wing Vice Commander Colonel Jeffrey D. Philippart talks to President Tom Hansen about the Museums C-130E Hercules. Both men flew the iconic airlifter in their military careers. 


Local artist and former Foundation Treasurer Cy Reck stand in front of a variety of his art work with Former Foundation President Herb Mellor.

23 JULY 2012

New look for an old bird


After the 2012 Air Expo, all aircraft flew back (or were towed back) to their homes, except for one, the Museum's SA-10A Catalina. 


Starting in the middle of August, members of the 62d Maintenance Squadron (62 MXS) will begin the last leg of the Museums PBY's after the aircrafts 20 year restoration effort accomplished by the members of the McChord Air Museum Foundation.  After careful research by the Foundation, all painting information will be turned over to the 62d MXS to help the members repaint the aircraft back into the grey and white scheme worn by OA/SA-10's in the late 1940's.


Updates will appear on the Museums website.

The Museums SA-10 will reappear from the paint hangar with the scheme above.
23 JULY 2012

Air Expo takes flight


Visitors to Heritage Hill during the 2012 Air Expo were treated to great views of Museum aircraft and the USAF Thunderbirds.


By Spc. Adam L. Mathis - 17th Public Affairs Detachment

The roar of the F-16 Fighting Falcon’s engine hit the crowd just moments after the jet passed over their heads. The crackling thunder of the aircraft temporarily deafened thousands of spectators and drowned out all other noise at the 2012 Joint Base Lewis McChord Air Expo.


“I love that!” a visitor yelled to the crowd after the noise passed.


Reactions like that are the reasons JBLM holds the expo every two years. Colonel Wyn Elder, commander of the 62nd Airlift Wing, said McChord Field hosts the event to show civilians just what the American aerial arsenal is capable of.


“We’re trying to show them all the different types of aircraft in the inventory so that the public can see all the different types of airpower there are,” Elder said.


Headliners of the expo demonstrated different facets of U.S. airpower: the Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds; the Army Parachute Team, the Golden Knights; and the civilian operated Patriots Jet Team.“The American tax payers ... they pay for the space, they pay for all these aircraft, so air shows are a way of saying not only thank you to the public, but also we open up the base and let them see what we do for a living,” Elder said.


What they got to see was a show that included modern and historical military aircraft. Planes and helicopters engaged in a mock battle to show what combat in Vietnam was like, spectators were able to see fly-bys of a B-1 and B-2 bomber, and a C-17 Globemaster demonstration team showed the capabilities of one of the most common military transport planes — familiar aircraft on McChord Field.


The demonstration team from Hawaii pointed out many characteristics of the plane, including its quiet engine, its cargo capacity, and its ability to land within a small space.


“These demonstrations are important because it allows us to let the U.S. public see the capabilities of the aircraft we use in the (Department of Defense) on a day-to-day basis,” Martin said, “and show off the abilities that the U.S. taxpayers basically provide for us to defend the nation, as well as provide any kind of domestic support.”


Planning and running the event required joint Army and Air Force support. Colonel Bruce Bowers Jr., commander of the 446th Airlift Wing, said this was the first show since the two bases merged to become a joint base. It was the first in which the Army was the lead service, and as such, the largest air show the Army ever sponsored.


The event represented a joint-service cooperative effort, with the Air Force providing the airshow expertise while the Army provided security and coordinated use of infrastructure, Elder said.


That cooperation and its resulting display of military strength, is what made the show great for Tony Sales, executive director of the Lacey Chamber of Commerce.


“Whether they’re just in a slow fly-by like the B-52 or in actual demonstrations their skills and excellence makes me very proud to be an American,” Sales said.

the JBLM's Northwest Guardian's 2012 JBLM Air Expo gallery
Post your some of your best Air Expo pictures on the Museums Facebook Page

24 JUNE 2012


Museum aircraft on display at JBLM Air Expo

The USAF Thunderbirds will be the feature act for the 2012 JBLM Air Expo.

Dates: Saturday July 21 - Sunday July 22

Time: 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Place: McChord Field


With the USAF Thunderbirds & the U.S. Army Golden Knights headlining, the 2012 Air Expo promises to be a very exciting show. Along with the traditional Military and Civilian Static displays, the Museum's SA-10 Catalina and C-130 will be on display. The Museums aircraft collection on Heritage Hill will be available for viewing with the C-141 open for tours.


For more information see -

 29 APRIL 2012


Winds of change at the Museum Foundation

In the 2008 Foundation picnic Tom Hansen, Northwest Director of the Air Force Association, presents a check from the McChord Chapter to Herb Mellor, President of the McChord Air Museum Foundation.


After over a decade of serving as president of the McChord Air Museum Foundation, Col. Herb Mellor (USAF Ret) has informed the Board of directors during their bi-yearly meeting that he would step down effective immediately. Col Mellor will continue as Editor of the "Rip Cord" the Foundations quarterly newsletter. As a sign of gratitude for his years of service to the Foundation and the McChord Air Museum, Mellor was named as the first President Emeritus of the McChord Air Museum Foundation.

