183d Fighter Wing — Before the Lifting
When I arrived at Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport, Springfield, Illinois in late afternoon August 12, 2013, it was obvious that the long-awaited mounting of aircraft types flown by the 183d Fighter Wing on waiting, custom-built pedestals would be taking place soon. I parked in the lot across the street and photographed the airplanes where they were parked. All but one were resting on flatbed trailers. The exception was the Lockheed T-33. Since the unit was short one trailer, the landing gear on the 33 was extended, and the aircraft was towed to the grassy memorial park outside the fenced base perimeter. Click on any image for a larger view.
By 2 pm the next day, this restored T-33, which had served for decades as an instructional airframe at Southern Illinois University School of Aviation, would be resting atop the pedestal waiting beside it August 12.
The Republic F-84F Thundestreak was flown by what was then known as the 170th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 183rd Tactical Fighter Group from the late 1950s until replaced by F-4C Phantoms in January 1972.
The 183d was the first ANG unit to fly the F-84F and the first to fly the fighter version of the F-4 Phantom. In 1972 they began with the F-4C and later transitioned to the F-4D, optimized for ground support.
A last look from the parking lot across the street.
Coming next: The 183d FW Air Lift, part 1.
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