During the same meeting, the Board of Directors unanimously elected Col. Tom Hansen (USAF Ret) as the new President of the Foundation. Very active in the surrounding community Hansen, former Commander of the 36th Tactical Airlift Squadron recently established the very successful "Eagle One" campaign, a fund raising drive to assist in the restoration and painting of the museums C-130.

As charter member of the Museum Foundation, Hansen stationed at McChord for 6 years, later he commanded Rhein-Main AB where he was deeply involved with the acquisition of two aircraft for the Berlin Airlift Memorial. In his life in the private sector Col Hansen has headed some of the more respected professional military and aerospace education associations and been involved in multiple fundraising campaigning's. Hansen has served as President of McChord AFB Chapter and State President of the of the Air Force Association, President of the Luftbrucke and Lt Gen Tunner Chapters of the Airlift/Tanker Association, and Flight captain of Cascade Flight #22 of the Order of DaedLians.


 01 MARCH 2012


McDonald’s Supports McChord Museum

McChord Air Museum Foundation Vice President Randy Getz and Foundation Treasurer Greg Christian were on hand to receive a $500.00 donation from McDonalds of Tillicum. 


On January 17th, Ray Jordan (Museum curator), Randy Getz (Foundation vice president), and Greg Christian (Foundation treasurer) attended the grand opening of the Tillicum McDonald’s. They were present at the opening celebration at the invitation of Mary Hallett (McDonald’s Regional Manager) who presented the Foundation and the Museum with a check for $500. McDonald’s support for the local community, including the military community, is readily apparent and greatly appreciated. Many members of the local military, both Air Force and Army, are customers of McDonald’s and the Tillicum facility. The McChord Air Museum Foundation and the Museum thank McDonald’s and especially Mary for their support of our organizations and the mission of preserving the history of JBLM (McChord Field) and its people.


 01 FEBRUARY 2012


Thomas N. Barnes: First African-American CMSAF

McChord Airman appointed to top Enlisted position

CMSgt Thomas Barnes served with the 62d Troop Carrier Group's 4th Troop Carrier Squadron between 1950 and 1952.  


When you visit the museum, there is a very good chance you traveled down Barnes Blvd without knowing the man behind the name. The street is named in honor of CMSgt Thomas N. Barnes the first African-American Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and a former McChord airman.


In honor of Black History Month, we are honoring the accomplishments of  CMSgt Barnes with this story written by 4th Fighter Wing Historian Neil Nichols. 

Historian reflects on CMSAF Barnes career
By Neil Nichols, Historian - 4th Fighter Wing SEYMOUR JOHNSON AFB, N.C

Chief Master Sgt. Thomas N. Barnes was appointed to the position of Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force in 1973, the first and only African-American to serve in the highest enlisted position within the U.S. Air Force.

While serving in this position, Chief Barnes provided advice on matters concerning welfare, effective utilization and progress of the enlisted members of the Air Force to two Secretaries of the Air Force, John L. McLucas and Thomas C. Reed, and two Chiefs of Staff of the Air Force, Gen George S. Brown and Gen David C. Jones, during his tenure.

One particular health-related issue he was instrumental in bring to the attention of senior military leaders was Pseudofolliculitis Barbae, a skin condition that highly affected African-American males.

Chief Barnes attended elementary and secondary schools in Chester, Pa., where he was born in 1930. During the spring 1949, Chief Barnes entered the U.S. Air Force, and received his technical training from the Aircraft and Engine School and Hydraulic Specialist School at Chanute Technical Training Center, Illinois, after completing basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas.

Chief Barnes served his country during a period in which the United States military was involved in two major conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. Chief Barnes was assigned to the 4th Troop Carrier Squadron of the 62nd Troop Carrier Group at McChord AFB, Washington, when the squadron transferred to Ashiya, Japan, in support of the Korean War in November 1950. After arriving in Japan, he completed on-the-job training for flight engineer duties. Personnel shortages required him to performed both flight engineer and hydraulic specialist duties.

Chief Barnes received assignment to various locations after returning back to the United States in 1952, to include assignments to Massachusetts, Texas, Hawaii, Japan, and the Northeast Air Command, before arriving to George AFB, California, in October 1966.

In December of that same year he was went to Southeast Asia. There he served in various positions with the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing to include, noncommissioned officer in charge, reparable processing center; senior controller; and noncommissioned officer in charge, maintenance control.

In December 1967, he returned from Southeast Asia to Laughlin AFB, Texas, where his duties included: T-38 section line chief; noncommissioned officer-in-charge, maintenance control; and senior enlisted advisor to the commander of the 3646th Pilot Training Wing. He was promoted to the grade of chief master sergeant on December 1, 1969, receiving an assignment to Headquarters Air Training Command in October 1971 to assume the duties of command senior enlisted adviser. Chief Barnes also held the distinct honor of being a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Senior NCO Academy pilot class in March 1973.

On Oct. 1, 1973, he was appointed CMSAF. At the expiration of the initial two-year tenure, he was extended for an additional year by the chief of staff. In February 1976, he was again selected by the chief of staff to serve an unprecedented second year extension. At the end of the second extension, Chief Barnes retired on July 31, 1977.

During his tenure as CMSAF, the chief worked for equal opportunities for minorities, including blacks and women, and also worked to solidify the enlisted professional military education system. The major award and decorations he received included during his time of service included: Legion of Merit, the Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Outstanding Airman of the Year.

After retirement, Chief Barnes remained active in Air Force life and was a sought-after guest speaker at varied military functions. Following his retirement, Chief Barnes worked at the First National Bank of Fort Worth as an Employee Relations Officer for seven years, before being hired by the Associates Corporation of North America to become the Vice President/Director of Employee Relations at the corporate headquarters in Las Colinas near Irving, Texas.

After retiring from Associates Corporation of North America, Chief Barnes relocated to Fannin County, Texas. There, he and his wife, Marie, raised Longhorn cattle on a sprawling ranch in Bonham, Texas.

Chief Barnes had a fond interest in the sport of rodeo. He competed on a rodeo sport roping team, wining team penning titles at the Kueckelhan Rodeo two years in a row.

During an interview, Chief Barnes was once asked how he would like to be remembered.

"I'd like to be remembered as a role model for people who believe they can't get there," he said. "It was an honor to have been chosen (as the CMSAF) on the basis of my qualifications, as opposed to my race or my gender."

Chief Thomas N. Barnes died due cancer in Sherman, Texas, on March 17, 2003, where he was receiving treatment. He was 72.


 24 NOVEMBER 2011


Unsolved Scramble

D.B. Cooper & the 318TH FIS
An Air Defense Command pilot lights his F-106's afterburner on takeoff.

From Soviet Bombers to lost private airplanes, Air Defense Command fighter - interceptor squadrons were tasked to "police the skies" over America. In this role, McChord's 318th FIS became tied to one of the nations more intriguing crime mysteries on Thanksgiving eve 1971 - the D.B. Cooper Hijacking. Forty years later both can only be found in history books!


In the afternoon of November 24, 1971, a man named Dan Cooper purchased a one-way ticket on a normally scheduled flight from Portland, OR to Seattle WA.  He along with the other passengers boarded the Northwest Orient Flight # 305 without incident. A few minutes in the flight, Mr. Cooper passed a note to a flight attendant claiming that he had a bomb in his brief case and told to pass that message on to the flight crew along with his demands for $200,000 in unmarked $20 bills, 2 back parachutes and a fuel truck to refuel their Boeing 727.


The plane landed at Seattle - Tacoma International Airport and taxied into an isolated area where all of Cooper's demands were granted and all passengers and two flight attendants were released, but this was not the end of this drama, while refueling Cooper relayed the next phase of his plan, a safe flight to Mexico City flown at minimum speed. Officials allowed the crew to fly the plane towards Mexico, but it would not be alone, two F-106's from the 318th FIS were scrambled with a task to shadow the hijacked airliner and track its escape to Mexico.


In the air over Washington or Oregon Cooper, with the ransom in hand, jumped from the rear of the 727 parachuting into the night and the history books -  Cooper was never heard from again.


For many years following this hijacking, members of the 318th would hold an annual dinner; commemorate this incident and their role in the mystery of D.B. Cooper. This dinner was held every year until the close of the squadron in 1989.

1972 F.B.I. composite drawings of  Dan "D. B." Cooper

16 SEPTEMBER 2011 

C-17 Globemaster III celebrates 20 years of flight
BY Cindy Anderson - The Boeing Co

The Boeing Company on Sept. 15 celebrated the 20th anniversary of the first flight of the C-17 airlifter. On Sept. 15, 1991, test aircraft T-1 (AF serial number took off from the Boeing Long Beach site on a two-hour flight that proved the engineering and design concepts of the aircraft and marked the beginning of the program.


T-1 flew by Long Beach again on Sept. 15, 2011, in a re-creation of its milestone flight. "The first flight of T-1 ushered in a new era in military and humanitarian airlift," said Bob Ciesla, C-17 program manager for Boeing. "Twenty years ago, when I was working in flight test for this new airlift program, I could not anticipate just how critical the C-17 would become for the U.S. Air Force and its allies. The success of the C-17 Globemaster III program extends beyond Boeing's employees and supplier partners who have proudly engineered and built the world's greatest airlifter for two decades  to exceed the expectations of customers around the globe who fly the jet every day."


The C-17 has flown more than 2 million hours in its 20-year history, supporting worldwide airlift missions that transport troops and supplies to global hot zones and bring aid to those in need during humanitarian crises.


"There is no question that the C-17 has set the bar high," said Ciesla. "The program has performed on cost and on schedule for more than a decade. Now we are entering a new stage with a production-rate reduction from 15 to 10 aircraft per year, extending the life of the C-17 line to 2014 and beyond."


The C-17 aircraft has achieved a number of record-breaking milestones more than any other airlifter in history and set 33 world records during initial flight testing at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. The C-17's records include payload to altitude and time-to-climb, as well as a record for short-takeoff-and-landing in which the C-17 took off in less than 1,400 feet, carried a payload of 44,000 pounds to altitude, and landed in less than 1,400 feet.

During the past 20 years, Boeing has delivered 235 C-17s - 211 to the U.S. Air Force, including active duty, Guard and Reserve units, and 24 to international customers including the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force, Qatar Emiri Air Force, United Arab Emirates Air Force and Air Defense, and the 12-member Strategic Airlift Capability initiative of NATO and Partnership for Peace nations. India became the newest C-17 customer in June, when India's Ministry of Defense signed an agreement with the U.S. government to acquire 10 C-17s that will be delivered in 2013-2014.

T-1/87-0025 first flight video:
For additional stories, photos and memorabilia
visit the C-17 First Flight Reunion page

On September 15, 1991 YC-17A 87-0025 is pictured minutes after it lifts off from the runway at McDonnell Douglas's Long Beach plant. 

Photo by Jim Shryne - USAF   

Freshly painted in full Edwards C-17 markings -0025 taxis past the control tower at at the base on October 19, 2007. The C-17 is still in use at Edwards AFB, CA. 



9-11 Hero "still serving" on display at McChord 

F-16A 82-0929 is now displayed it a prominent display in front of the Western Air Defense Sector HQ.  


With the Nation reflecting on the events that occurred on September 11, 2001, we also pause to remember a first responder that makes its home at McChord, F-16A 82-0929, one of the first fighters scrambled to intercept the hijacked airliners. In 2006, the F-16 from the 119th Fighter Wing "Happy Hooligans" of the North Dakota Air National Guard completed its last flight before being retired for display at McChord. The pilot that day, Lt Col Brad Derrig was very familiar with the jet, it was he and two of his fellow squadron mates (Lt. Col. Craig Borgstrom, & Lt. Col Dean Eckmann) in their F-16 were the first pilots scrambled with a mission to defend the Nation's Capital during the terrorist attacks on September 11.


McChord Air Museum volunteers played an important role in the acquisition and preparation for display at WADS HQ, below you can find two stories covering actions of Museum Volunteers in bringing this historic aircraft to McChord.  For the story of the flight of the Happy Hooligans during the terrorist attacks of 9/11 please click the story link below.

Story - North Dakota pilots recount patrolling DC skies on 9/11
F-16A ADF Fact Sheet
Foundation Member helps 
“land” a F-16 for WADS 
  (Story originally released in 31 December 2006)
Lt Col. Brad Derrig "shuts down" F-16ADF 82-0929 for the final time in one of the McChord AFB Alert Hangars after completing a cross-country flight to Washington State. Col Derrig flying in F-16A -0929, and two other “Happy Hooligan” F-16 ADF’s scrambled from their unit’s alert detachment at Langley AFB, VA to intercept hijacked airliners over New York and Washington DC during Sept 11, 2001.
While many were out returning gifts a day after Christmas, a small crowd gathered by one of  McChord's alert hangers to see the last flight of a aircraft that made its mark on history standing alert during September 11, 2001.  The aircraft, F-16A S/N 82-0929, one of the 3 F-16 scrambled against hijacked airliners on 9-11-01, poked through the rain clouds and touched down for the last time after a cross country flight from it's  base at Fargo, ND. The aircraft’s pilot Lt Col. Brad Derrig, Commander of the 119th Operations Group, North Dakota Air National Guard will always be linked by this journey, but the two will also be remembered as one of the U.S. initial defense against terror.  

What started out as another day standing alert at Langley AFB for the pilots of the 119th FW  better known as the “Happy Hooligans”, quickly became anything but routine. Shortly after terrorist commandeered civil airliners from New York airports, the units F-16's were ordered to “battle stations” and quickly given the “scramble” order by the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) to defend the airspace of the United States. F-16ADF 82-0929 piloted by the then Maj. Brad Derrig, and two other F-16’s flown by Capt. Dean Eckmann Capt. Craig Borgstrom would later perform history's first CAP over Washington DC and the Pentagon. 

Since 2002 Foundation Board Member Ernest White lead the effort to bring the "9-11 first responders" to McChord for display. Over the years, White authored numerous letters and place more than a few phone calls to many individuals and organizations in the USAF, Department of Defense and Congress in a effort to gain a waver for S/N -929 because of its important history. Since the early 90’s only F-16 considered to be “non flyers” were the only aircraft available for display.

During the last months of 2006 what seemed to be a futile effort to acquire -929 became a reality. Working with the F-16 System Program Office or “SPO” White was able to secure the F-16 before it’s scheduled flight to the Davis-Monthan “Boneyard”, where it was to be used for a source of spare parts for other F-16. "It was not until I saw her taxi by until I realized that we really did get her here" White said, "This is a day I though I would never see!”

Although the McChord Air Museum was not on the Air Force’s waiting list for F-16, the Western Air Defense Sector had been on since 1994. The unit had planned on displaying the aircraft with the other historic Fighter-Interceptor aircraft, but later decided to honor the aircraft by displaying it in front of the units headquarters. When asked about the location change White responded “The best ending to this story is that a very historic aircraft was saved for many generations to admire”  
PHOTO BY Abner Guzman /  USAF
Foundation Board Member Ernest White greets Col. Derrig after he leaves F-16 82-0929 for the last time. White began an effort to bring the fighter to the Museum in 2002.
Members prep Falcon for its final assignment
  (Story originally released in 16 October 2007)

McChord Air Museum Foundation volunteers (L-R) Jack Whitaker, Ken Roberts Dick Jones, Harvey Wishoff, Alice Jackson, Bert Brandt and Jerry McNeil pose next to F-16 82-0929 formally assigned to North Dakota National Guard.

After months of work behind the scenes, F-16 82-0929 emerged from the McChord Alert Facility hundreds of pounds lighter in preparation for display on the grounds of the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) located on the south end of the base. Over the last few weeks, members from the 162nd Fighter Wing, out of Tucson AZ and WADS, “de-milled” the aircraft, removing sensitive and serviceable items (including the engine). Once complete, the F-16 was moved from to the Museums restoration hangar to undergo some “final touches” in preparation for a complete repainting.  

Another member volunteered for the project was Museum Member Ernest White,
 in charge of documenting and researching distinctive markings for  “Hooligan” F-16s  and basic markings worn by this and other Fighting Falcons. Once complete, information will be provided to painters from the 62 AW since most markings will be lost after the aircraft is sanded and primed. “Painting a F-16 is not something they’re not use  to” said White, “We want to give the painters all of the tools to insure, from tip to tail, -929 is historically accurate”.

Plans are to mount the aircraft next to the F-4 display by NORAD’s 50
th Anniversary in May of 2008.
Western Air Defense Sector dedicates historic aircraft
    (Story originally released in 21 May 2008)
Photo By Randy Rubattino /usaf 

The F-16 fighter's place in air defense history is assured with this permanent display at the Headquarters of the Western Air Defense Sector at McChord AFB, WA


The Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) hosted a formal dedication ceremony on May 21, 2008 for a historic F-16A Fighting Falcon from the North Dakota Air National Guard. The F-16 was set on permanent display on February 11 of this year. 

he aircraft, F-16A ADF (Air Defense Fighter) S/N 82-0929, was one of the three F-16s scrambled against hijacked airliners on Sept. 11, 2001. The aircraft and its pilot on that day - Lt. Col. Brad Derrig, commander of the 119th Operations Group, North Dakota ANG - will always be remembered as part of the United States' first line of defense against terrorism.

Colonel Derrig, who participated in the dedication ceremony, piloted the historic jet on its final flight here Dec. 26, 2006. After its arrival at McChord, the aircraft was prepared for permanent display by volunteers from several agencies and organizations - the McChord Air Museum, the 162nd Fighter Wing from Tucson, Ariz., the 194th Operations Group, the 62nd Airlift Wing and WADS.

All groups who made this project a success were presented a Letter of appreciation and Commanders' Coin by Col Paul Gruver, Commander of WADS, accepting for the Museum was Foundation Board Member Ernest White who led the effort to bring the historic F-16 to McChord. 

(Special thanks to WADS Public Affairs for their contributions to this artice)
Photo By Randy Rubattino /usaf 

Joining Sector Commander Col. Paul Gruver, second from left, in unveiling the F-16 plaque they are from left Mr. Greg Heidloff of WADS; Senior Master Sgt. John Kennedy from the 194th Operations Group; Master Sgt. Scott McCool of WADS; Master Sgt. James Roark (partially hidden) from Arizona's 162nd Fighter Wing, and Mr. Ken Roberts, from the McChord Air Museum.


25 AUGUST 2011


Rodeo Recount

PHOTO BY Airman 1st Class Leah Young - USAF

Representatives from the 62nd Airlift Wing/627th Air Base Group Rodeo combo team on board a C-17 Globemaster III with Air Mobility Rodeo trophies August 24, 2011, at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. Discovery of a programming error in the Air Mobility Rodeo scoring system has the 62nd Airlift Wing/627th Air Base Group Rodeo combo team winning Best C-17 Wing.


2011 Rodeo ends with a win for the home team !


The Air Mobility Rodeo 2011 competition drew to a close at McChord Field  with the 97th Air Mobility Wing earning the "Best Air Mobility Wing" title during the awards presentation for the air mobility competition July 29.


In the closing ceremonies, the Rodeo commander addressed the thousands of people who had traveled from around the world to the biennial competition. "We came to learn everything we can and work hard. Today, we hope to have a little fun as well, as we honor the competitors and their efforts," Brig. Gen. Rick Martin ( AMC Director of Operations and Rodeo Commander.) said.


In his address during the closing ceremony, the General called Rodeo "an opportunity to get together with our teammates from across the Air Force and around the world - to trade lessons learned and build camaraderie; to increase readiness and improve our military capability."


"We never know where we'll be operating next, whether it's aeromedical evacuation, support after a natural disaster, or delivering cargo, passengers or troops where they're most needed," Martin said. "The more partnerships we can build around the globe, the better we can perform our mission.


Weeks after the closing ceremonies an announcement was made that drastically changed the results.


Discovery of a programming error in the Air Mobility Rodeo scoring system has the 62nd Airlift Wing/627th Air Base Group Rodeo combo team winning Best C-17 Wing.


"This is great news!" said Col. R. Wyn Elder, 62nd Airlift Wing commander. "Our Airmen work hard every day to provide the best combat airlift in the world and it's an honor for them to be recognized at the premier mobility competition in the world for their outstanding work. The fact that the combined 62AW/627ABG team was able to win "Best C-17 Wing" at a joint base is a testament to the teamwork our Airmen demonstrate every single day throughout the world. "


The programming error, isolated to the C-17 and C-130 Container Delivery System airdrop scores, was discovered Aug. 18 by Air Mobility Command officials and changed the results of several major awards. "There is an automated process in the scoring algorithm which improperly assigned a median score for an event," said Maj. Gen. Frederick H. Martin, AMC Director of Operations and Rodeo Commander. "This program error was not found in testing," said Martin. "All manual scoring processes were triple checked; however, there was not a final check for one critical portion of the automated scoring processes."


Best C-17 Wing was incorrectly awarded to the 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus Air Force Base, Okla. The 97th AMW actually finished in second place.


"It feels really good," said Maj. Scott Huffstetler, aircrew team chief. "We were all disappointed when the results first came out, but knowing all of the hard work and effort on everyone's part that went into this, finding out now that we won is really exciting."


During Rodeo the combo team also walked away with additional awards not affected by the error including another major award, Best Aerial Port Team, as well as the Best C-17 Preflight trophy and the Best In-Transit Visibility team. "We can't forget that we have over 500 Airmen deployed around the globe right now defending our nation. This award is just as much a statement about the quality of their work as it is the competition itself," said Elder. "Team McChord prides itself on being the best mobility Airmen every day - not just at the Rodeo competition. Colonel Hasberry and Chief Warren and I are so proud of our Airmen!"

Air Mobility Rodeo, sponsored by AMC, is an international Mobility Air Force's readiness competition focusing on improving worldwide air mobility wartime core abilities. Rodeo 2011 was held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord July 24-29.

The following teams were named the winners at Rodeo 2011:

--Best Air Mobility Wing (Moore Trophy) was incorrectly awarded to the 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus Air Force Base, Okla. The trophy will be awarded to the 314th Airlift Wing (Air Education and Training Command), Little Rock AFB, Ark. 


--The Knucklebuster Award, which recognizes the maintenance team with the highest standards of professionalism, dedication and mutual respect for competitors: 439th Airlift Wing, Westover Air Reserve Base, Mass.


--Best Aerial Port Team: 62nd Airlift Wing/627th Air Base Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord 


--Best Security Forces Team: Team McGuire, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J. 


--Best Contingency Response Operations Team: 621st Contingency Response Wing, Joint Base MDL

--Best Financial Management: 375th Air Mobility Wing, Scott AFB, Ill.


--Best Aeromedical Evacuation Team: 446th Airlift Wing, Joint Base Lewis-McChord


--Best Aerial Refueling Team: 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB (Receiver) and 92nd Air Refueling, Fairchild AFB, Wash.


--Best International Team: Belgium


--Best C-5 Wing: Team Dover, Dover AFB, Del.


--Best C-130 Wing: 314th Airlift Wing, Little Rock AFB, Ark.


--Best C-17 Wing was incorrectly awarded to the 97th AMW. The 97th AMW actually finished in second place. This trophy will be awarded to the 62nd Airlift Wing/627th Air Base Group, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., which incorrectly finished in second place.


--Best KC-10 Wing: Team Travis, Travis AFB, Calif.


--Best KC-135 Wing: 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB


--Best Airland Wing: Team Dover, Dover AFB


--Best Tanker Wing: 97th Air Mobility Wing, Altus AFB


--Best Airdrop Wing was incorrectly awarded to the 97th AMW. The 97th AMW actually finished in third place. This trophy will be awarded to the 314th AW, which incorrectly finished in second place.

Other awards:

--Best C-5 Air-To-Air Refueling Team: Team Dover
--Best C-17 Air-To-Air Refueling Team: 97th AMW
--Best KC-10 Air-To-Air Refueling Team: Team Travis
--Best KC-135 Air-To-Air Refueling Team: 121st Air Refueling Wing, Rickenbacker Air National Guard Base, Ohio
--Best C-17 Air Drop Team: Team Alaska
--Best C-130 Airdrop Aircrew was incorrectly awarded to the 314th AW (C-130E). The 314th AW actually finished in second place. This trophy will be awarded to 19th Airlift Wing (AMC), Little Rock AFB, Ark., which incorrectly finished in second place.
--Best C-17 Short Field Landing Team: 97th AMW
--Best C-130 Short Field Landing Team: 302nd AW, Petersen AFB, Colo.
--Best Joint Airdrop Inspection Team: Team Pope
--Best C-17 Backing & Combat Offload Team: 15th WG, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii
Best C-130 Backing & Combat Offload Team: 317th Airlift Group, Dyess AFB, Texas
--Best C-5 Aircrew: Team Dover
--Best C-17 Aircrew: 97th AMW
--Best C-130 Aircrew: 314th AW (C-130H)
--Best KC-10 Aircrew: Team Travis
--Best KC-135 Aircrew: 121st ARW
--Best KC-10 Cargo Loading Team: Team McGuire
--Best KC-135 Cargo Loading Team: 121st ARW
--Best C-5 Preflight Team: Team Dover
--Best C-17 Preflight Team: 62nd AW/627th ABG
--Best C-130 Preflight Team: 317th AG
--Best KC-10 Preflight Team: Team Travis
--Best KC-135 Preflight Team: 22nd ARW, McConnell AFB, Kan.
--Best C-5 Maintenance Skills Team: Team Dover
--Best C-17 Maintenance Skills Team: 437th AW, Joint Base Charleston
--Best C-130 Maintenance Skills Team: 314th AW
--Best KC-10 Maintenance Skills Team: Team Travis
--Best KC-135 Maintenance Skills Team: 97th AMW
--Best Maintenance Skills Team: 314th AW
--Best C-5 Maintenance Team: Team Dover
--Best C-17 Maintenance Team: 437th AW
--Best C-130 Maintenance Team: 314th AW
--Best KC-10 Maintenance Team: Team Travis
--Best KC-135 Maintenance Team: Team MacDill
--Best Aerial Port Challenge Course Team: 521st Air Mobility Operations Wing, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
--Best C-5 Engine Running Offload: Team Dover
--Best C-130 Engine Running Offload: 910th AW, Youngstown-Warren Air Reserve Squadron, Ohio
--Best In-Transit Visibility: 62nd AW/627th ABG
--Best Joint Inspection Team: 621st CRW
--Best 10K Forklift Operator Team: 521st AMOW
--Best 25K Halverson Loader Team: Team Travis
--Best Pallet Build-Up Team: 317th AG
--Best Advanced Designated Marksman/Sharpshooter: 621st CRW
--Best Combat Tactics Team: Team McGuire
--Best Combat Weapons Team: 446th AW
--Best Combat Endurance Team: Team Alaska
--Best Fit-To-Fight Team: Team Ramstein
--Best Aeromedical Evacuation Contingency Team: 446th AW
--Best Aeromedical Evacuation C-17 Configuration Team: 302nd AW
--Best Aeromedical Evacuation KC-135 Configuration Team: 302nd AW
-Best Flight Attendant Emergency Egress Team: 99th AS, Joint Base Andrews, Md.
--Best Flight Attendant Culinary Team: Team Ramstein
--Best Flight Attendant Team: Team Ramstein
--Best Contingency Operations ERO Team: 615th CRW, Travis AFB, Calif.
--Best Contingency Operations HELAMS Team: 621st CRW
--Best Contingency Operations SPICE Team: 621st CRW
--Best OSA/VIPSAM Precision Landing Team: Team Ramstein
--Best OSA/VIPSAM DV Block in Team: Team Ramstein
--Best OSA/VIPSAM Team: Team Ramstein
--Best T1 Low Level/Airdrop Team: 47th Flying Training Wing, Laughlin AFB, Texas
--Best T1 AR Team: 12th FTW, Randolph AFB, Texas
--Best T1 Team: 14th FTW, Columbus AFB, Miss.


 13 AUGUST 2011

Awards and Donations Highlight the Museums Annual Picnic

Sunny and 80 - a perfect day for the Museums annual Volunteers Picnic on Heritage Hill on Saturday August 30. Almost 30 volunteers enjoyed all of the usual summertime foods including hamburgers and hotdogs grilled by Vice President Randy Getz. The picnic is also an occasion where Volunteers are recognized for their many years of service to with the Museum, this year 4 members were awarded Museum Service Plaques for a remarkable 25 years of service.


In a great show of support of the Museums C-130E, former 36th Tactical Airlift Squadron Commander presented a series of checks totaling over $9,000 towards the restoration of the aircraft. The effort known as the "Eagle One Fund Drive" saw many former Commanders (including Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force) and personnel of the 36th TAS - donate funds that will go towards the painting of the C-130E at a future date.


In a speech to the volunteers Col Hansen commented that there are additional funds and several requests for support are still in the works - If you would like to support this or any of the other Museum restoration projects - please contact the McChord Foundation at 253-982-2485.


McChord Air Museum Foundation Vice President Maj. Randy Getz (USAF Ret) accepts donations from Col. Tom Hansen (USAF Ret) for the restoration of the Museums C-130. 


 15 MARCH 2011


Major General Jack K. Gamble

1922 - 2011

 The members of the McChord Air Museum Foundation were very sad to hear of the passing of fellow member Major General Jack K. Gamble. One of the early members of the Museum, the General has been one of the McChord Air Museums greatest supporters.  Over his 33 year Air Force career General Gamble twice served at McChord AFB with the 25th Air Division, Commanding the unit in 1972.

Born in 1922, at Belleville, Ill., General Gamble  enlisted in the Army Air Corps in April 1942, entered the aviation cadet program and graduated in March 1943 at Williams Field, Ariz., with a commission as second lieutenant and his pilot wings. He then entered Night Fighter Combat Crew Training School, Orlando, Fla., where he flew the P-70 aircraft.

In July 1943 he was assigned to the 414th Night Fighter Squadron in the European Theater of Operations. Flying the Bristol Beaufighter, General Gamble completed 93 combat missions over North Africa, Sardinia, Corsica, Southern France and Northern Italy, accumulating 277 flying combat hours.  In December 1944 he returned to the United States to become a P-61 pilot instructor at Hammer Field, Fresno, Calif. In March 1946 he went to Germany where he spent three years flying the RF-51, P-61, and P-47 aircraft.

From March 1949 to July 1953, General Gamble served in the Directorate of Plans, Headquarters U.S. Air Force. In December 1953 he was transferred to Malmstrom Air Force Base, Mont., and assumed command of the 29th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, where he flew the F-94C. In November 1954 he became director of combat operations for the 29th Air Division. In July 1955 he entered the Air Command and Staff School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala. Following graduation in June 1956, General Gamble began an exchange tour of duty with the Royal Canadian Air Force Headquarters at Ottawa as chief of the Day Fighter Branch.

In June 1958 the General was assigned as staff planning officer with the 37th Air Division and later was assistant director of operations and training for the 30th Air Division at Truax Field, Wis. In November 1960 he became commander of the 319th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Bunker Hill Air Force Base, Ind., where he flew the F-106 Delta Dart.

General Gamble was next assigned to the 25th Air Division headquarters at McChord Air Force Base, where he served as deputy chief of staff, Civil Engineering, from July 1961 to June 1963. He then became a student at the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, Fort McNair, Washington, D.C.

In July 1964 he was again transferred to Germany, this time to the 86th Air Division at Ramstein Air Base. As director of operations, he flew the F-102 Delta Dagger until his return to the United States in July 1967. General Gamble next attended the Air Defense Command Life Support Training Course and the F-101 Combat Crew Training School at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla. Following this training, he assumed command of the 52d Fighter Wing at Suffolk County Air Force Base, N.Y. In April 1969 He assumed command of the 35th Air Division with headquarters at Hancock Field, N.Y.  In November 1969 General Gamble assumed command of the 20th North American Air Defense Command/Continental Air Defense Command Region with headquarters at Fort Lee Air Force Station, Fort Lee, Va., and had additional duties as commander, 20th Air Division.

General Gamble returned to McChord and became commander of the 25th North American Air Defense Command/Continental Air Defense Command Region in March 1972, with additional duties as commander, 25th Air Division. He was assigned as commander of the Alaskan Air Command with headquarters at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, in March 1974.  General Gamble retired to the McChord area in 1975 with over 33 years of service to his country.

General Gamble's military decorations and awards include the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, Presidential Unit Citation Emblem, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon. He is a command pilot.

One of General Gamble's sons, Patrick, followed in his accomplished father's footsteps. In his 34 year career, Patrick also reached to the rank of General serving as Commander of Alaskan Air Command, just as his father. General Pat Gamble also Commanded the 318th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at McChord flying the F-106.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the General his widow Marcia, and family.

museum news archive
Click any link below to read the associated story


Joint Base Lewis-McChord makes its historic debut
Stars Shine at the McChord Field Expo
Will you be "coined" by Santa?


Here today . . . Gone tomorrow
Ed Baker
All around success makes for stellar Rodeo 2009
Its not a myth - the Mighty Hercules arrives at the McChord Museum

Fifty Years and Counting - F-106 is still the Fastest




Museum thanks Volunteers at 2008 Picnic

Museum shines at 2008 McChord Air Expo

WADS dedicates historic aircraft

 Lt. Fain H. Pool



Expedited Delivery
Grand Forks AFB helps move a piece of history
Members prep 9/11 responder for its final assignment
The North Dakota Pipeline 
The Beginning of a New Era 
Museum's aircraft to be "corralled" on Heritage Hill


C-82 Packet - Picture Perfect
Oh so close
Resurrection of a Nighthawk
Museum receives C-17
C-82 Goes "Packing"
Remarkable Rollout 
Next up - VooDoo
Going - Going - Gone
It's DejaVu All Over Again


Ugly no more
Star-spangled Tug  
It's -7767, but - - - - -
"A Fighter Pilot's Fighter Pilot"  Colonel Joe Rogers, 1924-2005
 Crews show their "stuff" at the Expo
McChord Museum Foundation's 2005 Volunteer Picnic
The "Air Force Navy" sails into Tacoma
A Herculean Acquisition
Command Appreciation 
Taxing into Airlift History
Foundation Member Featured in Engineering Union Publication
C-141 Simulator "in for a landing" 


New Northwest "White Cap"
New Home for Museum workhorses
Food and fun at the Museum's Open Cockpit Day 
McChord Museum Foundation's 2004 Volunteer Picnic  
Museum makes a direct hit at the range


Two Green Dragons reunite.
Rains fall -Thunderbirds soar.
F-106 restoration project featured on Artists website.
New shine for a old Veteran.
USAF Thunderbirds to perform at the 2003 McChord Air Expo.
Museum B-18 Bolo Bomber featured in Warbirds International Magazine.


Second "Duce" lands at McChord.
Nuclear Donation.
Record Setting Pilot Visits Museum.
Website provided and maintained by:
The McChord Air Museum Foundation
P.O. Box 4205
JBLM-McChord Field, WA. 98438-0205
e-mail - mamfound@mcchordairmuseum.org